Most companies have established processes for onboarding new employees into their workflow and culture. A poorly planned onboarding might look like, “Here’s your desk, here’s your work, here’s the bathroom, get to it.” A more thoroughly planned ramping-up may take place via internal or outsourced human resources. Regardless of the company’s size or resources, it’s generally accepted that new employee onboarding (or organizational socialization) is crucial to the success of the candidate and the organization.
But does your company put the same time and effort into onboarding new clients? If not, either your workflow is antiquated and requires no new knowledge on the client’s part, or you’re missing an opportunity to have more productive client relationships.
From a human resources standpoint, new employee onboarding seeks to make new hires feel welcome and comfortable in their new work environment, and to minimize the learning curve–the time it takes them to be productive members of the group. A new client benefits in similar ways.
The transition to your company as a new service vendor is a period of both vulnerability and opportunity. The course of your entire engagement with them–positive or negative–can be determined by the working relationship established at the onset. By taking the time to properly onboard your clients, you can avoid misunderstandings and ensure an efficient workflow. It shows the client that you value their business, and demonstrates the value of your services.
Client onboarding is more than just a kick-off meeting where timelines and deliverables are laid out. At Radious we actually hold training sessions in our project management tool, Basecamp, either in person or via live collaboration and webinar tool Fuze Meeting. We outline completely our processes and terminology, and help clients understand how we work and how to work best with us.
More than just the reasons outlined above, we conduct these sessions because Raidious is a unique entity–not exactly an agency, not really consultants–and because it helps both sides understand each other. We go through an extensive process we call Groundwork to understand our client’s goals, priorities and needs inside and out; it only makes sense that we in turn give them the tools and knowledge to work most effectively with us, to get the most out of the money they dedicate to our services.
You wouldn’t hire a new employee, sit them down on their first day and leave them to their own devices. New employees must acclimate to your company’s unique philosophy, priorities, processes and tools. A new client deserves–rather, requires the same head start.