Client onboarding is the process of bringing a new client to your business, teaching them how to use your services or products effectively, and addressing any concerns that they may have. Since this is a crucial part of building a good relationship with your client, making onboarding mistakes can cost you greatly.
Don’t you want to lose potentially permanent customers? Here are the most common client onboarding mistakes and how to avoid them:
1. Getting clients expectations too high
You’ve worked hard on your product. Understandably, you’re excited about sharing your it with the rest of the world and finally, someone is paying you for your work. It’s okay to be hyped about it, but be careful not to overplay your descriptions, leading customers to have too high expectations of the product or service that you’re selling. Why? Because when they go through the product onboarding process and realize that it doesn’t play up to the expectations that you made them have, they are less likely to stay.
Avoid getting carried away when creating your product or service’s marketing copy. If necessary, ask someone outside of your company, preferably an acquaintance who isn’t afraid to tell you the harsh truth, to give their unbiased opinion about what they expect from your product or service.
2. Failure to communicate
Naturally, clients will be anxious in the first few weeks (or sometimes, even months) after they’ve signed a contract with you. They’ve put a big responsibility on your shoulders, and they still can’t be sure if you will be able to deliver. How can you give them reassurance that you’ll hold your end of the bargain and meet their expectations?
Communication is key in any client relationship, especially during the onboarding process. Keep communication lines open. Show them that they are your priority. Attend to their concerns as soon as possible. In this way, your relationship can start on a good note, and your client’s apprehension will continue to diminish as you go along.
3. Sticking to ad hoc onboarding processes
How can you create an efficient onboarding process for your product if you don’t have one in the first place? It’s a given fact that the onboarding process is crucial in client conversion, and yet so many companies make the mistake of not having an onboarding process, to begin with. While ad hoc processes can work, for now, it will create inconsistencies as your business grows.
Instead of relying on ad hoc onboarding processes, develop a clear, well-written onboarding process that illustrates the specific steps involved. Include pertinent details such as data needed for starting the project, required documents or templates, and the materials necessary to educate clients about the product or service.
4. Responding slowly to clients
Communication is faster and more efficient today more than ever, which is why a lot of users expect you to respond to their concerns and queries immediately. In fact, research shows that 82% of consumers expect an immediate response when they have a question about marketing or sales. In a separate study, it was found that 60% of users expect a response within 60 minutes. Furthermore, 67% expect to receive a response within the day.
Failure to respond promptly can make users frustrated with your company, which encourages them to look for other options who can attend to their needs quickly. To avoid this, invest in your customer service team and ensure that customer queries are being attended to as quickly as possible.
5. Making promises that you can’t keep
One of the biggest onboarding mistakes you can commit is making promises that you are not going to be able to keep. Some people do this in the spur of the moment just to get that client to sign on the contract, but if you fail to keep your promises, best believe that your client is not going to stay for long. So if a client makes a request that you’re not sure if you want to accept, leave the question in the open and consult your team before saying ‘yes’. Otherwise, you may end up biting off more than you can chew, which can lead to missed deadlines and awkward meetings later on.
The onboarding process is the ‘honeymoon phase’ of a business-to-client relationship. Make these mistakes, and you may have that client saying goodbye soon after. But if you know what to do and what not to do, you will be able to make a good impression on your clients, prompting them to stay for longer and even recommend you to their peers.