Good customer relationships are vital for the health of your agency. You’ve invested loads of time and effort into pitching for projects and winning the contract with this new customer. Once you’ve got them signed up, how do you deliver a great experience as soon as possible, and reassure the new customer that choosing your agency was the right decision?
Today I’m looking at 5 reasons you need a customer onboarding process in place, to kick-start your relationships with new customers.
1) Provide Consistency
If you’ve got an onboarding process in place for your new customers, it means that all of your customers will have a comparable first experience of working with you.
It won’t matter which employee is their primary point of contact, or what sort of project they are bringing to your agency – your customer will receive the best possible onboarding experience, based on best practices you have learned from working with other customers in the past. You will know what information they need, and how to provide value in the first days of working with your agency.
2) Minimise Lost Time
Each time you take on a new customer, chances are you complete the same tasks, produce the same documents and share the same information to introduce your agency and kick start your projects.
Without a defined onboarding process in place, you will be working from scratch each time, which can be extremely time consuming. Even worse, you run the risk of forgetting to convey a vital piece of information or share an important document, as you have to do each task from memory, rather than having set tasks and stages to work through.
3) Create a Good First Impression
Onboarding is arguably the most important moment in your relationship with your customer. It’s their first point of contact with you as a customer, rather than a prospect, and how you start working with them sets the tone for your whole relationship.
A well-defined onboarding process will position you as efficient and professional, which will help your customer feel confident that they have chosen the right agency to work with, rather than choosing one of your competitors.
4) Share Knowledge
An onboarding process facilitates knowledge and information sharing across your whole agency team. Employee turnover is inevitable so when you take on new team members, having a defined process to follow means they will get up to speed quicker.
The new employee will know exactly what is expected of them, and how your agency handles new customers, and so will be able to start working with customers sooner than if you didn’t have a set process in place.
5) Introduce Your Agency
As well as helping you get to know the customer and their priorities for this new project, an onboarding process is just as important for helping the customer get to know your agency.
It is your opportunity to introduce them to tools and practices that your agency uses, to align the customer with your way of working. For example, you may have a Trello board for the project, where the customer can add or change tasks, but you need to clarify that changes will incur a cost.
For the customer, an onboarding process helps to set their expectations of what it will be like to work with you, and is key to setting you up for a successful customer-agency relationship.