New clients are always a good thing. Right? Of course that’s a yes! Adding clientele means your business is growing. You want to welcome those new clients to your company with a polished, professional process. Their perception of you and your business is important, and it’s very important to ensure that the process is seamless. The last thing you want is to miss important steps, seem unsure of what you need from them or find later that you have to backstep and explain why you need something now that you should have covered from the beginning. Onboarding new clients can be challenging if you don’t have a consistent process in place. Below are a few tips to help you get your onboarding process set up and ready to welcome all your new clients. Keep in mind these steps may look different depending on the type of business you have.
Welcome email ~ This communication can cover many areas including but not limited to:
- Office hours ~ State the days and times you are readily available for calls, meetings and quick responses to emails. If you aren’t typically available to take a call after 6pm, let the new client know that.
- Communication avenues ~ State the methods of communication you prefer. For example if you prefer not to receive client requests via text, explain this from the beginning of the working relationship.
- Payment expectations ~ State, or restate if already covered, how you expect to be paid for your goods or services.
- Next steps ~ This is a good time to state where you are now and the anticipated next steps in the process.
Scope of work ~ This topic has likely been touched on in the consultation/estimate process. If you haven’t already, this is a good time to send a detailed scope of work. Include all the details regarding the tasks, frequency, deadlines and any other pertinent information specific to the work to be completed for that client. This will ensure all expectations are covered, and will also capture any changes made since the initial consultation.
Add to systems ~ Add your new client to all your systems. This may include your CRM, time tracking software, digital filing system, note taking system, email newsletter platform and any other systems you use for your business.
Social Media ~ If your business works with other businesses, take a moment to connect with your new client on social media. If you work with the general public, invite them to connect with you on social media.
Referral ~ Ask how the new client heard about your business. This is a good area to keep track of for marketing purposes. Also, if you have a referral program in place for existing clients, this is a great way to thank them for telling others about your business.
Automation ~ Take a look at all your client communications and find areas to automate. This will save you time and help make sure nothing gets missed. Several tasks can be automated such as emails, updates, appointment reminders and many other areas. This could be very handy depending on the type of service you provide.
Checklist ~ This may be the most important step. Compile a checklist that covers each detailed step you need to complete when welcoming a new client. As you move through, check off the steps you have completed. Store this document in their digital file for future reference if needed.
Implementing an onboarding process with clear steps and a detailed checklist will make sure that each client you welcome aboard will have a great experience with your company from the beginning and throughout the working relationship.