The process of signing a new client, onboarding and welcoming them to your business has been a big topic of conversation in some Facebook groups that I belong to lately, and this is something that I have been working on myself over the past few weeks in terms of our own process here at MJS so I thought it quite timely to whip up a quick post about it!
For the purposes of this post, I’m really focusing on service-based businesses who are signing ongoing clients. For other businesses – those selling products, or providing one-off services – there may still be some take aways however, so stay with me!
So, when you sign a new client, what happens? Maybe you’ve had a quick chat or an email exchange and they’ve agreed to use your services, or perhaps you have even sent them an actual proposal that they have accepted. What do you do next? What is the next step?
The logical first step would be to send them a contract or service agreement to sign. This would be something that gives a good overview of exactly what you will be doing for them, what they are expected to pay, how and when they are expected to pay it and perhaps some statements around confidentiality and intellectual property rights. So you send that off, they sign and return it to you and they’re so excited to be working with you. Now what?
This is where our process had started to break down a little bit, so I have recently rewritten our entire onboarding procedure and I would suggest that you get really, really clear on your process too so that your clients know exactly what is happening, what to expect from you and nobody falls through the cracks.
The next step for us here at MJS is to send our clients a fab little welcome pack. That includes:
- A personal letter from us letting them know how excited we are to be working with them
- A copy of their signed service agreement.
- An information sheet which sets out our opening hours, what public holidays we observe, our full contact details and preferred method of contact, expected turnaround times, how our time is recorded and invoiced, and a referral offer (basically, every time they refer us and we sign a new client from it they get 10% off their invoice for that month!)
- A client questionnaire that they are asked to complete and return to us (which asks for their full contact details, birthdate and all system login details that we will need to carry out their services)
- A few flyers and business cards (we send more than one of each in the hope they may love us enough to pass some on to colleagues or friends!)
- A copy of our 120 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Support Your Business brochure. A lot of our clients, at least when they initially sign up, really don’t understand exactly how many areas we can be of assistance in their business. By sending them this document they can get some really great ideas of other parts of their business that they can outsource to us.
- A personal gift. This is tailored to each specific client but usually includes a set of gorgeous stationery or gift vouchers for business-related services that we think that they will love. We try and get a good feel for our client, what they like and how they like to work in our initial phone consultation which makes choosing this welcome gift a little easier.
All of these goodies are then wrapped in beautiful tissue paper, presented in a lovely box and couriered (not posted) to our new client.
And let me say, our clients are always delighted! It’s the personal touches, right from the very beginning of a new working relationship, that give a fantastic first impression and pave the way for an amazing partnership.
So tell me, what is your client onboarding process? Do you send a welcome pack? I would LOVE to see what is in it!!