Onboarding…. What the heck is that? Isn’t that where you bring on new employees? True, one type of onboarding process does deal with adding new employees to your team. But if you’re running your business well, you’ll not only add new employees, you’ll add new clients. Do you have a process for onboarding them?
Don’t fool yourself: Onboarding clients is just as important as onboarding employees. Think about it: You want your employees to thrive with your company. But you want the same thing for your clients, don’t you? That means an onboarding process for them will be imperative for retention and their overall satisfaction with your company.
First, What Is Client Onboarding?
You worked hard to get the clients that you have. No doubt there was marketing outreach, sales calls, proposals, and the like. You probably spent a good chunk of change on securing those prospects as well. But they’re no longer prospects, are they? Now, they’re clients. And clients need to be transitioned into their new role.
If you have ongoing, monthly clients in your business, they need some handholding from you and your team. They may never have worked with a company that does what you do. And if they did, they may not have felt valued, which is why they’re no longer with that other company. Now, they’re with you. And now, they need to know what’s going on.
To put it simply, client onboarding is a way to ensure that your new clients feel valued and as if they’ve made the right choice in choosing your company.
Creating a Smart Onboarding Process
When you build your onboarding process, you want to look at your company and how you work with clients. What do they need to know to be successful? Are there certain things you need from them to get started? Will you plan to thank them for becoming a client?
Start with Thank You
A good place to start with onboarding is to thank your new client for choosing your company and for trusting you. Whether this thank you is sent as an email, video, card, or gift, be sure that you let them know they’re valued and appreciated.
Let Them Know What’s Next
Create a document, video, or checklist of what your new client can expect as they move forward. What will you be doing first? How will you transition them from prospect to client? What is your timeline? The more information your clients have about what’s happening, the faster they’ll become comfortable in your abilities.
Give Them Tasks
Most of the time, clients hire you to take care of something and to take it off their plates. However, they usually want to stay in the loop. Part of that happens by telling them what to expect, but part of that is in giving them assignments. Do you need login information, documents, charts, or logos? Provide them with what they need to do and a timeline so you can get started on your end.
Avoid the Set-It-and-Forget-It Mindset
While a smart onboarding process helps your new clients feel appreciated and valued, don’t let it stop with that. You want to maintain communication with them to ensure they are informed and participating. You may even want to schedule an onboarding follow-up with your new clients to make sure those first vital steps are progressing as they should be.
Stay tuned to this blog for our next article on follow up. Remember, you first get the clients, then you transition them to part of your team, and then you have to keep that conversation going. It’s definitely cheaper to keep clients on your roster and happy than it is to continually find and onboard new clients.
Contact us to learn more about how Ink & Quill Communications can help with your marketing—and onboarding processes.