In growing your business, client acquisition is of utmost importance. Without loyal clients, it will be challenging to grow your business. A study shows that increasing customer retention by five percent can increase profit margin by 25 to 95 percent. No matter the nature of your business, onboarding new clients is an essential part of running a successful business. Efficient onboarding is a sure way to increase customer retention.
The onboarding process sets the tone for what you and your clients should expect in the relationship. It is important to leave a good first impression. It is the foundation for how the relationship will unfold and how your clients will perceive your organization henceforth. The process requires care and attention but shouldn’t take up an unreasonable amount of your time.
There are ways to onboard new clients with efficiency for a solid relationship foundation without wasting unnecessary time.
Set Expectations and Answer Questions
When setting expectations with a new client, it is important to be realistic. Do not oversell something you can’t deliver trying to impress; it never ends well. Put your best foot forward and show the client the value they can expect out of the partnership.
You can’t afford assumptions, so both parties need to ask questions. This way, all needs are being acknowledged, and you can ensure confidence in meeting client expectations. Explain how the process will work and expected timelines. Transparency with your process helps build trust.
Be sure to continue this step throughout the relationship, as expectations can change and new questions arise. When you build a strong level of trust, clients become willing to pay more for your services and offer referrals. Importantly, when clients see how much you’re doing for them, they value the service more.
Show Your Value
Once you’re clear on the client’s expectations and build transparency, show that you can deliver results. Showcase your capabilities to the client early on, so they’re confident in the relationship. If you promised deliverables at a specific time, meet that deadline to express your level of efficiency.
Have strong processes in place and show your organizational skills. Nothing is more reassuring to your client than showing you’ve got the work covered. One such way is by using a customer relationship management tool. This way, you can personalize your client’s experience and use data to drive decisions.
Go the extra mile and give clients more than they were expecting to solidify the relationship. It will pay itself back over time. Using customer relationship management software, for instance, will help you automate recurring processes that would have otherwise taken more time. You can also optimize communication and processes with the features available to you.
No matter how good your work may be, if you do not communicate with clients professionally, they will not have a good experience. Beyond updating them on the progress of the project, communication also helps to identify potential roadblocks. Find simple methods to communicate with clients without overwhelming or confusing them.
There is a sweet spot between over-communicating and under-communicating that you need to find. And this spot is different for every client. Therefore, you cannot use a one-size-fits-all approach to your onboarding. Tailor your approach to your specific client. One such way is to understand their communication pattern. This is an important element to bring up when setting expectations.
It’s always a good idea to plan ahead, especially when multiple parties are involved. Do your research and understand your client’s journey. Clients tend to change their minds or not share information in a timely manner. When delays beyond your control occur, planning allows you to stick to your deadlines.
Ask for Feedback
It is important to get feedback from your client throughout the entire relationship, not just while onboarding. Feedback helps you evaluate customer satisfaction and improve business processes. It shows clients that you value their opinions and their perspectives matter. Feedback is useless if you don’t review and implement them appropriately.
Negative feedback shows areas you need to improve, and positive feedback helps you identify your strengths. Not all clients will give you feedback, so don’t nag them. If they don’t want to, it’s okay. It shows them that you value the relationship and their satisfaction, which is already an effective technique.
This step should be as simple as possible to encourage responses. An online survey or email will do just fine. Leave them with the option to write lengthier comments if they please.
Process Over Phase
View onboarding as a process and not a phase. Communication with clients will be ongoing. During the execution of projects, plans could be altered, so be ready to adapt. Have continual opportunities for clients to provide feedback, so you can evolve and grow your business.