If you missed my work over on social media here is my second instalment on my quest to ensure that you have an excellent onboarding process implemented into your business.
Here are 5 more reasons why it is so important (see the first 5 here.)
Not sure what onboarding is? Check out this blog post to find out.
Number 6 – Less of a paperchase
We’ve all spent (wasted) time waiting for documents/information to be sent through to us from clients and customers before work can begin on a project, or for payment to be made on completion of a project. This can all be prevented through a comprehensive onboarding process.
The purpose of mapping out the stages for your client and establishing a process (more hints about possible stages for your business and things to think about in this post) is so that you can really identify the different information that you need to obtain at the right point in the process. Not asking for too much on a scoping call as to scare off your potential client or not forgetting to ask/set up payment information when you start working together will save you all that wasted time.
If you run the sort of business that requires a reasonable amount of regulatory information (i.e. a bookkeeper or an accountant) it makes sense that you ask for this all in one go and as early as possible as not to annoy the client, and so you can crack on with the work.
As a client, I would not want to be asked to fill in a questionnaire requiring me to look up lots of bits of information, only for 5 days later to be asked to provide a copy of my passport and then a few days after that, a bill to check my address. I want to do this all in one go as it is a faff for me!
Creating a process also allows you to cut down on the amount of actual paper (printed or separate docs) that you use, allowing you to collate paperwork that is alike into less documents.
Number 7 – Allows you to build in the kind of welcome / thank you that suits your business
Give your customers the sort of service that you expect! As a micro/small business each and every client interaction should be memorable (not that this isn’t also important for a large business). But in a micro or small business it all leads back to only a few members of staff. Make your clients onboarding personal and memorable through your process.
If you are a creative business and you want to add a touch of sparkle that shows off what you can do by physically sending a welcome pack. Or as one of my clients has built in, visiting with flowers that match the interior design of the room they have just completed decorating at the end of an interior design project.
Just because I am going on and on about process does not mean that every stage has to be depersonalised and automated by a robot, it is just ensuring that the elements of your process suit your company so your clients have a fabulous experience working with you.
Number 8 – Ensures a great customer experience
And that leads nicely into this benefit of an excellent onboarding process. The planning and execution of a well thought out process does ensure an excellent customer experience. We’ve always experienced buying an item (product or service) whereby we have to chase, or follow up, or where the information we receive is incorrect. All of these things can lead to losing a sale, losing confidence and incurring negative feedback.
At a minimum, an onboarding process makes sure that these things do not happen. At the other end of the spectrum is wowing your client with a fabulous experience, one that is in line with the product or service that you give.
Number 9 – Nothing gets missed
A lot of what I end up discussing with my clients is saving them headspace. Now this is not something that I touch on in marketing or ends up being discussed until a project is under way, but that is because it sounds to airy fairy and not in the business of process, logic and order which is always my order of the day!
A sign that your onboarding process is not as slick and organised as it could be is if you are worrying that something is being missed. So where someone contacts you but you have to remember to get back to them or someone makes an enquiry but that you don’t have the immediate info to hand to give them a quote if your business requires a quick turnaround.
We want to make sure that all of the nitty and gritty of your business is bought into your process and fits the way that you work (on the go, at your desk, however that may be) so that your business operates in the way that suits you. There is no one-size-fits-all that is why I won’t advocate the use of one bit of software for everyone, I am yet to implement a bit of software into a clients’ business despite knowing and using many of the big names out there!
It has got to be the right set of actions for the way that you work.
Number 10 – Meets current customer expectations
Right back to the beginning on one of my top reasons for why onboarding is incredibly important. For a small/micro business the client does not want to feel like they are in a ‘process’ but that they are just receiving information at a time that they expect and they are being asked to provide information that is in line with what they expect to receive and that they do not need to chase any of this.
As customers we do expect to receive certain information at certain points – I always think of the example of booking a flight with EasyJet in terms of expectation. Once I book, I expect to receive an email to confirm my flight. If I don’t receive this I am worried that the payment detail hasn’t worked and I wouldn’t want to do it again in case I booked two sets of flights. I will then end up calling a premium line number to get my query advised. I then expect to receive certain information before I fly – before I book-in and information about the check-in process.
It makes me relaxed and at ease that these pieces of information come at the right time and gives me confidence in the company. I am also not inundated with information I don’t need or want (like RyanAir promotional emails – whether I have opted in or not…)
Receiving timely information puts the customer at ease and is in line with how we expect, intuitively how interactions will occur. Make sure that you are not making your potential customers uneasy by missing these steps and them doubting you before the work has begun!
This won’t be the last you’ve heard of me on onboarding but I hope I have given you a good start on implementing an onboarding process into your business. I’ll be back every other week to give you some hints and tips about how you can get your system off to a good start so do sign up to make sure you don’t miss out! And as always, I am on the end of the phone if you want to chat it all through – I am always looking to learn and love to help 😊