In the service industry, the first three months is a really crucial time period for a successful client onboarding. It’s when all the expectations are set. If you can show your client in this initial period you can support and help them grow their business, they’ll stick with you through thick and thin. Want to know our solid plan for those initial months, which enables us to ‘cement’ our relationship with clients? Thought so, read on…. 🙂
Get to know them, they’re people after all!
In your first contact, get to know the client. Find out what’s important to them and what their main goals are. If you can, record the chat on Skype (or at least make good notes) so you or your team can reference it in the future. Don’t fake it though, people can feel ingenuity…By being interested in helping your potential client, you should have an honest interest in getting to know them. And all the information you gather here will help with the step.
Make them look good
It’s often the marketing manager or business owner you’ll probably deal with initially. Provide them with some extra videos or ‘freebies’ – which they can take back to their superior or business partner and say, “Look, they want us this much they gave me some videos free of charge!” Also, do what you can to fully inform them, so when they relay the information on, they’ll look like an expert, too! 🙂 All this does is help them look good in the eyes of others – which will definitely make the decision to work with you in a positive light.
Set the expectations
The expectations of what you’re offering should be spelt out early on. It might even require some re-education or detailed explanations.
Whatever your industry, explain the parameters which are important for doing business together. If you’re in the weight loss industry, for example, you may need to explain that daily weighing is not as helpful as body fat percentages and measurements fluctuate constantly. Once you set those expectations (eg. only weigh yourself every XX days to track your improvement), it will relax the client and give you the space you need to get your job done.
The first 3 months
Once you know our client, set the right expectations and help the marketing manager (or business owner) look good, then you can actually begin the first three months of work with them.
For example, as an online marketing company with the focus on helping businesses succeed, we get the ball rolling in the first month with a site audit. We then go onto Google Authorship, creating high quality content and syndication in the second month. By month three we’re ready to provide a report for the client and continue our content contagion and other services.
So no matter what your business is, document what your plan is for the first 3 months for your clients – and make sure you roll with that every time. You’ll not only be more efficient, but maintain a communicative and professional appearance to your new client!
Surprise! The unexpected bonus
Throughout this time (and even afterwards), it’s good to surprise your client with some unexpected ‘feel good’ stuff! Yes, this means you should apportion part of your budget (eg. build the cost into the price of your product or service) to give added “goodies” that the client will appreciate! At Christmas time, it might be a good idea to send along a gift basket. If they’ve given you a referral or a lead, reward them with Gold Class tickets, or make a free video for them. This unexpected extra will delight them strengthening the bond between you.
Once onboarded like this… your client will want to stay forever
Implementing these successful client onboarding steps during your “dating” period during the first three months of working together, you’ll find your clients will become fiercely loyal to you and remain that way for life. If you’d like some more helpful advice like this, contact us today to organize a one-on-one consultation or a business coaching session with our Director David Jenyns. Click here to find out more.