After having onboarded a new client and understanding the project's requirements, we usually can't wait to get cracking and start work on the project. But our years of experience in the field has taught us that it is essential not to rush this process. Patience is critical in this scenario, and as a services company, our priority is to provide our clients with a smooth experience while working with us. This makes it integral to ensure that the onboarding process is as smooth as possible.
Our primary focus when onboarding a client is to clear any gaps in communication to ensure that the development team is on the same page as the client when it comes to understanding the project details and milestones. Client onboarding allows us to understand the project requirements to give our clients a roadmap of the work that lies ahead. It also helps us build productive and lasting relationships and avoid undue hiccups during the tenure of the engagement and ensure its success.
Advantages of a solid client onboarding strategy
An excellent onboarding strategy is essential for any services company and we want to do it in the best possible way. This not only helps increase customer loyalty, improving their chances of referring us to other possible clients, but it also helps us provide them with a great experience of engaging with us. When executed effectively, a good client onboarding strategy can lead to:
- Little to no client churning - We need clients to stick, so building relationships and demonstrating value from the beginning gives clients the incentive to engage with us.
- Helps improve efficiency – A good onboarding process helps garner all the need-to-know information early on so that the development can happen without any roadblocks.
- Ensuring compliance – A detailed layout of the onboarding process ensures that compliance can be a part of every step instead of as a mere afterthought.
Client Onboarding at GeekyAnts
Every service company has its onboarding processes that depend on several factors like the type of service provided, internal capabilities, clients, etc. This is how we do it at GeekyAnts:
- Preliminary meeting with all stakeholders
A preliminary client onboarding meeting with a new client adds extra value to the project. We preferably try to do it physically as it can be a great opportunity to establish a trusting relationship. If meeting in person isn’t an option, we plan a virtual meeting well ahead of time.
During this meeting, we start by sharing our understanding of the project details and clarifying any lingering questions. We also try to make sure that our clients, along with any other project stakeholders, are familiar with our working hours, the established point of contact, and how to get in touch with us. We also note how our clients work to ensure that we are engaging with them in a manner that is consistent with their patterns.
- Discuss expertise and experience vis-à-vis the desired outcome
The preliminary meeting with the client can be a great way to learn what they expect from us and what the product's success means to them. We also try to explain in brief our past experiences with building similar products and the expertise that we can offer to set their expectations straight. This also helps to ensure that we build due credibility to curb bottlenecks that may arise or overcome any shortcomings.
- Discuss the reporting and communication plan
The next step is to establish a communication plan for the engagement and a framework/pattern for how often we report the progress to our client and the processes to be followed. This communication plan covers a checklist of all major and minor deliveries and their respective timelines. We also try to detail any requirements from the client, such as access to their internal systems or any information related to the company. These requirements are built into the project charter to ensure adherence and coverage.
- Meeting with all internal stakeholders
We also hold meetings with all members involved in the project to brief them on everything related to the project. This meeting serves the purpose of educating the team about the client and their needs and elucidating the scope of the project deliverables and individual roles and responsibilities. We make sure that the team has a thorough understanding of the client’s expectations, which helps clarify any queries regarding the tasks at hand while also assigning essential preparatory material and access to important documents and the necessary systems to kick-start the project. Deadlines must also be conveyed to the whole team at this stage to ensure clarification.
- Ensuring the client feels valued
We have worked hard to onboard the client and their project is extremely important to us. We also try to make them feel welcome right from the beginning by adding a personal touch. This is done by letting them know all the must-know details about our organization, a brief of relevant experience along with the expertise of the team members involved in the project and their areas of specialization. We also include reviews/featurettes from high-profile clients to help our partners understand the organization better.
It is no secret that first impressions create a lasting image. By developing an onboarding protocol, you will be one step closer to making a lasting impression on your clients. Repeated iterations and optimizations helped us hone our existing processes and develop profitable relationships with your clients. This has played a massive role in fostering loyalty and ensuring retention, which helped boost our reputation as a trustworthy service provider that has created great apps in a demanding industry.