How Long Should Client Onboarding Take? – Part 1

Client onboarding is one of those things that every company knows they need to do, but not everyone is doing well. For some, onboarding takes just a few seconds because it is comprised entirely of a single welcome email. For others, it’s a long, drawn-out process that takes months.

Both of those extremes are probably not providing the optimal onboarding experience for your clients, but how do you know what the right middle ground should be? The answer can depend on a lot of factors, but generally, most client onboarding takes between 30 and 90 days.


Day 1: Welcome

Immediately after a client completes the sales process, there should be some communication to welcome them to your company. These emails are often automated, which is okay, but even when they are automated they should include a few key pieces:

  • Welcome (personalize this so it’s not “Welcome CustomerID 43849” or “Welcome Client”)
  • Quick review of the products or services they purchased
  • Overview and timeline of the onboarding process to set accurate expectations
  • Contact information for a single person who will be their onboarding lead
  • Logins or other pertinent information to get into the product, software, or platform

Keep this communication as simple as possible (this isn’t the time to send them 300 tutorials on how your product works), and make sure the next steps are clear.


Week 1: Sales-to-Onboarding Handoff Meeting

The best onboarding processes will include a meeting with your sales team to get a better understanding of why the client purchased your product or service, what their goals are, and how your platform can help them achieve it. This meeting should take place as soon as possible—definitely within the first week—so you can move onto the next step.

Many companies send out lengthy questionnaires to new clients to ask a lot of questions, but this is often a lot of work and can lead to frustration at a time when those clients should be excited about starting to use your product or service. Instead of a million question survey, gather as much information as you can about the needs of your client from the sales team (make sure they know what questions to ask during the sales process to gather useful information) and existing resources like the client’s website, sales materials, and LinkedIn page.

If necessary, send out a short questionnaire to gather more information so you can ensure your team’s goals are geared toward a client’s needs but try not to overwhelm them with multiple hours of homework.


Next Up: What Happens in the First 90 Days

In Part 2, we’ll cover what you should be working on in the first 30 to 90 days with clients in the onboarding process. If you’re ready to streamline your onboarding so your clients are impressed from the start, schedule a GuideCX demo today.