Has the excitement of welcoming a new client ever faded to pure panic? Suddenly you realize there’s just SO MUCH to set up! From communication to collecting assets, how are you meant to do it all?! Well, client onboarding is about to get a whole lot easier!
It all comes down to having the right tools and systems in place. Onboarding a new client should be a chaos-free zone (we swear by it)! So, while there are many tools out there to help you with your client onboarding, there are 3 clear winners that you’re going to want to have in your tool belt. Based on our experience (helping the bad-a** businesses we support every day), Dubsado, ClickUp, and Slack are exactly what you need in order to set a great impression with a new client.
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What Even is Client Onboarding?
First, why is client onboarding so important? Well, as a superstar in your industry, your clients are coming to YOU for your unique expertise and professionalism. A stellar client onboarding process is all a part of showcasing this! As a service-based business, it’s likely that working on a new project requires a lot of moving pieces. So, to cut out the overwhelm that comes from this, we recommend creating a step-by-step custom process that welcomes your new clients and answers any questions they may have.
Your client onboarding process will play a crucial role in setting the tone for your relationship. Think of this stage as a promise to your clients. (You’ll be showing them all the awesome things you have in store for them!) It all starts with having the best systems and tools in place. So, ask yourself, what does your new client need to know to go from Point A (first point of contact) to Point B (finishing up your project)?
Once you know this, you can create a client onboarding plan. This plan should accomplish two things: First, it will allow you to collect relevant information for completing your project (this process will be made easier with the help of the three tools we’re about to share). Second, once you have your onboarding process solidified, you’ll be able to comfortably grow your business and delegate as needed to your team. This is the key to not only growing a successful business, but also a more enjoyable one.
Tool 1: Streamlining Your Client Onboarding with Dubsado
So, you’re ready to start streamlining your client onboarding process. What now? Well, let’s start with your Customer Relationship Management tool, aka your CRM. Dubsado is definitely the perfect client onboarding tool to start your client experience off on the right foot.
Setting up a new project has never been easier with an entire suite of business tools in one place. Dubsado cuts down on the mess by allowing you to send proposals, contracts, and invoices all in one place (with custom templates to guide you along the way!). You’ll no longer have to worry about overdue invoices or missed payments; Dubsado keeps track of it all! So, for a flawless client onboarding process, Dubsado is always a tool we recommend.
Along with ensuring you receive payment, Dubsado is also beneficial to your client! To get your project started ASAP, you can send schedulers in Dubsado’s easy-to-navigate portal. This is perfect to get the ball rolling with a Kick-Off call or a Strategy call. Plus, if you offer VIP days, your clients can book their time slot through Dubsado. These schedulers are customizable and ensure your boundaries are maintained while providing your client with flexible options. Even better, this tool cuts down on your need to use outside platforms such as Calendly or Acuity!
After the scheduler, Dubsado forms are a lifeline when it comes to collecting important information for kickstarting a project. The ability to create and send questionnaires will help your clients quickly provide all relevant project information. Then, Dubsado will trigger other actions based on them completing (or not completing) the form.
For more tips on creating an amazing client workflow, head over to our post on how to create a client workflow in just 5 easy steps.
Tool 2: Using ClickUp for Client Onboarding
Once your new clients are set up in Dubsado, head over to ClickUp to welcome them to their new home away from home. ClickUp is a project management system that cuts down on miscommunications and endless email updates. Moving forward, everything relating to the project at hand should stem from here.
The beauty of ClickUp is that it makes it easy to stay on top of projects. Within ClickUp, a client dashboard is where your new client can access everything related to your time together. Their dashboard holds current tasks, project updates, and links to other relevant information (we also like to link your welcome guide here!). You can even assign tasks to yourself, your team, or your clients.
When creating the perfect client onboarding process, it’s important to set onboarding tasks for your client as well as for your own team. Tasks for your client could include reading their welcome guide or setting up their Slack account. If you work with a team, they can also be assigned relevant tasks such as setting up new ClickUp folders or any other administrative tasks.
Then, once you’ve onboarded one client (and have the process down pat!), you’ll want to create a ClickUp template for all new clients down the road. Having a standard template saved will streamline the client onboarding process and make each step of your business building progress smoothly.
Tool 3: Client Onboarding with Slack
Slack is our final favourite client onboarding tool we recommend (to anyone and everyone who will listen!). Slack is an app designed to help businesses streamline their communication. Not only does it keep all information contained in one place, but it also cuts down on the need for back-and-forth emails (no one likes a clogged-up inbox, right?).
Slack allows you to stay connected to your team and clients without sharing anyone’s personal information. The beauty of Slack is that each client gets a channel and is invited to that channel only. Once you get the hang of using Slack, you even have the option to set client channels to private, so everything is even more secure and private from other clients of yours (though only on the paid plan)! From there, you can reference your current project and answer any client questions. You can even add your team members to their appropriate channels, whether they’re helping out on a client project or working on the backend of your own business (be sure to check out our Slack Tips blog to get the most out of Slack!)
While ClickUp does have a chat feature, Slack is far more dependable for client needs. Slack has less of a learning curve and feels more like a form of texting. This is a bonus for all those busy clients constantly on the go, as they can download the mobile app, sign in, and get their messages wherever they’re working from. To top it all off, once you have ClickUp and Slack set up, integrate the two for even more ease of communication.
2 Tools that Deserve an Honourable Mention
While we absolutely adore the above-mentioned tools, we’d be remiss to leave out these other favourites. First, a digital file storage tool is essential to improving your overall client experience. We recommend using Google Drive or Dropbox. Both work well to store your client files and assets in an easy-to-share manner. Depending on your industry, these files could include design files or photos from a photoshoot. Plus, you can always link your Google Drive folder to your client dashboard in ClickUp for easy access.
Another honourable mention is an automation tool, such as Zapier. Zapier should be your go-to for streamlining tasks and cutting down on tedious repetitive processes. This will help you save major time in the long run. Zapier works in all sorts of ways across your business but, when working with clients, Zapier can especially improve the client onboarding experience. You can Zap important client information that you collect from your CRM (Dubsado) to your project management tool (ClickUp). So, for example, once a contract is signed, Zapier can set up a unique ClickUp client space for you!
Bonus Onboarding Tool that Ties It All Together
Your client onboarding process wouldn’t be complete without a client welcome guide! Your welcome guide will summarize all the above information – highlighting exactly what it is your client needs to know before moving forward. With the help of your welcome guide, you’ll be able to convey your working hours, the best way to communicate with one another, and even how to submit feedback throughout the project.
Check out our blog post all about creating a welcome guide, where we’ll take you through what your guide should absolutely include and any mistakes to avoid.
There you have it! Your client onboarding process is about to change forever. By implementing the above tips and tools, you’ll cut down on miscommunications and lost time. Even better, you’ll be able to provide a top-notch experience that your client will absolutely love you for!