How to Onboard New Clients
Your onboarding process is crucial if you have a service-based business. How you onboard new clients sets the tone for your working relationships with your clientele and it’s how your customers will perceive you and your business. To save yourself time and trouble when it comes to retaining your clientele, your procedure should include: a proposal stage, a welcome package, and a first call.
Streamlining the onboarding process will make you more efficient and professional. It will also help you avoid disputes by setting expectations and also ensuring your legal agreements are signed. Hopefully, you’ll never need them but you want a clear signed copy if problems arise. This could save you thousands of dollars in legal fees and endless amount of time on distractions. The reason is that a signed agreement is so black and white that it becomes difficult for a disgruntled client to argue against. It also makes proving what the agreement is extremely clear—judges and juries love that clarity!
The Proposal Stage
When working with someone you are interested in hiring as clientele after giving them a feel for your workflow processes and timelines, you should send them a proposal, whether that be through a project management software or email. It should be customized to each client with their name and topics you have discussed along with the service that you are proposing.
With your proposal, send the contract for the service that stands in as a formal proposal that outlines the scope of work, payment policies, and terms of the working relationship. Use the formal proposal to show them how you want the relationship to go, and make sure to allow your client time to read and ask questions.
The Welcome Package
The welcome package can be a general or customized. The idea is to set in motion the process to provide information and to gather information from clients. A welcome package often includes an introduction, housekeeping policies, and contact info that will get your client excited about their working relationship with your company. You can also send them a checklist and questionnaire that asks them for information that you need to provide the best service such as their logins, social media accounts, etc.
If you are working with others, make sure to brief your team about your new client and assign them specific roles for the client’s project. You should also introduce the members on your team to your client.
Including the housekeeping policies in the welcome package gives your client another opportunity to read your business’ policies. By setting these expectations and guidelines you will have a successful working relationship. Your next step is to now send them your scheduling calendar so they can choose a time for your first call.
The First Call
When you do your first call with your client, make sure to save the first fifteen minutes to go over the business policies again. Welcome them to the program again, set your expectations and their scope of work, the housekeeping rules, and any other outstanding items. This way when a potential problem does arise and you address it, they won’t be surprised and they usually take responsibility.
Make sure to also go over the details they put into the onboard checklist and questionnaire. This way you are both on the same page and can get into more detail about your work relationship. Outside the questionnaire, go into current challenges and marketing metrics. Leave the last ten minutes of your call for questions.
New Client Onboarding Checklist
To sum it all up, here’s a list to check your onboarding process go smoothly:
- send tailored documents
- send client intake info form
Legal /& W9
- send or sign NDA
- send or sign client contract contract (Pro Tip: Use Drafted Legal’s templates for the best clauses)
- save copies to your client/project manager
- You may also need to provide a W9 to your client
- add client and project to your schedule to ensure you meet deliverables
- create initial to-dos
- assign tasks and add any known due dates
Rinse and repeat! Using these tips to onboard new clients will help you be more efficient and scale quicker!