First impressions count, especially when a client has just committed to a project that they probably spent days, weeks, or months researching before choosing you. Having a smooth and professional onboarding process is a sure way to set your business relationships off on the right foot. So how do you onboard new clients efficiently? Here is an easy, step-by-step process you should aim to complete for each new client (tailored to your own business’ needs, of course!)
Set out a clear contract.
In any business partnership, the first step must always be creating a contract. Of course, the specifics of this will vary depending on your business, but make sure it’s very clear exactly what is included in your service. Ensure everything is explained in measurable terms and be sure to mention what the client is expected to pay and when. A good, robust contract should always be the number one priority during the onboarding process, as it will help avoid issues or disputes further down the line.
Show your appreciation.
A little kindness goes a long way, and when a new client has taken a leap of faith and entrusted you with their project, it’s nice to show that you appreciate it. This could be as simple as a quick personal ‘thank you’ message, or you could even send them a gift in the post. What is appropriate all depends on your business and the scope of the project, but it’s always nice to show your gratitude!
Collect relevant information in an efficient manner.
You may need to gather a range of details from your client before work can begin. For example, perhaps you need some specific information about their business or log in details for various platforms. Try to make this process as simple and hassle-free as possible for them. It may be a good idea to draw up a template document to send to each new client, so all they need to do is fill in the relevant details. Streamline the onboarding process by getting hold of everything you need at the same time, ensuring maximum convenience for both yourself and your client.
Cover the finer details in a welcome packet.
A welcome packet is a really nice and professional way to provide new clients with all the information they may need about you, your business, and what you offer. Things you may wish to cover in your welcome pack include a price list, company policies, coupons and discounts, and FAQs. Providing your onboarding clients with a clean and polished document detailing everything they need to know just screams ‘professional’, and is sure to put them at ease if they have any doubts.
Be approachable and personable.
In the modern world, real human connection can sometimes get lost amongst the sea of online communication. Maintain professionalism, yes, but don’t be afraid to show your new clients your personality, too! After all, it’s bound to make your job easier if they feel welcome and at ease when speaking to you. Be sure that your clients know you truly want to help them and make a difference, rather than just take their money.
Keep them updated.
There’s nothing worse than having to guess what stage an ongoing project is at! Make sure to set regular check-in dates dedicated to updating your client on how things are progressing. As well as providing them with peace of mind, it’s good to get client feedback throughout so you can make any amendments as you go along. Good, regular communication really is a win-win all round!
Whatever business you are in, it’s a great idea to set out a standardized procedure for all of your onboarding clients. Showing that you are professional, organised and personable from the outset really lays the foundations for a positive relationship going forwards. The client will feel reassured that their project is in great hands, and you will be able to gain and provide all the information you need in the most efficient way.
What do you think the most important steps are in the onboarding process? Let me know in the comments!