You’ve put in the hours, done the work, and answered every question. You’ve taken late night phone calls, answered 3 AM emails, and done everything you can to reassure. And all that work paid off when your prospective client said “yes!” and your business relationship officially started.
Now the hard work is over. Except…well, it really isn’t. In fact, in a lot of ways your work is just beginning. Now you’re wading into the onboarding process, and it’s up to you to make sure your new client has the best possible experience. If you do your job well, you’ll establish a long-term business relationship and end up garnering excited new clients thanks to word-of-mouth referrals. If it goes badly, your client loses faith in your expertise and your job gets a lot harder.
1. Leave No Room for Doubt
Your first responsibility is to make sure your client knows what to expect. Without clear communication, they start doubting you pretty quickly. Make it clear that you’ve got their business best interests at heart, and sit down with them to lay out your plan of attack. Review your timeline, talk out any concerns, and provide documentation to help answer questions when you can’t be immediately reached.
In this case, there’s no such thing as too much information. The more your client knows, the better they’ll feel about their decision to hand over IT control to you.
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2. Establish the Right Dynamic
Onboarding can be a hectic time, and you want to be able to work with your clients to make sure it all goes smoothly. But that shouldn’t mean that you’re turning things upside down to relieve pressure on your team, or completely undoing the schedule just to appease your clients. Set the timeline early, and stick to it with determination. In the end, a hard timeline will help make sure you and your clients see positive results faster.
Don’t forget to document everything as you go through the onboarding process. The better your records, the easier each new onboarding process will be.
3. Finish Strong
Once the onboarding process is finished, you can breathe a sigh of relief. If you’ve done things well, you have a happy client who is receiving top-notch service and you can both concentrate on doing your best business. But don’t forget that you’ve still got a job to do when it comes to supporting your clients. They may still be transitioning, and you need to stay close in order to answer their questions and resolve their issues quickly or that initial happiness will fade fast.
Don’t overlook the importance of staying in regular contact with your clients beyond onboarding. Help them stay in line with the procedures you’ve established, and you’ll both benefit.
When your onboarding process takes these three steps into account, you’ll be setting the stage for confident clients who are proud to call you their IT support expert. When it comes to decisions about the health and well-being of their systems—everything from equipment upgrades to bundling services—you’ll be the one they turn to.