You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and when it comes to client onboarding – everything you do in the first stages can influence turning a prospect into a client or losing them for good.
Creating a flawless, step by step customer onboarding experience will help any organisation to retain new business, reduce customers churn rate, boost client satisfaction, and cut down on unnecessary admin tasks - hitting all your pain points at once with ideal solutions.
Onboarding is a term used across a range of sectors, but essentially it amounts to converting leads into clients. To do this, the process needs to be as simple as possible, swiftly providing you and your prospective client with all the information, they need to fulfill their side of a new firm/client relationship.
Why a Successful Client Onboarding Process is More Important Than Ever
In recent years, product or service client/ customer onboarding has, thankfully, undergone a technological revolution. Gone are the days of endless Post-it tabs, and a mail room piled with documents, some to be lost and all chased up with more than a few rounds of ‘phone tennis’.
Thanks to effective digital client onboarding tools, prospective customers can effectively open their own files with a few clicks of a mouse, from digital identity verification and e-signatures to verification of funds. To make any digital onboarding process successful, care must be taken to ensure that the touchpoints are swift, and streamlined, providing all parties with the information they need to get the case progressing right from the very start.
“Technology has enabled firms to streamline their onboarding process. Prospective clients increasingly expect a modern, digital-first experience in all areas of life, from grocery shopping to managing their legal affairs. The right onboarding technology should enable firms to better connect prospective clients to their services with speed and transparency and deliver more effective workflows for their employees to focus on delivering an exceptional client service rather than fulfilling admin tasks.” said Georgina Elders, from LawTech company Perfect Portal.
Why is Client Onboarding so Important?
It converts browsers into customers: In the digital world, choice is everywhere. A survey by Legal Futures found the proportion of consumers shopping around for legal services had risen from 30% to 43%, while 75% said they found it easier to compare prices, up from 59%. Good onboarding is often the main deciding factor for customers when they’re choosing whom to give their business to. Another survey found that 63% of customers consider the onboarding process when they’re deciding about signing up for a service.
It helps with customer retention: Once they become a loyal customer, customer onboarding is so important for keeping them too and maintaining a long-term customer retention rate. A successful onboarding process is about highlighting what your service is and what your client can expect, from the very outset. Done well, you can turn a one-off customer into someone who remains your client for a lifetime.
It aids compliance: The legal sector has other challenges to contend with when it comes to dealing with new clients, most notably transparency around pricing. Effective onboarding enables firms to be SRA compliant.
You can gather vital customer information: A successful onboarding process gives you all the information you need from your new client and enables you to get started on casework. If you take payments at this stage, making it straightforward will help you get paid promptly. A successful onboarding process will also open the door to upselling other services. Onboarding with integrated tech means all the documents and information you need to progress casework are securely stored in one place, right where you need it. You can implement a standardised checklist at this point to ensure key milestones are met early on.
What Does a Successful Onboarding Process Look Like?
Focus on your prospective clients: Tailor your approach to onboarding your target prospective clients. Are they time-poor? Do they need more information or documentation to decide? Are they likely to have complex or non-standard queries or would they prefer to instruct quickly to start making progress? The kind of legal services you offer and who your ideal client is will inform what your ideal onboarding process should look like.
Make swift progress: Once your new client is comfortably onboard they must be informed about and updated on future steps, so tasks run smoothly on both sides of the matter. Clients should also be informed about what you need from them to progress their case. Automated reminders are essential - whether by email, SMS, or push notifications - so progress doesn’t stall.
Establish expectations early: A successful customer onboarding process will also set out what your new client can expect from you and when. At this point, you can also ask for communication preferences. Do they prefer to be contacted via email, or phone? Text alerts? Are they open to marketing communications? Give them a choice and keep happy customers.
Choose the right software: This is where firms can gain an edge over their competition. The right tech means you can automate much of your onboarding processes and utilise it to provide you with customer insights and analytics.
Georgina Elders added: “Our clients tell us that delivering a great client experience is imperative, it sets the tone for and forms the foundation of any successful long-term client/firm relationship, which is ultimately what any firm is trying to achieve.”
“Customers have more choice now than ever, multiple quotes and endless information is just a web search away - if an onboarding or client quote process is too complex, potential clients could feel alienated before you even know they exist.
“Also, the legal industry is different from many other customer-facing sectors in that for a law firm to do its job, the customer has to play their part - whether it’s supplying information or simply signing documents in a timely fashion. “A successful onboarding process will establish early on what everyone’s responsibilities are.” To book a demo visit our link here!