So you've just won a new client (yay!) — now what?
As an agency, signing on to a new client is an absolute delight. Even if it's a daily occurrence, the excitement never wanes!
You can give new clients a great first impression of your agency, build a strong agency-client relationship from the get-go, and provide a winning experience starting with the client onboarding checklist that makes them want to return again and again.
Here's an overview of the contents of this article:
- What Is Client Onboarding?
- Benefits Of Having A Client Onboarding Checklist
- When Should The Client Onboarding Process Start?
- Marketing Client Onboarding Checklist for Agencies
- Client Onboarding Checklist Free Template
- Final Thoughts On Client Onboarding Checklist
You can directly jump to a section of your choice or keep scrolling.
What Is Client Onboarding?
Client onboarding is the process of embracing a new client to your business. If you don't have a detailed client onboarding strategy for doing so, you're likely to overlook important details and make mistakes that may cost you both time and money.
Onboarding is an opportunity to build a relationship, address concerns, get the client up to speed and start the project on the right foot. By the end of your onboarding process, you want the client to feel confident that they will achieve the desired outcome.
With our client onboarding checklist, you can create tailored onboarding experiences that give you a solid foundation to work from and help new clients feel confident that your agency was the right choice.
Benefits Of Having A Client Onboarding Checklist
Better Client Relationship
Capture details about your client's workflows and preferences to tailor how you work together. A client onboarding checklist will outline all the tasks necessary to launch and conclude your client's marketing initiatives.
Your client will feel confident that their expectations of your services will be satisfied if you have the perfect client onboarding checklist. This improves communication between the client and the agency regarding the project.
Never Miss A Step
From initial intro calls with relevant team members to regular monthly check-ins, having a client onboarding checklist for onboarding a new client means you're always one step ahead and can anticipate their needs. This will help you and your client to stay organized and on the same page.
Improve Your Efficiency
Quickly see where each client is in the onboarding process and what's left to be done — so you can keep growing your business. Delivering the perfect onboarding process is the best way to boost agency effectiveness.
It is much easier for the agency and the client to determine where they are in the onboarding process when the best client onboarding checklist is. You have all the information you need at your fingertips, which puts you in a fantastic position to start working with your client.
Clients are at three times more risk of leaving in the first 90 days. They're more likely to stick if you build a friendly relationship and demonstrate your value early on.
This varies differently for different industries, but when you have a citable onboarding process, you can ensure that the legal part of signing a new client is taken care of.
By delighting your clients early on, you have a much better chance at a good relationship, upsells, and referrals down the track. 84% of B2B decision-makers begin their buying process with a referral.
When Should The Client Onboarding Process Start?
The client onboarding process should start the moment after you've received a signed contract. It is less likely that misconceptions will occur if explicit objectives are set that can be monitored throughout the project. In this manner, significant accomplishments may be assessed, and a thorough action plan can be created. The essential feedback, accountability, and budget projections can all be made more straightforward.
There's a lot of work to be done, so you'll want to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
Marketing Client Onboarding Checklist for Agencies
1. The Proposal, Contract And Payment
A verbal "yes" is thrilling in its own right. Sadly, it means nothing until you have a signed contract along with the payment. Make sure to surprise them with the best social media proposal.
Providing the client with a contract copy should always be the first step in onboarding. If they're pleased about working with you, it won't take long for them to review the contract and return a signed copy.
After this point, the only thing left to do - wait for the client to make payment! Be clear with the client about how you'd like to receive compensation, such as bank wire, check, credit card, or other payment gateways.
It is awkward to request for payment upfront, but it's a good practice to at least request an advance deposit. Neglecting to ask for payment puts you at a risk of non-payment, which can bog down your agency's growth.
2. Adding Client To Your Agency CRM
Use spreadsheets or a dedicated CRM tool for your agency to add the new client to your agency's database. Ensure that your new client and all the details you acquired from the sales process have been updated in your CRM.
Are you not currently using a CRM? Start using it today.
A good CRM tool like Statusbrew can help you with:
• Get a quick view of all the previous communications with the client and never lose out on the context of the conversation
• Add tags to a client based on their current stage in the funnel and drive insightful analysis
• Share notes about a client with your team, like the best time to reach out to contact or takeaways from previous conversations
Sounds interesting? Book a FREE demo today ?
3. Onboarding Questionaire
This step is the first chance to reconnect with the client after the sales process is over, and try to make an excellent first impression.
Send a comprehensive yet brief welcome email that gives the client the information on the next step.
To gain a better understanding of the client and their requirements, send the client an onboarding questionnaire.
Here are a few tips to make the most of this step:
- Don't include too many questions (15 to 20 at the most)
- Carefully consider how you distribute the questionnaire via Google Sheets or a software application.
- Politely share a deadline (something like: we'd love to receive the questionnaire back within ten business days)
- Offer to help with any questions or concerns
- A well-thought-out questionnaire will result in helpful information both for the current onboarding process and future use
Here are some questions you can include in the client onboarding questionnaire:
- What is your business information? (address, phone number, contact information, etc.)
- Mention our Single point of contact (SPOC)
- What would make our agency a successful project for your business? (use objective metrics if possible, ex. 50 more leads)
- Have you worked with a similar agency in the past? (If yes, share your pain points)
Bonus: Ask the client for some referrals at the bottom of the questionnaire (If any). Maybe your new client has a friend or colleague who could use your services too.
4. Have A Kick-off Meeting
Conduct an internal kick-off meeting and assign the client to the appropriate team member.
Your internal kick-off is a time to assign the client to a team, brief them on the work scope, ask and answer critical questions, and distribute all applicable information.
What if you can't meet your team in person? Check out how to work with remote teams.
Suppose you run a virtual business and can't meet your client in person. Get your client to find a time that works through your calendar software to book a video (or audio) conference.
Make sure your video conferencing software works flawlessly. It's not a great impression if you have technical issues when you're having your first meeting (no one wants that). We've found Zoom to be one of the best options available, but it may vary depending on your or your client's location.
These are certain things you should go over in the client kick-off meeting:
- Introductions between the client and the team
- Business goals for the client
- Cover major deliverables and responsibilities, including a timeline of action
- What are the next steps?
5. Create Client Accounts For Tools Your Agency Uses
It's very likely that your agency is already using a variety of tools to manage existing clients. You should ensure that your Account Manager provides your new client access to the tools you will be using to manage their account.
Make sure you give a proper explanation of what the tools are and how you will be using them. You may also choose to share training documentation (if needed).
If your client is unfamiliar with or has issues with the software you are using, you may want to go that extra mile and schedule a meeting to guide them on the tool(s).
We at Statusbrew use Slack for quick client communications. Zendesk as a customer service platform for managing support, sales, and customer engagement and internally Asana or Google Drive for project management.
Statusbrew is an all-in-one social media management tool that supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and even Google My Business.
Statusbrew Lite Features: Two users, five social profiles, centralized social inbox, tools for unlimited scheduling, drafting, and queuing posts, social content calendar, tools for monitoring profiles, best time posting queue, hide comments on Facebook & Instagram, and high priority email support.
Sounds interesting? Book a FREE demo today ?
6. Surprise Your Clients With A Welcome Package
The welcome package is an opportunity to educate the client and reinforce their purchase decision. Make them feel at home – at ease. A little effort goes a long way! After implementing your kickoff meeting, ensure the client gets a welcome package. A welcome package can be a mix of both digital and physical gifts.
Your package of physical gifts may include
Hand-written welcome letter to your client
Swag package(branded merchandise). You can send out bracelets, notepads, hoodies, or shirts to your clients with your brand on it. Not only will they love it, but it's a fantastic branding opportunity even for your business.
Your package of digital gifts can include the following:
This can be a document that your client can print and reference for any information they need on the business may, including regular business hours, location(s), contact information, emergency contact number, and FAQs.
Are there any resources your client has to read to get the most out of your product? These resources could be a series of articles to help them understand what's happening.
For instance, Statusbrew has a help center where our clients can get all the information about our products and best practices.
Have you delivered great results for similar brands in the past? Share their stories with your new client as case studies.
Creating a product video is a good way to get your clients excited about working
with you (see the example below).
Client Onboarding Checklist Free Template
Final Thoughts On Client Onboarding Checklist
The way you planned at the start is not necessarily the plan you must stick with. As the relationship with the client progresses, things might need some changes based on the results they see or if your client wants a change in direction.
Figure out what is and isn’t working for your client and tweak your plan as per need. Ask for feedback throughout the onboarding process.
If something is not going the way your client wants it to, you may risk churn. Address problems before they become too big.
Be mindful of your communication frequency but also be vigilant. Above mentioned points are key to minimizing client churn and building your agency’s client base — and with a client onboarding checklist, you can set yourself and your client up for success.
Simplify your social media scheduling with Statusbrew. Create, schedule, and publish multiple social media posts across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google My Business simultaneously.
Sounds interesting? Book a FREE demo today ?