January 20, 2021 - Brittany Garlin

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Client Onboarding Tips for Marketing Agencies

For marketing agencies, receiving the right client onboarding tips can be a game-changer in acquiring new business. Generating qualified leads for an agency is difficult, especially when a company doesn’t understand digital marketing. If your agency only provides content marketing services and the business is looking for PPC campaign management — you can waste a lot of time and resources warming that lead up through on-boarding calls.

In fact, 82% of clients say they’ve left a business because of client service issues, and the average client-agency tenure is thought to be less than three years. Needless to say, to build a long-term business relationship with a new customer than to cultivate the loyalty of an existing customer.

On the flip side, new clients face their own concerns such as if they made the right choice of an agency and invested their marketing resources successfully. Agencies that are in a rush to launch their services can sometimes overlook the necessary information required to successfully provide the results the client is looking for.

Building this relationship starts from the second that leads hits your business The new client worries if he made the right choice of an agency and invested successfully. You are in a rush to make sure you collected all the necessary information to start working and get the result. 

Let’s see why marketing agencies need a client onboarding process and explore how to make it successful.

Why are Onboarding Processes Important for Marketing Agencies?

Your clients come to you to solve their problems. And the sooner that you figure out how to do it, the more likely they will be satisfied with the service and become your a returning client. Properly built onboarding will allow you to build a long-term business relationship with a new customer.

Why marketing agencies need a client onboarding process.

1. Collect all the necessary information to get started

If you’re beginning to build a new business relationship it’s key to start out on the right foot. If you begin your campaign or project and realize that you are missing key information – it’s doesn’t come off very professional.

Before generating new business, you will need to have a process in place to onboard client’s effectively. Collecting high-quality data about your their goals is the basis of a customer-oriented onboarding process. You need to understand what success means for your customers, how they plan to measure it, and what they ultimately expect from your cooperation.

The onboarding process is an excellent opportunity to make sure you have all the details and documentation to roll up the sleeves and start working on the project. The team that has studied all the information is better prepared for further work.

2. Automate the work processes

To start working on the campaign, the agency talks to the client, formulates the requirements, and delegates the responsibilities. When it’s time to launch, the marketing agency reports to the client and continues to check-in for the campaign’s duration. That is fine if this is the end of the work and the result is satisfactory. But the client may have some complaints, and the whole process will start again. Imagine how long it will take if all the participants will call each other, wait for personal meetings, agree on free time to discuss edits.

Workflow automation will help to solve many issues and save a lot of time. On the other hand, it is an effective process to avoid mistakes and unplanned delays in work.

Every job has a routine. Sometimes the smallest bump in the road can result in a full days work. A key client on boarding tip is to save time by automating at least some of the internal processes. And, the onboarding process is an excellent time to deliver a consistent experience for all your clients. 

3. Build a long-term relationship with your clients 

Today, it is more profitable for businesses to invest in developing relationships with existing consumers than to look for new ones. Superior service is a must here and with the influx of agencies — a bad client experience can easily result in driving them to a competitor agency. The onboarding process is a perfect chance to represent your attitude and client service. Make it successful in proving to your customers that they made the right choice. 

8 Client Onboarding Tips for Marketing Agencies 

As mentioned earlier, the onboarding process involves various interactions with the company, improving the relationship with the client, engagement, and customer retention for additional sales. Check out a few tips on how to make this experience positive for both sides.

Work out an informative questionnaire

Detailed marketing questionnaires will help you understand the clients’ needs and desires to achieve a better result in the future. Properly created surveys allow you to get essential data to research the target audience further, identify problems in customer interaction, and much more. And the correct conclusions drawn from all this allow you to achieve the goals and increase customer loyalty. 

Remember, illiterate, too intrusive, and meaningless questionnaires can harm your reputation. Make sure your onboarding questionnaire is informative enough to cover all the relevant questions.

Arrange an introductory meeting

Once you have a filled-in questionnaire with all the necessary information, it is time to arrange a kick-off meeting with your new customer. Some companies consider such meetings a waste of time while it is possible to negotiate with a potential buyer by phone or using messengers. However, experts say that personal meetings with clients bring the most significant benefit to the business.

A kick-off meeting is an excellent opportunity to clarify some issues that are not covered in the questionnaire and demonstrate that you are engaged and interested.

Get more clarity on the target audience, competitors, marketing goals, deadlines, and introduce the team who will participate in the project. Communication is essential during all stages of cooperation. Customers will be more open to new ideas if you can build a trusting relationship with them.

Templatize your work process as much as possible 

The word “automation” scares representatives of small and medium-sized businesses. It seems that only large companies can afford such solutions. This is not true. We all deal with time-intensive items, so why not automate some internal onboarding processes?

If you deal with the documents or emails that you send regularly, these processes can be templatized and automated for your convenience. Modern companies already note the urgent need to adapt their marketing activities to modern automation systems. They can cope with a considerable amount of data and provide useful tools for interacting with the client throughout its entire life cycle.

A few suggestions on how to automate your onboarding are listed below:

  • Use advanced timers (incredibly convenient for international clients).
  • Automate transactional emails that provide account information.
  • Use a pre-built campaign template.
  • Segment your clients using tags for content marketing.

All this will help reduce the number of snags while working on the project, significantly improve management, and increase customer loyalty.

Think over an onboarding checklist

If you are thinking about using checklists in your business, you are ready to reach a new level of productivity. When managing multiple clients, it’s easy to forget something simple mentioned briefly on a call or discussed in a team meeting. 

Make a list of those essential tasks that you handle when welcoming a new client. A checklist is also a detailed work plan. When you do not jump from the fifth to the tenth, there is no confusion, and the work goes faster.

Your checklist may include the following items:

  1. Send a questionnaire to a new client.
  2. Get the necessary information, budget, logins, etc.
  3. Schedule an introductory call/meeting.
  4. Assign team members for the project.

Checklists are also indispensable while scaling. Their potential is revealed when you expand the business: you provide more and more services, carrying out extensive, intricate work. In the checklists, you record the best (and already proven) practices.

Stick to a people-focused approach

Before working with clients, we study the organization’s work’s specifics and define tactical and strategic goals, tasks, and principles of work. We consider the means of work and methods to achieve goals, taking into account the brand’s weaknesses and strengths. This is all about a people-focused approach.

Your client may have different fears, concerns, wishes, financial capabilities, and other specifics in his particular case. Ensure he may always count on your understanding and willingness to cooperate in the most convenient way for him.

People do business with people. Your clients will appreciate such an approach and get back to you again and again.

Prove your value 

Clients trust the experts. Clients buy from experts. However, expressing your expertise in words will not always work. Therefore, it is necessary to confirm your expertise and accumulated practical experience. Also, company-generated communication proves to be less credible than factual data or customer reviews.

Make sure to have case studies on hand if a new client inquires about

your previous success on a similar campaign or project. You also can redirect them to your Agency Vista profile to show them your verified clients and social media performance! Having this information accessible will increase trust and show your expertise.

Represent the facts. Think about what works best: ‘I’m a great specialist’ or a review of a real client. Sharing your experience is a good idea. Tell your client what challenges you encountered on the way and how you could get around them.

Decide on the frequency and means of communication.

Communication is the most crucial element of building relationships with the client. When establishing a relationship with the client and during further cooperation, you should keep in touch. Decide on the most convenient means of communication and make a schedule of your calls/meetings.

If you agreed on a plan for further actions after the first meeting with the company, send a report indicating the terms, who, when, and what you promised to do. Fulfill your obligations. If the client expects you to make some proposals for a project or contract – do not delay.

Offer ideas, share information that might be interesting for the clients, and advise them if necessary. This significantly strengthens the relationship and brings both sides closer together.

Exchange feedback 

There is no need to read tea leaves if your clients are happy with your service or not. Ask your clients if they are satisfied with your work; a great way of doing this is through conducting surveys. Will this meeting schedule work for you? Don’t you feel that we are missing something in setting up the goals? Does the workflow meet your expectations?

Listen to your customers and respond to their needs and concerns. You will get information about why the client chose you among all the competitors and what he expects from your work. Ask your customers more often about their personal opinions, listen to criticism.

Final Thoughts 

Getting a new client is half the battle. It is much more difficult and more important to keep him after the first interactions. No doubt, the first impression matters. And onboarding new clients is an excellent opportunity to make this first impression right. Following these best tips and practices will help you build trust and ensure long-term relationships with the clients.  

High-quality onboarding will show the customers your concern for their success, help you turn casual users into regular customers, and regular customers into fans of your company.

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