Everything you need to know about bookkeeping onboarding and why it’s so important
At The Savvy Bookkeeper, we define client onboarding as the process of welcoming new clients to your bookkeeping business. But where does the process begin? Right from the beginning, you’ve worked on your bookkeeping digital presence, you’ve obtained interest from your marketing campaigns, your sales follow up process has been a success and now your proposal has been signed.
Well done – you have a new bookkeeping client and you’re ready to begin the client bookkeeping onboarding process! Today we’re excited to share all that is client onboarding, including the importance of getting the process right for long term business growth and successful client relationships.
Client bookkeeping onboarding and its importance
The process of client onboarding is often confused with what happens during the sales process. We have worked with many bookkeepers and small business owners over the years that merge client onboarding with lead generation in their processes but this couldn’t be further from correct. The definition of “client onboarding” is in the name: it is literally bringing a new client on board. It starts once they sign the proposal and agree to become a client. From this point on the sales process is over and the client retention process begins.
So many people ask “what is the purpose of a client onboarding workflow”? The purpose is threefold. First, this process is put in place to instill confidence in the client that they have made the right decision in signing on with you. Do you remember the last time that you signed up for a service? Were you 100% confident in your decision or were you a bit nervous and unsure what was next?
Additionally, implementing a successful client onboarding process assists you as a business owner in retaining your clients. According to the Harvard Business Review, if you can prevent 5% of your clients from leaving, you can increase your bottom line profit by 25–95%. As they say – a happy client and happy business owner work hand in hand!
Speaking of a happy business owner, the third purpose (and benefit!) of implementing a client onboarding workflow is that you can get your onboarding done quickly and efficiently, minimising the need for follow ups to chase missing information, and making it really easy to hand this task over to a new employee when the time comes.
The positive effects of an onboarding workflow
So first and foremost, when planned and implemented correctly, an onboarding workflow is proven to increase client confidence, satisfaction, productivity, and overall performance. The reason for that? Because everything is getting done efficiently and easily. It is also proven to reduce stress and confusion for both parties because by following the structured process of the workflow, everyone is always on the same page.
All business owners experience some level of stress at some point in time and for bookkeepers GST and BAS time in the financial year are common stressors. However, if you break down the stress and get on top of all the information you need during the onboarding process, you’ll reduce your workload during time.
Setting the tone from the beginning
Setting the tone at the beginning of the customer onboarding process is key for a long term business relationship. Put simply, if things aren’t being done smoothly, right from the very moment your client signed on with your services, then it’s going to create a negative feeling towards working with you.
In fact, if a client has a negative experience within the first 20 days, it is almost impossible to get the positive relationship back. So it’s really important to make sure that they feel good about investing in working with you right from the very beginning. When a successful onboarding platform is implemented, you can easily solidify confidence in your client – reaffirming their decision and eliminating any confusion over the scope of work terms, availability, and what happens next.
Successful onboarding workflows
We’ve said it time and time again, however we cannot express how important it is to set the tone right from the very beginning of the client relationship. When you get it right from the start and things go smoothly, overcoming uneasy or negative feelings is easy.
In Summary, a successful onboarding workflow:
- Hooks clients in for the long term with how easy it is.
- Builds trust which creates a strong foundation for a future relationship. Without that strong foundation, the relationship will crumble because the client will feel as though they have made the wrong decision for their business and ultimately cause them to leave.
- Makes your life as a bookkeeping business owner easier and your team more efficient, especially during busy periods.
Does your business have an onboarding workflow process? Is it as successful as it could be?
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