Smart files not only make your life easier—although that’s a big plus—but they also provide a seamless and delightful end-to-end experience for your clients.
The client experience will vary based on what’s included in each smart file, but we’ll review a few different possibilities. Remember: your smart file can be any combination of these elements!
In this article, we’ll review the client experience with:
Client experience receiving smart files via email or direct link
If you’ve sent a smart file via email, the client will receive it in their inbox, complete with your accompanying message and a button directing them to their file.
If you’ve sent the smart file via a direct link, they’ll simply receive that link through the messaging platform you’ve chosen.
Client experience with access codes
Access codes in smart files ensure the privacy and security of your clients’ personal details by making sure the correct people have access to the correct files. Here's what your clients will experience when you turn access codes on.
Emails and access codes
If you’ve sent the smart file via email with the access code turned on, the client will be directed to a security page prompting them to send the code to the email address that received the file.
Once they click Send My Code, they'll be able to grab the code from their email and input it on the security screen to access the smart file.
Direct links and access codes
If you have chosen to turn the access code on, and you send a smart file via direct link, your client will be asked to input their email address before viewing the file. This will trigger an email containing the access code, which they can head back to their file to input.
Client experience with questions
When a client receives a smart file that includes questions, they can easily add their responses from any device. If they miss a question you’ve designated as required, they’ll be alerted to answer that question before they can proceed to the next page or submit the file.
Responses will be saved if a client progresses to a subsequent page. If they close the smart file at that point, they’ll be able to pick up where they left off when they open the document again.
Once your client submits the file, they will not be able to edit their responses unless you resend it.
Client experience with scheduling
When a client receives a smart file that includes a scheduler block, they can easily select their desired time from your session availability, from any device. If you’ve toggled Client must schedule session ON, the client will be required to schedule a session before proceeding through the smart file. Otherwise, they can choose to schedule a session, or not, before navigating to the next page and submitting the file.
Whenever a client schedules, they’ll receive a confirmation banner, email notification, and the meeting will be automatically added to their calendar.*
Client must pay to reserve session
After scheduling their session, the client will receive a confirmation page with a note that the session will be reserved once payment is made.
Once they pay through the smart file, they’ll receive a payment and session confirmation.
Client experience with services
When your client receives a smart file containing services, their experience will vary based on the additional steps you’ve included in the file, as well as the services settings you’ve designated.
Services settings & client experience
Selection options: setting will determine how many selections the client can make within a given services block. You can allow them to Select One, Select Multiple, or make your services View Only.
Selection requirements: if you toggled Clients Must Make a Selection on, your client will not be able to proceed to subsequent pages of the file until they’ve selected a service.
If this option is toggled off, the client will be able to proceed without making a selection.
Quantity customization: if you toggled Clients Can Customize Quantity on within an individual service, the client can update the quantity of that service (within the minimum/maximum values you set) once they’ve selected it.
If this option is toggled off, the client will not be able to adjust the quantity of an item or service.
Selection summary: If you allow your client to make service selections, they will be able to access and review their selections anywhere in the file, through the selection summary in the file navigation bar.
Smart files with services only
If you send your client a smart file that contains service selection without an invoice or contract, they’ll simply be able to make their selections and submit the file back to you.
If your smart file didn’t require a selection or was view-only, the client will also, of course, be able to submit it back without making a selection at all.
Smart files with services and an invoice
When your client selects one or more services in a smart file that also contains an invoice, the invoice will automatically reflect their selections. The grand total will account for the choice(s) they made, as well as any other static items or services you included in the invoice when building the file.
Once they’ve made their selections, the client can simply proceed with making a payment on the invoice!
For example: if you’d like your client to select the package they’d like to book (and maybe even a few add-ons!), then make their deposit or first payment immediately, based on those selections…
If the services block didn’t require a selection (and the client did not select anything) or if it was set to view-only, the invoice will only reflect any static items you added before sending to the client.
For example: if you plan to invoice for Package A but offer clients the option of selecting optional add ons…
Create a smart file containing a services block that allows—but doesn’t require—clients to select a service
Add an invoice block with Package A already included
This will ensure that the client pays for their pre-selected package, while also allowing the invoice to dynamically update to include selected add-ons.
Smart files with services and a contract
If you choose to include the recap, your client will see a section of their contract that dynamically updates based on their service selections, providing an overview of what they chose.
For example: if your contracts always include an overview of what services your client is purchasing, but waiting for the client to make their selections before manually updating each contract feels too time-intensive…
Create a smart file containing a services block
Add a contract block to a subsequent page of the file
Add the Services Recap field to the body of the contract, which will dynamically update based on your client’s selections
Client experience with invoices
HoneyBook makes payments simple, but if your clients ever have questions about submitting a payment online (or just need a quick walk-through), here's some great information to reference!
In smart files containing an invoice, your client will need to click through the preceding pages first and complete any required actions on those pages. They’ll also review their itemized list of items or services, as well as the payment schedule you’ve set up.
Then, they’ll continue to the payment screen to make their first payment, which you can allow them to do via credit card or bank transfer. Your client will not be able to proceed past the payment page until they make payment.
Once they make their payment, they’ll just click your final button to submit the smart file and complete the process!
Your client’s payment experience will vary slightly based on how you've designed the invoice and payment schedule:
First or only payments
On the payments page, your client will be able to enter their credit card information or pay by bank transfer, depending on the payment options you’ve set.
For credit card payments, they'll enter the following information:
Full name on card
Card number, expiration date, and security code (CVC)
For bank transfers, the client can select their bank of choice and follow the on-screen prompts to sign into their online bank profile, which will automatically link the rest of their information.
Now, they can add gratuity (if you have that option turned on—if not, they will not see the option to add a tip), and if they're making future payments that they want to automate, they can check the box for autopay.
Then, they can just click Pay when they're ready!
If your client encounters any trouble making payment, check out this resource on payments troubleshooting.
Second and additional payments
When a client is ready to submit their next payment, they can:
Reuse the original credit card
Add a new payment method by clicking the Add (+) button
Click Edit, then the trash can icon to remove the first payment method
Click Pay to submit their payment
Automatic payments (autopay)
When making a payment, if the client is making future payments that they want to automate on the due dates, they can check the box for autopay.
If a client ever needs to change the card on file for automatic payments, they'll need to first turn off automatic payments. Then, they can manually make the next scheduled payment with the appropriate card and opt back in to autopay at that time.
Your clients’ experience with the initial recurring invoice will be nearly identical to their experience with single invoices. They’ll simply review the smart file, input their payment information, and submit their payment.
Client experience with contracts
In smart files, your client can review their interactive contracts. If you’ve set up any smart fields for them to fill out, they’ll be prompted to enter information in those fields; if any of the fields were set as Client Must Fill for the client, they will not be able to sign until they’ve added the required information. If a you set a smart field as field as Client Can Edit, they’ll be able to adjust any information already populating that field.
Once the client has reviewed the contract and filled in any necessary fields, they can click or tap the signature line to add a legally binding signature to their contract. They’ll have the option of typing in a signature or drawing it in, and can sign from any device.
Client experience with content (no questions, services, invoice, or contract)
If your smart file simply contains text, images, or videos for clients to review, the process is extra simple! They’ll simply open the file, click to proceed through the pages you’ve included, and click your final Done or Submit button to let you know they’ve reviewed the whole thing.
Client experience submitting a smart file
Once your client clicks the final button to submit, they can either be dropped into the client-side view of the HoneyBook project—their client portal—or, if you set the last button to redirect to a URL (which can be done from your smart file's configure settings), they can land on a thank you video on your website, a portfolio page, your Instagram... whatever makes sense for you!
However you choose to wrap up, both you and your client will walk away confident that this is just the beginning of a fantastic project.
Want to learn more?
Still have questions? Feel free to send us a message by clicking the Question Mark icon on any HoneyBook page. Our team is always happy to help!