Typically, I meet business owners who do not have a customer onboarding process unless they are in the software or hardware space. In IT, deploying and installing software or hardware goes hand-in-hand with onboarding a new customer as a means of integrating their system or product into their business. When it comes to the professional services space, however, having a new customer onboarding process is more of an exception than a norm—but it shouldn’t be.
A new customer onboarding process outlines the steps your company will take when starting a business relationship with a customer. An onboarding process is much more than simply bringing the customer “on board”; it’s about getting to understand their business and its needs so they become a long-term customer.
With so many benefits to having an onboarding process for your new customers (including gaining more information, needs assessment, collaboration opportunities, trust and reliability, and professional services), as a business owner, you might want to consider creating one. I have outlined some of the key benefits below to having a customer onboarding process for your company.
- Most business owners know that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining It makes sense then, that investing the time at the beginning of the relationship, with an onboarding process that you both can follow, will make your customer feel “taken care of” and therefore become loyal to you.
- Setting and meeting customer expectations is a critical aspect of growing your business. The customer will have certain expectations of you, as you will of them. In creating an onboarding process, you’ll need to collaborate on setting realistic For example, you might agree to and schedule weekly check-in meetings, but in reality, the customer may not able to make the meetings, or will cut them short because of time constraints. When setting these expectations with your customer, allow for some flexibility to accommodate and meet their needs, but also be realistic of their expectations of you. Setting these expectations collaboratively is another way to communicate with them and show how you deliver a white glove approach to customer service.
- Personalize your onboarding process for every customer because each has a unique set of concerns. By tailoring your solution to meet their needs, you will set the tone for the relationship, while making it much easier to achieve wins and foster loyal customers.
As business owners, we can’t forget the golden rule that customers are the lifeline of your company. One way to secure your relationship with your customers is to implement an onboarding process to build trust and rapport. Revenue is one thing, but establishing a mutually beneficial relationship can truly make a difference. In my next blog, I’ll share what you should include in your onboarding process.
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