If you run a client-facing or service-based business, how you welcome your clients is important. I know the prospect of a “client on-boarding process” can sound intimidating, so I’m going to walk you through the four crucial steps to create or improve a client on-boarding process for your business.

How can a strong, seamless client on-boarding process help you scale your business?

A strong, seamless client on-boarding process is especially important if you’re ready to scale your business. Cutting down on extra steps will save you time, and making your on-boarding process part of a great customer experience means you are more likely to build solid, trusting relationships with your clients, and get those sought-after referrals!

It will also make sure nothing slips through the cracks – if you’re getting “Did you get my email?” messages, then you need to improve your processes.

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Scale your business, get referrals, create an amazing customer experience.

– Learn what needs to go into the process for a great start
– Improving your relationship and building trust
– Making sure nothing slips through the cracks
– Cut down on email
– be seen as more professional,
– have better relationships with your clients,
save time.
– Keep things as easy as you can for the client (and yourself!)

And please, for the love of Dumbledore, no Word documents.

1. Map out your process.

What needs to happen before you can start work with a new client? This could be receiving a payment, sending a quote or a questionnaire, or having a meeting.

Do you first do free calls before booking a new client?

What kind of background information do you need to judge if a client is a good fit or not?

Action step – list out all the steps necessary between first contact and starting work.

2. Streamline

For the love of Dumbledore, don’t send word documents

You’ve already mapped out roughly what needs to happen. Now let’s make it better!

What steps can you automate, get rid of, or improve?

For example, use software for your invoicing so you can stop sending that manually. Make your email questionnaire a typeform. Set up a scheduling tool so it’s easier to book meetings with you.

Action step – look through your list of steps. Is there a software you can use instead? Check out Zapier and IFTTT

{Related: How I Automated My Client Onboarding System}

3. Focus on Clear communication

For a positive and strong client relationship, managing expectations and setting boundaries is crucial – not to mention how it will help your own sanity!

This is why I love client welcome packets. This can be a simple Google Document or a pretty PDF that you send your clients to prepare them to have the best experience working with you, containing all the necessary and important information they need to know to make this process smoother.

Most importantly, try to anticipate question from your clients. Be very clear with what’s happening next, what’s expected of them, and timelines. This is especially important if you’re relying on your client to deliver you content, for example if you’re a website designer.

Your job as the business owner is to make things as seamlessly, effortlessly easy for your clients, and getting off to a great start together helps.

4. Add sparkle

No, this doesn’t mean the One Ring (although it could).

A client on-boarding process is a great opportunity to surprise and delight your clients, and add your own personal spin. I love adding fun, inspirational things that make people smile in my process, if that’s with a card, a gift or just general communication.

Send a hand-written welcome card. A journal from Amazon. A gift box. A short video to say welcome. Your favourite business book. Print out your welcome packet and other collateral and post it to them.

A personal touch to go the extra mile and make your clients feel loved, which is one of the best parts of working in a service-based business.


Your Quest:

What’s one thing you add to your client on-boarding system for extra sparkle? Comment below and let me know! Make sure you also grab your free list of tools to use for improving a client on-boarding process.

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