Getting your process in place to onboard new clients can feel really overwhelming. But it is so important!
Having a set process helps you look organized and professional to your new client, as well as really helps set you and your new client up for success.
I’m going to walk through the onboarding process that we use inside of our program, Empowered CEO. This will help you set up your own onboarding process, or even improve upon a process that you already have!
I’m Paris Hanvey, Operations Assistant for Megan Minns and accountability advisor inside of our group coaching program, Empowered CEO.
I am so excited to have the opportunity to walk you through creating a supportive onboarding process in place for your new clients.
Have you ever been really excited to sign up for a program, you go in, you pay for it, and then there is radio silence… You are waiting for hours, sometimes days to even receive a confirmation that your payment went through. And you’re left wondering…
“Did I make a mistake?”
“Have I invested in the wrong program and the wrong coach?”
“Is this how the communication is going to be throughout the program?”
You want to make sure our clients feel really supported from the minute they enroll so that they can hit the ground running and they’re not left wondering, did I make a mistake there are three steps when building out your onboarding process.
A Quick Overview
The first step is determining what steps need to be included in your onboarding process.
Step two is what tech or tools you’re going to use in order to execute that process.
Step three is determining what your follow-up process is going to be to ensure that your clients take those necessary steps.
I’m going to be talking through our onboarding process for our program, Empowered CEO but whether you are a course creator, a coach, or service provider, you may need to tweak this a little bit to fit your process.
When someone enrolls an Empowered CEO, they receive two emails from us. The first email is their welcome email and the second email is their onboarding email. In the welcome email, it is really simple, we are just doing two things.
We are providing the login details for our membership site so that our clients can jump in and access the curriculum right away and the second thing that we are doing is we are planting the seed for them to expect a second email from us. So in our welcome email, we have a sentence right here that says please keep an eye out for your onboarding email that you should receive in the next few minutes. That email will include all of the information you need to get started, and your next steps to take.
The reason that that is so important is because we want them to know that they’re getting another email from us, that requires them to take action. So now they’re more likely to keep an eye on their email, to check their email and to see when that email comes through, and less likely to miss it.
Next, what’s included in the onboarding email in our onboarding email, we have the five steps that we need every new client to take once they enrolled.
Step one is to make sure that they signed the agreement.
Step number two is all of our clients need to complete their new client questionnaire.
Step number three is we want our clients to join our Facebook group.
Step four is we want all of our clients to subscribe to our shared calendar.
Step five is to schedule your orientation call.
So that’s everything that’s included in our welcome email and our onboarding email!
Tools and Tech
Now that we’ve determined what steps we have in our onboarding process, we need to decide what tools or tech we’re going to use. For Empowered CEO, we use an all-in-one platform called Kartra. It hosts the curriculum for our membership site, which is where people purchase the program. That is where we send our emails, everything is on that one platform.
I am going to go over some individual tools that you can use as well. If we’re talking about contracts, then there are several options. You can see from our example that we use HelloSign. There’s also DocuSign, or Adobe sign really any tool out there that collects or captures a digital signature is going to work perfectly for this for invoicing. You can use something like Wave Invoicing, Stripe invoicing, or PayPal invoicing. If you wanted an all-in-one, you could use something like Kartra, Dubsado, or honey book. Any of those will work for you!
When it comes to how you’re sending out emails, so we have two, the welcome email and the onboarding email, again, we use Kartra. There is also ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, any email management system that you want to use, you can do that.
Another thing that I want to talk about is when you are starting out, you may want to do these things manually, you may want to use the free versions of some of these tools. And that’s totally fine. But something that I want to keep in mind in the back of our mind is eventually we’re going to want to get to the point where our onboarding happens 100% independent of you, how can we send those emails automatically send those contracts automatically.
As you grow, and as you get more and more clients into your programs, more and more clients into your offers or your services, then you’re going to want to automate this because you’re going to want to spend less time doing the admin. So we’re gonna think about how can this run independently of you.
When you’re thinking about how to automate contracts, for example, we have a template in HelloSign. It’s the same link every time, that’s the link that we include in our, in our onboarding email, so that they can just click it and sign the email versus sending out individual contracts for each person, something else that you could do is you can automate the email part of it. So once someone purchases or enrolls in your program, they get a specific tag, which starts the automation that sends those emails, and that way, once they’ve purchased it, it’s hands-off for you. Then there’s nothing that you have to do other than the follow-up and maybe the orientation call, or maybe you have someone else on your team, like your program coordinator doing that for you.
Follow Up Process
Now, we need to make sure that we have a really solid follow-up process for this. I’ve already given a sneak peek (in this video) into what our follow-up process looks like. The very first step in that follow-up process is actually our orientation call with our client. On our orientation call, we reiterate all of the first steps, our program coordinator prepares before that orientation call to go through and see has the contract been signed, has the questionnaire been completed.
If not, you’re able to bring that up on the call and reiterate the importance of it. It just gives us an additional opportunity to talk about it outside of our orientation calls, in our welcome emails, you can see that our accountability advisors aren’t going to be assigned to our clients until some of those things are completed.
It’s our team of Empowered CEO accountability coaches that work with our clients one on one. So that is something that does not get assigned until after the new client questionnaire is completed and the contract is signed. That’s another way we hold ourselves accountable, and our clients accountable.
The third thing is we have a dashboard in Notion where we have all of our new clients and where they are in their onboarding process, what steps they’ve completed and what steps still need to be completed. That is something that we look at every day and we are following up on every day.
As business owners, it is our job to make sure that our clients are completing the onboarding process. We don’t want to leave it to the clients because that is how things fall through the cracks. What we don’t want to happen is we don’t want to have to revisit our contract, maybe three months into our relationship together, go back, try to find that contract, and realize that it was never signed. Then there’s, that’s like a whole nother realm of like frustration, and what do we do now.
In order to not have that happen on the back end, we are going to be the drivers of this process. And we are going to make sure that we are following up and making sure that all of the steps have been completed by our clients.
I’d love to hear from you. Do you currently have an onboarding process in place that sets your clients up for success? Did you learn anything or take anything away from this video that you are going to go and apply to your onboarding process right now? Leave it in the comments below!