Regardless of the longevity of your company, onboarding new clients can be a challenge. As you live in a technology driven world, you need to make sure to keep up with the latest available options in your business. The only way to grow your business is to expand your client base, which often takes a little bit of investigating to determine why your current method is not working.
New clients are the way that you keep your business open. Seeking out leads for potential revenue is important, but you need to know what to do after you have gotten a lead. While the tactics you used to attract new clients may have captured their attention, you are now left with the responsibility of bringing them in for a meeting with more information. You need to establish a good first impression, and you need to be able to demonstrate to the new client your capacity to following through with your original advertisements.
The Importance of Smoothly Onboarding New Clients
As you introduce new clients to your firm or company, you need to put your best foot forward at all times, as you establish your agreement with them. This onboarding process is the first major impression you give the new client, and you want that impression to be a positive one. Your impression is not just about how you are personally presenting yourself, but it is also the key element that lets them know what to expect from the company.
Starting with a welcoming and organized approach tells the new client that they are able to safely rely on you in each aspect of your new contract. You want to be genuine in your approach, but you also want to establish an expectation for excellence from your company. A new client who expects to be impressed by organization and has that expectation met will bode well for your company, since they may want to recommend your services to other partners they may have.
Regardless of your approach, there are a few ways to make the best impression, while maintaining the client’s business on a regular basis. Never assume that you know the needs of your consumer, before you have even pursued a full conversation with them. Follow these “secrets,” and you will set yourself up for success.
Secret #1: Make Realistic Promises
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make in business is to make false and erroneous claims about the services and products you are able to provide to a new client. If your client already has an idea about what your business does, each commitment you state needs to be something that you can realistically handle for the client.
Customers and clients quickly respond with dissatisfaction when the promises you made are not met, whether you are providing them with services or a new product. Every word you say to the client matters, which means you need to make sure you can support your information. Furthermore, if you are unable to keep your promises, you risk having that aspect of your company exposed to other potential clients, leading to a failure in growth and profit.
Secret #2: Maintain Responsive Customer Support
As you are setting up your contract with a new client, you need to keep your customer service representatives and managerial staff available for any issues that may arise. You must remain present and available in your customer service department, since you are setting the standard for your company’s reputation at this time. During the first few months of your client relationship, you are creating bonds that make the difference between a return customer and a failed contract.
Your client needs to know that your service doesn’t end once an agreement is reached. Your customer service representatives are just as large of a contributor to the success of your business as the CEO is. By working cohesively with your team, you can deliver the services effectively to your client, showing them that you value their company as a client and that you are prepared for any issues that may arise in the first few months. By delivering on all of the promises you made through responsive support, the client may even feel confident enough to suggest your business to others.
Secret #3: Make Each Experience Personalized to the Client
Every client is different and unique in their needs, even though they may be coming to you for the same services. Choosing to treat each client like a number or a profit margin is not the level of service you want to earn a reputation for. Any services you provide to them should be adjusted to the specific needs that they have.
To make the experience more personalized, you need to spend time with your client in the business setting, learning more about their background and why they are in need of your services. Learning about your clients’ history helps you to establish the part of your services that are the best fit for them. Use this importation to adjust your proposal, including the ways that your specific services improve their daily operations as a business.
While your services may offer a general package or package options, there are still ways you can customize the experience. Speak with the lead counsel from the client and find out what their particular needs are, along with the aspects of your services that are not applicable to the situation. By helping the client to feel understood and heard, you have a greater likelihood of them being pleased with the outcome, which helps to promote your business.
Secret #4: Have a Straightforward Proposal or Plan
Any new client wants to work with someone who is confident in their business plan, which often translates into the ability to articulate it. When you present a new client with a very complicated business plan, it is difficult to maintain their interest level. It also implies that your inability to present a concise document is a reflection of your ability to keep the rest of your work and performance simple and to the point.
When you show your client the original business plan, simplify it. The client is educated and intelligent enough to see if you have decided to conceal your lack of in-depth planning with a complicated plan. By keeping your information clear, concise, and to the point, the client assumes that the rest of your business is straightforward. Providing your information in this way is also another way to assure your client that you aren’t trying to trap them with gimmicks or a lack of service.
Secret #5: Establish Clear Line of Communication
Establishing a clear line of communication may seem a lot like “Secret #2: Maintain Responsive Customer Support,” but it actually helps your company in a completely different way. Keeping up with smart messaging protocol helps to enhance the client’s experience, which makes for a happier client. You need a way to filter through the correct responses for the type of customer you are serving.
Most clients expect a certain flow of communication, allowing them to easily go through issues that arise with a natural flow of information. This availability and simplicity gives them the ability to know who to contact within your company to handle the issue at hand. For instance, while you may approach a brand new client with a free trial that evolves into a long-term business relationship, an established client would see this as a tactic to get them to spend more money. Additionally, it would show a lack of knowledge on the part of your business, for not knowing the appropriate time to offer this service.
Secret #6: Set Goals
An alarming amount of businesses do not set goals during the onboarding process, which can hurt your client relationships in the long run. You need to establish specific targets, which enables you to show a margin for successfully carrying out those goals. Even though these goals may change over time, it gives you a clear direction for your company, which shows potential clients your level of ambition, combined with the ability to follow through the promises you make.
Additionally, having personal and professional goals for your company shows that you desire to grow and expand, which requires a certain level of commitment. You need a full plan to help take you to the next goal, since you want to have a reputation for being a company that is committed to fulfilling the aspirations you set for yourself. By showing you are self-motivated, the new client will have more confidence in joining with you, knowing that they won’t have to hover over you during your contracted period of time. Your success isn’t measured in the way that you gain new clients; your success is a direct result of the satisfaction of the client.
Secret #7: Make Your Billing and Fees “Client-Friendly”
By making your fees more “client friendly,” it does not mean that you should bring down your pricing until you can’t make any profit. Essentially, just like the client wants a simple and uncomplicated business plan, the client also wants a billing and pricing plan that doesn’t have hidden issues. Your pricing should be easy to understand and explain to the client.
Having a hidden price or having a lot of adjustments in pricing sends the message to clients that your company may be equally elusive while working with them. A complicated pricing plan makes the client feel unable to trust you, which means they will be unwilling to trust your services. Make sure your pricing plan is both competitive and straightforward.
Secret #8: Have Your Data Available
A new client wants to make sure that their business goes to a company that is often well-established and has a solid following in the business world. For this reason, maintaining access to your company’s data is significantly important. You will want to be able to show clients that your services are reliable and effective, and you need current statistics on your company to do so. You can find out the current state of your company through researching the different departments.
It may also benefit you to get ahold of the statistics and financial information about your company as well. New clients want to be able to see you are a company that is thriving, working towards bigger and better opportunities. A client would see a growing company and want to establish a business relationship before the rates climb to high for both parties to have a successful partnership.
Keeping updated information about your data isn’t just for the client. By seeking out information about possible trends your company is experiencing, you can figure out with your staff how to use those leads to your advantage. If you notice a particular type of approach is working in one field, you may expand that approach to being tried in other fields as well. By having this information handy, you can also determine the best and most successful approach when onboarding additional clients in the first place.
Consistency is the Key
Whether you use one, two, or all of these methods to help with your client onboarding, you need to remember that you need to stay consistent. Provide consistent results, with consistent pricing, and consistent promises. By establishing your own company as a reliable and competent business, you show potential and existing clients that your word and your contract are both aspects of your business that are unwavering. By becoming a company that focuses on the client, you show new clients that the priority of serving them is the highest on your list.
It is up to you to show the client the value of your company, urging them to renew their contract with you every year. Keeping the interests of your client completely depends on choosing a smarter onboarding process, since it is your first opportunity to show potential clients that you are able to deliver when you say and how you say. During this time, you are showing the new client the way you prefer to run your business, which is essential to gaining the trust of the client. Once you have established that trust, you are one step closer to signing a contract and helping the client through the onboarding process.