Client onboarding is an important process that lets organizations set their clients off to a good start. Did you know that within the first 90 days, clients are three times more likely to churn? If done correctly, it heralds the start of a productive and prosperous collaboration. If it is executed incorrectly, on the other hand, one could hear the sound of warning bells. Your onboarding process is crucial, regardless of whether you own an accounting firm, business consultancy, digital agency, wealth management company, or any other client-focused company.
Today, we will teach you all you need to know about the client onboarding process and give concrete recommendations to help you improve your organization’s client onboarding process.
What is Client Onboarding?
Client onboarding is the process of integrating new customers into your company. You can start a long-lasting relationship, inform the customer, respond to their questions, and lay out the plan for the future. In the end, you want the customer to believe that they made the right decision and that your firm will meet all of their demands.
Benefits of New Client Onboarding
Client onboarding is more than just a nice bonus—it is a critical business strategy. When done correctly, it results in the following:
Less client churn
As previously stated, clients are at significant risk of churning within the first 90 days. To help them stick, aim to create relationships and demonstrate value early on in their journey.
By exceeding your customers' expectations right away, you greatly increase your chances of developing long-lasting relationships, upselling current clients later on, and receiving recommendations based on your good work and solid working relationships. The Edelman Trust Barometer indicates that 84% of B2B decision-makers start their purchasing process with a recommendation.
Onboarding benefits you and your clients equally. It puts important information at your fingertips, putting you in the best possible position to start working for a customer. As a result, this helps you improve efficiency and avoid bottlenecks later on.
Reduces scope creep
Establish expectations early on to ensure that both parties understand what scope creep entails. By performing your research upfront, scope creep will be less likely to occur.
Clients are happier when they deal with businesses that know what they are doing, have a defined strategy, and cultivate long-lasting partnerships. Your Net Promoter Score will significantly rise when you do this and make your consumers happier (NPS).
Having a well-planned, highly repeatable client onboarding process may help you ensure that compliance is ingrained into your decisions rather than just an afterthought.
Not every onboarding process is the same. You must systematize and optimize your onboarding process so that it enables you to work effectively and build effective relationships if you want to take advantage of the benefits mentioned above.
Best Practices For New Client Onboarding
You must apply the best onboarding practices to familiarize your clients with your goods or services. The techniques listed below will equip you to create a seamless, engaging onboarding experience that can lead to happy, recurring customers.
Personalize the experience
There is a lot of information on the internet about how to personalize the onboarding process for new clients to help them feel more comfortable. Treat your consumers the same way you would a new, vital employee. Consider your customer a partner, and tailor their onboarding experience to their individual requirements.
Individualizing each account should be part of the onboarding process and one of your minimum standards. What does it mean to personalize the onboarding experience? Consider the following UX design principles: Regardless of the industry, the experience with you should be valuable, helpful, desirable, and accessible. This might involve developing client-only VIP portals, personalizing profiles, providing unique material, being accessible, and knowing enough about your customers to anticipate their questions and provide answers before they arise.
Concentrate on the relationship
This is not a purchase. This is a partnership. No matter how long the sale takes, whether it's a few seconds (like buying an item of clothing) or a few years (like selling software to a whole company), you have opened the door for a relationship.
So, how do you establish a relationship? Place account managers in charge. Check-in. On social media, like, share, and comment on their posts. You should schedule regular checks to see how things are going. Ensure you facilitate a straightforward, honest, and sincere communication at all times.
Set expectations and milestones
We suggest that you ask as many questions as possible, especially within the first few days and weeks of engaging with your new client. The most important question to address is: How do they define success? The term "success" has come to represent the ultimate objective in the new era of customer success. That means you have to figure out what they want to get out of your work with them. In the world of SaaS customer success, this is called the "desired outcome." That will set the stage for figuring out what the customer wants.
Next? Create a strategy, and then put it into action. Whatever the sales process looks like in your business, you will need to create "success milestones"—a fancy term for target deadlines—and let the client define what those will include.
Most importantly, be very real. Make sure you are setting goals you can reach every time accurately.
Find the most effective customer onboarding software
When your firm decides to adopt an onboarding software, you will need to discover the applications on the market that have the right features that meet your requirements. Onboarding software products provide you with the resources to build in-house onboarding process while tracking user engagement. These tools may be used to create welcome email series, product tours, video tutorials, and other content.
There are many software for customer onboarding on the market, and some of the options include WalkMe, Apty, Whatfix, Userpilot, and Chameleon.
Set up onboarding activities
How will you motivate your clients when you onboard them? How do you intend to keep them engaged? Throughout the procedure, you may find it necessary to execute different onboarding activities. Consider adding video lessons, Q&A check-ins, webinars, and one-on-ones to provide variation in how your consumers acquaint themselves with your product or service during onboarding. As you determine which activities to include, ensure your choices accommodate the diverse learning styles of your consumers.
Great client onboarding will protect you from unavoidable turnover. Churn will occur, but by implementing excellent onboarding procedures, you can ensure your firm will not wind up with the dusty bones of every other old-school business that was afraid of change. So go forth, evolve, and welcome fresh clients with excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm.