10 Best Practices for Onboarding New Clients

Crack the client onboarding code. Discover 10 best practices and how Fullview's cobrowsing supercharges the process.
Published on: May 10, 2024
Last updated: May 14, 2024

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Landing a new client is exciting! But the work doesn't stop there. A smooth onboarding process is crucial for setting the stage for a successful, long-term relationship so that you can maximize their lifetime value.

Today we’ll explore the 10 best customer onboarding practices to ensure your new clients feel welcome and informed and know how to get the maximum from your services.

By following these steps, you'll not only make a great first impression but also lay the foundation for a thriving client partnership.

What is client onboarding?

Client onboarding is the process of integrating new clients into your business and showing them how to get the most out of your services.

It doesn't happen in a vacuum; it often starts during or right after the sales process, keeping the momentum going. It usually starts with a welcome mail or a check-in.

Why is onboarding new clients important?

While onboarding new users, the focus should be on the user’s experience. You must address their concerns, clarify any questions, and make sure they are equipped to do what they paid for – lest you risk losing them.

Ultimately, onboarding empowers your clients by helping them understand the full value you offer.

The benefits include:

Understanding client needs

Onboarding new users isn’t just about making your users feel welcome; it’s about making them feel that you’re the one that perfectly meets their needs.

You’re a detective on a mission to uncover what brought them to you and what they hope to achieve. By asking key questions about their expectations, goals, and pain points, you gain valuable insights that allow you to satisfy them.

Reducing churn

Sometimes, clients leave (churn). While we can't prevent it entirely, we can take steps to minimize it.

First impressions are powerful. Research by Harvard Business School shows that just a 5% improvement in client retention can boost your profits by a whopping 25-95%.

Similarly, according to HuffPost companies that prioritize solving customer problems from the start see a 67% reduction in churn. An effective onboarding program helps you minimize churn and increase your customer retention rates, which means bigger profits.

Maximizing lifetime value

Effective onboarding goes beyond simply getting clients started. It's about helping them discover the full potential of your offerings. By investing time in teaching them how to use your product or service effectively, you empower them to become active users.

This increased client engagement is a key driver of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). The more clients understand and utilize your offerings, the more value they get, ultimately leading to a longer and more profitable client relationship.

Identifying upselling opportunities

The knowledge you gain during the onboarding process can help you identify potential upselling opportunities for complementary services that can further address their challenges.

When clients understand the full range of what you offer and how it aligns with their goals, they're more likely to consider additional purchases or improvements that can help them meet their needs.

However, present these options strategically, ensuring they align with the client's current needs and avoid coming across as pushy.

10 Best practices for onboarding new users

Clear communication channels

Right from the start, you must choose which communication channels work best for your clients (email, phone calls, project management tools). But for most SaaS companies, cobrowsing tools like Fullview are breaking boundaries.

Cobrowsing allows you to virtually see your client's screen during a session. Imagine this scenario: A new client is struggling to get things running on the first day. With the cobrowsing feature of Fullview, rather than sending a link to a help article or typing a long message, your onboarding specialist can initiate a zero-download screen control session with a user and demo the product in a hands-on and personalized way.

This goes beyond simply screen sharing, where you only see the client's screen. Cobrowsing lets you highlight elements, scroll through pages, and provide live, personalized guidance in real-time.

This collaborative approach streamlines the learning curve and ensures a smoother onboarding experience.

Personalized welcome messages

A warm welcome sets the tone for a positive and productive relationship.

Here's how to get started on the right foot:

  • Prompt communication: Swiftness demonstrates your enthusiasm and shows the client they've made a smart choice.
  • Warm welcome email: Craft a personalized email that shows your team's excitement about working with the client. Include essential information like contact details, copies of contracts, policy overviews, FAQs, and a clear roadmap outlining what to expect next.
  • Meet the team: Introduce any key team members the client will interact with. Let them know they'll be hearing from you soon with further details.
  • Transparency is key: Every client communication should emphasize the next steps. Clients appreciate knowing the process is steadily moving forward, and you want to avoid leaving them feeling lost or uninformed.

Streamlined documentation processes

  • Only the essentials: Don't bury your clients in an avalanche of paperwork. Organize your onboarding materials logically and offer digital versions for easy access and reference.
  • Knowledge base: You should create a well-designed knowledge base or resource library as a central hub for all onboarding materials. This ensures everyone on your team has access to the latest information.
  • Template: You should also develop a template that focuses on providing the essential information first. This ensures consistency throughout the onboarding process.

Comprehensive training and support

You should provide various training materials (written guides, video tutorials, webinars) to cater to different learning styles. Offer ongoing support through readily available resources (FAQs, knowledge base) and dedicated support channels for personalized assistance.

Proactive engagement strategies

Don't wait for clients to come to you with questions. Predict their needs and proactively reach out with helpful information, resources, or personalized guidance throughout the onboarding journey.

Continuous feedback and improvement

Gathering feedback directly from your consumers is the best way to determine how effectively your onboarding process is working.

Collect feedback from clients regularly through surveys, interviews, or quick polls. To get contextual feedback, you can also use in-app surveys at specific points in the customer journey.

Their insights are invaluable for identifying areas for improvement and ensuring your onboarding process remains effective and relevant. With this feedback, you can figure out what’s working and what’s not.

Onboarding checklist creation

Develop a comprehensive onboarding checklist that outlines all the key steps involved in the process. This will ensure that you don't miss any crucial steps and that the client and your team are onboarded successfully.

Dedicated onboarding team

Consider forming a dedicated onboarding team instead of assigning a single point of contact.

This team should include salespeople, product delivery specialists, and support representatives, each bringing their expertise to the table. You can hire a customer onboarding specialist to lead the team and streamline the process.

By fostering open communication and sharing knowledge of client needs, wants, and pain points, this collaborative team can consistently create an optimized and successful onboarding experience.

Onboarding automation tools

Several automation tools can streamline repetitive tasks during onboarding. Consider tools for scheduling appointments, sending automated emails, or managing document workflows.

You could automatically send instructional materials or schedule a follow-up call once a client completes a particular task.

This frees up your team's time to focus on personalized client interactions.

Post-onboarding evaluation and follow-up

Once the onboarding process ends, evaluate its effectiveness using pre-defined success metrics (client satisfaction, feature adoption rates). Follow up with clients after the initial onboarding period to address new questions or gather further feedback for ongoing improvement.

How to onboard a new client with Fullview

With cobrowsing, you can start a zero-download screen control session with a user to onboard them in a personalized, hands-on way.

Forget clunky screen sharing, Fullview's cobrowsing lets onboarding specialists instantly connect with clients within your platform.

Guide them through features directly on their screen (with permission, of course) using zero-download screen control and sharing. This real-time collaboration accelerates understanding, boosts adoption, and builds trust. Clients can see features in action, ask questions, and get immediate guidance – all within your app.

Fullview streamlines onboarding, reduces churn, and fosters long-term success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the stages in client onboarding?

Onboarding new users typically involves:

  • Welcome and set up: Setting the stage with a warm welcome, introductions, and outlining the process.
  • Needs assessment: Understanding your client's goals and challenges through open communication.
  • Training: Equipping them with the knowledge to use your product or service effectively.
  • Support and feedback: Providing ongoing support and gathering feedback to ensure a smooth experience and continuous improvement.

What is an example of client onboarding?

Client onboarding isn’t one singular event but a process. It includes the welcome emails you send, the cobrowsing sessions you hold, the surveys you take, the follow-ups you take, etc.

What is the final stage in gaining a new client?

The goal is to create a smooth, successful onboarding experience that teaches your client how to use your product or service effectively. You know your client onboarding is over when your client knows how to use your app. This fosters long-term client satisfaction and builds a foundation for a lasting partnership.

Conclusion

Client onboarding isn’t just a courtesy – it's a strategic advantage. Thanks to happy, well-informed clients, a strong client onboarding strategy can lead to higher satisfaction and lower churn rates. Investing in a smooth onboarding experience lays the foundation for long-lasting and successful client relationships.

Sources:

Last checked: 13-Apr-2024

Author

Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager

Contributor

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