Client onboarding is an extremely important step in welcoming a new valued customer.
It’s where you lay the foundation for a long-term relationship with your new customer. It’s also the first time they see your service quality, so it’s an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. But how do you go about doing this? How can you make sure that you get it right? The best way is to create a client onboarding process setting out the steps that need to be taken to ensure the best possible experience for the customer.
By setting up a strong client onboarding strategy, you can create a foundation that will build trust and build a long-term relationships with your customers.
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What is client onboarding?
Client onboarding is the first step in the relationship between a business and its clients. This stage is designed to help customers feel more comfortable, answer any questions they may have about your business, and help them understand the strategies you are using to succeed and supply them with the best service or product.
Obviously, onboarding is an important step, but it’s just one of the many ways to make a customer feel comfortable and get them hooked.
Why is client onboarding important?
Client onboarding is extremely important because it’s the first time your customer will be interacting with your business. They will be using your services or product for the first time, so it’s essential that you provide a consistent and high-quality experience. Why is it so important?
- Reduce Churn – New clients are at high risk of churn in the first few months as they get used to a new service or product so reduce churn rates.
- Expectations – Ensure that both parties know what they are expecting. Know what the customer needs and how you are going to help with that pain point.
- Efficiency – Help the client see the benefits straight away and feel they know who to contact if they need support. If you know what they require from you from the start, you can supply their needs quickly and efficiently.
- Content Clients – Happy clients are the most important thing as it helps build strong working relationships, which can be a huge benefit. Enabling potential upselling and gaining referrals to other businesses based on your work and excellent customer service.
Be clear and transparent about what you do. This is an important part of your onboarding process. Don’t confuse your customers by providing too much information. They’re not expecting to learn about your product or service in your onboarding process. The purpose of onboarding is to provide your customers with the information they need to get started.
Client Onboarding Process
We’ve put together a short list of things you should be doing to get the most out of onboarding.
Focus on the customer – You can’t do anything to make a customer happy without focusing on them. But what does that mean exactly? It means that you need to understand your customer’s needs and concerns. You need to find out what they want and need from your business. Once you’ve done this, you can focus on giving them the best experience possible.
Provide useful information – You need to provide your customers with the information they need to get started. That means that you need to provide them with the information they need to get the most out of your business. You can do this by providing them with an overview of your business and products.
Ask and Answer Questions – When you first start to onboard a new customer, you need to ask the right questions. You should be asking the customer what their goals are, what they want to achieve, and how you can help them. The more you know about your customers, the more effective your onboarding process will be. You need to provide your customers with the information they need to get the most out of your business. You can do this by answering any questions they have.
Availability – You must provide your customers with the necessary information to get the answers. Make sure they have contact and support details, schedule reviews, and focus on customer success.
Friendly – You must provide your customers with the information they need to get the most out of your business. You can do this by being friendly and welcoming.
Client Onboarding Process Checklist
Client Onboarding Checklist
Contracts Confirmed and Signed
Confirm everything is in order before starting work. Starting work before everything is signed and verified you at risk of wasting precious time, resources and money.
- Confirm the contacts, or proposal has been signed off by both parties.
- Check that payment schedule and agreement. Has any agreed payment been received? Check with accounting.
- Assign to a client manager and customer success.
It is essential to make sure you know how to make contact and who are the key personnel responsible for working direct with the business.
- Add business details, address, phone number and email address.
- Who will be the main point of contact? Name, position within the company, ask what is the best way to make contact, phone number and email address. It is essential to establish where in the management change the person is and what influence they have in the relationship.
What are the primary reasons for working together, pain points helping to improve,
It is essential this information is documented to be referred to overtime as a reference to measure success and for change of personnel. It is essential to build a strong working relationship
Project summary – Include business proposal.
Timescales – What work needs to be done and by when?
Ideal Outcome – What is the purpose of working together, what are the main aims and what is the best possible outcome? e.g time saving, increased sales
Success – How will success be measured? Metrics?
Set up accounts for the people who need access
- Set Up individual accounts and supply logins to software.
- Getting Started – Supply information to help get started. Educate clients on how to get the best from the business relationship and will help reinforce their purchase decision.
- Training where applicable or agreed within the business proposal scheduled. If training will onsite confirm dates, remote group training offers a time frame and potential dates.
This needs to be monitors to check no issues have been encountered.
Schedule First Contact
This first meeting will set the standard so make sure you are well prepared with knowledge. It is alway nice to send something physical in the post, something meaningful to enforce the relationship before first contact.
- Before meeting make sure you identify who has logged in and who has not. Who has completed the onboarding process or not? Who has attended training who has not?
- Explain who you are and what you are responsible for?
- Outline deliverables and responsibilities within the project and working relationship.
- Identify additional information or resources that could be supplied to help success. Can the client read, watch additional information you can supply in order to get the most from this project?
At the end of the first contact meeting it is essential to have built a strong connection between the client and you and your team, answered all client questions or queries, and established how the project and relationship will proceed.
Catch Up Meeting
Schedule the next catch-up call for 30 days after starting work together. Make sure nothing has been missed, someone missed in the onboarding process and confirm everything is running smoothly.
- Any unanswered questions?
- Any problems arisen?
- Are you waiting on anything from the client?
Note: The first 3 months are exceptionally important in building relationships and where you create first impression of your business. Catch mistakes early and action resolutions, to retain clients and build great relationships!
Be consistent in your onboarding process. Once you have a plan, you need to be consistent with your client onboarding process. This means that you should do the same thing every time you onboard a new customer and continually refine the process. Your onboarding process must be constantly monitored and improved as it is a constant work in progress, and whenever possible, improvements are identified it should be incorporated into the process.