Client onboarding is an increasingly important part of the sales funnel. You’re introducing a new client to your team in addition to introducing your company to that client. This short guide will help you understand how to onboard your clients effectively and in a way that makes them feel like a unique and valued customer.
What is client onboarding?
Client onboarding can be thought of as addressing any questions a new potential customer may have about your business in a way that eliminates concerns of doing business with you. The goal is to essentially “make them feel at home” when coming to you with questions or concerns about moving forward with a business relationship. An inefficient client onboarding process would be shown by fewer clients completing the sales funnel and becoming a customer of your business. Streamlining your client onboarding process is essential to scale your business and can be done by finding solutions to time-consuming aspects of the process, without affecting your conversion rate of potential clients becoming customers of your business.
It Starts Before They Even Know Who You Are
The sales funnel starts with awareness of your brand – so does your onboarding process. When you’re advertising or promoting your brand to raise awareness, it’s important to cater the message to your ideal customers. Typically, you wouldn’t do much “selling” at this point – just get eyeballs on your brand. During or after raising awareness, you want to advertise your product or service to the same audience who has become aware of your company. It’s been theorized that it takes around 7 interactions with a company to become a customer, so keep that in mind. Your product or service should be very direct in what solution is being solved. If the client likes it, obviously they’ll further interest and visit your store or reach out for help.
Gathering Data and Growing the Relationship
When they reach out, your client onboarding process will really come into play. Ask alot of questions about their needs and why they need a solution. This data becomes key when dealing with the next customer down the line and can help to find opportunities to streamline the process for next time. Where are they reaching out from? (ie. what source/campaign brought them to your store). What are the problems they’re facing currently? Who’s their target audience? You don’t want to turn it into an interview and have to answer their questions with valuable solutions in order for it to be a good fit between businesses, but make sure you’re gathering data to further understand your own target audience. Depending on their answers, you may want to pivot your own sales pitch to align with a niche audience.
Nurturing Leads with Valuable Insight
This article may make it sound simple, but the hard part is actually knowing your product or service well enough to answer any and all questions they may have about it. You need to go above and beyond when it comes to being a resource for them to bounce ideas off to grow their own business. The more insight you can provide to their questions, the higher they will value your own business. The more you give, the more you get. Be sure to make time for them whenever they can talk – someone who doesn’t answer the phone frequently won’t make the sale or keep the clients forever. If you’re there with all the answers to their questions every time they have one, fundamentally, you’re going to be a huge asset to them.
Be sure to check in frequently, even when they don’t initiate a conversation. Ask what you can do to help them. Tell them “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Holidays”. Send them funny posts on facebook. You want to become friends with your clients – but don’t over do it. You need to maintain a formal relation with them and still be a resource for them to get serious with. The main takeaway is just to keep in contact with them and stay on their minds so that you’re the first thing they think of when they have another problem in your business’ space – a potential new sale, for you.
Why is the Client Onboarding Process so Important?
Well, there’s a ton of data that shows a majority of business’ revenue comes from existing customers. The only way to get customers that stick with you is to treat them right on the way in and, like I said, make them feel right at home. The more value you can provide to your customers on their way in, the more valuable those customers will be to you in the long run.