The key to providing an outstanding client experience from the start is consistency and efficiency. And the easiest way to ensure that is via a helpful new client onboarding checklist.
Need help figuring out where to start?
We can help!
In this article, we’ll show you everything you need to consider to craft the perfect onboarding checklist template to suit your business needs. We’ll also explain what onboarding is and why it’s so important.
Finally, we’ll show you a unique customer onboarding tool to help you orchestrate it all flawlessly.
Let’s dive in.
Client onboarding is the process of providing each new client with the guidance and resources they need to start using your product or service. The goal of onboarding is to provide a positive customer experience from the start and quickly demonstrate the value of your offering. This is crucial for ensuring client retention.
We should note that onboarding won’t look the same for every business. For example, a contractor’s onboarding checklist will differ from a checklist for a marketing agency. Similarly, your company’s client onboarding template may look different from that of another; it could also differ based on the kind of client.
Still, you should know these three essential types of onboarding models:
Typically, medium- and high-touch onboarding require the most planning and collaboration for smooth operation and customer satisfaction.
That’s where this checklist comes into play.
The first 90 days after a prospect converts into a client are crucial. In the single-minded focus on nailing your client onboarding, it’s easy to slip up on the little but important things. This is especially true if you have multiple team members working on customer onboarding.
Having an airtight client onboarding process in place can help you:
So, how do you ensure everything is in order and every client onboarding plays out as desired?
You document your client onboarding process. And a significant portion of this documentation is an exhaustive client onboarding checklist template.
A customer onboarding checklist is an excellent tool if you want to bring consistency into your onboarding process and want to get your new projects up and running sooner.
We’ve put together one you can use as-is or as a base to build your customer onboarding template.
We’ve organized this 10-step checklist under two broad categories based on the nature of the activities involved: administration and project execution activities.
Every onboarding starts with administration. Below are the three most crucial administrative tasks to consider when onboarding:
The first step towards making a seamless transition from sales to service is to make the client feel welcome. With a good onboarding process, the client won’t feel like there has been an internal handover at your end at all.
For the best client experience, we recommend adding the following action items to your checklist:
You should take a few necessary actions to protect yourself from any legal or compliance issues in the future, such as:
Add the following items to your checklist to ensure that all your financial administration is in order and you’re set up to receive payments:
Note: It can be easy for important documents and messages to get lost in a sea of email threads and decentralized communication. That’s why it’s so helpful to have a dedicated app that keeps everything together during onboarding — like Rocketlane!
Once you’ve concluded the admin stage, it’s time to start the project. Below are seven vital aspects of project execution to consider for your onboarding checklist:
The secret to setting yourself up for success when onboarding your clients is getting everyone on the same page. Here is a list of items you need to check off to that end:
Project management helps you stay on top of all your onboarding tasks, keep everything organized, and assure your client that you’re making progress.
Consider adding the following action items to your checklist:
A crucial aspect of any project is solid and clear communication. Client onboarding projects are no different. Ensuring you and the client have agreed on cadences and communication channels will make the entire process friction-free.
The best way to keep clients hooked and reassure them that you can deliver what you promised in the sales process is to demonstrate value or ROI (Return on Investment) during the onboarding phase.
Here are three items you should add to your checklist that can serve as guardrails in your onboarding project:
Consistency is vital to client onboarding. So, you must get your team up to speed to ace it every time. Outline your methodology to your team and equip them with items in the checklist to help them adhere to the process.
Here are some items to consider for this section:
Documentation is your best friend when it comes to project tracking and staying on top of things.
1. Ensure you have all your essential documents, such as the ones listed here, saved and centrally available:
2. Ensure these documents are all the latest versions and are visible and accessible to all stakeholders.
3. Finalize how you will provide visibility into task progress, risks, lags, deviations, and blockers.
Once you’ve put together a powerful onboarding checklist, keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement. Each client onboarding process is an opportunity to evolve your onboarding template and better prepare for the next client.
Consider adding these steps to your client onboarding template:
With these ten steps, you should have a client onboarding checklist template you can use and adapt to create a fantastic onboarding experience for every new client.
Next, let’s look at some common queries about the onboarding experience.
We’ve got the answers to all your burning questions about client onboarding:
Your onboarding team should consider updating your onboarding checklist template after onboarding every new customer, but only if you spot an opportunity for improvement. In other words: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
You should also update it whenever your company’s procedures, products, services, or client base change.
Here are three common onboarding mistakes and how to avoid them to improve client satisfaction:
Consider using dedicated onboarding software if you want to nail communication, collaboration, and project management during the client onboarding process.
The right onboarding tool can help you communicate more effectively, organize information, share updates, gain project visibility, and more.
Wondering where you’ll find such a tool?
We’ve got the perfect solution for you!
Rocketlane is the leading client onboarding software, allowing you to carry out all your onboarding tasks in one convenient space.
The tool helps you build a workflow with all your onboarding documents and project plans for a collaborative onboarding experience.
Here are some things you can do with Rocketlane to make life better for your clients and your team:
Sounds great, but does it really make a difference?
It sure does! And we can prove it.
Let’s take a look at what Rocketlane was able to do for two of our amazing clients:
Trovata, a US-based cash management platform, wanted to create an efficient, consistent onboarding process that would allow them to better plan their resources and scale.
They had the following pain points:
With Rocketlane, Trovata’s onboarding team can see the health of their projects and keep an eye out for bottlenecks. In addition, they use Rocketlane’s automation features to save time on project setup.
Ultimately, Rocketlane helps Trovata save 50+ hours a month on their new client onboarding!
Trovata’s VP of Customer Success, Tracy Knight, said, “With Rocketlane, we’re more organized and have a better sense of how to approach onboarding projects.”
Infinx is an AI-driven tool that helps healthcare providers manage their payment lifecycles.
They wanted to solve the following problems in the onboarding stage:
Thanks to Rocketlane’s innovative dashboards, project templates, and collaborative workflow, Infinx saw:
Numbers don’t lie!
A frictionless onboarding experience is necessary to establish a longstanding working relationship with every new client.
But it shouldn’t be overwhelming for you or your customers — in fact, cognitive overload is a significant factor that negatively impacts client retention during onboarding.
Nailing the onboarding stage can be as easy as following the best practices in this 10-step customer onboarding checklist and implementing one tool to keep the whole process tight.
Give Rocketlane a try if you want to approach onboarding with consistency, efficiency, and professionalism every time.
Sign up for a free trial of Rocketlane today and transform your customer onboarding process — your clients and onboarding team will thank you!