Tuesday 19 April 2011

The on-boarding process sets the tone and expectations new clients have with your team. Not only should it be systematic so that nothing is missed, it is also an opportunity to begin their journey to delightful advocacy for you.

To on-board effectively and in an elevated way keep these tips in mind:

  1. You clearly need to have a checklist of what has to be covered and completed – both for the client and for the firm. This must be in writing and adhered to efficiently and consistently for every new client coming in. The manner and style with which you on-board demonstrates how you operate, your priorities, how you will be treating the client in the future and perhaps, most importantly, gives them a sense of your team and firm culture.
  2. Assuming they come to your office (and we strongly recommend this when possible), the space and set-up is very important – meet with them in a comfortable setting where they can relax, have space to review and sign documents, see photos of your associates’ families on walls and shelves, awards the firm has won, etc.. Make sure you find out what beverage they prefer and serve this to them in china or quality glassware (no paper cups!). When on-boarding is completed by phone, be very clear, calm, and thorough in going through the entire process so as to, again, communicate the style you use in your firm with clients – this is critical.
  3. Begin the actual on-boarding process by asking them “What questions or concerns do you have before we get into the details?” End the process by repeating this – “What else can we do for you – have we answered all of your questions?” The purpose here is to establish a comfortable and safe setting for them to openly ask questions and raise concerns. Get the message across that this is not a token or perfunctory meeting in your eyes, but a very important information-sharing opportunity to strengthen your mutual relationship long-term.

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