The purpose of onboarding is to establish mutual expectations and shared understanding between you and your clients. While the specifics of onboarding will vary from project to project, it is in everyone’s best interest to be open and honest about expectations and procedures right from the outset.
It’s tempting to plan ahead for the onboarding phase as you figure out how to prove your worth to new clients. However, mastering the onboarding phase requires a certain amount of focus on the here and now.
Read our top 7 tips for how to successfully onboard new clients in today’s article.
7 top tips for successful client onboarding
- Schedule an onboarding meeting
- Practice a people-focused approach
- Discuss desired results
- Focus on how you can value add
- Create a roadmap
- Ask for feedback
- Take notes and follow up
Tip # 1 – Schedule an onboarding meeting
It is always a good idea to hold new client onboarding meetings in face-to-face mode. This can be a wonderful chance to learn more about one another and build trust. If it is not possible to meet in person, schedule a virtual meeting well in advance, create an agenda and any relevant project information to introduce to the meeting attendees.
The first part of the meeting is for a quick overview of the project’s details, followed by a QA session. Make sure your client and any other parties involved in the project are aware of your availability and how to reach you. On the other side, you should invest effort into understanding their preferred working technique and ways of communication.
Tip #2 – Practice a people-focused approach
In order to ensure continuous success with each new client, it’s important to tailor your services to their specific needs. One of the most fundamental principles of running a successful business is to put the needs and desires of your customers first. When you try to offer the services tailored to your client’s unique needs overall satisfaction rises significantly, so that you and your client both are happy with the reached outcomes.
What does the people-focused approach actually mean? It means you understand all the concerns, fears and questions that your client might have right away. Building trust from the beginning requires all these understandings. Reiterate your plans to solve the client’s issues from the beginning, whether that’s through a thorough quarterly plan, a list of fast wins or just by stating expectations. Remember that structure has a critical role throughout the working process, but especially during the onboarding phase.
Tip #3 – Discuss desired results
If this is your first time working with a customer, the onboarding meeting will provide you a chance to ask questions and get a good understanding of how they do their business. Spend some time explaining your personal definition of success. Put the same question to your client and discuss how you can work together to accomplish your shared goals for the project. Use this time to talk through project milestones and how they align with your plan for success.
Tip #4 – Focus on how you can value add
You and your client can both can receive mutually beneficial results from providing value-added services at various points throughout the meeting. Value-added services benefit both you and your client when you understand how to improve their referrals, connections, client lifetime value, social media presence and ability to scale or solve challenges.
Tip #5 – Create a project roadmap
During the onboarding phase, you should write down an action plan for the particular client project. Your clients need to know what to expect from you and what steps are coming next up in the process. Keep it straightforward by making a visual aid for them, and on a regular basis send them update emails about your progress.
Tip #6 – Ask for feedback
Ask for feedback and make it a habit. Instead of only offering your opinion, consider your customers’ ideas. Don’t be afraid to ask for it when the moment is right.
There are two benefits to sharing feedback: As the process progresses, you make sure that the engagement is well-balanced and that you can provide to them while dealing with your next customers, and you make sure that they understand what they can anticipate from you. Making the customer feel like they’re the only client applies to every client, but we know that making them feel special is the key to success.
Tip #7 – Take notes and ensure to provide a follow-up
Throughout the client onboarding meeting, try your best to take all the important notes that might be beneficial through the upcoming process. Use a whiteboard to write down ideas or share what’s on your screen during the meetings. When a client can see your notes in real-time, you may immediately clarify any points of confusion if their interpretation differs from yours. Send a brief summary of the meeting’s results and important points, together with any action items and meeting notes, to all attendees of the meeting.
Create a smooth onboarding process for your clients
Your engagement’s starting is just the beginning of the onboarding process. By following to these guidelines, you’ll be able to construct a solid basis for your relationship with your client, which will serve you both well in the long run.
And remember to use Lynxi throughout your freelance projects to guarantee a smooth and successful communication process with your clients. Using Lynxi, you will streamline your workflow, organize project details and collaborate seamlessly with clients, all within a single user-friendly interface. Start using Lynxi today and unlock the full potential of your freelance career.