How Initial Client Experiences Influence Long-Term Relationships – Part 1

Many companies put a lot of time, effort, and resources into the sales process. After all, bringing in new clients is essential to keep your company growing in the future. Unfortunately, not everyone puts the same amount of effort into the steps that take place immediately after the contract is signed and you need to get that client onboard. But a poor experience at the beginning of a client relationship is perhaps the top reason that a customer will eventually choose to leave and probably work with your competitors.

We instinctively know that a good onboarding experience is important, even when we don’t call it that. For example, think about the last time you went to a restaurant. If you were seated and a server never came out to take your order, or the server did take your order but never brought you your food, or told you that the prices are double what you saw on the menu posted by the door, you would probably never go back. Even if you eventually got your food and it was incredible, those bad experiences could be enough to ruin your relationship with that restaurant for good.

The same is true for clients in every industry, no matter how long or short the onboarding process. The initial impression that you make (not during the sales process, but once they are actually one of your customers) can make or break your long-term relationship.

Why Does it Matter?

The reason long-term relationships matter is simple: success and growth.

  • 32% of customers said they would stop doing business with a brand after one bad experience
  • Alternately, 77% of people would recommend a company to others after a positive experience
  • Customers who have a positive experience are more likely to upgrade or add services in the future
  • Even a 5% increase in customer retention will translate to a 25% to 95% increase in profits on average

 

The First Interaction: Welcome

Your first interaction after a contract is signed is your opportunity to show a new customer how important they are and how you can help them succeed. While you can automate this process with a client onboarding platform, it’s not enough to send one email that says “Welcome!” and nothing more.

The initial interaction should provide your clients with:

  • A warm welcome to the company
  • A short review of the contract and deliverables you will provide
  • Step-by-step instructions on what they should do next
  • Helpful links, articles, or instructions to get started
  • Name, phone number, and email of their main point of contact now that the sales process is complete

In Part 2, we will look at additional key steps in the onboarding process beyond the welcome email that lay the groundwork for profitable, positive client relationships. To find out how GuideCX can help you streamline your onboarding and nail those initial interactions, schedule a demo today.