Make New Client OnBoarding a Habit In Your Business
A successful new client onboarding process is the key to happiness for your client and one of the secrets to increasing the customer lifetime value for your business.
Ok, you’ve got a few great campaigns in place and some of them are really working and getting new clients for you. Congratulations! Now what?
Getting a new client is just the beginning. You will need to have a new client onboarding process in place in order to keep them happy, informed, and on your team for a long, long time.
Many small business owners think that having a new client on-boarding process is just for the “big guys”. To tell the truth, that is the main system process that made them the “big guys” in the first place and a process you should not overlook.
What is an OnBoarding Process?
The onboarding process is made up of a series of events that a client is taken through and ultimately helps him/her understand how you work with them and how they can best work with the product or service they purchased from you.
You can create on-boarding processes for new clients, current clients, and your team members. Once you get these processes setup, you’ll be surprised at how well they work to keep your clients happy. If a new client isn’t happy, they don’t spend money, if a current client is not happy, they will most likely send your walking papers. If your team is not happy, they cannot service your clients and they may leave as well.
How Do You Create a Solid OnBoarding Process?
Start by collecting the data that you need so that you can update your CRM. If you are not currently using a CRM (client relationship manager), now is a good time to get started. A CRM will help you manage your clients and will make the marketing automation process run smoother and more efficiently.
You’ve got a new client, don’t alienate them and focus all of your attention on getting more customers in the door. Show your new tribe member that they are special. Manage their expectations on how your process works to solve their issues and they will love you.
Provide a safety valve for your new client. Once your new customer is added to the roles, be sure to make them feel as if they can reach out to you or your top manager in case they have problems with your service.
Manage their expectations so there are no unwanted surprises. Setting up an onboarding nurture email sequence about whats happening now and whats next in the process, keeps your valued customer informed. For you, it means saving time because you do not have to write the same email over and over again. You simply create a standard set of email messages for each product or service you have.
Set up your rules of engagement and share them with your new addition. Create policies for response time, what billable hours, and whats not billable hours. Don’t forget to set policies that manage the dreaded “scope creep” by carefully outlining what they get in the new package/service/product they signed up for. With this process in place, anything asked for above what is outlined demands a ” Would you like an estimate for that?” response so that you will get paid for any extra services they may add on the fly.
Provide structure with your services by using checklists and templates for any communication, project management tasks, and billing processes.
Kick-off surveys and pre-kick-off surveys help to round out your onboarding system success. Ask your new client questions like ” what does success look like to you?” “What problems have you had with other agencies or similar services you’ve used before?” and “What is your preferred way to communicate with us?” Understanding what your client needs and the problem that needs to be solved is important to your success. These questions help you stay focused on new customer expectations from your product or service and your company.
If all of this seems to be a little overwhelming to you, take the shortcut. There are several web-based programs that you can use to get your onboarding process started. Check out sites like Process street and Pipefy to help you set up your processes. Sweetprocess, Loom, and Jing help to automate repetitive tasks or take screenshots that show how to get something done or clarify things for your team and your new clients.
Start building your onboarding system in small chunks.
You may be worried if you are a one-person company already bogged down with things that need to get done in your business. For our small agency, it took a while to get the ball rolling on our own onboarding process. In fact, it’s still not fully complete. You do not need to get all of it done in one day or even one week. Just get started in one area at a time on one product or service at a time. You’ll be surprised at how much easier your business will run and you will increase your customer lifetime value.
Annette was raised in a military family and also served in the military. This has given her global experience in communication and collaboration with people from all walks of life.Her background as a business owner stretches over 20 years and includes an extensive background in the food industry, Web Development and Design and Digital Marketing.
Annette holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology and certificates in Inbound marketing, Content marketing, and Digital Marketing Consultation.
As a Digital marketing evangelist, Annette helps business owners understand the power and the advantages that digital marketing can bring to their business.
As an educator, Annette teaches quarterly Online Marketing classes to local business owners through StartZone, a nonprofit wing of Highline College that provides help to business owners in the South King County area.
At IYBS Local, Annette has created a consultative system of service that helps educate her clients and empowers them to make informed decisions on their marketing needs.
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