Digital marketing client onboarding process

Client onboarding process

To retain new clients, agencies need to have a system for their digital marketing client onboarding process.

Wow! Look at you go. You’re closing new clients faster than your dad closes his mouth after he says another cringy dad joke.

In marketing, gaining a new client is always a cause for celebration. Well, maybe. The devil is in the details.

So, before you celebrate, hold that thought and wait. Gaining that client is only the tip of the iceberg.

There’s nothing as crushing as getting that deal, and then, a month or so later, the client or customer decides to walk away.

Although that situation is never pleasant nor easy, we encourage you to look on the bright side.

Think of it as a wake-up call that something needs to change in the way you handle customer onboarding. And once you do that, you won’t have to face that unpleasant situation as much, or ideally, ever again.

So, to ensure that you retain new clients and build those long-term relationships, you’ll want to seriously consider implementing an efficient client onboarding process.

Why? Because a company needs a well-established system when onboarding new clients for efficiency and quality output.

In addition, customer retention statistics show that a large percentage of the revenue companies will make in the future will come from their current clients. Investing in the correct client onboarding process eliminates a lot of the worry surrounding the future viability of your business.

At ScaleTime, we’re saints. And business process pros. We’ll simplify the onboarding process for you with proven tips, a client onboarding checklist, and best practices.

But first, what does client onboarding mean? And why is it crucial for businesses? Let’s dive in.

What does it mean to onboard a client?

Client onboarding process

Client onboarding is the process where an agency welcomes new clients to the business.

You want to leave a positive lasting impression when you meet a new person. You hope your meeting will blossom from acquaintance to an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship.

When we talk about the client onboarding process, we’re talking about a similar scenario — the only difference being that it’s now in a business setting.

The client onboarding process is one whereby you welcome new clients to your business and reassure them that doing business with you is a worthwhile investment.

New clients often wonder if they’ve made the right decision after signing a contract and putting down a deposit. The client onboarding process is all about dispelling these fears and doubts.

We’re basically eliminating buyer’s remorse and building a foundation of trust. Ultimately, client onboarding is an important process for businesses, and it produces great results.

Let’s get into the main advantages of having an onboarding process so you can see just how awesome it really is.

Why Is Onboarding Important for Digital Marketing Agencies and Clients Alike?

A successful client onboarding system is essential for your agency because it guarantees continued business from your clients. Losing a client means losing money. But it also means losing time spent on creating a lasting relationship, meeting them, exchanging information, and marketing.

Statistics on customer experience show that future sustainability and revenue for businesses will be based on their ability to retain clients. It’s therefore essential to have an onboarding process that’s successful in keeping customers.

From the client’s perspective, a well-executed onboarding process helps reassure them that their needs are well understood, and your company is interested in a strong working relationship.

One result of this is that your clients will be more likely to communicate with you openly and positively if you fail to meet expectations on the first try, rather than checking out in favor of another agency.

Properly onboarded clients are beneficial for businesses as these clients will not only spend money on your services and products but also refer them to others.

An effective onboarding system will keep your clients happy and ensure they do some great word-of-mouth marketing for your brand.

How You Can Ensure a Smooth, Stress-free Client Onboarding Experience

Client onboarding process

A successful onboarding system enhances a client’s confidence in your agency.

The client onboarding process can either make or break your business. A smooth, stress-free experience is one step towards retaining newly acquired clients — and that means continued business.

So, the big question is how to create a smooth and stress-free onboarding experience, both for your clients and for your team.

Here are 3 tips to help you achieve that.

Evaluate your existing client onboarding system

Take a good look at your existing system for onboarding clients and see what’s relevant, working, and needs changing.

Then, based on your new client’s needs and goals, you can adjust your existing system to align with a specific client. This ensures a smooth experience and helps build trust as clients will see that you’re addressing their specific needs.

Choose the correct tools

Thanks to technology, there are various, affordable tools on the market that can help you complete almost every dull onboarding task with ease — leaving you to focus on the exciting work of making your client’s vision a reality!

Additionally these tools minimize human errors that can make your agency look unprofessional. To get started, determine which tools are ideal for every stage of the process.


Before launching the system, test it to discover areas that need improvement.

The goal is to create a first impression for your clients that will erase any fears or doubts and make them want to do business with you.

Once you launch, invite feedback from your clients to keep improving the system.

The 4 Steps of the Digital Marketing Client Onboarding Process

Client onboarding process

Great client onboarding in four simple steps.

For a successful and effective new client onboarding process, the following steps should be included in your marketing client onboarding checklist:

STEP 1: Setting clear expectations

From the minute you meet that new client or customer, ensure that you set the expectations upfront. This critical first step eliminates so many headaches that can occur during the project lifecycle.

How so? Because the client understands what you are offering and what’s expected of them right from the very beginning.

A client welcome packet is one of the best communication tools to convey how your company works and what the client should expect from your marketing services.

For more specific expectations, the contract with the client should provide clear mutual understanding, including details of:

  • Timelines
  • Deliverables
  • Duration
  • Terms and conditions
  • Confidentiality
  • Payment methods
  • Termination

Once you’ve covered everything, send the contract as a branded PDF packet to your new client.

STEP 2: Kick-off

After the signed contract phase, get to know your client deeper. The aim is to understand the client’s goals, needs, customers, and competition, and to start setting your plans for the next phase.

The kick-off takes two stages: the new client questionnaire and the kick-off meeting.

Get to know the client: new client questionnaire

You can obtain the following vital information through a client onboarding questionnaire:

  • Sales process information, including brand guidelines and social media management details
  • Client checklist
  • Customer journey
  • Intake form
  • Client goals
  • Primary point-of-contact person

Once you’ve gathered the information, create a client brief. This is a document written as guidance for the project detailing the client goals, project timeline, and scope.

When you create client accounts, the client brief is the foundation that ensures every action your team takes is aligned with the overall goal.

Client onboarding process

Getting to know your new client shows your commitment to the working relationship.

Bringing everyone onto the same page: the kick-off meeting

A kick-off meeting is the first meeting with your team, the client, and everyone who is involved in the project. It is a crucial component of the onboarding process, as it’s an opportunity to introduce your team to your client. This helps in building trust and a lasting, personal relationship.

In this meeting, you’ll outline strategies and action plans for the duration of the project.  The agenda should include:

  • Project details and objectives
  • Scope and deliverables of each team
  • Timeline and milestones
  • Potential risks and mitigation strategies
  • Communication channels and means of collaboration
  • Progress tracking
  • An open forum to answer any questions and clear confusion

Your kick-off meeting marks an exciting time as it officially solidifies your partnership with your client.

To facilitate a successful client kick-off meeting, you can hold an internal kick-off meeting first so you can review the agenda and get your team ready and excited for the new project before they face the client in the actual kick-off meeting.

STEP 3: Measure

It is important to establish strategies and ways for reporting and measuring progress from the very beginning. Agreeing on the reporting frequency and method helps build a strong client relationship and establish accountability.

Communicating project updates can be done on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis and in a form of a written report, phone call, email presentation, or regular meeting.

Clearly define the project management metrics your team will use so you can evaluate performance, measure successes, and determine your current position against your budget, target, and competitors.

Identifying which metrics are relevant to your clients will also help you save time, only delivering the information they want and need.

STEP 4: Nurture

To build a lasting relationship with your client, keep your communication lines open at all times. That way, your clients can access you for feedback and questions and get more relevant information to keep them updated. Regular check-ins help ensure the client gets the most out of their investment with you.

It’s also important your client understands that even the best of plans sometimes don’t work out as expected.

Educating your client and managing their expectations, will improve their understanding of the results you’ve achieved. And you’ll develop a better working relationship.

Client onboarding process

Nurture each client relationship to watch them grow and strengthen.

Important Tools to Support the Client Onboarding Process

To ensure a smooth and successful client onboarding experience, it’s crucial to choose the right tools.

Some tools that will help you implement a solid client onboarding process include:

  • E-signatures so you can fast-track the onboarding process when a sale is closed. For instance, PandaDoc, DocuSign, Better Propsals, and Qwlir
  • Slack or Teams to notify the team when someone is onboard
  • Project management tool options such as Monday, ClickUp, Asana
  • Intakes for collecting information — Jotform, Typeform, or Content Snare
  • Wiki a place to hold the client brief — Notion, GetGuru, Google Sites
  • Payment tools like Stripe or PayPal
  • Ad questionnaire tools like Google Forms
  • Meeting tools like Zoom or Google Meets
  • Collaboration tools like G-suite

These tools help ensure transparent and accurate transfer of information between the primary contact of the client, the account manager, and other parts of the marketing agency.

Conclusion and Action Steps

Agencies that intend to stay relevant and in business for the long haul must ensure an effective client onboarding system. Spending time and money on this process will guarantee success for both your agency and your customers.

In summary, the client onboarding workflow should contain the following crucial elements:

  • Setting expectations
  • Kicking-off the project, including a client questionnaire and a kickoff meeting
  • Measuring and reporting on progress
  • Nurturing the client-agency relationship

There’s no right or wrong template for onboarding clients. Instead, depending on your customers’ and clients’ needs, goals, and journey, design a template that suitably aligns with their expectations and the nature of your business.

At ScaleTime, we do this in our sleep. We can help you develop a successful onboarding template that’s customized to your business and will take it to greater heights.

How does this sound:

Eliminate unnecessary headaches. Win back up to 40 hours a week. And up-level your onboarding process for your agency for max customer retention?

Then grab our FREE guide for client onboarding hacks here. See you on the other side of profitable business heaven.

Onboarding Client Software

Are you operating a business in a highly competitive market? To sail those shark-infested waters with ease, you need a strong customer base.

But that’s not all.

You also need to gain new customers while retaining your existing ones.

New customers + kicka$$ customer retention rates = recurring revenue AND a thriving business.

So, how do you do all that and a bag of addictive chips?

When fishing for new clients, businesses must go the extra mile to maintain customer engagement. Otherwise, your customers might decide to jump ship and turn to your competitors instead.

This is a major reason why creating a positive customer onboarding experience for new clients is of utmost importance.

First impressions last a lifetime. And a positive client onboarding experience marks the beginning of your potential long-term relationship with your clients.

Onboarding Client Software

Client onboarding is crucial to your business growth as it has an impact on whether you can widen your customer base or not.

A new customer success process can be difficult (but not impossible) to scale.

As much as the client onboarding process is crucial for long-term customer success, we have to admit that it can be difficult to scale.


Because delivering a consistently excellent customer onboarding process becomes more difficult as your customer base grows.

Picture it.

Client gets onboarded successfully. They are so freaking happy and they trust your customer success teams that they are gasp feeling comfortable enough to ask for more resources.

Sound familiar? It happens to all the good businesses.

Basically, an excellent customer onboarding process is a double-edged sword. It eliminates work-related headaches but it can also create more work for you. The good kind of work.

Plus on top of that, you have to continue with the usual work tasks and initial deliverables the client wanted from you.

How the start to a beautiful relationship often goes

Early on in client onboarding, your customers will be eager to test your product or service. This opens an opportunity for you to showcase to the client how your product works, what benefits they’ll get from using it, and what makes your product the much better decision over your competitors.

Your onboarding process must make an impact on your clients, as it is a strategic process that can directly impact customer success for long-term product adoption.

A successful client onboarding process makes each customer feel they are prioritized and getting the support that they need. This paints a picture of how dedicated your business is to their success with the use of your product.

In this piece, we’ll show you how to create robust customer onboarding software aimed at customer satisfaction and business growth.

So, keep calm and read on to discover the must-have tips and tools that will level up your client onboarding process.

What Is Customer Onboarding?

Onboarding Client Software

Providing the best customer onboarding experience is a key to a long-time partnership with a client.

At its core, customer onboarding is the process of introducing your products and services to your clients. So, you perform activities to get new users acquainted and comfortable with what your company has to offer, including answering customer queries or concerns.

In other words, customer onboarding covers all activities from signing the contract to the checkout process.

An exceptional client onboarding process should include the following:

  • Step-by-step tutorials on your product
  • Guidance and support
  • Solving customer queries
  • Celebrations on every milestone your client achieves while using your product or service

Exactly why is the client onboarding process so crucial to expanding your customer base?

Well, because there’s a possibility that new users drop your products or services the moment if they don’t understand it or they suspect it won’t give them any value.

What Is Onboarding Software and Why Do You Need It?

Onboarding Client Software

Customize each onboarding experience with a suitable software package

A growing business means a growing customer base. With each new customer, you want to provide the best customer onboarding experience you possibly can.

However, consistency might become an issue when you have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of customers. This is where client onboarding software comes into place and can help you replicate and scale your process.

What is customer onboarding software?

Also referred to as customer onboarding software, these software packages provide you with tools and applications designed to help you:

#1. onboard customers

#2. Manage and utilize software implementations

The software is equipped with problem-solving skills and advanced features that can ease the customer journey and user adoption process.

In short, onboarding software does the bulk of the work for you when it comes to onboarding new customers.

Why do we need onboarding software?

As we mentioned before, providing new customers with a great experience during the onboarding process is a key factor in gaining and retaining long-term customers.

Ultimately, this can make or break your growth plan for your business.

When you have excellent onboarding software, you can achieve:

  • Higher customer retention rates
  • Lower churn rate
  • Reduced support costs

The software will eliminate some of the pain points in your onboarding process, allowing you to provide a great customer experience.

How to Get Started with Client Onboarding Software

Good news! Customer onboarding software is readily available and not super expensive.

It’s similar to employee onboarding software in that most packages contain the features needed to ease your customer onboarding process. However, there’s a possibility that your onboarding team might have difficulty using your chosen onboarding software.

That’s the last thing you want.

So in this section, we’ll show you how to get started with client onboarding software in a way that doesn’t tempt your team members to hit the bottle every night.

In essence, customer onboarding software helps your customers learn about your products or services. The software shows the different key features of your product and how they can get the most value out of using it.

Customer education is also highlighted in using the different customer onboarding tools such as:

  • A series of emails to welcome your customers
  • In-app messaging for onboarding and ongoing training
  • Product support and knowledge base

We highly encourage you to create onboarding content that emphasizes customer engagement.

For example:

  • Step-by-step walkthroughs
  • Product tours
  • Tool tips
  • Video tutorials
  • Pop-ups

Such tools can help you with analyzing customer usage patterns with your software to collect feedback. You can use the feedback you collected to gain insight and create a better onboarding experience for future users.

Types of customer onboarding software

There are different types of customer onboarding software for different types of clients.

The purpose of using customer onboarding is to transform website visitors into loyal customers. This is the reason why onboarding software contains tools to help your new clients understand your product and improve customer journeys and adaptability.

There are various types of client onboarding software to choose from, all of which will create different customer experiences in the onboarding process.


One extremely effective way to increase engagement with your client onboarding software? Use an interactive guide.

This onboarding method allows your client to be an active participant during the entire onboarding process.

With interactive on-screen guidance, participation and interaction are topped out at 100 percent. And your customers will have a more memorable and fruitful learning experience.

Bottom line? An enjoyable learning experience makes this particular client onboarding method extremely effective.

Other than its effectiveness, an interactive guide is also a major time and money-saving device compared to the traditional onboarding process methods.

This is because it eliminates orientations and inductions which only take up your time and resources. With the interactive guide, you can create an opportunity for your clients to master the key features of your product to establish and achieve their goals asap.

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Also known as LMS, these are web-based systems that automate client and employee training. LMS provides your clients with outstanding targeted training to enhance learning and development.

With LMS, you can gather all learning materials in one place and make them accessible to all individuals who will need them. This automates the learning process, from tracking to reporting, and makes learning for your clients possible from anywhere, on any device, anytime.

Knowledge bases

Also referred to as help center software, knowledge bases allow the organization, management, and sharing of content that you specifically created for your audience.

This serves as your repository of information about yourself — from your products and services, to your business as a whole.

A knowledge base contains helpful troubleshooting content, such as:

  • How-to articles
  • Video tutorials
  • Onboarding documentation
  • Presentations
  • FAQs

Your product teams and your clients can use your handy-dandy knowledge base for guidance on how things work — without having to reach out to customer support and sales persons. It’s a win-win for everyone.

How To Choose the Right Software for Your Business

Choosing the right SaaS onboarding software goes beyond just the pricing information. You must consider other factors such as the offered products and services, your potential clients, and even all of the software features.

Here are some criteria you can use in determining the best customer onboarding software for your business.

Good customer onboarding software segments users

Segmenting users means dividing them into different groups according to certain common characteristics or behavior.

Basically, segmentation is used to create a better customer experience for the purpose of higher customer satisfaction scores.

Client onboarding software that can segment users can provide a better customer experience, as it will make your new users feel like their needs are seriously taken into consideration.

Without segmentation, you risk alienating your customer base by providing a generic onboarding experience for all user types.

Check whether your customer onboarding software has an automated tool for dividing users into segments before you take the plunge.

The right customer onboarding platform analyzes user behavior

One of the uses of the onboarding process is to analyze your users’ behavior to measure whether they have the potential to form a long-term relationship with your brand.

User behavior can also indicate the success of any new product or service you intend to introduce.

A client onboarding software package must have analytics features such as the A/B testing function for user behavior analysis.

The perfect onboarding software has genuine interactive walkthroughs

When creating product walkthroughs, you must remember that linear product tours or walkthroughs built out of tooltips are not the best way to onboard new customers. You should, instead, create a genuinely interactive walkthrough that’s responsive to every input made the customer makes.

For example, if your product is a social media scheduling tool, use your product tour to show users how to post social media messages before they first connect to their social media accounts.

The right SaaS onboarding software allows in-app communication

Let’s face it — many client onboarding software packages will spam the customer’s inbox with notifications, whether they be surveys or software updates. And we don’t like spam!

As much as we also don’t like to admit it, implementing a spammy piece of software risks making new users drop your products like hot potatoes.

Instead of engaging this kind of catastrophe, look for client onboarding software that allows you to communicate with your customers in-app.

You can opt for in-app messages or calls to keep communication with your customers all inside the app.

Excellent customer onboarding software is genuinely code-free

Many onboarding tools nowadays advertise themselves as code-free. However, once you’re able to build UI elements, these same tools then require you to use advanced CSS to create more sophisticated elements.

Ugh! Talk about a bait and switch. This is a total no-go as the tool does not deliver what it promised.

So, do your research and make sure the onboarding tools you choose don’t engage in obnoxious false advertising like this.

The Benefits of Using Onboarding Software

The best customer onboarding software specifically responds to the new user’s needs. You can use the onboarding software to utilize your existing data to personalize the user’s experience right from the get-go.

This way, you increase your revenue numbers and decrease costs at the same time. Below are some additional benefits of using client onboarding software.

Increases user adoption and retention rates

Did you know that 8 in 10 people have deleted an app because they did not know how to use it? Everyone’s busy and nobody’s got time for that.

This is a major reason why customer onboarding is critical in customer retention. The onboarding process basically teaches new users how to use your product and get the most value out of it. They want a quick-ish tutorial. Not a masters level dissertation.

So, you want to invest in customer onboarding software that will provide your users with the training and knowledge they need to master your product as quickly and efficiently as possible. This reduces your churn rates and widens your customer base.

Decreases support costs

With the use of customer onboarding tools such as walkthroughs, videos, and tooltips, your new users get the self-service support they need to understand your product’s features. This reduces their need to contact your customer support.

Additionally, client onboarding software allows your customer support team to focus on more complex issues. So, they can work more efficiently.

Increases customer conversion from a free trial to a paid plan

Whether we consider the tight competition in the market or not, our goal is to convert customers from trying the free trial to availing of a premium plan.

Most entrepreneurs find it difficult to convince free-trial customers to upgrade and spend their money. But an excellent customer onboarding process makes the upselling process much easier, more efficient, and sharpens your competitive edge.

A great customer onboarding platform will make your new users such big fans of your product they’ll have no choice but to get that premium package.

Tips for an Effective Customer Onboarding Process

Implementing the right customer onboarding platform makes it easier for customers to interact with the product at every stage of their customer journey.

Here are some tips you can keep in mind during the whole onboarding process.

  1. Determine your customers’ needs.
  2. Cut out unnecessary questions and split the registration process into stages to simplify it.
  3. Thank and welcome your customers for choosing your product or service.
  4. Assist users when they log in for the first time.
  5. Never stop customer support, whether it be automated or not.
  6. Use customer onboarding software. Obviously.
  7. Measure and analyze the results of your onboarding process through quantifiable metrics such as the number of visits, conversions, and bounce rates.

Best Tools for Your Client Onboarding Process

With the growing number of SaaS companies on the market, the number of customer onboarding software packages to choose from has also widened.

To help you decide which one is best to use, we listed the best customer onboarding software at every step of the onboarding process.

Stage 1: Signing a contract

The customer onboarding process starts the moment the customer signs the contract. Here are some of the best onboarding tools at this point in time.

Panda Doc

Panda Doc allows you to easily create, manage, and e-sign all your documents with its digitized and centralized workflow platform. With its features, you can minimize inefficiencies and integrate your documents into emails and communications with only a few clicks.

Panda Doc offers a free trial and can be upgraded to the Essentials and Business plans for $19.00 and $49.00 per user per month.


Considered a smart document builder, Qwilr automates customer communications. Its immersive and interactive user interface allows you to create documents for maximizing conversions.

However, Qwilr is on the expensive side with pricing plans that start from $35.00 per user per month, going up to $590.00 monthly subscription for ten users.


With DocuSign, you can automate how you prepare, sign, manage, and act on agreements with clients and even suppliers.

DocuSign accelerates the process of doing business with its eSignature Agreement Cloud and reduces your need to do manual work. DocuSign also helps you track agreements easily and quickly, thereby boosting your customer satisfaction scores.

Pricing plans for DocuSign can go for as low as $10.00 per user per month and up to $25.00 per user per month. For Enhanced Plans, you may contact DocuSign for a quote.


Now known as Dropbox Sign, HelloSign allows you to securely sign and request signatures online. You can add your signature to any agreement, and it can still stay legally valid with HelloSign. Its user-friendly interface allows users to easily sign documents and integrate them.

Dropbox Sign offers a free trial and paid subscription plans starting from $15.00 per month.

Stage 2: Intake process to kick off the project

The intake process includes all activities that let you introduce your client to your business. This lets you get everything you need — from information to resources — so that the project will be successful.

The intake process is also the time when you can ask your client questions. Here are some forms you can use for this specific purpose.


Best used for interactive surveys, TypeForm is an online form builder that lets you create captivating forms. It has many tools that can help you with your form design and even how you will handle the data you’ve gathered.

TypeForm offers a free trial. Its paid plans start at $35 per month and can go up to $70 a month.


JotForm is a web/app-based tool that lets you create forms online without involving any coding. It saves your forms online and eliminates the hassle of downloading and installing software.

The online platform also allows you to perform complex tasks with ease, from designing the forms to creating the logic for them.

JotForm has four tier plans— Starter plan (free), Bronze ($24.00 per month), Silver ($29.00 per month), and Gold ($79.00 per month).

Google forms

Considered the most famous type of form tool, Google Forms allow you to create and customize forms that are sharable through a web URL. Its user-friendly interface allows you to create forms, customize, and integrate them to analyze the data you’ve gathered.

Google Forms is completely free and available online.

The information you get from these forms is essential in creating a client brief and even onboarding workflows for your specific client to make the customer onboarding experience even better.

Tools to Create a Client Brief

Now that you’ve collected information from your client, you might think of how you can present them. Using a client brief is a useful way of presenting objectives as well as information regarding your client and the project.

Here are some of the best tools for creating a client brief.


The onboarding process is also considered the client discovery process. You get to know your clients the same time they are learning things about your company. This is why it is important that you streamline your onboarding process, including your creation of the client brief.

HolaBrief is a software that prides itself in this feature with its interactive exercises and strategy-based templates. Its features allow you to easily gather strategic information about your client in one place so that you can deliver in less time.

HolaBrief has both a free trial and a free version. However, if you want to take advantage of all its features, the software has a pricing plan starting at approximately $16.00 per user per month.

Most businesses provide services to other businesses as clients. In this scenario, you would ideally want software that specifically addresses the needs of your B2B customers.

Using would be a great tool for you in creating client briefs and overall project management. This codeless software allows you to fully customize, manage, and optimize your client briefs as well as product demos.

You can personalize your client briefs for your clients without failure with Not only that, but the powerful briefs and demos you create can also help you improve your valuable insight collection. does not offer a free trial or a free version. But you can visit their website for more information and a quotation.

Stage 3: Setting up an internal place for technology

After you’ve gathered all information from your clients and built your client brief, it’s always a great choice to set up an internal place for the technology you’re building.

This internal place can help you with getting approvals from the client and all involved parties, and deadline reminders. Here are some tools that you can use to set up your internal place for technology.

Content Snare

Getting must-have information from clients in a timely manner can be frustrating sometimes. They may respond to your requests weeks or months after you request them, which can cause significant project delays.

Prevention is better than a cure.

With Content Snare, you can have a smooth end-to-end process, which makes information gathering easier while you are in the onboarding process.

Additionally, you can also use this platform to get files and documents from your clients and stakeholders.

Content Snare has an easy-to-use interface, which allows your clients to send whatever you need in record time. Your clients can answer questions, upload their documents and files, as well as track their progress in a single app.

The software has a free trial and offers a flat rate of $29.00 per month.

If you’re a large, global enterprise handling complex content governance, having a platform that enables you to plan, create, and deliver great experiences is a must.

Enter is a platform that offers flexibility that allows you to work with AI, modern technologies, and even the framework of your choice. You can use this software to produce content easily, reuse them, and collaborate and approve in real time.

If you have a content-first approach to your onboarding process, is the tool you need. has pricing models based on features. For a quotation, you can reach out to their team or visit their website.

Stage 4: Schedule your resources

Whether you’re scheduling client meetings or assigning tasks to your team, scheduling management is important in project management.

Here are your must-have schedule tools.


Calendly offers professional and efficient meetings scheduling with its elimination of back-and-forth emailing. This intuitive scheduling tool allows collaboration, enterprise-grade security, and compliance.

Calendly plans start at $8.00 per seat per month and can go as high as $16.00 per seat per month. A 30-seat plan would require you to contact them for a quote.


OnceHub prides itself in smart scheduling which connects your leads and prospects with the right individuals in your team.

You can add booking pages in no time and even share your availability to reduce scheduling delays. OnceHub also allows integration; you can connect your OnceHub account to various software such as GSuite, Outlook, Exchange, or even iCloud calendars.

OnceHub can be free. But its paid plans start at $10.00 per user per month.


Serving as your personal scheduling assistant, Acuity can help you with scheduling client meetings with ease. Your customers can view your real-time availability, making them able to choose the right time for a meeting.

To learn more about Acuity’s pricing plans, you can check out their website for a quote.

Stage 5: Communicate with your team and clients

Communication with clients does not stop after the contract signing. You have to keep in touch with them to make sure they’re satisfied with the product and address any concerns they might have.

So, here are some of our best picks for communication tools.


Zendesk allows you to communicate with your clients using a variety of channels, from emails, to chat, to even social messaging apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp. This tool can serve as your one-stop place for communication and interactions.

In short, Zendesk serves as your unified communication workspace.

Zendesk’s pricing plans can go as low as $19.00 per month per agent and can go up to $99.00 per month per agent. Note that Zendesk will bill you annually.


Serving as a single workspace for connection with people and tools, Slack provides real-time messaging through calls and chat.

The tool also lets you search all your files and conversations, as well as integrate with bots and apps such as Google Drive.

Slack has a free version you can use but its plans can go from $6.00 per active user per month to $12.50 per active user per month.

Just like Zendesk, Slack bills you annually for your plans. For more sophisticated versions, visit their website for a quote.

Client Onboarding Software: Next Steps

An effective onboarding client software package will prove itself in the form of new clients in no time.

Streamlining your business operations, in particular, your client onboarding process, is a must for today’s competitive business climate. If you want to gain a substantial advantage over your top competitors, this is one key way to do it:

  • The client onboarding process is crucial in determining whether a customer will continue to use your products and services or avail of a competitor’s.
  • To create an excellent onboarding process, you need to use client onboarding software that is equipped with tools and features that can provide the customer with all information they need regarding your product or service.
  • Customer onboarding software has three types that all possess tools to respond to a specific customer base’s needs and solve customer queries.
  • Using client onboarding software will provide you with many benefits including higher adoption and customer retention rates, reduced support costs, and increased conversion rates.
  • There are different client onboarding tools that can assist you at every stage of the client onboarding process.

How to make your customer onboarding process more engaging and memorable for your target audience?

Streamline your client onboarding process with our powerful and user-friendly client onboarding checklist. Enhance efficiency and improve customer experience with our customizable solution that you can download for FREE here.

Client onboarding process meaning

Client Onboarding process

When you get a new client or sign that deal, you need to engage them in a client onboarding process to retain them for the long term.

Wow, look at you go! You’re signing amazing clients left and right. That big business deal? Yours!

Time to pop the champagne and go Lamborghini shopping.

Eh, not so fast.

While getting quick wins and signing a major business deal are justifiable reasons to celebrate, you don’t want to toast to your agency success too soon.

Nothing hurts more when a big client decides to dip a month or so after signing.

So, what can you do to up your chances of retaining new clients, and turning friends with business benefits into LTRs?

With a client onboarding process.

But not just any client onboarding process. You want one that adds the most value to both sides of the equation.

Companies need to have a standard operating procedure for onboarding new clients as a sort of insurance policy against client churn. Meaning, you’re giving your company the best chance of generating revenue year-round from long-term clients.

Statistics show the long-term revenue that businesses generate comes from a percentage of its current clients. So, if you take the time to invest in having the right client onboarding process, you don’t really have to worry so much about the future of your business or organization.

But what exactly do we mean by client onboarding process? And why is it important for businesses?

Let’s jump in.

What is the Client Onboarding Process?

Client Onboarding process

Client onboarding process is simply the process of receiving and familiarizing your new clients into your business.

When you go out on a date for the first time, you want to leave a lasting impression. A good one. Not one that ends up on Reddit AITA.

And if it goes well and you like the other person, then you won’t want it to end with that first date.

Basically, the client onboarding process presents a similar scenario — but in the context of a business set up, not a romantic date.

The importance of starting off on the right foot

The client onboarding process is where the customer service team and sales team meet at the intersection of facilitating and building a long-term relationship between your business and the customer.

At the heart of it, it’s the process of welcoming new clients to your business and reassuring them that yes, their mother was right. They are a super-duper smarty pants who knows how to make savvy business investments.

In this case, that investment would be working with y0ur brand.

Often, after signing that deal, most clients sit back and ask themselves if they made the right decision. It’s pretty standard for a lot of clients to get cold feet when they first start working (and paying) a new company. A client onboarding process will help assuage these fears and sooth doubts.

If you’re dealing with new customers, a customer onboarding process is setting up the right environment where their first interaction with your brand leaves them so impressed they want to interact with you again.

A successful customer onboarding process will leave you with satisfied customers. It’s also a major determining factor is whether they will keep using your products or they will leave immediately and never return.

If onboarding clients is such an integral procedure for businesses, what are the other reasons why you should have one?

Importance of Client Onboarding Process

Client onboarding is important because of the following reasons:

Reduced Client Churn

Statistics show that within a 90-day period, clients are most likely to leave if they aren’t satisfied. To ensure client retention and client satisfaction, having a good client onboarding process will go a long way toward reducing client churn. Also, retaining more clients builds your referral network.

Client Contentment

A successful onboarding process will dispel your clients’ fears and doubts. This is important for both of you. A satisfied client means business for your company. Client and customer satisfaction means your business will grow and scale to greater heights.

Aids with Compliance

Having a standardized operating procedure will incorporate everything in the sales process, ensuring legal compliance. It also saves on time since employees won’t be scrambling to fix overlooked compliance snafus.


Satisfied clients and customers will refer other potential clients and customers to your company, product or service. Referrals play a big part of marketing strategy in the business world. It will either make your business or bring it down.

Customer Relationships

A customer onboarding process sets the pace for building lasting customer relationships and encouraging repeat purchases.

Set Expectations

Client onboarding is an opportunity for you to inform your client what you will do for them, when you will do it, and how. Setting expectations from the very beginning helps build trust, protect everyone’s boundaries, and builds a strong working relationship.

Having clear expectations gives clients all the information they need to start workign with you, and helps them settle in. You’ll also get to understand more of what their goals and future plans are. And in case of unforeseen circumstances, clients will be more forgiving.

How it Works

Client Onboarding process

After the client has signed on that dotted line, your onboarding process will determine whether they have a satisfying experience or not.

Before understanding how client onboarding process works, it’s crucial to have a checklist.


Because a checklist will let you know if you’re meeting everyone’s needs. It will also help you give your customers an amazing client onboarding experience. Checklists also prevent you from having to rely on memory, reducing human error, and giving your sales team a to-do list to work with.

Include the following best practices in your onboarding checklist:

Welcome Email

Once new clients sign on the dotted line or a customer sign up to interact with your product or service, send them a welcome email. ASAP. Before you even think about popping the champagne!

Welcome emails go a long way toward setting expectations. Plus, you can use the welcome email as a sort of help center or product tour, helping customers familiarize themselves with your product or services.

Client Onboarding Questionnaire

Your team must be empowered to make good decisions and deliver results the client wants. But they need the right information to do that.

So, have your sales rep send a client onboarding questionnaire to uncover the client’s their goal, their expectations, how they want the relationship to run, and any other information that will help in their client’s journey.


Compliance is a signifiant aspect of client onboarding best practices. Ensure that the entire process is legally compliant and the new client has paid before getting to work. This will save you from potential legal headaches.

Team Members

Pick the best team to walk with your new client on their journey.

Project Management

Project management is an essential part of best practices for onboarding new clients. Assign your new clients their own uniquely and personalized designed folders, workspaces and software that will ensure they have a wonderful experience that they will want to do business with you again and again.

Internal Meeting

Once you have everything set up, plan and schedule that first internal meeting and exchange information.

Kick off Meeting

Once you have introduced your team members and have set expectations, schedule a kickoff meeting to communicate the steps you are going to take next with the client.

Follow up

Keep track of the progress with your clients with follow up emails. And if there’s a milestone, make sure that it’s celebrated.

Once you have checked off every item on your checklist, then you can move to the next step of how the onboarding process works. The following are crucial steps of how this process works:

Prior to Onboarding

Before embarking on the process itself, your sales rep should have a strategy in place with the future and long-term picture in mind. This is by understanding the problems of potential clients and customers and how your company, product or services will help them resolve it.

Knowing Your Clients

Once clients have decided to work with you, find out more information about them through a questionnaire and face to face meetings. Have clearly set expectations and have a mutual agreed realistic deliverable.

Meeting Your Clients

Once you’ve welcomed your clients, have set clear expectations and have agreed on the deliverables, you can schedule a meeting to get to know your clients even further. In this meeting, you can find out other relevant information from the client that wasn’t adequately covered in the questionnaire.


Once the deal has been signed and you have had that kick off meeting, then you need to follow up with your clients. At this point, you document what you’ve agreed on and expound on the client’s metrics.

After defining the metrics, you follow up and measure progress made. From this point moving forward, your goal isn’t only sticking to what has been agreed on but on nurturing the relationship.

Set the communication cadence.

There’s nothing as embarrassing as leaving your clients and customers when they will receive the next update. Also, keep on asking for their feedback and incorporate it in ensuring they have a good experience with your company, product and service.

Creating a Standardized Operating Procedure

Client Onboarding process

For future potential clients, your team needs to have in place a standardized procedure for client onboarding process to ensure quality return.

When creating a good onboarding process from scratch, it can be a daunting task. To consume a lot of time every time you deal with a new client, it’s important to have a standardized operating procedure.

Additionally, this procedure will give you consistency of performance for all your clients as it will be automated.

Standardize on the following key areas:

  • Timelines. This ensures that all your clients onboard within the same time frame. The approximate onboarding time is 1 or 2 weeks, but this can change depending on the nature of product or service
  • First experience. The first impression for your clients should be the same.
  • Information. The way you collect, share and exchange information should apply equally for all clients.
  • Communication. Set the rhythm for all your clients for how and when you communicate.
  • Progress metrics. How you measure the milestones and progress made by clients’ needs to standardize for all clients.

As a company, having a standardized operating procedure for client onboarding process gives your business predictability and helps you control how things are run. You can do this by having a standardized template for onboarding process.

This template should include:


Having an automated checklist makes the work easy for your team for future clients and customers.

Welcome package

This template will contain everything you need from the moment the client signs up with you, to the welcoming email, introductions, kick off meetings and other relevant information you gather from your initial interaction.

Training and Information

In this template, you include all the training resources and additional information that will be of help. Also, you can include videos giving product tours.

Software and Tools

Today, there’s an availability of software and tools to help ensure a good client onboarding experience. Examples of these tools include content snare, Wave, Doodle, Adobe Sign, Trello, Slack, Stripe, Google Forms, Google Drive, and so on.

Elements in a Successful Client Onboarding Process

For a good client onboarding process, it should contain three major elements. These are:

  1. The Reception

Welcoming new clients should be treated with the weight it deserves. It’s not only a matter of courtesy but is an opportunity for you to show your clients why doing business with you is going to be a worthwhile investment.

  1. The Management

This is where your team members determine what information they need from the client, how they will get it and how it will be shared. The administration team also decides and sets the communication pace.

  1. The Inauguration

This is the stage where the signed contract is launched and marks the start of your service or deal. Give your clients and customers the much-needed support as they settle in. Also, give them ample time as they familiarize themselves with your company, products and services.

Evaluate the progress made regularly for improvement and also get feedback from the clients.

How to Streamline the Process

Client Onboarding process

To have an efficient onboarding process, you may need to streamline the process

To simplify the onboarding process for your company or business:

  • Review the present process and check for areas that need improvement
  • Devise the perfect onboarding process
  • Determine the right tools for each stage of the process
  • Design the appropriate action plan
  • Test and improve on your process

Remember, business is people.

Up next, let’s dive into how to connect with your clients as people for greater success for everyone involved.

Connect with Your Client with These Five Tips

Client Onboarding process

To retain and keep your clients satisfied, look for ways to make the onboarding process better.

As you navigate your shiny new relationship with your customer, keep these in mind:

1. Practice a people-focused approach

One size never fits all. And the same is true when it comes to client service. So, customize the service or product you’re offering to give your onboarding processes a necessary people-focused approach.

Practicing a people-focused approach (that is, being attentive to each client’s specific needs and goals) is the bottom line of good business practice.

Why? Because people do business with people.

2. Prove your value quickly

Consider the onboarding stage as less a stage and more a process. Once the foundation has been established and your client’s goals are made clear, you need to prove your value quickly.

For example, if your client wants to see results in the form of metrics, present those numbers at the next check-in (and make sure the data you’ve collected is accurate). If your client needs a product installation, get it done in the time frame you’ve promised.

Maybe reaching the client’s goals right away isn’t possible — but that’s a given. So, set little benchmarks along the way and make sure you’ve set reasonable expectations with the customer.

3. Create check-in schedules

Scheduling communication check-ins will ensure that you and your client are always on the same page. Plus, it’s just good business practice and keeps the project running along more smoothly.

So, start with asking how often they’d like to hear from you. Consider too if your firm is more service-based or product-based.

For service-based firms, you’ll like need to front-load your communication early and slowly taper off from there. Product-based offerings typically benefit from a solid, set schedule from the get-go.

Consider what timezone they’re in, and if they’d prefer weekly, biweekly, or a monthly check-in. Also find out if they’d like to be included in your newsletter and receive company updates.

4. Think about the tech

Whatever your CMS is, creating a plan to integrate analytics and their data and technologies will increase your client engagement.

There are many affordable and user-friendly onboarding tools that exist to automate the customer’s path through the onboarding process. Most of them contain pre-formatted checklists and forms to help your business expedite the onboarding’s tech component.

That said, don’t forget to customize your CMS. It’s easy to rely on these out-of-the-box tools to the point that you’re performing the same onboarding process for everyone. It shouldn’t be that way.

Remember what we said before. Your own onboarding process can’t be one-size-fits-all.

5. Exchange feedback

And do it often. But not just your own. Be sure to listen to client feedback.

When the time is right, ask your customers for their opinions:

  • Is this communication schedule working for you?
  • Is there something that you feel like you’re missing?
  • Does this goal schedule make sense in conjunction with your expectations?

Feedback will help you improve the customer experience for current and future clients.

Best Practices for the Best Experience

Customer onboarding best practices will help you create a solid onboarding experience. The following tips will require information from every point of contact with your customers.

1. Understand your customer

Get to know your buyer persona in and out. This will naturally translate to knowing your customer as an individual, allowing you to offer them a stellar experience working with your brand.

So, make an effort to understand that each client is facing unique challenges that keep them up at night. And so, their ideal solutions and outcomes will also be unique to them.

Understanding your customer as an individual will help you tailor your service to their personal goals.

2. Set a clear outlook

Before purchasing your product, your customer should know what to expect. So make sure the sales process communicates that. This setting of expectations should be included in the onboarding process as you reaffirm the value of your product.

3. Show value

Before your new customer can get excited about your product, you need to reemphasize the value that your service will provide for their unique case.

For example, giving them specific scenarios of how your service will address their problems. Include a personalized point, such as a specialized training or a documentation.

4. Stay in constant communication

After your initial welcome message, continue using communication tools throughout the onboarding process to complement any in-app tutorials and guides.

Here, email or tech communication tools are probably your customer’s most-used mediums. And once the product becomes a hit, you can expect them to sign in on their own to view in-app notifications.

5. Create customer-centric goals

Every customer has unique goals and metrics that make the most sense for their situation. So, allow your customer to define what success means to them. Help them create milestones with their chosen benchmarks.

6. Seek to impress

Your goal with every interaction is to create the same positive experience that made your customers sign up for your product in the first place.

Aim to deliver a stellar performance that your customers will rave about and share with others.

7. Measure success

Onboarding benefits both you and your customer. Gather feedback and track key metrics so you know what’s working and where to improve for client and business success.

Useful Customer Onboarding Tips

In addition to best practices, there are a few things that will make your onboarding practice a positive experience for your customers.

Keep these in mind:

  • Make it a personalized experience — Each customer has a unique concerns. So, the more you tailor your solution to their needs, the easier it will be to achieve wins and encourage repeat purchases.
  • Break everything down — Disseminate information slowly and selectively. Only ask a new user to accomplish one task at a time and provide clear instructions on how to do it.
  • Be with your customers every step of the way — Be available to them if they get stuck or have trouble. If you can, dedicate several customer services or success representatives to new customers. It will make their onboarding experience better and allow you to see where your process falls short.
  • Celebrate small wins — Acknowledge every achieved goal along the path.


A successful client onboarding process is crucial for the growth and long-term success of any company. Investing in this process will ensure win after win for both you and your customers.

If done correctly, client onboarding establish lifetime value for your company. But incorrectly? It can break your business.

And we don’t want that!

So, take these next action steps and include the following in your client onboarding process:

  • The welcoming package. This includes the welcome email and tangible demonstrations of your value.
  • Information. Having the right information from clients helps you understand them better. To collect information, make use of a client onboarding form, schedule kick-off and face-to-face meetings calls, send tutorial links and videos, and ask for feedback.
  • Communication. Determine your top communication channels upfront.
  • A check-in schedule. Design the means of follow-ups and measuring progress.

There’s no universal way of doing the client onboarding process. It all depends on the needs of your clients and customers and the nature of your business.

At ScaleTime, we design a working and effective onboarding process that will take your business to greater heights.

Grab your chance to take your client onboarding process from drab to nab those increased profits. Get our FREE copy of the client onboarding checklist here.

How Does Client Onboarding Work?

client onboarding in action x3

When a new client comes aboard, they need to be welcomed with open arms and shown the ropes. The onus is on you, as their new business partner, to set expectations early, and to WOW them from day one!

Client onboarding is a simple process that can help you do just that. By offering a simple, seamless, and informative client onboarding process, you can help your clients get up to speed, and set the tone for a successful and long-lasting relationship.

But what exactly is client onboarding and how does it work? Follow along as we explain just that so that you (and your client) can set sail on a glorious adventure together.

What Is Client Onboarding?

Client onboarding refers to the experience your clients have with your business during the brief period of time between when they choose to work with you and the time that you begin working with them.

Not unlike a first, second, and third date all wrapped into one, it’s during this brief period of time when your clients can get to know you, as well as for you to acquire the information you need to get started helping them.

Just like dating, client onboarding is also an opportunity for your business to set expectations early—in a simple, streamlined, and user-friendly way—to ensure a mutually-beneficial relationship.

Why Is Client Onboarding Important?

Client onboarding is important for many reasons. For one, it sets expectations (and boundaries) early, so that your clients can know what to expect from you (and when they’re asking too much). It can also help you streamline your sales process—facilitating a smooth transition from prospect to active client, and help you ‘wow’ your clients with a cohesive and seamless brand experience.

Last but not least, client onboarding can significantly improve your ability to satisfy and retain your clients. It’s no surprise that happy clients stick around longer. And a seamless onboarding experience is your opportunity to identify your clients’ needs and expectations from the start. By setting the stage early, you can take steps to ensure that you’re always meeting—and exceeding—their goals, guaranteeing they will want to stay with you longer.

Want to learn more about how onboarding can help your business? Check out our post Why Client Onboarding Matters? for more information.

How Client Onboarding Works In 4 Simple Stages

1. Get to Know Your Clients

If you don't know where you’re going, you’ll never know when you get there. The same concept holds true for managing client expectations. Setting expectations at the start of your client onboarding process can help ensure you know what your client expects from you (and vice-versa).

You can easily get to know your clients and anticipate their needs by using a system to document everything you might need to know about them at the start of your engagement. This should include their answers to questions regarding general expectations that they have for your business, what metrics they value for measuring success, and, even, ground rules for communicating, among other details.

2. Meet With Your Clients

You can further discuss expectations (and set boundaries) during a ‘kick-off call’—a formal meeting for you and your client to connect personally. Kickoff calls generally last between 10 and 30 minutes and are your opportunity to be clear about the expectations and obligations each member of their team has for your business. Likewise, they’re also a chance for you to follow up regarding any pertinent information you acquired through your questionnaire.

Kick off calls are also prime time to gather any information you or your team needs from your client to begin working with them effectively and efficiently. You can do this by asking the members of your team to think about what information they need to accomplish their respective goals for the client, and by including their questions and requests in your kickoff call agenda.

3. Follow up with Your Clients

With your kickoff call behind you, it’s time to document what was agreed upon, define your client’s metrics, set up your client’s dashboards, and follow up.

At this stage, it’s important to identify what metrics matter most to your client when tracking and measuring their progress. This can ensure that the metrics you track–and the platforms you use to track them–align with what your clients value. By defining your these things early on, you can ensure you’re always tracking the right things in the right ways, and communicating trends transparently–in ways your client understands.

In the same vein, you’ll also want to check in with your client to see if they have any questions, issues, or comments following your initial kickoff call. This is why promptly following up–sometime after your first meeting–can be especially helpful.

Pro tip: Seal the deal by following up with a custom-made “client welcome pack,” to reassure your client’s decision to work with you, and prove any other pertinent information they might need to get started.

4. Nurture The Client Relationship

Nurturing your client’s relationship with you is just as important as the initial consultation. You can ensure you’re consistently nurturing your client’s relationship by periodically checking in with them following your first meeting.

By keeping in touch with your clients, you can gain valuable feedback from them to tell if you’re meeting (or exceeding) their expectations, as well as have the opportunity to ask questions and address any issues they’ve encountered, before they become a bigger issue.

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Download our FREE Client Onboarding Hacks Guide to learn all the specific, concrete steps you can take to completely revolutionize how you onboard new clients!

We’ll expand on the aforementioned stages even further–providing you with a comprehensive game-plan for what to do and how to do it at every phase of your onboarding process. What’s more, we’ll provide suggestions and tips for making the most of your engagements–so you check the right boxes–every time–and save up to 40 hours a week in the process.

Check it out today to take your client onboarding process to the next level!

Why Client Onboarding Matters

client onboarding meeting x2

Wahoo!!! You just closed a sale, won a brand new client, and have a purchase order in the books to prove it. Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and rake that money in.

Hold on there cowboy. Not so fast.

The moment a prospect becomes a client, their experience with your business paves the way for what they can expect moving forward. It’s during this short, albeit momentous period of time when your clients will acquire the information they need to work with you, and complete the necessary steps to do so effectively.

This process–not unlike a first date–sets the tone for your clients’ relationship with your business. Which means that making a great first impression (and second, and third) can do wonders for how you interact in the future.

In this short post, follow along as we explain what client onboarding really is and why it matters, and find out how paying attention to how you onboard clients can help your business succeed.

Definition – What Is Client Onboarding?

Client onboarding refers to the experience your clients have with your business during the brief period of time between when they choose to work with you and the time that you begin working with them. Just like that first date, it’s your opportunity to get to know each other, set expectations and boundaries early, and discover what it’s like to work together.

By offering a simple, seamless, and informative client onboarding process, you can help your clients get up to speed and know what to expect, while setting the tone for a successful and long-lasting relationship.

Why Client Onboarding Is Important

Just like how the TSA makes for a more enjoyable (and safe) experience when departing on a business trip, client onboarding is a formal process that can help you set the stage for a healthy and happy business relationship with your clients.

By showing your clients what you have to offer them and setting their expectations early, you can help them learn the ropes–and teach them how to behave–every time they interact with you.

Onboarding can also help a lot with retaining your clients once they’re on board. By demonstrating your value early on and making a great first impression, you can form the basis for a healthy client relationship that ensures their utmost satisfaction. This can help ensure they stick around longer, or indefinitely, without you having to spend more money acquiring new clients.

Why Client Onboarding Matters For Your Business

Client onboarding can help your business…

Set Expectations Early

The key to a successful business relationship is maintaining your client’s expectations. If you don’t, it can affect everything from the beginning of their time working with you through up until the time they switch to another provider. That’s why setting clear-cut guidelines for how you go about things—including scheduling meetings and handling requests—can be so helpful in helping you clients understand what they can expect from your business. An effective onboarding process can streamline the process entirely, by establishing ground rules and ensuring that clear expectations and objectives are set from the start.

Establish Common Ground

At ScaleTime, we like to think of onboarding as your opportunity to get the ball rolling with minimal friction and maximum friendliness. That’s because onboarding is an effective way for you and your team to quickly connect with your clients and establish common ground on the basis of mutual interest and agreement. In addition to setting expectations early, this can create the foundation for a healthy long-term relationship based on mutual understanding and trust.

Ensure Your Client’s Satisfaction

It’s not uncommon for many client’s to have experienced a far-from-stellar onboarding experience in the past. By implementing a smooth onboarding experience right from the start, you can pleasantly surprise your clients with both your efficiency and professionalism. And, by knowing what they expect from your business, you can ensure you’re actively taking steps to exceed their expectations. This can bind your clients to your company more closely and help retain them longer.

Demonstrate Your Brand Value

Your onboarding process is your opportunity to show your clients that they made the right choice to work with your business. It’s also your chance to demonstrate what makes you unique. A streamlined and simple client experience will help create a good first impression where it counts most—differentiating your brand and demonstrating your value early on. Paired with a cohesive brand experience, a sound onboarding experience can set you up for success from the very beginning of your relationship.

Secure Even More Business

Interesting-fact: Bain & Company has found that companies that use just 20% of their client acquisition budget to improve their client experience can increase their revenues by as much as 200%! How so? Happy clients stay with you longer and will often refer you to other people—effectively doing your marketing for you! By satisfying your clients with a simple, spotless process, you’ll increase client retention and spend less money on client acquisition!

Upgrade Your Client Onboarding Today!

Ready to improve how you onboard new clients?

Check out our FREE Client Onboarding Hacks Guide to find out how you can implement a simple, seamless, and effective client onboarding process that’s guaranteed to impress your clients! But that’s not all–you’ll learn not just what to do but how to do it right, every time. From establishing client expectations and setting clear communication guidelines to ingenious ways to impress your clients, you’ll learn how to avoid the most common client headaches and save up to 40 hours(!) a week in time.

Check it out today to take your onboarding experience to infinity and beyond!

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

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.

Project Kick-Off Meeting Agenda: Banish Scope Creep Template

project kick off meeting

Picture this: You’ve onboarded a fantastic client. You’re psyched to get started and it’s time to hand the project off to the account manager.

The next step is easy: everyone can just jump right in and start cracking on those deliverables! Time to pour yourself a cold one.

* record scratch *

Eh, not so fast there, Kemosabe.

Shut the fridge door! Before you get started, you need to hold a project kick-off meeting.

Okay, what is this and why do you need it?

A successful project kickoff meeting is a critical step in any successful project. It gets your whole team on the same page, aligns the sales team, account manager, project manager, and deliverables team, and helps avoid unnecessary (and time-consuming) bottlenecks.

Sound good? Yeah, it’s a pretty great tool for scaling. But most importantly, a project kick-off meeting helps you avoid dreaded, costly, frustrating scope creep.

Nobody got time for that.

During a project kickoff meeting, you’ll cover topics like:

  • What exactly did sales promise the client?
  • Are there any special considerations for the client or project?
  • What’s the expected turnaround time?

Think about it: how can your team run a successful project that leaves the client happy without a project kickoff meeting? Skip that step, and you’re missing a crucial part of the delivery process.

Fortunately, it’s easy to run a successful project kick-off meeting that leaves every member of your team informed, aligned, and ready to dive in and get things done. The result is promises delivered and happy clients for your agency.

Ready to learn more about how you can master the project kickoff meeting process? Get the scoop below.

Table of Contents

What’s a Project Kickoff Meeting?
Why do you need a project kickoff meeting agenda anyway?
Sample Kickoff Meeting Agenda
No leaving the room without a clear-cut action plan.

What is a Project Kickoff Meeting?

A project kickoff meeting is the first meeting between the client and the team working on the project.

Wondering when to hold a kick off meeting? Great question.

Typically, it takes place after the agency has officially onboarded a client. Your team and the client have already agreed on project details like the scope of work and the budget.

So where does a kick off meeting fit into the equation? The kick off meeting is your time to learn as much as you can about the client, their expectations, and their goals.

A well-organized project kick off meeting agenda covers topics like:

  • The project’s main objectives
  • Team members’ primary responsibilities
  • The high-level scope of the project
  • Assumptions that went into the planning process
  • The proposed schedule for delivery and review

In a lot of cases, there’ll be more topics covered in a project kickoff meeting. But apart from defining the whats and whys, a project kick off meeting should also cover the hows, providing a clear direction and strategy for the project in question.

Who Should Attend the Meeting?


Put your dancing shoes on ‘cause it’s a kickoff meeting partay! Who should get an invite?

As a general rule, project kick off meetings should include everyone involved in the project. Or anyone who has a (direct or indirect) interest in it.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but the following people should probably get an invite:

  • The Project Team: The project team is your group of full-time and part-time team members who are working on the deliverables associated with the project. Depending on the type and scope of the project, this might include copywriters, designers, and project and account managers.
  • Project Sponsor: The project sponsor is the person (typically an executive) responsible for managing, administering, funding, and monitoring the project. To put it another way: the project sponsor is the person who makes sure work is getting done and that the project is on-track for delivery.
  • Project Stakeholders: The project stakeholders are the specific group of people who have an internal or external interest in the project’s successful outcome. These people may be your project team members or members of the client’s creative team.

While this is a general outline of the people who should be included in a project kick off meeting, it’s important to remember that each meeting and project is different. Include anyone who is important to the project and its successful completion.

Why do You Need a Meeting Agenda?

The start of a new project can feel a little overwhelming. There’s a lot of information flying around. You’re dealing with a new client, a new project, a new set of goals, and a lot of metrics and KPIs in-between.

Is chaos inevitable? No way.

It’s processes that bridle the chaos, and turn it into an organized system so creativity can flow.

The best way to keep that information organized and make sure you don’t miss anything during the project kick off meeting is to create a project kick off meeting agenda.

Here are a few benefits of flexing a meeting agenda:

  • Increased clarity about the project, goals, and deliverables
  • A second (and third, and fourth) set of eyes on the project to make sure all questions are answered and details covered
  • The development of important next steps — including a project execution plan and direction

Good news, Amigo. You don’t have to start your kickoff meeting agenda from scratch. Let’s take a look at a few kickoff meeting use cases and sample agendas you can adapt for your agency.

Sample Kickoff Meeting Agenda: 5 Key Steps to Follow

While every project is different, it pays to have a well-defined structure before starting any kickoff meeting.

Here’s the project kick off meeting template I swear by:

Step #1: Introduce the Team and Client

The effective kickoff meeting is a great time to make introductions. With that in mind, begin the meeting by congratulating everyone on the new external project and thanking them for their time.

To ensure everyone is on the same page at the start of the meeting, ask a few key questions:

  • Has everyone been introduced?
  • Does everyone understand everyone else’s role in the project?
  • Is everyone familiar with the project’s deliverables and scope?
  • Does everyone understand the position of this project in the larger context of the company?

If the project involves people who have never worked together before, take some time to introduce everyone, provide some project background, and explain how each team member fits into the project in question.

Step #2: Cover the Project Summary

You issued an intake form during the client onboarding process right? Be sure to do that. Because now’s the time to look over the responses.

This will help put the project in context and ensure everyone on your team understands things like:

  • What the project entails
  • Why it matters
  • Why it’s important to your client and team
  • Who the end-user of the site, product, content, etc. will be
  • Potential risks, constraints, difficulties, or roadblocks involved with the project

If there are any questions regarding the intake form or project summary, this is a great time to address them.

Step #3: Drill Down on the Approach

Typically, your agency will have already hammered out a Scope of Work (SOW) agreement before you sit down at the internal project kickoff meeting. Still, a successful kickoff meeting should cover the high-level scope of the project and, more importantly, the approach you plan to take to tackle the project.

Because most of the time, by the time they pay you they not only forgot what they paid you for and they want it done yesterday. #TheStrugleIsReal sooo…

Here are a few questions to ask and answer about the project scope:

  • What are the milestones and their delivery dates?
  • What tools, software, or platforms will you use to complete the project?
  • How will you address bottlenecks, time crunches, risks, compliance issues, etc. associated with the project?
  • Which team members or departments need to work together and communicate to get the project done?

Let the client know how your business and services work and agree upon the project scope.

Go through the project timeline, estimates, statements of work, and anything else that’s applicable.

Remember your project management checklist? It was born for this. Get it out and start using it.

Step #4: Define Team Roles

project kick off meeting agenda

For a project to run smoothly, everyone needs to understand who’s supposed to be doing what, and when. To this end, acknowledge your team’s unique assortment of skills, and be sure everyone understands their role on the project.

Before you leave the kickoff meeting, attendees should know:

  • What they’re supposed to be working on (including key milestones, the expectations for those milestones, and target delivery dates)
  • The KPIs or metrics that will be used to track success on those deliverables
  • Who else on the team they need to work with

If anyone has questions about their role or position in the project, answer them during this phase.

Step #5: Outline Clear Next Steps

Next, come up with a project management plan to ensure that each attendee knows what comes next and what’s expected of them to drive the project to fruition. Set-up full project clarity before impatience takes over the meeting.

Make a plan for keeping everyone on the same page. This is the part where you talk about the collaboration tools you’ll be using, like Slack and Asana. You’ll also want to address how you’ll handle client questions that will inevitably arise during the project.

Discuss and clear misunderstandings regarding project objectives. Get all the questions out of the way before you start cracking on deliverables.

Bottom line: leave nothing to the imagination.

Wrapping up

To put it plainly: a project kickoff meeting is a must-do any time you start a new job.

In addition to helping you avoid unnecessarily time-consuming and (yikes) embarrassing miscommunications, a kickoff meeting puts every team member on the same page and makes it much easier to hit the ground running.

You can’t just waltz, or rather, stumble, into a client kickoff meeting unprepared.

Instead, you need a project kick off meeting agenda. An airtight and scalable kickoff meeting agenda keeps you and your team on track and all bases covered. Oh, and bonus — it makes your team look good, too.

Okay, let’s review your action steps:

  1. Introduce the team and provide background
  2. Review the project summary and client onboarding form responses
  3. Define and align the approach and scope of the project
  4. Specify roles, deliverables, and tools used to get the job done
  5. Plan to collaborate, communicate, and get started on the next steps

While no two project kick-off meetings are the same, the template above is flexible enough to adapt for any meeting. The idea is that it provides a strong foundation to build from and customize. With this template, you’ve got a decent starting point every time you sit down to meet with a client.

Are you ready to execute your projects like a pro and scale up your business like never before? Check this case study on how a divorced single mom of two turned her side project into a growing business.


Why Your Agency Needs a Client Onboarding Process

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.