Imagine the following scenario: You nailed the account. You closed the deal. Your client is utterly excited about bringing you on board and putting your ideas to use. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
So what could possibly go wrong?
While the client onboarding process might appear to be cut-and-dried, there are so many moving parts to manage. In fact, the first 90 days will either lead to a solid, long-standing and profitable collaboration or result in frustration and flopped projects.
Therefore, I put together a list of common client onboarding missteps to avoid in order to help you get the ball rolling in the right direction and prevent potential problems.
1.You are NOT transparent about your process
Oftentimes, it may seem unnecessary to get into all the little nuances of the project or delve into every detail at the start of the relationship. However, full transparency about your team’s process will make the client more understanding, should something go wrong in the future. Transparency also means telling the client upfront how your team handles uncomfortable issues, such as billing and out-of-scope work. It is better to cover all your bases as early as possible and avoid potential drama.
2. You set unrealistic expectations
Right from the start, you should figure out how to manage expectations with your clients. In my professional opinion, it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver…rather than over-promise and under-deliver. If you fail to set reasonable and attainable goals from the get-go, your clients will fill in the blanks themselves and hold you accountable for NOT being able to rise to the challenge.
3. You under-communicate in the early stages of the relationship
Keep in mind that over-communication is better than under-communication – especially in the first few weeks of the relationship. If you lag in your responses early on, you are basically saying that the project and the client are not really a priority for your team. During the kickoff meeting, establish how your client prefers to be contacted (by phone, email, text) and always keep him/her in the loop, even when it comes to small decisions. This is a good way to demonstrate that you are consistent, reliable, and fully committed to your project and your client.
4. You do not provide immediate value
I can’t stress enough the importance of a well-executed quick win, which can have an impact on how your relationship unfolds. It can demonstrate your capacity to deliver value and validate your client’s decision to bring you on board. In addition, it can help them feel more comfortable when bigger and more challenging projects arise in the future…since they have already seen you succeed before.
5. You don’t ask smart and probing questions
Asking a lot of useful and probing questions can help you uncover a lot of valuable information that can help you improve results for the client. Most service providers ask questions during the pitching process. But once the deal is closed, there is still a whole lot MORE to learn…Let me assure you that if you don’t use the onboarding process to ask insightful questions, you will be dealing with information gaps further down the road. Why don’t you ask smart questions upfront and gain all the insights, tools and ammunition you need to deliver results and exceed expectations.
If you are ready to boost your marketing efforts and grow your business, let’s touch base today to discuss your needs. For more information, please visit http://www.kambarian.com or call (516) 724-4372. Looking forward to speaking with you soon!