I know this will be unpopular. Everyone is busy getting their documents together and their beautiful branding and welcome packages and it looks great!
Before I share I want to say there is no right or wrong way to do this, there is only the way that works best for your business model and what works best for you and your clients.
But to know what works best you have to be willing to consider that some ‘industry standard’ things aren’t a fit for you and weigh your options.
I’m an advocate of managing expectations and the end user experience. Sometimes I think virtual service providers get zoned towards making sure their brand is gorgeous and forget that on the other end of that brand is the client. Clients are people too.
Some clients won’t mind an extensive onboarding process and others will. The best approach is to know your client base and make it easy for them to do business with you. What works for one person may not be the best thing for another even if it’s trending in the hot zone. The onboarding experience sets the tone for how you will work with the client. Let’s define what onboarding as it relates to us:
ONBOARDING: the action or process of familiarizing a new customer or client with
one’s products or services.
Some intake and onboarding processes may look like this and not necessarily in this order or with all the steps:
-get lead, have quick talk or send portfolio etc.
-schedule discovery call
-send questionnaire, summary notes from the call,
-send contract/invoice (together or separately)
-send welcome packet
-schedule a meeting (call, Skype etc) to talk projects and answer questions
-introduce client on portal (not all clients are on PM portals)
-introduce client on other platforms like password, Slack etc.
-start working together
There’s a lot to be done and it’s not just the virtual service provider doing it. On the other end is the client; the person who is contracting you to lighten their load. Obviously, they have to go through this process to get the help they need but how can we make it a user friendly process and a pleasurable experience?
I think the very first transaction in the onboarding process is the step that happens after the person becomes a new client or customer. I say that because that’s what onboarding is; familiarizing a new client or customer with your products or services.
Sometimes we lose would be clients because our processes of getting them to be clients brings more overwhelm instead of a sense that we are a solution to their problem. I told you this wouldn’t be popular but I’ll say it again, clients are people too.
Survey your processes and eliminate waste.
Keep the end user in mind while being sure you have all the documentation you need and have managed expectations.