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Welcome Aboard - why client onboarding is so important

Client Onboarding is the process of taking someone (often a stranger) from suggesting they may need a VA to a fully active client in your portfolio. Most VAs have strong foundations in place for applying for a lead, having a discovery call, submitting a proposal and then a contract... but the best VAs (or any service provider for that matter) do more than that in their Client Onboarding journey.

We've all been there... perhaps you are just starting out or you may have been a VA for a while with a strong client base - you've applied for a job lead or met someone at a networking event... you discuss the potential client's needs and how you could assist them... then they say those magic words, "That sounds great, I'd love to work with you!" Woohoo, they sign the contract and you're jumping for joy! Then it hits you - 'what now?!'

Client Onboarding is more than sending through a contract to sign! In fact, some of the more crucial steps happen after you have that precious signature. Now you need to set the tone for your business relationship and build the client's confidence in you. Think about any time you go to a hotel or step on an aeroplane - you don't just buy your ticket, enter and hope for the best. No, there is information to absorb (not only for safety reasons!) so that you can get the best possible experience. Client Onboarding for a VA is no different - it is an important step to set clear expectations and is your first chance to really wow your new client.

You may decide to send your new client a Welcome Pack, which outlines some of the key points from your contract, as well as when and how you work. It could also cover some of the questions or concerns that may pop up - especially if your client has never used a VA before. Think of some of the questions that came up in your Discovery Call - what were their concerns, what hours did you agree, what are THEIR preferred communication avenues?

Next, what can you do (before you have even started working with them) to add value? Get creative - you could hand-deliver their contract, send a simple gift or you may do some research on their business and find a quick win. What can you do to make that client think, "Yes, I've definitely got the RIGHT person. This is going to be GREAT!"?

The key to Client Onboarding is there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Do what feels right for you and your business, and your new client. Be authentic. You can chose to automate the Client Onboarding process or you may have a simple checklist - again, do what works for you.

What are some of the best onboarding processes your have experienced? What do you do to wow your new clients from the start?

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