You’ve Acquired a New Client, Now What? 5 Steps to Client Onboarding

How to onboard a new client and provide the best possible service since day one.

To many new businesses, start-ups, and any organizations who are ready to grow their book of business, customer acquisition is one of their main challenges they encounter. The main problem with this, however, is that organizations struggle to come up with the right onboarding process.

The Client Onboarding Process

“In a nutshell, customer onboarding is about introducing new customers to your business by showing them the services available and ensuring their experience is as simple and streamlined as possible. It has long been considered a business best-practice.”

But what happens when companies struggle to develop a solid process due to lack of resources or time constraints? Here are five steps that will help you re-define your process and take advantage of tools that will support you.

1. Ask yourself the right questions

A common question that businesses ask their marketing department is “how do we create brand awareness?” or “how do I find qualified leads to purchase our product?”. Even though this sense of urgency is essential for growth, business leaders tend to forget to ask questions that will help them improve their client onboarding process. Many times because they have other priorities.To avoid this, five essential questions executives should ask themselves during the client onboarding process are:

  • Have we outlined the actions required for my client to achieve business outcomes?
  • Have we mapped client onboarding milestones?
  • Is our new client aware of this client journey map and milestones?
  • How will we monitor and measure these milestones?
  • Do we have a plan to manage expectations and requests?

2. Know your client’s KPIs and other goals

After a new client has joined your team, chances are you’ll either have a project kickoff call or a face-to-face meeting to determine the next steps to follow. During this meeting, it’s your job to set the tone for the rest of the relationship by making sure the client feels heard and valued. Remember to ask why they chose your product or service, what business needs they are trying to solve and what their key performance indicators (KPIs) are.

Once you’re aware of what the client is looking for, it’ll be easier for you to deliver not only the best possible results, but also a successful client onboarding experience.

If this is somewhat of a challenge, click here to learn why Virtus Flow was built with your customers in mind.

3. Build a relationship, not a business transaction

Bringing in revenue for your business is vital for expansion. However, you can’t get blindsided by the return on investment (ROI) and forget so many other priorities for success. A big one that many business owners fail to prioritize is building trust — but how can you do this? Start with the customer onboarding process.

Building a relationship with your customers is entirely up to you and your team. A good way to get started is by training your team to always carry the values your company represents. Always know that every conversation, every interaction and every piece of communication is another step towards showing who your company is. At the end of the day, people want to feel valued, important and heard.

Here are a few more tips from Entrepreneur.com on how to build a great relationship with your new client.

4. Be transparent

If you’ve been in business long enough, you probably know that in every industry sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Employees leave, servers crash, and people overestimate products that aren’t necessarily prepared to meet the needs they were originally purchased for. You can work tirelessly to avoid this, but the truth is it’s more likely to happen than not.

When dealing with unexpected events, the most important thing to remember is that transparency towards your client is key. If deadlines move around, milestones change, or you come across roadblocks, make sure to communicate with the client, let them know what the problem is and offer a solution. Remember that more than anything, your goal is to earn their trust. Click here for more ways to build transparency as a leader.

5. Use client feedback to improve

Your clients are the ones who are using your product or service, so it’s imperative that you listen to them and encourage them to give you feedback.

If you haven’t already, develop a product feedback survey to help you drive the conversation and ensure you get the information you’re looking for. This will help you:

  • Refine and improve your product and service
  • Strengthen the relationship with your clients by making them feel heard
  • Improve your chances of customer referrals
  • Prove that you are a caring and responsible business provider

A great time to ask for this feedback is at the end of the client onboarding process, but don’t forget to ask for feedback regularly throughout your entire relationship.

The Bottom Line

Even though there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to business, following these steps will help you get in the right mindset on how to treat current and future clients. If you’re struggling to develop the right client onboarding process, take advantage of tools like Virtus Flow, that streamline your organization’s processes so you can focus on your goals.

Want more on client onboarding and other business resources? Follow the Virtus Flow blog!