Everyone talks about getting people to the sales part of the deal cycle, but what happens after that? The deal isn’t anywhere near over and the customer isn’t anywhere near taken care of, not until they’re onboarded and made a part of your company, added to your database of existing customers, and tagged for remarketing efforts in the future.
But how do you get there?
It’s a process, and honestly, it’s a little different for everyone. However, industry experts and others have weighed in to provide plenty of helpful information and insight. The onboarding of clients is the bread and butter of your business these days. You need to be able to survive in the competitive business world and part of that comes in having a steady stream of customers in the onboarding stage of the journey and to keep the entire cycle moving smoothly.
Onboarded clients are essentially the ones who are confident in your abilities because they have seen your success. The onboarding process is just that—a process. Here are seven tips to help you improve your process, no matter what business you’re in.
You need to set expectations. More importantly, you need to set realistic expectations. Make sure that your sales and service teams are on the same page about what delivery looks like so that they’re not overpromising or causing you to under-deliver. This is also the time to set milestones for the onboarding process and to share those milestones with the client to see what they anticipate from their relationship with your company.
Today’s customer demands a customized, tailored experience in every way possible. Even if your clients are all buying the same or similar products, you’ll still need to cater to that sense of self and the consumer mentality that they should be treated specially by the brands with which they do business. It will attract a better audience and ensure that your onboarding experience sticks with clients, which means they may tell others, too.
Data is your best friend. Analytics, sales cycle stats, customer market shares, and other factors are all going to help you create the best success in your onboarding and conversions. Plus, it can help you improve other areas of your business, find places where you’re doing well and can steal ideas to make improvements, and more. You can also find plenty of insight and information about client needs and problems that will help you deliver a better experience for every single person that does business with you.
You can’t streamline your onboarding process if your team is all over the place. It’s not just the sales team, either. You need to ensure that your entire company is on board, if necessary, depending on the needs of the client. Your team should be able to create a smooth flow of ideas and function to create smooth sailing throughout the onboarding process. It’s more critical here than anywhere in the deal cycle, so make sure that you’re walking the walk. This will reduce the odds of churn and keep your client’s needs at the top of your daily to-do list.
You can’t just check your client needs once and assume they’ll be fine after that. You have to check in with them regularly to ensure that they are still getting what they need and you’re still delivering solutions that are relevant to their goals. After all, you wouldn’t want to put in a bunch of time and effort only to find a customer has left because they lost the value along the way. This is where it can be crucial to have good relationships with your audience.
Make sure that you’re always checking in and that your clients feel comfortable communicating their needs. That trust will allow you to create the ideal personalized experience, too, which was discussed above.
If the onboarding process looks different every time it happens, you’re doing something wrong and wasting a lot of valuable time and effort. Businesses grow based on their goals and if you don’t have an adaptable solution in place, your onboarding will not grow with you. Make sure that you create a process that can be taught so that your clients know what to expect during this process. Churn happens, but something like a solid onboarding process can help you weather that and many other storms.
Some deals will have a period of downtime before the sales-to-service transition takes place. For example, if your service delivery depends on a pre-arranged scheduled date that is still a month out, consider that a month to nurture those leads and make sure that they feel like they’re the most important part of your business.
It’s not that you need to spend a lot of time seeking them out before the engagement is scheduled to begin. However, you should check in from time to time to make sure they’re still interested and engaged.
While you’re busy converting leads and onboarding customers, there’s a lot more of your business that needs attention. When you’re out of time for things like admin tasks or after-hours communications, or even need help with outbound sales and support, we’ve got you covered. Our 24/7 virtual receptionists can handle everything from sales and outreach campaigns to lead intake, scheduling, after-hours phone answering, and so much more.
Ask about our live website chat solutions and how we can even collect payments on your behalf, and how we’ll help you craft the ideal strategy to handle every last detail. Schedule a consultation to discuss what the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do to help you make your business run smoothly. You can also reach us at email@example.com or (650) 727-6484.