Business Guides » Ultimate Guide On Client Onboarding For Small Businesses

Ultimate Guide On Client Onboarding For Small Businesses

Well, the business looks for different ways to get more clients. However, it’s important that you pay attention to how you are bringing them on.

To make sure that they are for the long haul, you should make sure that they have a great experience. 

According to Harvard Business Review,  if the business successfully prevents 5% of clients from leaving, they increase their bottom line profit by 25 to 95%.

Also, the top two reasons why the customer churns are either they don’t understand well related to the product. Or, they are not gaining anything from it.

That’s why you need the client onboarding.  To know how this can help and improve your customer retention here is everything that you will need.

What Is Client  Onboarding & Why It’s Important?

Client Onboarding is the process that nurtures to get the new customers or clients after they purchased the products or typically constructed as a sales to delivery handoff.

Client Onboarding is crucial for the business as it helps in setting the tone of your ongoing relationship.

With this, you can increase your customer lifetime value or LTV,  reduce the churn and get more customers or clients into the fans.

Well, here some of the stats that can help you in understanding the importance of client onboarding.

If you don’t have anything, there are chances that you will end up losing 75% of your new clients within your first week.

There are more than two-thirds of SaaS companies that experience churn rates that increase more than 5%.

As for free trials users, there will be a 40 to60% drop as they might use the product once and never come back.

You get more revenue from your existing customers.

When you have an increase in customer retention, your acquisition cost gets lower. Also, you get a boost in revenue.

The happy clients of yours will be the top referral sources for your business.

With the help of onboarding clients,  this will help in growing your business better.

why client onboarding is crucial for business

How Onboarding Helps In Retaining Your Clients?

Well with the help of Client onboarding, you set the stage for you and your client relationship.

When you do it right, your client feels confident in your product and looks for the future too.

If you are not doing it well, and it’s too complex, this will annoy your clients. Also, you will end up losing your clients too.

For the business, customer retention is not a simple vanity metric. In fact, it has a lot of impact on your overall growth and profit.

The more time you have your customer stay with your business, the more revenue you get.

That’s why having effective Client onboarding can help you in boosting your loyal customers.

Steps For Improving Your Client Onboarding

Well for the business, it’s important that the process of client onboarding should be as hassle-free as it could be.

Having a smooth process can help you in interacting better and establishing your relationship with the clients.

To understand how to start, here are the steps for you :

Step 1: Welcome The Client

Buyer’s remorse is not the new term, but do you think about your business too? Clients feel regret when they make a purchase of anything expensive. The feeling is more about making the mistake.

That’s why you should welcome your client when you are onboarding them. this will prove that they are making the right decisions, also it will work as assurance.

You don’t have to do something over the top.

However, you can send a personalized email, welcoming your client from your team member. Also, you can offer the answers that they might have.

Additional, you can use these kinds of introductory email :

  • Personalized email from your company leadership.
  • Reference and testimonial from the previous client.
  • Success case studies from your previous or current clients.
  • Introduction to anyone who is relevant from the team, it can be business cards and emails.

Step 2: Understand What Your Client Expecting

When you are onboarding the new client, this should be the guide for them to experience the first win.  However, for that, you should know what success means for your client.

There are differences between your client‘s definition of success and your company’s.  And that’s why you should understand what they are expecting from you.

To start with this, a customer feedback survey can be helpful. You can know more about them and it’s the best way for finding out more information.

You can simply ask your customer what success with your company would look like to them.  This will help in knowing what you need to deliver for retaining the client.

Step 3: Outlining Your Scope And Set Your Milestones

Once you welcome your clients and you have an idea of what they are expecting. Now you can outline the scope and set your milestones.

When you have a clear outing of the work, you can continue to build the expectation of your client and also set the boundaries.

Well, it depends on the industry, this can help you in getting results and deliverables.

Step 4: Finish The Onboarding & Maintain The Relationship

 When your process of onboarding with your new client ends, you have the constant contact way to maintain with the clients.

Also, you can check on your client after some months to know how everything is going for them.

Also, this will help you in knowing, if they are satisfied with the work so far or not. Not just that you can use them for your company’s testimonial and case study too.

How To Build Great Business Relationships Through Client Onboarding?

When you are new to the relationship, it depends on how you started as it will affect how it will go too.

That’s why you should have a clear goal of what you are expecting, and how you want the onboarding to process.

And here are some of the best tips that can help you in establishing a successful relationship through client onboarding :

Personalize The Experiences

The first and most important thing you should be doing is personalizing the client’s experiences. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you need to do all the communication manually. You can also use automation for that.

You can balance the approach between 50 /50 or 70/ 30 with manual and automation.

Or, you need to manage the tasks for the team members who are serving as a client service team. The task might include:

  • Scheduling the calls with the clients
  • Being available to help them whenever they need them
  • Setting the expectations
  • Clearing up the required information or details
  • Welcoming client to the company

Focus On Both Micro And Macro

Well where a lot of people focus on macro when it comes to client onboarding, you should also consider the micro.

However, the macro includes sending emails, scripts for communication, follow-ups, net promoter scores, etc.

But with the help of micro, you can create the lifetime value of your client that is much greater as compared to the initial transaction value.

You are required to consider the experience that they had over their lifetime with the company.

Educate And Prepare Your Client

The next thing you need to understand is educating, teaching, and also preparing your client for what will come.

The clients get exposure to the information, however, if you have the content marketing engine within the company, then you already have the resources for yourself, clients as well as the industry.

To help your clients, you require to include the blog posts and other resources online. This will help clients in understanding more about the company and its working.

Also, it includes the understanding of services that they will get, people teaming up, etc as they are on the same page and work together.

Ensure Everyone Knows Their Role

To make sure that your client onboarding is successful, you are going to need a team that knows what to do and when to do it.

And for that, they require to know their role first.  Also, it’s not just limited to the client onboarding either, it’s more focused on the team assisting that contributes to the process.

Make sure to spell out the expectation that each role should contribute and takeaways for the clients that they should have.

Avoid Making Clients Repeating Themselves

If your clients have started something, make sure you are not making them repeat themselves over and over.  That’s you need to have a way that can transfer the information to different people.

Well the more easier for you to transfer the information seamlessly and simply. It can be easy for you to maintain the work better.  Also, it will avoid the mistakes or errors between them.

Keep The Smooth Handoff

This one is quite similar to not letting your client repeat. however, it’s different than that.

This one is not just about transferring information and knowledge. But it articulates the handoff from one person to the next.

There are lots of companies that don’t get their people proper introduction and context regarding the person stepping in.

That’s why you need to make sure that smooth handoff at every single stage.

Go Beyond The Start Date

Your client onboarding starts even before the engagement starts, and it does not end when they start to get engaged.

It’s important to take longevity into consideration.  Also, make sure that you do the follow-ups, it can be scheduled for 30 or 60 days, quarterly, bi-annual and annual.

These follow-ups will help you in ensuring the communication is transferring to each other. Also, it will keep everyone on the same level.

Since the onboarding starts beyond the start date, it makes the whole process more critical.

Also, you require to repeat yourself so you are sure about being aligned with your customer.

Repeat To Check Their Expectations Are Aligned

Well since you know the importance of being your expectation aligned with your clients.  Go beyond what your relationship is, and make sure you maintain it for the future.

That’s why repeating yourself is critical as it will help in gaining the commitment.

This can be called a verbal contract as it’s a confirmation that you as well as your client are on the same page.

Also, this helps in setting the level of engagement too. 

Also when you repeat, it helps in avoiding any kind of confusion or issues that might be caused.

It can help in making sure to keep things clear, so there will be no miscommunication or misunderstanding in the future.

Make Sure They Know Your Expectations

Not just your clients’ expectation is important to know, but also they should know what you are expecting.

This works as an indicator of how successful your client process will be with your company. It can be in the engagement or collaboration with two companies.

There are different phrases that you can consider using, such as :

  • What you are going to need from them?
  • When you are going to need it?
  • What things are you going to focus on?
  • What things the client doesn’t have to worry about?
  • What level of commitment and communication do you require to be successful to work together?

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs)

Why Does Your Business Need Client Onboarding?


Client onboarding helps in managing the expectations of clients. This explains how the business works and informs about the process. The client will know what to expect and exactly get from you.

What Are The Phases Of The Onboarding Process?


There are four phases, it includes initial development, ongoing development, separation, and retention.

What Happens During Onboarding?


During the onboarding, the clients get the introduction of the department, including what and how their plan will work. Also understanding what they are going to get in the end result along with who and how things will unfold.

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