10 Surefire Ways to Create a Client Onboarding Process

When you begin a relationship with a client, how you start is frequently how the relationship progresses. If you don't have an effective client onboarding procedure, it's quite likely to result in misalignment of views.

10 Surefire Ways to Create a Client Onboarding Process

With client onboarding, the client's first impression is always the most important. Creating an effective client onboarding process that will impress your client and make it easy for them to get started with your product or service is essential in retaining clients for life.

In this blog post, we'll cover how to create an effective client onboarding process.

Making the client onboarding process easy is a must for client retention. The client's first impression has the biggest impact on whether they will stay with you or go to your competitors.

You have to be able to create client onboarding processes that are easy for the client, so they don't feel overwhelmed or nervous. That's why it's important you cover all of your bases when creating a client onboarding process.

According to a study by Oracle, 86 percent of customers would pay more for a positive customer experience. That alone is an incentive to improve your client onboarding procedure.

In recent marketing conversations, the company goal of “delighting clients” with interesting user experiences, personalization, distinct brands, and more has been a major topic.

However, according to a Harvard Business Review study , "making it simple" is the single most most effective client service strategy for sustaining loyalty and conversion.

Client onboarding necessitates context. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to client onboarding because it must take the client's objectives into account - as well as what your firm has to provide in order to specifically satisfy those needs.

Understanding and mapping out their experience is one of the most essential parts of providing great service.

According to a Harvard Business Journal report, successfully navigating the client journey pays off immensely.

“Performance on journeys is more predictive of business outcomes than performance on touchpoints is. Indeed, across industries performance on journeys is 30% to 40% more strongly correlated with customer satisfaction than performance on touchpoints is and 20% to 30% more strongly correlated with business outcomes, such as high revenue, repeat purchase, low customer churn, and positive word of mouth.”

Once you've identified the client journey, you can apply it to an onboarding process that works for you and your clients.

Creating Your Own Personal Best Practices for Client Onboarding

Every new or departing client offers you the chance to learn and improve. Collecting and analyzing client data gives you a platform to modify your procedures.

This will not only help you continuously develop and innovate, but it will also create a pleasant side effect of client contentment, as well as a chance to stand out from the competition.

Listen to your client: The best way to ensure that your company grows is to earn a reputation for caring and listening to your clients. Client retention will improve if you have positive relationships.

Clients you have a positive relationship with are more inclined to seek a solution rather than switching providers in the event of an issue. Issues will arise in any industry and even in the best of situations, caring and listening to your clients' concerns is critically important.

Provide adequate feedback mechanisms: Your clients are the ones who utilize your service or app on a daily basis, so take advantage of any improvements they suggest for fine-tuning your product and client service.

In depth discussion should be had about their ideas and ideas. If your client suggests something that isn't feasible, make the effort to connect, explain why not, and propose alternatives.

This will increase client loyalty and goodwill, as well as demonstrate that you are a caring and responsible business partner.

A web form is one approach to obtain client input. You may develop your own with Smartsheet and have the answers sent to the appropriate people in your organization.

It's critical to be adaptable throughout the whole procedure. Don't be afraid to alter your client onboarding approach based on what you learn and changing economic and technological circumstances.

Collecting and utilizing client-supplied data will help you move forward faster in your relationships and company.

Secrets for Developing Exceptional Business Relationships Through Client Onboarding

When you begin a relationship with a client, how you start is frequently how the relationship progresses. If you don't have systems or a goal in place for this client onboarding procedure, it's quite likely to result in misalignment or angry clients.

In the best case scenario you will be just two teams working together but aren’t in sync from an organizational perspective.

This is why I have compiled the following list on ten surefire ways to get your clients on board. It'll give you a checklist or a cross-reference for your own client onboarding procedure.

1. Customize the experience accordingly

The first thing I'd like to emphasize is the need for customization. This does not imply that all communication must be hand written; you may certainly customize the experience through automation. We're usually talking about a 50/50 split, or perhaps 70/30, of manual versus automated interaction.

That might imply utilizing marketing automation technology with contact properties that automatically propagate information, so the message appears personalized.

Alternatively, it could apply to salespeople who fulfill the role of client service personnel and have responsibilities such as:

  • Scheduling calls with clients
  • Welcoming them to the company
  • Being available and happy to help them
  • Clearing up information
  • Setting expectations

2. Manage both the micro and macro aspects equally well

A lot of people concentrate on the "micro" in client onboarding. The emails they're sending, the scripts they're using, kickoffs, follow-ups, and net promoter scores are all examples of this.

Along with that you would want to think about it from a broader “macro” standpoint as well. The lifetime value of a client is orders of magnitude greater than the transactional value at first.

You must consider each client's experience with your company throughout their time with you.

What we're aiming to accomplish is make certain you account for the lifetime value while developing your client onboarding system. The duration in which that lifetime value exists has portions of onboarding repeated and embedded throughout it.

3. Education, teaching, and preparing the customer for what's to come

This is about recognizing that the information they've been given throughout the sales cycle, while it may be useful, isn't always complete.

If you have a content marketing engine in your company, you'll almost certainly already have the resources—for your prospects, clients, and the industry built.

You want to incorporate intentional suggestions of things your clients should read into the client onboarding process.

This includes blog articles and other internet resources that aid them in gaining a thorough understanding of the firm they're working with. To provide basic knowledge on how you both will be progressing together.

4. Make Sure Everyone Is Clear on Their Part

This one isn't just about client onboarding; it's also about how the team assisting the customer with this process contributes to the product. You should establish specific job responsibilities for each stage of the client onboarding process.

Make sure to set out expectations for a role's contributions and takeaways that the client should have.

Since we’re discussing preventing impediments in general, you should make sure to not frustrate the client.

5. Don't let a client repeat themselves

The general guideline is that if the client has clearly stated something during the sales process, they should not have to explain it again.

As a result, you'll need a mechanism for information to flow from one person to another throughout this client onboarding procedure.

You will be able to do this in a few ways. One method is to utilize your customer relationship management (CRM) software., which you can optimize to do things like:

  • Update the contact record
  • Create your own, bespoke properties that convey various things about a company.
  • Make detailed call notes that breakdown everything that occurred—ensure you record who was involved and why any given element was significant.

Then there's client handover documentation, also known as the firm profile. This is where we itemize all of the information that needs to be passed on to the following team in order for them to be successful.

When you use a conversational framework, it allows anyone involved in the dialogue to have an equal contribution. This means that while people are new, the discussion may flow simply and naturally.

Most significantly, the client will not have to reiterate themselves on what they're doing—or what they're concentrating on or what is important to them.

Another thing to bear in mind is that establishing full client trust is essential in this relationship.

6. Every stage in the process has a seamless handoff

It's not only about the information and knowledge that has been given. It's also about how you convey the handoff from one person to the next.

Companies and their employees frequently neglect to give a brief introduction or context for the individual who follows them.

To ensure that you have a smooth handover at every stage, make sure that several things are plainly stated from the start, especially when dealing with multiple persons. Make sure to include:

  • The introduction of the person
  • A brief explanation or definition of their role in the cogs of this project
  • What the client should know about that position and this individual
  • Moving forward how are they supposed to work in tandem

This also applies to each party in the client onboarding process. When everything is made crystal clear from the start and everyone on the same page—both internally and with the customer—processes run smoothly.

7. Make sure to provide each client with an onboarding guide

This is so they can keep track of everything, even if there are multiple people involved at different phases. The first point of contact is frequently this individual, who established the initial rapport through the sales process.

Handoffs are common in the business world. Despite this, salespeople aren't incentivized in a way that encourages them to follow up. Poor communication can result from not focusing on clients' happiness and onboarding success.

As a result, you are encouraging the sales rep and making it simple for the customer to communicate at any given time by putting them in charge of the onboarding process. Even if they've had others take charge on this onboarding stage, they still have a "buddy" - a trustworthy advisor to whom they may reach out.

This particular employee is someone who was accompanying them since the beginning and is supposed to act as their guide throughout their entire experience with the company.

8. Continue onboarding your client past their initial start date

"Client success" and "client service" are two areas where many businesses fail. It doesn't stop when the engagement begins, exactly similar to how client onboarding begins before the relationship begins.

It's important to make sure the client onboarding process continues after the start date, as it will affect your success rate.

9. To ensure that your customers' expectations are consistent, repeat yourself frequently

The client's expectations must be in sync with what you're delivering. Even though you may be communicating something, you're generally speaking to a firm—or, more accurately, a person who has a full-time job, has family responsibilities, and has other things on their plate that aren't directly related to the company they joined up with.

As a result, it's critical to repeat yourself in order to gain commitment (or, theoretical commitment). We refer to this as a verbal contract—a statement that we're on the same page and agree.

This helps establish a level playing field for the interaction. Remind them of things along the road that are critical to their success in onboarding and engagement with your firm.

10. Your clients should understand your expectations for them.

This is because, just like theirs, your expectations are typically an indicator of how successful they will be in the client onboarding process with your company, in the engagement, or with the collaboration of the two companies.

Which means using phrases like:

  • “This is the information we'll need from you.”
  • “This is when we will have to need it by.”
  • “These are the things we'll concentrate on that you shouldn't be concerned about.”
  • “This is the degree of commitment and communication needed to have a good working relationship.”

Conclusion

This wraps up my comprehensive list on how to create an effective and systematic client onboarding process. This will definitely allow you to establish better relationships with your clients which will last the test of time.