I hope you are not too bored of me and onboarding yet! If you take anything away from all of my badgering over these few weeks it is how important an onboarding process is for your business, how it needn’t be a burden and how much time and energy it will save you in the long run.
What is onboarding?
If you haven’t seen it, here is a 60 second recap:
5 reasons to implement an onboarding process
I thought I would do a recap for those of you that don’t follow me on social media, or if you are coming to this after the live events, a roundup of the first 5 reasons that I advocate a streamlined onboarding process for your business.
Number 1 – Less endless lists of things to do, chase and manage
I believe that an onboarding process should be done YOUR way. There are no two businesses that are the same and no two business owners that are the same. The way that you work best should be incorporated into your onboarding system.
So if you are a fiend for paper, that is fine. If you love an online tool, also fine. If you work with spreadsheets, no problem. Work to your strengths and make sure that the tools that you use to pull all of the different stages of your onboarding process (aka. the different stages that you go through with each new client) match how you like to work.
Number 2 – Less to and fro-ing with your new client We’re all a bit time short and we all have expectations about how customer service should happen. So let’s take those two things and break them down as to why they are important with your onboarding:
Time short – ensuring that you have an onboarding process clearly mapped out and you know what to ask for and when means that you do not end up go back and forth to your client asking for numerous pieces of information that is time-consuming for your client and potentially frustrating i.e. examples of lots of different pieces of paperwork that they have to go off and find, scan in and send to you. It would be much better for a customer to be able to send you all of this in one go. I hope you’d agree with me on that!
Expectations – I really want the people that I am buying products and services off to be professional and know what they are doing. So whilst I am more than happy to forgive mistakes, I would expect that being onboarded is a process that has been undertaken a number of times therefore having to request additional information at a later date would ring alarm bells for me.
I.e. if I book a flight through a travel agent and they don’t ask for passport information, I am likely to question that. If they are in the middle of booking the flights and urgently call me for passport details, that is going to ring alarm bells for me. If I question it and they respond with, ‘we don’t need passport details at this stage. We will be in touch 4 weeks before you fly to confirm times, seat reservations, transfer details etc.’ I am reassured that there is a process and they know what they are doing.
Number 3 – No matter your client type, you know what needs to be done I think there can be an illusion that because you have several different client types, several different products or services and this has prevented you from introducing an onboarding process into your business. I just don’t think that needs to be the case.
Laying out the different steps in the process for all of your business will help you to see where there are similarities across your client, service and product types and therefore where you can introduce steps. There will be information that you need to get from everyone, there will be information that you want to share with everyone (i.e. how working with you works). Without mapping it out, you do not know where these similarities are.
And just because there is different content within that onboarding process, needn’t stop you developing a process. There may just be more than one pathway, more than one set of documents / templates from which to use when onboarding a client.
Number 4 – Manage enquiries in your pipeline I recently had the experience whereby I expressed an interest in a training course, however I could not attend the date. The person running the course said that she would be holding another date so I asked her to keep me posted. This then completely went out of my brain because I have 1000 other things to do, and I had explicitly asked the trainer to keep in touch about the course. A few months later I spotted some social media about her next course, although it was in 2 days time so I could not attend. I was disappointed because she hadn’t remembered to inform me of the date and therefore I could not attend.
However, with my onboarding hat on I felt like she had really let herself down because I know that she was struggling to fill the course and she had missed out on my custom.
No one minds being asked a second time, especially when have expressed a genuine interest. Sales is hard to small business owners and no one likes to harass – see this diagram which really shows how important follow up is:
This example illustrates how an onboarding process that picks up those at an enquiry stage could really help you to increase your revenue and maximise on all the hard work marketing that you do. And it also comes back to expectation, more about that later.
Number 5 – The lifecycle of your client is managed I have spoken about this at length in a separate blog post so here is a link to it here.
I hope that this is helpful in thinking about your own onboarding and if I can help, get in touch to book in a call.
If you'd rather a second paid or eyes and hands, my onboarding package is £595 which includes end-to-end implementation of an onboarding process for your business.