Every new client relationship starts with a lot of promise. Your sales team just closed the deal, the contract is signed, so what is your next step? If you don’t have a client onboarding workflow, the odds of maintaining that client long-term go way down. Here are some critical first steps that every client onboarding process should include.
Step 1: Welcome Email
Immediately after a client signs a contract to start working with your company, you should send them a welcome communication. You can do this any way you want (over the phone, in person, a handwritten note), but for most companies, the easiest way is through a welcome email. Before you send off that email, though, make sure it meets some basic criteria:
- It’s personalized so the client knows you care about them. Make sure the person’s name is in the email and if there are any auto-fill fields that the information is correct.
- It’s simple and to the point. Don’t send clients an email that takes 30 minutes to read and an advanced degree to understand your industry or company jargon.
- It includes step-by-step guidance on what will happen next, including any important steps they need to take.
- It has information about who their main point of contact will be now that they have completed the sales process (the salesperson likely won’t be contacting them again).
Step 2: Onboarding Questionnaire
Next, you need to get a better idea of what this client wants, needs and expects out of your company’s products or services. You should gather this information before you start working on goals, strategies, or plans because it will inform all of those things. The best time to get this information is at the beginning, prior to a kickoff meeting or call. In the welcome email, include information about how they can fill out the questionnaire as one of the client’s first steps.
It’s important to strike a balance with onboarding questionnaires, gathering enough information so you can create an effective plan, but not so much information that they are annoyed or overwhelmed from the start.
Key information to collect includes:
- Information about the company and who will be the point of contact
- Marketing goals, competitive landscape, and target audience
- Current or previous tools, tactics, or platforms they have used
- Pertinent budget information or deadlines for this project
- Challenges or roadblocks for leads, acquisition, revenue, and sales
Once you have this information, the next steps in the onboarding process will set the tone for how well you meet the client’s expectations moving forward. Find out more about that in Part 2.
To create a better client onboarding process, use tools like GuideCX that automate and streamline it for every client. Schedule a demo today to find out how easy new client onboarding can be.