5 Must Do’s when onboarding new clients  

We all know what it’s like when you start a relationship with a new client, it’s a bit like those heady days when you first start dating; the flutter of excitement, with everyone on their best behaviour, enthusiastically trying to work out where the boundaries lie.

It’s a thrilling time, full of energy, innovation, and creativity. But take a wrong turn and it can go downhill very quickly.

Why onboarding really works

In our experience, getting off on the right foot straight away is critical to the long-term success of our client relationships. Understanding one another’s drivers, motivations, goals and working practices help build client and agency collaborations that last.

Onboarding is a valuable part of our client orientation process at DigitalKOG.

Investing time in getting to know our client teams results in a measurably positive effect on the delivery of DigitalKOG’s LEADOLOGY™ principles, and ultimately, our clients’ performance.

How to onboard clients in 5 simple steps.

Defining the way we run DigitalKOG’s LEADOLOGY™ onboarding is an ongoing process of development. One size does not fit all, and as we grow as a business, we are continually refining the information we need to elicit and share to deliver our highly effective LEADOLOGY™ Programmes.

However, we have learnt some valuable tricks along the way that we want to share.

Below, are five of the top ones that work best to support a successful onboarding process:

1. Listening with intent

Invest all your listening skills to get to know your client, who their customers are, what products or services they offer and the main challenges they need to overcome. Take time to start at the beginning; understand their core business values, their vision and ambitions. This will help you get a clearer idea of the “why” of the business and its purpose.

Armed with this information, the strategy and client service you deliver for clients will be more powerful, more aligned and drive more success.

2. Sharing stories

Provide a clear insight into your business; what you value, what your purpose is and why you do the things you do. Being open and honest sets a good precedent for how the relationship will continue. Transparency builds trust, the foundation of all valued partnerships.

3. Clearly communicating your processes

You’ve spent the last number of years defining your internal process to ensure you deliver the highest quality service you can. So, the last thing you need are clients trying to enforce their methodology on you when you know your tried-and-tested method gets results. Yes, you can still be agile, flexible and improve, but having guiding principles that you know work is why clients come to you in the first place!

Taking the time to share how you work, why it works, what you do and how this will benefit their business is key to managing expectations.

At DigitalKOG, our LEADOLOGY™ process has been defined, refined and put to the test numerous times. Sharing our learnings with clients has proven to be one of the most valuable steps to maintain healthy, positive and successful partnerships.

4. Setting collective goals

You already know why they have come to you and what they want to achieve at a macro level. Now it’s time to break that into SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based) goals. Managing expectations starts here.

Clarity and consensus will save lots of time, tears, and miscommunication later in the relationship. But don’t think it stops there. Goals need to be consistently reviewed, reflected upon, re-established, and, of course, celebrated to ensure your valued partner status remains.

5. Have fun!

Remember, new working relationships are great opportunities to grow, learn new skills and make new friends. Embrace the challenge, put the effort in and what could start out as a one-off project might turn into a dream client.


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Author Charlotte Haslam

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