What Is Client Onboarding? A Guide to Welcoming New Clients [Examples]

Key Takeaways
What is client onboarding and how do you seamlessly carry it out? Learn different aims of client onboarding and how to have a successful one.
what is client onboarding

YESSSS you got a new client *dances non-stop*

But don’t celebrate so much… Have you thought about client onboarding?

Yes, dear friend, the story doesn’t end when the client finishes signing the dotted line.

It is important that they feel welcome and empowered to work with you. This can be achieved by creating and delivering an effective client onboarding process for each of your new customers.

What is Client Onboarding?

Client onboarding is the process of welcoming new clients into your business. It involves providing them with the necessary resources and information that they will need in order to work successfully with you.

The aim is to bring your clients up to date with everything that is happening within the company.

Onboarding also aims to inform your new clients about the next steps of the process.

One of the biggest mistakes is assuming that clients acquire your structure and services already. Beware, that can cause them to become frustrated and run away.

It’s important to be attentive to their questions and concerns, and make sure they really understand your service.

There’s nothing better than starting a relationship off on the right foot, right? As part of your client onboarding strategy, you need to create a positive first impression.

Only then will you get the start of a potentially long and fruitful relationship between you and your new clients.

What Are the Aims of a Client Onboarding Process?

The end goal of any client onboarding process is to improve the productivity and success of the project for you, your clients, and your customers. To achieve this, your client needs to feel comfortable in knowing that they’ve made a good decision choosing to work with you over any of your competitors.

However, there are several key aims of an effective onboarding process and client onboarding experience, including the following.

  • To welcome the clients to your company and your services, and show them you are a good client service provider
  • To provide your client with all of the essential details of your business and the upcoming contract
  • To inform your clients of the next steps and how you will be moving forward
  • To give your clients the chance to ask any questions or raise any concerns about the business process
  • To empower your clients to feel confident in the upcoming project
  • To set expectations of the project, including the aims, each person’s role, your availability, your boundaries, and clarify expectations of important functions
  • To enhance client satisfaction, client’s experience, and customer experience
  • To improve the lead generation process, web design process, and crm system
  • To determine scope creep and have a great documented process that will affect profits in a positive way

Benefits of the Client Onboarding Process

3 super benefits why you should definitely have a good client onboarding flow.

1. Setting Expectations

Onboarding ensures all goals, expectations, and boundaries are set for both you and your client. You want to start building a rapport to create a strong relationship with your clients. Provide them with the necessary details of the contract and obtain any information you need from your client and your client’s business.

2. Retaining Clients

By perfecting your client onboarding process, you are more likely to retain your existing clients.

Around 80% of your revenue is generated from 20% of your existing clients, so it’s important to focus on making your clients happy. And this starts with amazing onboarding.

3. Growing Your Business

When your client retention rates are high and you have happy customers, you will build a positive reputation. Your clients and customers will recommend you to their network. From here, you can obtain great testimonials, which will enable you to scale and improve your business.

A sales process is also connected to client onboarding. Good client onboarding can also help you to streamline the sales process, which can help to generate more leads and boost sales for your business.

How to Have a Successful Client Onboarding Process

Now you’ve answered the question of ‘what is client onboarding’, you can now focus on how to ensure you have a successful process of onboarding clients.

1. Send a Welcome Message

It’s a courtesy to send a warm welcome to your clients. Your sales team can introduce them to your team members and give them a feel for the company. You want them to immediately feel like an important part of the entire team so they know they’ve made the right decision to work with you.

2. Collecting Necessary Data

Obtaining client information is key to the success of your onboarding and your project management. The exact information you need will vary from client to client, but in general, it’s a good idea to gain details about the following.

  • Their contact details
  • Their future goals
  • How often they’d like to communicate with you
  • Relevant information about their marketing background

Make sure you clearly state who is your new client’s point of contact so you’re both on the same page. You can assign a team member from your business to keep in regular contact with your new

client as part of a successful onboarding process. You are forming a business relationship that needs to remain professional in order to achieve your goals and the client’s goals.

You can gain relevant details using a client questionnaire, written forms or emails, over the phone, or face to face in a consultation. This ensures you can set realistic aims to improve engagement and

achieve long-term success. You may also want to use a client onboarding software that will automate the data collection process.

3. Outlining Aims, Expectations, and Boundaries

The next step when you are taking on new clients is to set out the aims and expectations of the project. It’s also important to outline the boundaries of your project and your marketing strategy.

Your client should be able to set their goals and outcomes, and you should clarify what you expect from them. Set out the timeline of the project and your customer journey, and schedule future feedback calls and follow-ups. By the end of the client onboarding process, both you and your client should have a detailed plan of action.

4. Communicate with the Team

Onboarding a new client is important for the overall success of your business. Inform your existing team about the client, and prepare them for the work ahead. This can be done through a kick off call as well as a series of follow up phone calls to give both parties the necessary knowledge for a successful partnership and a great working relationship. Each of your current employees needs to know their specific roles and responsibilities within the project.

If your team needs additional notes or documents pertaining to the new client, provide them in time for the project to start smoothly and to ensure client success.

Often, an initial team call will be made with the client so everybody is on the same page, and so that they can meet every employee and get a feel for the way the team interacts. You want the client experience to be positive, whether they are current clients or new clients. Use your communication skills to set clear expectations so the client understands your services and the work involved.

5. Follow-up

Checking in with your client is just as important as the initial consultation. Ensure you give them your contact information and create a communication schedule based on your availabilities.

By keeping in touch with your clients, you can gain valuable feedback to see how they’re getting on with the process. They will have the opportunity to ask questions or raise any issues they’ve encountered.

The follow-up is for both you and your client to feel confident that things are moving in the right direction. Aim to check in with them around 2-4 weeks after your first meeting.

It may sound like a lengthy process, but it’s worth investing the time and energy into creating an effective onboarding system. A good onboarding process helps to build a strong client relationship. It keeps your new client happy and lays the foundation for a successful future relationship with them.

Business operations consultant Juliana Marulanda
Juliana Marulanda - ScaleTime Founder
Juliana Marulanda is a business operations expert, speaker, and the founder of ScaleTime. With over 20 years of experience across Wall Street, the non-profit sector, technology startups, and family-owned businesses, she now helps service-based businesses.
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