Client Onboarding 101: From Day One to Beyond

The 'what' and 'why' of client onboarding
Shuvedha Subramaniam
February 25, 2022
Guides
Main Illustration:
Sivaprakash

Client Onboarding 101: From Day One to Beyond

The 'what' and 'why' of client onboarding
Shuvedha Subramaniam
February 25, 2022
Guides
Main Illustration:
Sivaprakash

In This Post

Wohooo! They said 'yes'! Congratulations, you have successfully wooed a lead into becoming a client.

They are finally excited to work with you. So, what do you do to keep this relationship ever healthy and delightful? Well, we start at the very beginning.

Who is a client? What is  client onboarding?

A client is someone who purchases your service, product, or solution. A client seeks to build a more loyal relationship with you and your offering. They are in it for the long run, eyeing the big picture. They invest in your product or solution, developing a more personalized connection and gaining value over a more extended period. They are more interested in how you can help them continuously achieve success for the foreseeable future.

The relationship with your client would more often feel like a partnership, which can invariably increase the satisfaction and dedication of both your client and your business. And the welcoming of such new clients into your business is referred to as client onboarding.

Client onboarding revolves around initial integrations or introductions, collaborative networking, trust-building, and forming long-lasting professional relationships with your clients. As the first step in a client's journey with your product or service, delivering a seamless onboarding experience that interconnects each touchpoint and supports the overall journey is crucial. It is your window of opportunity to begin building a solid relationship by addressing all their queries and getting them up to speed with the outline of the strategy. Down the road, you ultimately want your client to feel like they have made the right choice with you and that you will work towards fulfilling their goals and requirements. Done right, this could mark the dawn of a very productive and profitable partnership. And if you were to flunk it, well, the alarm bells will start ringing.

Why is onboarding important?

The onboarding phase is often underutilized. You can hook clients, build trust, and establish strong foundations during this phase. While new leads and closing deals might feel euphoric, it's time to nail your onboarding with a bit of Zen - i.e., by remaining in the present. Here are some benefits you can experience from doing client onboarding right.

Client Retention

Organizing an effective client onboarding process increases your client retention rate and decreases customer lapses. Client retention displays a business's ability to continuously engage with clients, encourage contract renewals, and maintain relationships. Additionally, acquiring a new client is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, emphasizing the need to provide clients with higher personalization and quality services. The bottom line: retention is valuable. Therefore, catering to clients with tailored support and demonstrating value early on in the journey goes a long way in helping you retain clients and reduce churn.

Scope creeps and early needs

Your clients need to know they have made the right choice in deciding to work with you. Think of the onboarding process as a roadmap, as a means to set expectations early on. Remember, no matter how simple or on-point your product or service may be, assuming your clients can figure things out on their own can ruin your relationship with them and lead to lost business. Instead, from awareness to engagement and purchase, develop a seamless experience interconnecting each touchpoint and experience how clients get set up delightfully and grow with you. 

Happy clients and a happy you

A delightful client onboarding experience forges stronger brand loyalty. And when your clients are happy with you, they are more likely to refer you to others. Their testimonials can work to make or break you. After all, clients look to work with practices that heed a clear plan of action, demonstrating what they are doing and how they realize value. Also, you may already use trialed-and-tested ways of working; but understanding client needs and requirements will be invaluable in helping you shape relationships and demonstrate value early on in the journey. Set up an exceptional job of onboarding new clients, and you are all set for positive referral marketing.

Growth and scale

Having a well-thought-out, highly repeatable onboarding process helps you deliver a world-class customer experience. Templatize projects and repeat your best work. You can automate the process, save time, and ensure consistency, allowing you to grow and scale more quickly and efficiently.

Summing up

Impressive and exceptional first impressions pave the way for lasting relationships. Onboarding new clients is just another first, a little like stepping into the unknown for both sides. The new client may be nervous, just like you. But, by taking the time out to properly onboard a new client, you diffuse all the nervousness and get working. Realize that your clients are your key to profitability and faster revenue growth. Simply put, client onboarding isn't just a pretty add-on - it's an integral business strategy.

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Shuvedha Subramaniam
Content Marketer @ Rocketlane

Marketing Intern @ Rocketlane. An Advocate by choice and a penwoman for the love of it. When the world zips, I like to zoink. Also, being happy by being kind.

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