On-boarding is an important next step after acquiring a customer. Going through the process means defining payment information, points of contact, and meeting schedules so that you and your customer will have a successful business relationship, but the way you handle the on-boarding process is just as important as the actual steps your company follows.
Keep your customer in mind. Yes, you’ll want to have a checklist for on-boarding with the most important things in mind for all of your customers, but every customer will be a little different. When you acknowledge their differences and tailor the experience in such a way, you’ll set up a stronger foundation for a lasting business relationship. Research them, look at their online profiles, know them as best you can even before you start the on-boarding process. Make sure that everyone on your team has an understanding of both the client and the project before the process begins.
Show that you walk the walk. You’ve probably put in a lot of work to acquire a new customer, so don’t lose your momentum now. Interact with your customer on social media. Share one of their posts, reach out, and show them that you’ll use social media to their advantage. Send documents their way and keep the communication flowing, even before you’ve set a project date. When your client knows you follow through and go above and beyond, they’ll be more likely to maintain a positive relationship and make the on-boarding process as smooth as possible.
Set up a course of action that keeps things organized. When your team has a specific procedure to follow for on-boarding, it’s less likely information will be lost or misinterpreted. Consider setting up a folder for each new client in which every important document is saved and easily accessible including initial inquiries and communication. Streamline the process so that different members of your team aren’t asking the same questions to your client. When communication is clear and information is organized, there is less room for error and stress that results in an unsatisfied customer.
Don’t save the delivery of results for the end of the project. Assign your client someone on your team they can always get in contact with and receive updates from. Let your client know of any updates on the project as soon as possible. A few weeks of daily goings-on for you can feel like months for a client waiting for results. Anticipating your clients needs and desires before they contact you can be the difference between a one-project client and a lifelong one.
Set measurable goals. In order to report results, you’ll need to set standards from which to compare. The discussion on goals should come before the step-by-step checklist and you and your client should agree on how these goals will be measured. Yes, you can measure days it takes to complete a certain task, the number of new customer interactions during the process, or the percentage of growth in the business, but you’ll also want to track changes that can be directly credited to your team’s efforts. That way you can demonstrate your worth to your client and be better able to adjust your course and develop new initiatives down the road.
Remember your brand. The on-boarding process is your customer’s first experience with your business. Make sure that every interaction and execution falls in line with your brand. Wow your customer, make the experience both positive and exciting. Your customer wants to know that they’ve made the right decision in choosing you, and continuing to emanate your brand will create the experience they are seeking.