As a consultant, building positive relationships with clients is a crucial element of the job. When onboarding new clients, consultants should take extra steps to ensure their clients are fully informed and comfortable. Each consultant will likely have their onboarding processes, but consultants can implement some standard practices to make onboarding new clients smooth and effective.
Why Client Onboarding is Important
Onboarding clients efficiently and cohesively is essential in any business, but it is especially crucial for consultants. When the onboarding process is effective, client churn rates decrease, business scalability increases, and clients are happier with their service. A repeatable onboarding process ensures compliance and promotes a consistent, professional image for your business, prompting satisfied clients to make more referrals, resulting in a larger pool of clients and more significant business success. Prioritizing the onboarding process can result in stronger client relationships, making for a better experience for all parties.
Acknowledging that every client will have different reservations, expectations, and experience levels can help consultants provide a tailored onboarding experience to each new client. Consultants should make an apparent effort to address clients’ concerns and questions from the very beginning; doing so will show clients that the consultant is willing to listen to them and make their experience personalized just for them.
Nothing can ruin a client relationship, quite like a lack of preparation. Even before the first scheduled meeting with a new client, consultants should thoroughly review the information they have on the client. Most of this will likely come from sales. By making themselves aware of what the client has expressed to be primary concerns and expectations, consultants will be better equipped to identify what the client wants out of the arrangement and fulfill their needs. During the first meeting with a new client, consultants should directly ask what they hope to gain from working with you.
This should go without saying, but effective communication is key in the consulting business. Early on, consultants should establish a consistent communication schedule to keep new clients informed and engaged. Taking into account each client’s preferences for how often they want to receive messages, whether or not they want to be enrolled in the business’ newsletter, and if there is a specific day or time they want to communicate can help consultants personalize the client experience in a simple but meaningful way.
Paying attention to client desires, goals, and preferences will go a long way. However, a new client measures success should be a primary focal point for the consultant. Following through on guarantees in a timely fashion and providing appropriate, accurate metrics for clients who value numerical data are just two simple ways to ensure client satisfaction, even during the onboarding process.