5 bad onboarding habits that destroy new client relationships

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I remember my very first date. I spent two weeks planning every detail to make sure it was perfect. I knew that a great strategy could turn one date into a long-lasting relationship. I also knew that the wrong moves could wind up in a pretty ugly ending.

Onboarding a new client is no different. Without the proper planning and preparation, things can go south quickly. Ultimately, you want new clients to have a clear understanding of what they can expect from you, and what is and isn’t covered by their managed services agreement.

Because it caters to each company, the onboarding process can vary dramatically from one client to another. That makes it tough to cover everything you might need to do for a successful onboarding, so we’ll focus on what NOT to do:

Don’t overpromise 

If you are not living up to your service level agreements (SLAs), word spreads like a forest fire on a windy day. You won’t be operating at a high level and you’ll be putting out that fire for longer than your business can afford. While clients don’t expect perfection, make sure you are always delivering on what you say.

Don’t lag in following up

New clients are going to have a lot of questions. If you want to earn their trust, you need to be prepared with quick responses. Minimal response time should be something you strive to deliver, and it’s even more important when your clients are still getting to know you.

Don’t forget to measure progress

Without specific goals and clear milestones for gauging progress, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Measurable objectives mean you’ll be able to quantify successes to both your clients and leadership team. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) like customer satisfaction per service or number of customer complaints will keep your onboarding process on track for success.

Don’t be absent

New clients need a huge chunk of your time and attention. Don’t get too caught up in the technical aspect of your offerings; take time to check up with your clients to see how they are feeling. Regular conversations guarantee you understand client needs and current issues so that you can make their priorities yours.

Don’t diminish your value

Particularly when the relationship is new, your clients want to see the value of the services they’re paying for. If your pricing is unclear or overly complicated, you’ll lose new clients before they settle in. Lay out everything the client will receive for their money, and do it in a way that makes your value clear so that your clients are ready to continue the relationship once the first contract term is up.

A smooth onboarding process leads to happy clients, and happy clients are a great selling tool for attracting new business. Word-of-mouth is a powerful form of advertising, so make sure you steer clear of these 5 mistakes so you can provide the kind of service that promotes long-term loyalty.