Does your marketing agency suffer from a high new client churn rate? Adopting an effective client onboarding process may help you retain more clients.
Onboarding new clients provide a chance to address their concerns and outline the services that you provide, which increases client satisfaction.
Use this marketing agency client onboarding checklist template to welcome new customers and keep them happy.
What is a New Client Onboarding Process and Why Is It Important?
Client onboarding involves welcoming a new client. It includes multiple steps for ensuring that the client is satisfied with your service. You also have the chance to follow up with the client several times to ensure that the project continues to meet the client’s needs.
Reasons to Use a Structured Client Onboarding Process
The onboarding process provides the opportunity to help the client feel welcomed and that they made the right choice.
Onboarding is also essential for ensuring that your organization and the client are on the same page. It sets the stage for a successful partnership.
Without an onboarding process, your sales team and project team may overlook crucial details. You may fail to fully understand the needs of your client. Some of the benefits of an effective client onboarding process include:
Less Risk of Scope Creep
New client onboarding helps reduce scope creep by ensuring that you and the client understand the goals of the project.
You reduce the risk of the client adding objectives and gradually expanding the project’s scope. Keeping the project on track also helps keep costs within budget.
Greater Client Satisfaction
Onboarding can result in greater client satisfaction, as you are more likely to fulfill the needs of each new client. You learn more about what they want from your services.
You can also set realistic expectations. You avoid the risk of promising what you cannot deliver, which helps increase your chances of a successful project.
Lower Client Churn Rates
About 50% of new clients leave within a year. You will not keep every new client. However, you can minimize the client churn rate by building stronger relationships.
Your onboarding process provides a clear set of guidelines for welcoming new clients and addressing their concerns. Taking the time to better understand a client’s needs helps you retain more clients.
Understanding the Steps of the Onboarding Process
Every marketing agency needs an onboarding process for building successful relationships with clients. Use the following steps to develop your processes.
1. Client Preparation
Onboarding starts with client preparation. You need to better understand what the client hopes to achieve and explain how you can help. Preparing the client for onboarding involves several steps:
- Add the client to your CRM software
- Present the contract and additional documents
- Review the client onboarding questionnaire
Client preparation starts during lead generation. You continue to nurture your leads until a potential client expresses interest in your services. You then launch into the following steps to welcome them aboard.
Add the Client to Your CRM Software
Enter the client’s information into your agency’s customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRM solutions allow you to store client information and track every interaction.
Each of the steps included in the onboarding process should be documented in the CRM system. Start by entering the client’s basic information in the CRM software.
Include the client’s name, industry, and requested services. You should also link to any relevant documents and resources, including the client’s websites.
Present the Contract and Additional Documents
Finalize the contract and additional documents. You should not begin any work until the client signs a contract.
You may also need to provide the client with a “terms of service” document. The terms of service describe the details of the services that you provide.
Many organizations submit the contract and terms of service with the business proposal. If the client accepts the proposal, they simply need to sign and return the contract.
In some cases, you may need additional documents and information from the client, such as digital assets for marketing material. Create a list of any documents that your team needs before starting the project to ensure that you can start on time.
Review the Client Onboarding Questionnaire
You should also use a client onboarding questionnaire. An onboarding questionnaire explores the specific needs of the client.
The onboarding questionnaire can also work as an official welcome. It can create a good first impression, as it shows that you are willing to offer tailored services for each client.
The questionnaire should include questions that help you better understand what the client wants, such as growing their brand, attracting more organic web traffic, or achieving a specific sales goal for a new product.
2. Setting the Agenda
Schedule a kick-off meeting with your client before starting the project. The initial meeting is another chance to keep everyone on the same page and develop stronger connections.
The project manager and any other essential personnel should attend the meeting. Some of the details that you want to cover include:
- Project goals and milestones
- The timeline and budget for the project
- Potential challenges
- Expected outcomes
- Any relevant research needed for the project
The kick-off meeting is your last chance to verify the client’s requests before you start devoting time and resources to the project.
Prepare for the kick-off meeting by reviewing all previous communications with the client, including the onboarding questionnaire. You should also create a breakdown of the services that you plan to provide.
3. Project Start
Notify the client that the project has started. If you want to make a stronger impression, consider sending the client a welcome package announcing the start of the project.
The goal of the welcome package is to educate the client and prevent buyer’s remorse. Include any information that the client may find helpful or reassuring, such as:
- Contact information and business hours
- Average response times for client inquiries
- A list of frequently asked questions and answers
- Resources and research to educate the client
- Case studies to help reassure the client
You can send the welcome package digitally or physically. A physical welcome package delivered in the mail may present a more professional image.
4. One Week into the Project
Plan a follow-up call one week into the project to make sure that the client is satisfied with the initial work of the assigned team.
Create a list of the client’s concerns and requests. Make changes to the team’s procedures or direction based on the follow-up call. Dealing with the client’s concerns during the early stages of the project helps keep small issues from becoming major problems.
Submitting a follow-up call just one week after the start of the project also shows a stronger commitment to fulfilling the client’s needs.
You can also use the follow-up call to request any additional documents or information that the client has not yet provided. Ensuring that you have all the necessary information may help decrease the risk of project delays.
5. Four Weeks into the Project
Schedule a second follow-up call 4 weeks or 30 days after the start of the project. The second follow-up call helps ensure that everything is running smoothly. Make sure that the client is still entirely satisfied with the progress of your team.
The onboarding process is now complete, but your relationship with the client is not over. You need to continue to keep the client up-to-date and check in occasionally.
You should also send a post-onboarding survey. The survey allows you to assess the client’s satisfaction. You can use the client’s feedback to improve your processes and exceed their expectations.
Get Your Free Client Onboarding Checklist Template
Client onboarding helps welcome new clients and address any questions or concerns that they have.
Our new client onboarding checklist template allows you to skip the hassle of developing an onboarding process from scratch. Get the template now!
How to Use the Template to Create Your Own Onboarding Checklist
The template may not match your process perfectly. However, it should cover the core areas of your typical onboarding procedures.
Also, you can check out our growing collection of training videos to learn more about how you can effectively use Flowster!
Final Thoughts on Using the Marketing Agency Client Onboarding Checklist
A client onboarding checklist template helps marketing agencies save time and resources by automating tasks. Using clear, comprehensive checklists also boost client satisfaction. You can ensure that you meet the needs and concerns of new clients.
Making sure that your marketing agency and the client are the right matches also reduces turnover and leads to more successful outcomes. Whether you use a premade checklist as-is or customize it, you can position yourself for a glowing testimonial from each client.
If you have any questions about using the client onboarding checklist, leave us a comment below.
Want even more checklists? Check out the complete selection of templates in our marketplace.
You can use our templates and checklists out of the box or edit them to suit your needs. We also offer a Done for You service for hassle-free custom templates made from scratch.
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