Why You Can’t Use a Project Management Tool for Onboarding

By Harris Clarke
Oct 25, 2021

Project management and client onboarding tools are very different and not always interchangeable. Despite having some overlapping functions.

So it stands that using a project management tool for onboarding can actually hurt your client onboarding strategy. 

There are three distinct reasons why that project management app should not be deployed when onboarding a new client. Project management tools aren’t client-facing, they aren’t intuitive for client task completion, and they don’t provide client transparency.


Project management tools aren’t client-facing.

“Aha!” That’s what you were thinking, right? 

But what does client-facing entail? Here are three popular client-facing features a project management tool doesn’t have:

  • White labeling. This makes the platform look like it’s yours—not someone else’s.
  • Features for increased accessibility. Make it easy for customers to join and access the platform. At GUIDEcx, we don’t require customers to make a username and password. 
  • Restricted visibility settings. Customers don’t need to see the internal stuff that goes on. If they do, it can be confusing. Their experience should be as simple as possible.

Some advanced project management tools may have one or two of these, but it’s rare you will find one that has all three. 


Client onboarding software makes it easier to complete tasks.

This definitely makes sense. If it’s a client-facing software, then the technology is built to be engaging for the customers. It also makes your job easier if you’re managing the onboarding. 

Here are two features that make it easier for customers to complete tasks:

  • Automated email reminders/notifications. These can deliver reminders and tell them what’s next so you don’t have to.
  • Update task statuses from emails. When customers get an email reminder, they shouldn’t have to go into the platform to update a task status. 


Projects aren’t as transparent for the customer.

Your internal team may know what’s going on, but do your customers? 

Take Domino’s Pizza® for example. They have one of those sweet pizza trackers so you know what’s happening with your pizza. If you know, you know. If you don’t know…

Customers love to know what’s going on with their product or service. People in general hate being kept in the dark.

Here are two features that keep the onboarding project transparent for you and your customers:

  • Forecasted end date. This should be automated. If a project is delayed, it should automatically update dependent tasks that follow and update the predicted end date of the project. 
  • Project trend and logistic analytics. This one’s for you. You need a feature that identifies bottlenecks so your next onboarding project performs better than the last.


Remember, most standard project management tools don’t have these important distinctions. There are a few more features to mention, but the ones listed above are important for creating an environment that puts the customer first.

When it comes to onboarding new clients, it’s worth the investment in a system designed to do exactly what you need. 


Harris Clarke


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