Why Your Agency Needs a Client Onboarding Process

Key Takeaways
It costs a lot of money to find a new client. But far less to retain one. Start a client onboarding process to reduce churn & increase your profile.

86% of consumers say they’re more likely to remain loyal to a brand if it invests in onboarding content — welcoming them and educating them after they’ve made a purchase.

Did you know that more than half of consumers have returned a product/ service,

simply because they didn’t know how to use it?

Client onboarding is crucial for retaining customers and increasing brand loyalty.

So, what does it take to have a supercharged client onboarding process in place?

Don’t make it easy for your competitors to steal your hard-won clients.

We’ll show you how to get started with a client onboarding process that’ll improve your customer retention rates.

What Is a Client Onboarding Process?

Love it or hate it, client onboarding is the red-headed stepchild of your business.

You know it’s there.

You know it needs a lot of TLC.

But you still ignore it and put all your focus on the sales process instead.

And herein lies the problem:

Your customers deserve your attention even after you close the deal.

That’s why client onboarding exists and is relevant.  

The client onboarding process is your ability to pass the baton from sales to production successfully.

It’s the experience you give to your client as soon as you, well, onboard them.

From the customer’s point-of-view, onboarding is the support they expect to get post-sale.

But why does client onboarding matter?

A recent study by Wyzowl found that over 63% of surveyed customers believed the onboarding process was an essential part of their decision to partner with a brand.

When customers feel unappreciated during the onboarding process,

they’re likely to stop doing business with that company and take their dollars elsewhere

— to someone who gives a damn.

So, what does that mean for you?

Those amazing customer acquisition strategies you’ve created won’t give your business a double or triple-digit revenue increase if your customer retention is low.

To give your clients the confidence that they’ve put their resources in the right team, you need to spend at least half of your business development budget (roughly 10% of your revenue) on the customer experience.

The effects of this investment may not be immediate.

But investing in customer experience can skyrocket your business revenue by 200%.

It’s that powerful.

Remember, regardless of what you may have believed so far, client onboarding is your company’s backbone.

Five Key Parts of An Effective Client Onboarding Process

Establishing an effective client onboarding can be overhauled in a few hours. Use these five simple steps to get started.

  1. Client Intake  — Begin with the end in mind and make a list of all of the assets, things, or people you’ll need to create a fantastic client journey.
  2. Client Brief — Before your team starts working on a project, ensure they have a detailed understanding of the client’s requirements. A client brief is all the information on a project, from sales to production. The absence of an excellent brief risks failing to deliver what you’ve promised your client. So, make sure the client brief is accurate, detailed, and on-point.
  3. Welcome Kit — Acquiring a new customer may be exhilarating for a business. For a client, though, it may lead to buyer’s remorse. This is where a Welcome Kit, with a positive email, helps build trust in your business right from the start.
  4. Kickoff — Set the stage for the client’s expectations with a good project kickoff meeting. Ensure clear communication while introducing your team to the client and reinforce that the client has made the right decision by choosing you.
  5. Client Results — Client onboarding doesn’t end at the start of production. Map your client’s journey and measure the results against the promises you’ve made — regularly. During this process, cover all the touchpoints of your client’s journey for a seamless experience without chaos.

Supercharge your  Client Onboarding

A quick reminder here — the moment you onboard a client, kick it into high gear!

Keep that $$$ – attracting a new client costs five times more than retaining the existing one.

  1. Scope out client intake to get a handle on the people, assets, and steps to take for success.
  2. Give your team a detailed understanding of the project with a client brief.
  3. Build trust with your client with a Welcome Kit.
  4. Ensure clear communication and deliver on promises with a kickoff meeting.
  5. Map your client’s journey and measure the results.


View our Client Management Checklist to learn what client management systems you should implement after onboarding.

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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