Why Client Relationships Should Be Your First Priority During Onboarding

By Garrett O'Brien
Aug 12, 2020

Many companies focus a lot of time, energy, and resources on attracting new customers. After all, new customers are the lifeblood of a business, right? Well, sort of. While it’s important to bring in new customers in order to keep growing, focusing too much effort on attracting new clients without an equal amount of effort on keeping your existing customers means you won’t really grow. At best you will tread water, and at worst your company will actually shrink over time, perhaps until it’s not really viable at all anymore.

While relationships are important throughout a customer’s journey, there is one time when they are more critical than others: during your onboarding process. This is your first chance to make a good impression with a client, and it’s likely to be a lasting impression.


Build Trust

When the sales process is complete and it’s time to move into the onboarding phase, there are usually a lot of new players on both sides. Your sales team hands off a new client to your onboarding and customer success team. Over on the client-side, the decision-maker(s) who signed the contract will probably hand things over to an implementation team who are going to use your product day to day.

Focusing on the relationship with your client from the start helps to build trust between these two teams, creating a solid foundation to build on. If your onboarding process feels purely “transactional,” and you are just checking off the boxes, that will have ramifications when your client’s contract is up and they’re evaluating whether they should renew or go with a competitor.


Increase Engagement

One of the most important aspects of onboarding is helping clients reach their “aha” moment when they see the value and benefit that your software can provide. The more you can get clients to engage with your products early, the shorter that time-to-value (TTV) will be. The onboarding process offers a unique opportunity to guide your new clients toward the most valuable and effective tools within your software. They are likely to be excited about what you can offer, so this is the key time to help them engage with your product.


Avoid Churn

The more focus you put on building quality client relationships during onboarding, the more engaged your clients will be, and the more likely they will see success with your products. When clients sign a contract to start using their software, they do so with the expectation that it will meet their needs. Onboarding is when you get to prove them right, and successful onboarding where you build trust and a long-lasting relationship can prevent churn in the future. As Rei Inamoto of AdWeek put it, “Design your company—and the relationship with clients—to be something people can grow into, instead of grow out of.”

To find out more about how GuideCX helps you build better client relationships during onboarding, contact us today to schedule a demo.

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