You’ve put in the time and effort to gain the business of a new client. What happens next can make the difference between bringing your client on for the long term or having your client wonder if hiring you was the right decision.
Client onboarding, much like job onboarding, helps your client get acquainted with your business. It’s your opportunity to address concerns, provide resources, explain processes, and smooth any potential bumps before they occur. Setting a solid foundation early on can lead to a better experience for you and your client as you work together, as well as a lasting business relationship.
It’s been said that acquiring new customers costs five times more than retaining existing customers. While the accuracy of this long-held business belief has been debated, it has been proven that customer service impacts customer retention. A study by Microsoft found that 58 percent of customers show little hesitation in severing a business relationship when their expectations aren’t met or exceeded.
A positive onboarding experience is a good start to exceeding your clients’ expectations, taking into account these five common mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1: Overpromising and underdelivering
When you’re trying to secure a new client, you’re putting your best face forward. After the sales pitch, however, is when the real work begins. If you can’t deliver on what your client needs, no amount of onboarding effort is going to fix the problem.
Be sure you can manage what a potential client is asking for before you take them on as a client, lessening the chance for disappointment on either end.
Mistake #2: Not asking about long-term goals
If you’re only focusing on the project at hand, you could be missing your shot at future projects. Developing a strategy based on your client’s short and long-term goals shows you’re looking at the overall picture, which is a benefit to your client and to you.
Mistake #3: Not understanding your client’s work preferences
Maybe your typical process involves email communication, but your client prefers to receive hard copies of documents or to communicate via phone. Understanding how your client likes to work and communicate can help you do so more effectively.
Mistake #4: Being unavailable
You know how your client prefers to communicate, but that information isn’t any good if you don’t follow through with it. If your voice mailbox is always full or you take a few days to respond to an email, your client may feel you don’t value their business.
In the social media age—where customers have easy access to an endless array of brands, products and services—being available to clients isn’t just a good business practice, it’s a necessary one. Participants in a study called The Social Habit said they expect a quick response when reaching out to a brand, product or service on social media, with 32 percent expecting a response within 30 minutes and 42 per cent expecting a response within 60 minutes. Further, 57 percent of participants expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours.
Mistake #5: Failing to keep your client engaged
Ask your client what’s new in their world. Ask if you can provide clarification on something you’ve sent to them. Simple moves to encourage engagement show you care about supporting your client’s success.
When you join Vexxit as a professional member, you’re already on track to providing a positive onboarding experience as you’re working with potential clients who have been deemed a good fit for you. Vexxit’s advanced technology ensures what you have to offer is a match for what your client needs, also taking into consideration the preferences—such as the soft skills and communication style—you’d both like to work with. Having that advantage from the very beginning can help you avoid common mistakes when onboarding and set the stage for a successful, long-term relationship.