When it comes to marketing your small business, it can be easy to get caught up in how you’re showing up and engaging with prospects online.
As small business owners, we spend so much time perfecting our marketing strategy to get our biz in front of new potential customers each day. But how much time do you ever spend thinking about what happens after someone finds your business?
The truth is, you can have the best marketing strategy in the world, but if you’re not nailing the rest of the customer experience, your business will suffer.
Once you’ve got a solid SEO strategy in place, and your website is generating new, high-quality leads for your business, it’s over to your onboarding process to make a great first impression.
This is why I’ve invited Sophie Carr, tech and systems specialist and founder of Cultivate, onto the blog to spill the tea on the benefits of a streamlined onboarding process and share her expert tips and tools to help you nail it every time.
What is client onboarding?
Client onboarding is the process of introducing new clients to your business and to your products or services.
From your first contact with each other to the final delivery of your product or services, the goal of onboarding is to welcome and educate your client on the solution you offer.
This is the crucial time to make a lasting impression (for all the right reasons). A smooth and seamless experience when someone’s knocking on your virtual door will help you to build trust, establish your professionalism, improve customer satisfaction and boost return business.
Why is client onboarding so important?
In a nutshell – a great onboarding experience brings new clients into your business and improves customer loyalty.
In fact, a survey by Wyzowl found that 63% of customers consider the onboarding process as a key factor in their decision to buy. The same survey found that 86% of customers are more likely to stay loyal to a business that invests in an onboarding experience that welcomes and educates the customer after a purchase.
Think about it this way: the onboarding process sets the tone for your entire business relationship with a client. When done well, it’s an absolute game-changer!
A seamless onboarding experience helps you to:
- Build trust and showcase your professionalism
- Save time by removing repetitive admin tasks from your list, and reduce the risk of costly errors and miscommunications
- Streamline your sales process and boost customer satisfaction
- Set clear expectations from day one (reducing the likelihood of disagreements down the track)
- Spend more of your time and energy within your zone of genius, doing the work that lights you up!
How to nail your client onboarding experience
Creating an unforgettable onboarding experience starts with these 3 things:
- Keep it human: add a touch of your own personality to the process to make it unique to your business and your client
- Keep it simple: the simpler your onboarding process is, the more likely it will be for clients to follow it through
- Automate as much as you can: automating repetitive administrative tasks will save you time, reduce errors and can still feel personal and welcoming.
5 tools to level up your client onboarding process
Effective onboarding is consistent and repeatable. With the help of tools like those listed below, your onboarding process can be set up to run consistently and without manual input from you.
Imagine having your onboarding taken care of and knowing that each new client is receiving the same high-quality experience right from day one!
Dubsado is the tool I use to help businesses to move from chaos to calm. It’s a business management tool (software) that helps you stay on top of all aspects of running your business, including your client onboarding process.
With Dubsado, you can manage everything from your lead capture and proposals to contracts, invoicing, payments and more.
Dubsado also provides a powerful Customer Relationship Manager (or CRM), that helps you to maintain a personalised and seamless experience throughout the entire client journey.
Bonus: Dubsado can replace at least 6 other platforms you may be juggling, including Canva proposals, emails, calendars, invoicing systems, reporting forms, client journey mapping and automation!
If you regularly schedule appointments with your clients, Calendly makes booking a breeze.
By integrating with your calendar, this scheduling software provides clients with an easy way to book an available time with you, whilst removing the need for back-and-forth emailing.
It’s also easy to reschedule an appointment and collect deposits and other payments.
You can find out more about this Calendly here.
3. Acuity Scheduling
Another solid option for client bookings, Acuity Scheduling streamlines your onboarding process by taking care of appointment scheduling, automatic reminders and online payments.
Clients can also fill in forms at the time of booking, helping you to collect any relevant details you need.
An alternative to Dubsado, Bonsai is another online tool that can help you to create a smooth and professional onboarding process.
Bonsai can take care of everything from contract management and e-signatures to time tracking, project management and finance management.
Last but definitely not least, Zapier is an automation tool that connects together all the different apps and tech platforms that you use in your business.
With Zapier, you can automate repetitive tasks like sending follow-up emails or updating your CRM. You can also set it to trigger different actions within a customer workflow based on actions you or your client takes.
This reduces the time you need to spend manually moving your workflow through the different programs you’re using – instead, Zapier gets them to all talk to one another.