— Find a Rockstar Virtual Assistant to Successfully Onboard a Client!
Find a Rockstar Virtual AssistantMany business owners pay little attention to the onboarding process, whether onboarding a new team member or a new client. But for business operations to run smoothly, one of the most critical tasks is to ensure smooth onboarding for a client or a new team member.
In this article, you’ll learn the steps and best practices to onboard new clients as a VA or an online business manager (OBM.)
Why Seamless Client Onboarding is Essential for Business Success?
Entrepreneurs and business owners understand that client onboarding is a critical step towards building a long-term and strong relationship with their clients, but they are not able to translate that into a process for their business managers.
As a VA, onboarding a new client can be a challenge if the process is not clearly laid out. Find a Rockstar Virtual Assistant who knows how to execute a successful client onboarding, keeping in mind the business needs. Effectively onboarding a new client sets the tone for establishing clear expectations and builds a strong foundation for mutual understanding. Therefore, it is essential to lay out a clear execution plan for successful client onboarding.
Steps to Successfully Onboard a Client
Let’s look at some of the standard processes you can implement regardless of which industry you are in:
Step 1: Pre-onboarding Preparation
Before onboarding a new client, it’s important to put some effort and time into pre-onboarding activities to ensure a smooth transition. It equips an OBM or a VA to provide top-notch service to your clients. So what do you need to do in the pre-onboarding steps?
1 – Define Your Services
Articulate a list of services a business offers and put together a document that also includes your portfolio of experience, skills, and expertise. It will give your prospect a clear picture of what they are signing up for.
2 – Develop Onboarding Material
Put together a comprehensive onboarding package that should include a welcome letter, client brief questionnaire, agreement, and any additional client forms and/or agreements. These documents should be easy to understand and designed professionally.
3 – Set Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations for prospects and yourself is very critical to the success of your business. Therefore, share your preferred communication channels, define your availability, and communicate any limitations associated with the services you offer.
Step 2: Initial Consultation Call
The next step is to schedule a consultation call with your prospective client to understand their expectations and needs. This helps both you and your prospects to figure out if you are a good fit for each other. Therefore, ask your VA or OBM to help execute the following steps:
1 – Schedule a Meeting
Schedule a call with the prospects via any preferred method, i.e., Zoom or phone call. Business managers or virtual assistants should ensure that the meeting has a dedicated time slot to address any questions prospective clients may have to achieve client satisfaction.
2 – Listen Carefully
Active listening is the most important trait a business owner or client success manager should possess. It allows you to capture client requirements and goals while identifying the challenges and pain points. Ask the right questions, use note-taking tools, such as Otter.ai or Fathom, and integrate them with your online meeting tools to take detailed notes. This helps build a detailed understanding of your client’s expectations and needs. Find a Rockstar Virtual Assistant who can help you implement these tools.
3 – Share Your Business Expertise
When talking to your prospects, make sure you position yourself as an expert, providing suggestions and insights based on your experience. Offer proposed solutions or alternative methods that align with client goals and also demonstrate the value-added skills you bring to the table.
4 – Determine the Scope
Being a VA or OBM, you can help businesses define the scope of work. Laying it out clearly, helps your prospects to know exactly what they are signing up for. This helps your clients stay focused on the end goal without any distractions. If, however, your client wants to increase the scope, it’s best to have them sign a statement of work, a change order, or a requirement specification document as an extension to the existing agreement.
5 – Clarify Deliverables
In addition to the scope, list down the deliverables broken down into phases (if applicable.) This clarity ensures that both you and your client are on the same page and avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
Step 3: Welcome Package & Onboarding Documentation
If your prospective client decides to sign up for your services, send them a welcome package along with the onboarding documentation. This package serves as a comprehensive guide to sharing crucial information and establishing realistic expectations.
Here’s what should be included in a standard package:
Welcome Email or Letter
You can either send a welcome email and share important information or documentation while introducing the team dedicated to the client’s work or send a welcome letter with the same details. It should also include the next steps in the onboarding process to ensure transparency and accountability.
Client Brief Questionnaire
Create a client brief with a set of questions to gather information from clients before the kick-off call. It should include questions about the client’s business goals, website, point of contact, and contact details, including the email and phone number, information about their target audience and ideal audience avatar, unique selling proposition, and other details that would help you deliver high-quality work.
OBM or a virtual assistant should update and send a contractual agreement drafted by the legal team to include the terms of services, pricing, deliverables, payment terms, etc., to outline the agreed-upon working relationship.
In addition to the above, share a comprehensive onboarding checklist that outlines the milestones and associated tasks that need to be completed during the onboarding phase. It serves as a roadmap to make sure nothing slips through the crack.
Step 4: Communication and Collaboration Tools
Communication lies at the core of operational strategy for any business. Effective communication is of paramount importance to successfully onboard a client. To ensure efficient collaboration and streamline interaction with clients, introduce your preferred communication and project management tools.
Choose a reliable platform that aligns with your client’s preference. In a virtual environment, online business managers or VAs can set up tools, such as Slack or Skype, video conferencing, or email tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, Gmail, Outlook, etc. Find a Rockstar Virtual Assistant who can help you implement these tools to enable seamless and effective communication.
Task Management or Project Management Tools
To track milestones and associated tasks, virtual assistants or OBMs can help set up various task management or project management tools, such as Asana, Click Up, Trello, Jira, Monday.com, Wrike, Basecamp, and more. Make sure you select a user-friendly tool that enables smooth collaboration with your clients.
Step 5: Establishing a Strong Working Relationship
This is an ongoing activity a business owner, client success manager, or entrepreneur should take responsibility for along with their entire team. Here are some best practices virtual teams can adopt to foster a collaborative and positive partnership with clients:
Ensure transparent communication with your client and be proactive when it comes to sharing updates while seeking any clarification or tackling challenges that may arise along the way. In addition to that, maintain professionalism in your interactions with clients and respond to their inquiries on time.
It’s a good practice to schedule regular check-ins to discuss ongoing projects, address issues, and make sure you are meeting client expectations. These meetings are great for gathering client feedback and refining your processes accordingly.
Always strive for excellence by consistently delivering high-quality work. Make sure your team, including the online business managers or virtual assistants meet the deadlines, pay attention to detail, and go the extra mile where needed. Ensuring client satisfaction helps build a long-lasting relationship and also builds credibility that leads to positive referrals.
All in all, the client onboarding phase is a critical step in establishing a successful professional relationship with your clients. To set the foundation of a mutually beneficial partnership, make sure you assemble an effective client onboarding process that sets the stage for successful collaboration.
Contact Whira Consulting at email@example.com and find a Rockstar Virtual Assistant who can manage your business, no matter where you are in the world!