The old adage of never having a second chance to make a first impression is invoked a lot, but it’s still one of the best ways to explain how important it is to have a good onboarding process. Every new client that decides to work with your company, use your products, or engage your services represents an opportunity. The tone you set during onboarding will often determine if that person becomes a lifelong client or leaves you for a competitor.
Here are some ways you can make each new client feel welcome (hint: it’s more than just sending a welcome email).
1: Send a Welcome Email
Okay, we just said onboarding isn’t all about welcome emails, but you do have to start somewhere. Many companies utilize a welcome email (probably an automated one) as the first point of communication with new clients, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Automated emails can still be helpful–they give clients a quick overview, provide logins or links so they can get set up, and include information about what they can expect during onboarding. Just make sure your welcome email isn’t the only step in your onboarding process.
2: Personalize the Experience
It’s not bad to automate some of your onboarding processes, but make sure that when you do you are not creating the feeling that a client is just another number. They probably got a lot of personalized attention during the sales process, so make sure your sales team gives you the information you need to help this client succeed and meet the needs that brought them to your company in the first place.
3: Provide Transparency on Next Steps
For companies that have a long or complex onboarding process, transparency on the next steps is critical. Many companies have an internal process that they follow to get new clients on board, but they fail to communicate that progress to the clients along the way. The result is a client that gets a single welcome email and then doesn’t hear anything more for several days or weeks. In the meantime, they’re feeling frustrated and ignored, and the seeds for them to “churn” (leave for a competitor) are already planted.
But this can be a challenge if your own onboarding software isn’t set up to provide transparency. In that case, you could spend a lot of time reporting, emailing, and trying to keep your client in the loop along the way.
4: Anticipate Issues and Have Solutions Ready
There are bound to be problems during onboarding, and very rarely does it go exactly according to plan, but if you can anticipate those challenges (either from discussions with the client in advance or from past experience) and have solutions ready, you can make the entire process easier on the client.
Improve Your Onboarding
The platform you use for client onboarding can make a big difference in your ability to make clients feel welcome and help them achieve success. Find out how GuideCX can improve your onboarding process by scheduling a demo today.