I have had an experience where the sales process was AWESOME. I felt like the BFF to the sales person of a service purchase I was leading for my company. I was super amped up to get started with the service and once we signed on the dotted line…c-r-i-c-k-e-t-s. We didn’t get any type of communication following the purchase, until I initiated it about two weeks later. I sent emails asking for information on how / when we would be kicking off. Like I said, I was super excited about getting started and working together. But after that very rocky start, it never got back to the same level of awesome. I felt like I had been tricked. To make matters worse this was my job on the line, if it didn’t go well. The service provider never got back the trust I had leading up to the sale and I was never 100% pleased. They delivered, but I didn’t feel great about the entire experience.
This scenario isn’t uncommon. If fact, it is very common. Buyer’s Remorse is real and by not treating client on-boarding as a critical transition, you are feeding into a natural regret most people feel after making a big financial decision.
Coming from a technology background where we talked about Churn and Client Renewal Rates, I have been very intentional with how I on-board my clients. On-boarding is another way of saying “getting started”. It is important to consider what communications, steps, and indicators you should be sending to your new client to reinforce that they made a great decision to work with you.
Below are three steps to implement a kick-ass client on-boarding experience that will be engaging, set the right tone of your relationship, and is automated to take the burden off your team to implement.
1 - Define your New Client On-boarding Strategy
We have all heard the buying decision is more emotional than logical. The biggest failure in client on-boarding is lack of communication. We want to believe our new client recorded every discussion and read every document and email, but reality is they probably didn’t. I have found micro-businesses focus on their feeling of trust and connection over terms and conditions. After the sale is the best time to refresh their memory on everything that was agreed to during the sales process and get them prepared to work with you. Ask yourself the following questions to inform your client on-boarding experience.
What information might be in the statement of work or contract that you should reinforce?
What is the expected timeline for the project and what expectations should be set now regarding the timeline?
How can you reinforce with the Client that they have made an excellent decision?
Is there training or information you could provide to prepare them for next steps?
What additional information could your Client gather to make the first meeting the most productive?
How can your new client engage with your community?
How can your new client experience an early win with your company?
2 - Create the Content that continues to Build a Solid Relationship
Now that you know what information is needed for a great on-boarding experience, it is time to develop that information. Just like with any content, it’s important the information is well thought out, engaging, and doesn’t overwhelm them all at once. Here are a few ideas.
Welcome packet that includes an overview of the program, how you will work together, specifics on office hours or contact info, and answer any common questions.
Video welcome or testimonial to reinforce their decision.
Checklist or questionnaire to prepare for the kickoff meeting.
3 - Follow Through on your Strategy by Automating the Experience
Client on-boarding is strategic, critical to your business, and the easiest way to grow your business. A happy client will refer business to you and continue to advocate for you long after their work with you is finished. Don’t leave the key relationship building activity to chance. Even though you may automate parts doesn’t mean you remove the human aspects. By automating parts, you will have time to focus on the human elements.
Automatically send your Welcome email to go out immediately following the close of the sale.
Two days after the sale completes, automatically send an email requesting selection of a date to schedule the kickoff call and setup expectations for that meeting including their action steps. Use an online appointment scheduling tool to make this super simple.
Collect information in a form, so when it is submitted you thank them and schedule time to review ahead of time.
Three days before the kickoff call, send a reminder about the kickoff and their action steps.
When the client hits their first milestone, send a handwritten note that reinforces their decision and commitment. You can automate scheduling time to do this, setting a task, or email when to do this.
Conclusion - Client Onboarding Avoids Buyers Remorse
On-boarding is a critical transition in your relationship from prospect to client. It will define the rest of your relationship. Take the time to lay out your intentional client on-boarding experience. Implement the right communications at the right time by using automation to deliver on those intentions and free your time to focus on the most impactful interactions.
MSD Advisors is passionate about creating kick-ass systems that unchain you from your desk and get you out into the sunlight! After working together, you can say goodbye to frenetic action and worry because your business will run like clockwork. You will reclaim time to focus on well, whatever you want!
There is no better time than now to get started! Schedule a breakthrough call today.