We Have a New Client…Now What???

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Tracy Tucker

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Onboarding a new client is an exciting time! Adding a client means growth in your business and it creates opportunities for team members to learn new industries and to develop professional and personal skills.

Sounds great, right? Bringing on a new client can also bring about anxiety and disruption to your company and team members. New clients mean new cultures to learn, new Boards/members to connect with, and new policies/practices. Learning the new stuff is on top of what you are already doing for current clients.

Here’s a quick list of things to keep in mind when onboarding a new client that will help ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

  1. Develop a transition checklist. This is a big one. The checklist will be your guide through this process to ensure everyone knows what to expect and who is responsible. It will also help ensure you don’t miss some of the small, but important details.
  2. Identify key contacts. It’s really helpful to have just a couple of people from the board as well as from the prior management/staff team to coordinate with on the transition. This allows for quick decision making and helps to ensure the transition stays on track.
  3. Communicate, communicate, communicate. This is an obvious one but I’ve learned that even when you think you’ve communicated enough, you probably haven’t. Going through a transition is a scary process for a client board. Will all of their files get transferred? Will the annual conference still be a success? Will members know where to pay dues? All of these questions and many others are going through their head. Providing regular transition updates is a great way to keep everyone informed and it helps to build a strong relationship right from the beginning.
  4. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information and clarification on the client’s programs, policies, etc. It’s better to find out up front than to get six months into it and realize you still don’t fully understand the membership structure. Invite the client board to ask questions of you as well. The dialogue will help develop an open line of communication that will prove beneficial down the road. 
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