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How to create a client onboarding template for your new business

Charles BrecqueCharles Brecque
Last updated on:
March 13, 2022
Published on:
March 13, 2022

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Client onboarding processes for startups have two goals: to educate new clients about your product and services and empower them to create value. Customer onboarding templates are an easy way to lay the foundations for strong customer relationships, improve customer satisfaction, and increase the lifetime value of your customers. This article explains what a client onboarding process is and how to create one for your startup so that you can offer a great first impression and customer experience to your new clients.


What is a client onboarding process?

You will need to give your new customers access to your SaaS product or services after they have made the purchase. Depending on the nature of your product or services, you may need to give them some form of training before they can use your product or alternatively they may be able to onboard themselves and get started straight away. In both cases, you will need a client onboarding process which explains the steps your client and customer success team will need to go through to ensure the client makes the most of the solution they signed up for. This process might involve providing a point of contact, setting up check ins and sharing case studies to help the new client unlock more value from your services. A successful client onboarding process sets clients up for success and minimises the likelihood of churn.


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How to create a customer onboarding template?

A customer onboarding template must be tailored to your clients and industry. The onboarding process must be aligned with the lifecycle of your services and clients. For example, businesses in wealth management or financial services may need to ask new clients to complete a know your customer (KYC) questionnaire before onboarding a new client. A self-serve product must minimise the friction during the initial account creation phase but must provide a welcome email with all the essential information should a new client wish to get in touch. A successful onboarding process for self-serve products will include check ins around key milestones of the customer lifecycle to increase client retention. Regardless of the onboarding template, it is important to streamline the onboarding process with automation so that clients don’t feel like they are wasting their time or going through a forced process. Once you have formalised the client onboarding process, it is useful to set it out in an internal document or client onboarding checklist so that every team member understands the onboarding experience and new clients know what to expect over the next couple of days, weeks or months.


How to optimise the customer onboarding process?

One of the key benefits of establishing a customer onboarding template and standardising the onboarding workflow is to be able to objectively measure the performance of your customer onboarding process. Client onboarding software can help provide additional metrics to measure client satisfaction and engagement. It is also important to optimise the timeframe it takes to create value for new clients to start the client relationship on a strong footing. To optimise the customer onboarding process for the specific requirements of your clients, you can use the kickoff call or introductory meeting to understand your client needs so that you can develop a plan to address them and set expectations as to when they will be addressed. Following and delivering a plan with your new client will build trust and improve the client experience. Applying project management principles will ensure that timelines are met and client expectations are properly managed. Another key aspect in the client onboarding process is to ensure there is a smooth communication between the sales team and the customer success team so that they have a complete understanding of the client’s interactions. Using a CRM can help bridge the communication gap and will allow the customer success team to onboard new clients without needing to ask questions which have previously been answered.


Once you have established your customer onboarding template, you can set your new clients up for success. The onboarding template might not work the first time which is why it’s important to objectively measure its performance and make optimisations where necessary to improve the user experience and success of the onboarding process. One key aspect of customer success is to ensure that the contract terms, deliverables and pricing are clearly defined in the initial contract. This will help set expectations and ensure that the rights and obligations of each side are clearly defined. To create lawyer-approved contracts which are easy-to-understand and tailored to your specific requirements, sign up to Legislate today.


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