What Is Client Onboarding?
Client onboarding is the process followed in order to onboard new clients to your agency. It is an opportunity to introduce your client and welcome them to your agency. It is the first step in building a strong and long-lasting relationship with your clients.
Even though the client has already signed up with your agency, the client onboarding process is where you will make your first impression on what it’s like to work with your agency and give the client an outline of what will be needed from them to get the ball rolling with their marketing campaigns.
The onboarding process starts from the time you receive a signed contract from the client.
What Is A Client Onboarding Checklist
A client onboarding checklist is a document that outlines the processes that need to be followed when a new client signs up. The checklist is compiled so that an agency never misses a step during the onboarding process and helps set a structure that needs to be followed within the agency.
The checklist can be used to create a structured onboarding process that gives clients and employees a clear indication of what needs to be done to get the client fully onboarded and get their marketing campaigns up and running.
While having a client onboarding checklist is important, it is equally important to have a checklist on agency workflows in place to keep internal structure within the agency too!
Benefits Of Having A Client Onboarding Process And Checklist
Improve agency efficiency
With an onboarding checklist in place, it’s much simpler for both the agency and the client to see which stage they are at in the onboarding process. It gives you a need-to-know at your fingertips and puts you in a great position to begin working with your client.
Stronger client relationships
An onboarding checklist will highlight all the work that needs to be done in order to start and complete your client’s marketing campaigns. Having this process in place will leave your client feeling confident that their expectations of your services will be met. This also increases transparency between the agency and the client on the work that is currently being conducted.
Less chance of client churn
Building a strong and friendly relationship with a client should be your agency’s top priority. An onboarding checklist will help build this relationship and show the client that you can add value to their business. This way, they are more likely to remain loyal clients of yours.
Shows your attention to detail
An onboarding checklist will show the clients that you have heard and listened to their needs during the sales and client meetings. Certain points in the onboarding checklist will highlight these needs and mention what the plan of action is.
Never miss a step
Every step should be mentioned in the onboarding checklist, from the initial phone call to the monthly feedback sessions. This process will help you become more organized, allowing you to always be one step ahead and prepared for anything!
Clients like structure! They want to know that you know what you are doing and the client onboarding checklist tells them that. A clear plan of action leaves them feeling more confident about how your agency can meet their needs.
Compiling A Client Onboarding Checklist
Each agency is unique, so the below checklist is merely a baseline to assist you in creating your own checklist:
Step 1: Signed contract and payment
As soon as the new client sign-up has been confirmed with a signed contract and payment, it’s official, you have a new client on board! This step should include getting a signed copy of the contract, sending the first invoice and receiving payment (if applicable), and then sending the client a copy of the contract that has been signed by both parties.
Step 2: Assign the client to an Account Manager
This step involves choosing which team member will be responsible for the client. The account manager plays a very important role in the onboarding process as they will be the one who the client communicates and works with. Details from the sales process, before the client signed up, need to be shared with the account manager in order for them to have all the details needed to get the onboarding process started.
Step 3: Adding the new client to your CRM system
This step is crucial and is usually performed by the account manager responsible for the client! Whether your agency is using something as simple as a spreadsheet or a tool to store client data, all details about your client need to be captured in your database.
Information that needs to be captured could include:
- Notes on previous communications from the sales process to date
- Who is the account manager responsible for the client
- A link to the client onboarding checklist so that it is available to anyone who needs it
Step 4: A client questionnaire
This step in the client onboarding checklist aims to collect any information on the client that was not obtained in the sales process. A questionnaire can be uniquely compiled per client to help get the missing information that will help you better understand the client and recognize how you can help them achieve their goals. This step can be done in person or over email communication. This process falls as the first part of the digital marketing strategy meeting.
Step 5: Client kick-off meeting
This step can go ahead once all the necessary questions have been answered by the client. It can either happen in person or over video call but it is important this meeting is conducted face-to-face.
What to go over in this meeting:
- Introducing the client to the account manager and the rest of the team that will be involved in their marketing campaigns
- Deciding what digital marketing tools will be used in the marketing campaigns
- Setting goals according to your client’s needs (this should all have been answered in the client questionnaire)
- Setting a budget for the marketing campaigns
- Establishing a timeline of the work that needs to be completed to clearly outline the next steps
- Schedule your next meeting with your client
Step 6: Setting up marketing campaigns
This step involves using all the digital marketing tools that are needed to get the client’s marketing campaign set up and running. All of the essentials would have needed to be discussed earlier on in the onboarding process so that by this step you are ready to execute and put all the plans into action.
Step 7: Get approval on marketing campaigns
This is the final step of the onboarding checklist and it involves spending some time with the client to go over the details of the marketing campaigns and getting their approval to get them up and running!
Ready To Get Your Client Onboarding Checklist Compiled?
You now have everything you need in order to start compiling your own client onboarding checklist in your agency! As important as client onboarding is, client retention is even more so.
Check out some more blogs on digital marketing to keep up to date with all things related to digital marketing.