Building Happy Relationships: Onboarding New Clients

Building Happy Relationships: Onboarding New Clients
Megan Richards

Client onboarding is crucial to your success. Let’s get your new clients off on the right foot!

Developing positive relationships with new clients is an important part of onboarding and establishing a successful working relationship. It's essential for businesses to effectively welcome and integrate new clients to foster long-term loyalty and trust.  

Our marketing team explores how businesses can use onboarding to build great relationships (and a squad of brand ambassadors) with new clients. Let’s grow!

businessmen shaking hands after making a deal and starting the client onboarding process

First, What is Client Onboarding?

At its heart, client onboarding is the process of welcoming new clients to your business.  

It is your opportunity to:

  • Begin setting the foundation for a strong relationship
  • Get the client up to speed
  • Address any main pain points they have
  • Outline the strategy moving forward  

Ultimately, you want your client to feel like they’ve made the right choice and that your company will fulfill their varying needs.  

Easy, right? Not so much. Many brands forget to put time, effort, and care into their onboarding process. And it truly helps to set the tone for everything the customer will expect from you.  

The Difference (Good) Onboarding Can Make

One e-commerce client we’ve helped had what we deemed ‘a moment of silence’ after a new person joined their program. After the order confirmation, the new client heard NOTHING for about a week – until their order shipped.

This caused a lot of customer service headaches, bad reviews, and short average lifetime value. People were quitting 2 weeks after they started the program. But, that all changed with email and text messages that supported them (and kept the new client excited) while they waited.

In a few months this onboarding, increased LTV to nearly 5 weeks on average! Retaining who they had really added to the company’s bottom line.

The Importance of Client Onboarding

As you can see, client onboarding isn’t just a nice add-on, it is a crucial part of your marketing strategy! When done effectively, it leads to:  

Less Client Churn

This is what we were talking about before. Client churn is the percentage of clients who stopped using your company’s services or products within a certain timeframe.  

New clients are at a high risk of churning within the first 90 days.  

Aim to build relationships and demonstrate your value early on to keep them interested!  

More Efficiency

A smooth onboarding process helps you just as much as your clients. It gives you all the need-to-know information right off the bat, leaving you in the best possible position to begin working with your new client. As a result, this increases your overall efficiency and helps to avoid bottlenecks further down the line.  

Happier Clients

Clients want to work with organizations that know what they are doing, have a clear path of action, and build strong relationships. When you demonstrate this, not only will your customers be happier, but you’ll foster long-term loyalty to your brand.  

More Clients

By delighting your clients early on, you are far more likely to gain referrals based on your excellent work and relationships.  

Remember though, not all onboarding processes are created equal. To enjoy all the amazing benefits listed above, you must optimize your onboarding process so it enables you to build effective relationships with your new clients.  

business women meeting to network and move toward their business goals

Building a Relationship

You want your clients to feel confident and avoid any potential feelings of buyer's remorse.  

We believe the main goal of the onboarding experience is to build trust.

Here are a few steps that you can take to ensure that you are building and maintaining a healthy client relationship from the beginning:  


This phase includes introducing your client to their point of contact, requesting necessary information like website logins, and scheduling a kickoff meeting.  

Tip: A video call can be a more personal way to introduce yourself to new clients. It allows them to put a face with the name and gets them energized for future interactions. Too busy to hop on a call? Record a welcome message and include that in your email/text onboarding.

Kick Off

The kick-off meeting is a great opportunity to start your relationship on the right foot. At this point, you may have only spoken through email. This meeting is an opportunity to answer questions and clarify the terms of the contract and your new client’s expectations.  

There is one important question you should ask in every kickoff meeting “What does success look like?”

The answer will tell you what your client is looking for and how working with you will be a great experience for them.  

Ongoing Interactions

Every touch point with a new client is an opportunity to get a pulse check on how things are going.  

  • Read between the lines in every interaction.
  • Ask the tough questions to ensure your client is confident and are getting what they need from your team.  

For example: If your client doesn’t offer much or any feedback on projects, this could indicate that they are either really busy, or there could be a problem. Encourage your clients to give you honest feedback, they are paying for your services after all!  

Maintaining the Relationship

Ultimately, you want to be more than just another vendor to your clients. You want to be their partner. A key aspect of that kind of relationship is maintaining that positive rapport that you developed during onboarding.  

Best practices to develop trust with your clients throughout your working relationship include:

  • Touch base to evaluate their ongoing needs. These meetings can be as frequent as needed.  
  • Take notes. This helps you build trust with your clients and deepens your personal relationships. If a client says their child just graduated high school, bring it up a few months later and ask how college is going.  
business owner meeting with client to discuss onboarding process and solve problems in current business strategies

Problem-Solving & Negative Experiences

It is not uncommon for client relationships to have a few bumps in the road. What’s important is that these bumps don’t become reasons for your client to leave.  

Whether it is a lack of communication, or the client feels that you aren’t solving their problems, addressing these hiccups promptly will keep things moving smoothly, and hopefully, save your relationship!  

business women professionals meeting to discuss business goals and layout business strategy for the upcoming financial quarter

Learn More > Retention Marketing: Win Back Your Existing Clients

Build Trust with Your Clients

Take the time to get to know your clients, listen to their needs, and be upfront and honest in all communication. Creating clear expectations, setting boundaries, and providing quality services will help you build trust that lasts long-term!

Looking to build trust with your clients? It calls for Charisma! Contact us to schedule a marketing consultation today!