Create a solid onboarding process for your new client

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Hello and welcome!

Did you know nearly 63% of customers consider the company’s onboarding program when making a buying decision? Setting customers up for success from the start helps build customer loyalty and retention. 

A poor welcome experience results in frustrated clients who tend to leave.

 

Client onboarding is the process of familiarizing a new client with your team, systems, resources, and services. You also address the client’s concerns or queries and help them make the best of your services. 

Let’s discuss in detail why client onboarding is so important for services business.

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Why is client onboarding experience important?

86% of people say they’d be more likely to stay loyal to a business that has a process to welcome and educate them. Let’s see some of the primary reasons why you should create a high-quality client onboarding experience.

1- Client retention

Did you know it is five times more costly to acquire a new client than to keep the existing one? But client retention is one of the key challenges for website developers and designers. Customer satisfaction is the key to improve client retention. 

Client onboarding is your first major interaction with the client, and it sets the tone for the future relationship.

With a well-planned welcome process, clients find it easier to understand your services and get the maximum value out of them. 

A good client onboarding process benefits you, too. By setting the right expectations, it helps in preventing scope creep

2- More referrals

Referrals create 65% of new business opportunities for B2B businesses like yours, and most customers will recommend a business they’re happy with. Therefore, not asking clients for referrals is a missed opportunity for your business. 

Effective client onboarding increases customer satisfaction and your chances of getting referred by the customer to their community. 

3- High customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is an estimate of how much you could earn if you keep the client for life. CLV is calculated by dividing the average customer value by the average customer lifespan.

CLV = average order total x average number of purchases in a year x average retention time in years

The higher the customer retention, the higher is the CLV. For a sustainable and profitable business, you need clients with high CLV. In this way, you spend less time gaining clients and more on delivering values to your existing clients.

With a good client onboarding process, customers feel more confident in their choice. This results in a reduced churn rate (ie. fewer customers who leave). The lower the customer churn rate, the higher is the CLV.

5-step process for client onboarding

Hand-lettered welcome sign
Photo: Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Above, we discussed the benefits of client onboarding, and now the next step is to discuss how to implement an effective client onboarding program.

Let’s explore each one of these steps in detail.

1. Signing of contracts

Contracts protect the interest of both parties and prevent any misunderstandings. 

They clearly state the responsibilities of each party, including the details of:

  • Project scope
  • Deliverables
  • Payment schedule
  • Penalties

It makes sure that everyone is on the same page and understands their roles. Contracts also present an opportunity to discuss details that both you and the client can agree on.

Related: How to add website maintenance to your web services

2. Welcoming the client

Welcoming the client with a welcome email is an important part of the client onboarding process. 

A welcome email shares your excitement and sets the tone for future exchanges.

You should also introduce your team, share their contact details, and inform your most preferred mode of communication to the client (e.g. email, WhatsApp, etc).

A bonus tip here is to include customized videos in your welcome kit. 97% of people believe video is an effective tool to welcome and educate new customers.

Related: Why you need an email domain for business email

3. Kicking it off

Now the goal here is to organize a client meeting and start working on the project. The main agenda of the meeting includes:

  • Introductions – Introduce the team to the client. So they know with whom they will be working on the project.
  • Project plan – You should discuss the project implementation schedule in detail at this first meeting. Clients should be fully aware of what to expect from the team in the coming days.
  • Channel of communication – Communication is the key when it comes to successful client onboarding. Adopt a communication channel that both client and your team are comfortable using. It can be either email, Slack, WhatsApp group, or any other platform.
Sign that says "We hear you"
Photo: Jon Tyson on Unsplash

4. Getting the questionnaire filled

Here you collect all the required data from the client. Collecting important client information is one of the most critical aspects of an effective onboarding process. 

It can include access to their systems, applications, customer personas, brand colors, media files, or any other data that you may require for completing the project. 

Follow up with the client within a week to 10 days if they have not yet submitted all needed materials.

5. Launching the project

Now is the time to launch the project and monitor its progress through a project management tool. 

It is advisable to share access to the relevant information with your team members and assign tasks to individuals. 

The Hub by Godaddy Pro is an effective project management solution that helps you to define your project, divide it into separate tasks, and assign deadlines to them. The Hub is also free.

Proper project management helps in better communication with the client. You can easily update the clients on the progress in a timely and transparent manner. 

The free Hub by GoDaddy Pro streamlines client onboarding

The Hub by GoDaddy Pro dashboard

Setting clear expectations and having transparency in communication is the key to making long-lasting relationships with clients. But, it’s challenging when you are working with multiple clients in different niches. 

GoDaddy understands how important it is to successfully onboard and manage the clients. Therefore, it has introduced the Hub by GoDaddy Pro to help website developers and designers serve many clients with ease.

In the Hub, you can browse the client section by clicking the ‘Clients’ tab in the navigation pane on the left-hand side. From this section, you can create a new client record by entering their basic details. 

  • After adding the client, you can request access for account delegation so that you can log in to their accounts without bothering them about their username and password. 
  • You can also make the required and relevant purchases on your client’s behalf in the Hub (without ever seeing their payment details).

A win-win situation for you and your clients

A strong client onboarding experience allows your customers to know your services better and develop trust in your abilities. Moreover, it also gives you a better understanding of the client’s requirements and expectations. 

A well-planned client onboarding process is a win-win situation for both you and your clients. In this article, we discussed the five-step process for effective client onboarding. 

By following these steps, you can also begin to experience better customer satisfaction, better retention rates, and increased profitability.

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Image by: Lina Trochez on Unsplash