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Oct. 25, 2021

The Process Of Onboarding New Clients

The Process Of Onboarding New Clients

In this episode Kristina is talking onboarding! What is onboarding you may ask? It's the steps you take or tasks you perform with each new client you take on and it is the first interaction new clients will have with you and your company. Tune in to hear all about streamlining that process.

Much like onboarding new employees, creating a process or steps that are taken each time you take on a new customer will not only set expectations and boundaries but will also help build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. Catch this episode to hear how creating an onboarding process will save you valuable time.

The onboarding process with new clients will be a defining moment for you and your company. Do you have a series of steps you take each time you book a new wedding? Are those steps and your timeline of events being communicated? Listen to this episode to hear how to streamline that process.

Don’t make it difficult for your new clients to do business with you! Organizing a series of steps that are taken and establishing clear roles and responsibilities for onboarding of a new customer will be that customer’s guide book to working with you. Tune in to hear Kristina talk about how this will not only help make you accountable but will save you valuable time.

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL UNDERSTAND that creating an onboarding process or a series of steps that are taken for new clients will be a sound investment for yourself and your business.

Do you utilize an onboarding possess with new clients? Tell us about it and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @theringtheblingandallthethings

Connect with the host:

Kristina Stubblefield - www.kristinastubblefield.com social media @kristinastubblefield  

Transcript

Kristina Stubblefield  0:00  
This week's episode is all about onboarding. What is onboarding you may ask? It's the steps you take or tasks you perform with each new client you take on. And it is the first interaction new clients will have with you and your company. Tune in to hear all about streamlining that process. 

Welcome to Marketing Monday, on The Ring The Bling And All The Things podcast. My name is Kristina Stubblefield. And for over 15 years, I've served as a marketing strategist, and business coach. Also, I was once a wedding vendor. In these podcast episodes, I'm providing bite sized, digestible marketing solutions, and information that can be immediately implemented, and make an impact on your business. Now, let's dive in to this episode. 

Today's topic is one that I talk to mostly all of our clients about, especially wedding professionals. Because the onboarding process for a new client, especially as a wedding professional, is the beginning of their experience with you and your company. Now, of course, the journey started with maybe an initial email or phone call inquiring about your services. But when they make the decision that they are going to go with your business, they're going to use your products, they're going to use your services, then that really starts the overall experience of doing business with you. So if you're wondering what I'm talking about with onboarding, it's really a list of items that you must do when a new client decides to do business with you. And I'm going to walk through the some ideas that I suggest be on an onboarding list. But before we go there, each business's onboarding list is probably going to be different. And that's 100% fine, because the way each person does business is probably a little different. Some people may decide to send out a handwritten welcome note, some people may send out a welcome packet. So when I give these suggestions, that's exactly what they are is suggestions, you should tweak it to where it fits your business best. If you do not have an onboarding process list, here's the first thing I suggest you do. The next couple clients that you bring in, make a list of every step that you do every single thing, phone call Email Setup in software, add something to your calendar, anything you do for that new client, write down on a sheet of paper, or put it in Word on your computer or Notepad. Then you can evaluate your own list and make an outline, basically a one through 10, one through 15, one through 20. However many steps it is that gives you basically a checklist to have for each new client that you bring on board to your company. With that being said, once you have your list, you may decide to come back and listen to this episode. And maybe there's things I'm going to mention that you haven't even thought about. There's things that go I'm going to mission mentioned that you definitely should be doing, including a contract. But you may want to come back and listen to it and plug in to your list. Some of the suggestions that I give. All in all, an onboarding checklist is to help you stay consistent with each one of your clients. repetition. It also holds you accountable. If you have 10 items that need to be done to make sure you do them for each of your clients.

When you start to put together processes like this onboarding, is a process, you will find that it will save you time now in the beginning, you're kind of going to be like, well, you want me to make a list and you'll need to keep track of that. You have to invest in yourself and your business. And sometimes what that means is not necessarily money. It means time. So until you write down a list, are there things that maybe need to be refined? Are there steps that you're taking that are redundant, are there things that you should be doing that you aren't until you have that list, you really can't evaluate it. So onboarding to me is a very important process. And it can get hectic, sometimes I don't need to tell you, it seems like every wedding professional that I talked about is, you know, kind of scrambling, because not only are they doing events on Friday and Saturday, they're doing a Sunday they're doing Thursday, Wednesday, you know, and we can all attest that, that goes back to unprecedented times that we are going through and have been through. So having systems and processes in place, although can take some time, the end result will be saving you much more time with each client than you're investing in the beginning. So let's start with some of the ideas. Some of the suggestions that I have for an onboarding list or an onboarding process. Again, it can be different for each listener. So first and foremost, this starts from a time that a person says, I'm ready to use your services, I'm ready to become a client. The first thing probably at the top of your list is going to be that you need to send a contract. Now, it depends on what systems what software you use, you may have to create that content contract, meaning you may have to go in and tweak some of the parts of the contract, it just depends if your same contract can be used across all different clients. So you have your contract, then you're obviously going to require some kind of deposit. So then you need to create and send an invoice. Now this next step, I believe that a lot of us are sometimes guilty of not making sure we do this before we hop over to the next item. And that's make sure you get your deposit payment paid. Make sure you get that, then they've signed the contract. they've paid their deposit. Now it's time to welcome them as a new client to your business. And how does that take place? Well, it's up to you. This episode is really about the onboarding process, not necessarily diving too deep in each one of these. But some people still send out a welcome packet, by mail or by email. Some people will send a handwritten note welcoming them, or thanking them for trusting in their services. It is completely up to you. But what I will give you pointers on is what should be or what should happen about the same time as a welcome email, packet, whatever you use, first of all, I encourage you be excited. They've chosen you. They've chosen to do business with you be excited. Maybe that's your first sentence. If you're sending an email, you know, maybe it's a video message that's personalized, and put inside that email. Now let's get down to the nuts and bolts. This is an important time for you as the business owner. It is your business you have control without going too far, because that's a whole nother episode. But in this welcome, packet, email, whatever you're calling it. You need to set your expectations. And I've done a previous episode on this, but I'm going to briefly touch on it.

roles and responsibilities. Who's doing what? Who's responsible for what? How is that happening? What is your preferred method of communication? What did I just say? Yes, it's your business. You get to decide how are you telling this client, they should communicate with you by email, by phone call by text message. Let them know your preferred method of communication. I just did a topic on this recently and you should go back and listen to that. If that what I just said kind of stuck out to you. Because expectations are so important. Your hours when when are you in the office? What is your response time, like if they email you or you 24 to 48 hours, you're telling them up front Hey, I'm Thank you for coming becoming a client, I'm really excited to work with you and your fiance. here's just some information that you will find helpful when we do business together. Okay, so we've got roles and responsibility, your hours your response time, prefer preferred method of communication. You know, some people probably list. If it's an emergency or you need something urgent, you can reach out this way. I do know that some people offer a different form of communication the week of the wedding. So this is your time to decide what your expectations are for someone doing business with you. Because this is going to be their guide to working with you. You know, a lot of wedding professionals in their marketing, say things about how hectic wedding complete wedding planning can be, how stressful it can be, how time consuming it can be. Well, in your welcome packet or your welcome email. This is a perfect opportunity to say I have a streamlined process to save you time and energy. By following these items below, it helps me do a better job for you and your fiance. Whatever your wording is. But if you've used or you think about the important reason, besides the obvious of hiring a wedding professional is more than just what happens the day of the event. They're hiring a professional. So they lean on you for keeping them organized in regards to the service or products they're using with you. One of the easiest ways is to be clear and precise with your expectations. And that includes responsibilities and all of the other items I just mentioned. So use this opportunity to make it a streamline process for your client. Don't make it difficult for them to do business with you, because that's part of their whole experience. Okay, let's keep going with this welcome packet or welcome email. One of the other things that you may want to share with them is the timeline of events, not the day of the event. But leading up to it. Sometimes wedding professionals are booked 1218 months or more out. When should they expect things to happen? When do you have your meetings with them, if if you need to meet with them in person or by zoom, or however you handle that over the phone, let them know. Maybe you don't do anything with them before 90 days before their event. Just set that expectation. Let them know what that timetable looks like. Again, a lot of times, people haven't been married multiple times, it's not like they're doing weddings every month. This is brand new to them. Although you've maybe been doing this many, many, many years. It's like when I say to someone, be careful with your marketing messages. Be careful how fast you speak on video. Because your audience is hearing this for the very first time or reading it for the very first time. Even though you've set it for 10 years. It's the first time they're absorbing it. So I would say it here by giving a person of your client a timeline

for doing business with you or when things happen. That just lets them know, okay, I don't need to worry about this. We don't have a meeting until 90 days before my event. What have you done, you've just lessened stress, you've freed up some time off their plate, the list can go on and on. So the next item for an onboarding process, make sure you add the wedding to your calendar. Most people use a digital calendar or a planner that they carry around with them. Make sure that you add the event to your calendar. Now if you use online booking software, or any other software that has to do with booking, you probably want to make sure that that date is now not available since you have a client. The next one is don't forget about collecting additional information. Instead of sending 1012 emails or text messages or phone calls, make a list of the additional items that you're going to need from your client. That way, if they need to compile the information, you're not going back and forth, back and forth. Again, it's the whole experience. If you have resources that you share with all of your clients, or you hadn't thought about that before, but it always comes up that I share these five things with my clients make a list, that way you can email it to them, or give it to him in person at one of your meetings. The next item would be, what about sharing any upcoming wedding shows that you're taking part in, maybe there's other vendors they need to book. Or maybe there's upcoming tastings, or other type of wedding related events that you can share with your clients that you find would be beneficial, you can have a list of them again, that you can email or give to them in person. The next step, I don't feel like people always keep records on this, but I think it's really important is adding a client to your active clients list. And that list could be an Excel, if you use a CRM system, it could be tagged in that system. You could keep it on a piece of paper, even though I don't necessarily recommend it that way. But one of the things that everyone should know, or ask of your client, how did they hear about you, you want to track that, not only for marketing, but so you know where these clients are coming from. Again, you know, I'm a numbers person and a data person. If you don't know that information, you don't, you have less power in your business to make other marketing decisions. So having a list of active clients, then that client can be moved to previous client, etc. The other thing is, if you use any additional software, it kind of goes along with this active client, if you use any kind of software, you may need to add this client to that. The other thing is don't forget about adding them to your email database for any communication. I think a lot of people get so busy, that they're only communicating with potential clients, not necessarily their current clients, or their past clients. Now, if all you do is market possibly wedding shows to your potential clients, is that something that you want to constantly be sending to your current clients? Well, that's up to you to decide in your business. But if you send out a monthly newsletter, you know, it could be an email newsletter, you send out a quarterly communication from your business, I always recommend to have your current customers be part of that database. If you use a CRM system or an email marketing system, one of the best parts about that is either tagging or using different categories for your contacts. That way, you can know exactly what list you're sending that information to. But I just think it's very beneficial to keep the lines of communication open. Even with existing clients. They may know somebody else that's looking for someone in your same industry, you just never know.

There are many other things that you can have as part of your onboarding process. But I just wanted to share with you some ideas, so you could start thinking about what is the best fit for you in your business. an onboarding process really sets the stage for you and your client to have the smoothest experience. And also, it really helps you establish boundaries, which a lot of people struggle with when they're put on the spot. When you're setting your expectations up front. It really sets the stage for boundaries. So an onboarding process is so much more to me than just the list or a checklist. It really is helping you and your client with the entire experience. So I hope that you found this helpful. I would love to hear from you on items that may be as part of your onboarding process or if you're going to create one. I would love to hear feedback from you on how it has helped due by having an actual onboarding process if you didn't before, so you can always connect with me on social media. Or just go to our website, the ring, the bling and all the things calm and send us a message. So thank you so much for tuning in. And until next time, everyone keep working on those businesses.

Thank you for tuning in to this Marketing Monday episode of The Ring The Bling And All The Things. If you would like to get notified of upcoming episodes, make sure to click the subscribe, or the Follow button on your favorite podcast platform. We welcome any feedback from topic ideas to questions you may have. You can visit our website for previous episodes, or to send us a message just visit theringtheblingandallthethings.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai