Do you want to know how to do onboarding for clients?
Here at LoopStudio, we have the perfect recipe to onboard clients the perfect way and that’s what we’re going to discuss in this comprehensive (and complete) guide.
What is a client or customer onboarding?
Client onboarding sometimes referred to as customer onboarding, is simply the process of making new customers familiar with our business. It is the practice of welcoming new clients, attending to their inquiries, building solid relationships, and making them feel like they’ve found the solution they need.
Why is customer onboarding important?
Whether you realize it or not, onboarding new client is critical to your business success. It is an art you must learn if you desire to scale above the competition. The customer onboarding process helps both you and your new client. As much as it helps your client learn about your business and help them believe you are reliable, client onboarding also gives you quick info about your client that will kick start your work with your client. It helps clear future roadblocks, which increases your efficiency.
Customer onboarding also helps decrease your business churn rate. Clients will likely define you and decide if they want to keep working with you in the first ninety days of contact. Customer onboarding gives you the perfect opportunity to build a solid relationship with clients that define your value and make them stay.
6 best practices on how to do onboarding for clients
With these six practices, you can start with the right foot.
1. Start with a close meeting
At LoopStudio we think that the best way to build a relationship with your client is to hold an in-person meeting. This shows your client they are worth your time and creates an opportunity for uninterrupted communication, the only authentic way to build a relationship.
Schedule a meeting with clear expectations and prepare questions you need to be answered to enable you to do your best work. If a face-to-face meeting is impossible to achieve, a virtual meeting set up ahead of time will be just fine. This is one of the first steps in a customer onboarding journey.
2. Determine precisely what each party will be responsible for
Discussing the responsibility of each party involved in a project is essential. This should be one of the purposes of your close meeting.
Ensure clear communication and let your client understand what is expected of them as well as what is expected from you. Do not try to sugarcoat your words. A misunderstanding of what you are asking could result in conflict down the line. Talk about the goals and milestones and clarify each team member’s role.
3. Setting objectives and goals
What you consider success may not be what your client considers success. As a result, setting clear goals and objectives during a close meeting becomes one of the best practices of customer onboarding.
Define success as it relates to your project, and let your client do the same. This ensures you are on the same page with your client, and your team is working towards a result that your client is aware of.
4. Create a comprehensive and well-planned strategy
Throughout your project’s lifetime, you need a strategy that works. How do you intend to handle unexpected roadblocks?
What is the fastest way to reach your client if you urgently need to talk?
What part of the project should have been completed at a particular time?
Do you need access to specific company data or additional information from your client?
These and more are questions you should have answered to create a comprehensive and foolproof strategy.
5. Ask them for their opinions, feedback, or questions
Allow your client the freedom to speak. Ask them for their opinions and questions.
Be ready to listen to their feedback from your close meeting, any subsequent encounter, and after the delivery of each milestone. Be eager to know what your clients think.
Show them you value their opinion. Let them feel heard. This could bring your customer onboarding strategies home, building the valuable business relationship you desire with your client.
6. Follow up on the progress or failure of the project and improve it
During every meeting with your client, take notes and follow up on progress from the last meeting. Don’t fine-tune your progress. Maintain the highest level of honesty and transparency. Your client would appreciate it. Even if you don’t accomplish the expected result, let your client know, listen to their feedback and find a way to improve.
How to onboard new clients step by step
This is the method we use as a software development company, feel free to copy it:
1. Welcome email
After initial contact with a new client, the first item on your client onboarding checklist is to send them a welcome email. You want to tell them “thank you,” share resources that will help them get familiar with your product, and most importantly, send them back to your product. The CTA should be a link to your product in your onboarding welcome email to a new client.
2. Onboarding questionnaire
Your business may be familiar with the onboarding questionnaire given to new employees. You can do the same to new customers. A client onboarding questionnaire is a survey that helps you understand your client’s pain point. An onboarding questionnaire for new clients will help you understand their goals and can be sent even before an in-person meeting, so you have some basic info you can use to build your discussion.
3. Legal and Payments
After a warm welcome and a client onboarding questionnaire, the next step is to have payments and legal terms resolved with a signed copy of the contract in your hands. A legally binding document that clearly shows mutual agreement between you and your client will save you lots of stress in case of unexpected occurrences.
4. Choose the best team for them (if it’s the case)
With information from the questionnaire and legal and billing details, you and your team can now decide which team members and how many are the best fit for your new client.
5. Setting the project
Now, it’s time for you and your team working on a particular project to define a transparent workflow. What do you need to do at what point in time, and how best can you do it? Use sticky notes and project management tools to kick-start things.
6. Share all the info you have with your team
To ensure every team member understands who they are working for and what they are trying to achieve, share the information you can gather.
7. Kick-off meeting
This is the point where you have your first meeting with your client. With this meeting, work on the new project has already begun. Meeting with your client and having an open discussion where both parties are heard is one of the best practices of customer onboarding.
8. Recurrent meetings to get up to date
Recurrent meetings are just as crucial as the kick-off meeting. Subsequent sessions are where you will discuss progress and get feedback.
9. Ask for feedback (Always)
It is dangerous to assume your client has nothing to say just because they didn’t. Learn the habit of requesting for client’s opinion and feedback.
You can read how to choose a web design development company and see where to improve in order to be more considered by clients.
Customer onboarding tools
When it comes to doing client onboarding right, an overload of information can make it harder than it looks. With this new client onboarding checklist template, you can copy it into a notepad and check each step as you complete them.
- Welcome email
- Onboarding questionnaire
- Legal and payment
- Choosing the best team
- Setting the project
- Sharing information with team members
- Kick-off meeting
- Recurrent meetings
- Asking for feedback
1. Client onboarding template or questionnaire
You and your team need to set up a questionnaire using customer onboarding forms for an effective customer onboarding process. Here are some questions that could serve as a customer onboarding template and give ideas for more.
What exactly does your business do?
Give some business information.
Who can we contact anytime we need to?
What would you consider success as far as this project is concerned?
2. Customer onboarding welcome email
A vital customer onboarding tool is the welcome email. Never forget to send one and make sure it includes a CTA. Here’s an example from Luminary:
“You’re ready to go.
Thank you for creating a Luminary account. Now you can enjoy limited access to our catalog of Luminary Originals – plus thousands of other podcasts you already know and love.
It may be possible to run your business without the practice of customer onboarding. However, this practice gives you an edge over others, among other benefits. Implement these strategies today.
Do you have other advice on how to do onboarding for clients?
Let us know in the comment section below!