You can be the best business owner on the planet and the best at what you do, but if you don’t have a great client experience from the start, it may be a struggle to keep them coming back.
A positive client experience is what will keep clients coming back for more services and can drive referrals.
As a business coach, one of the most common things my clients ask me to help with is to clarify what their client welcome process should look like. There are many different pieces in the client experience, but one of the first is your client welcome process.
A good way to welcome your client is to create a welcome packet that they can refer to throughout their work with you. This packet can be a simple pdf document that clarifies the roles and expectations for both your client and you. A client welcome packet is meant to supplement a contract, to include extra information to make things easy and enjoyable for both parties.
8 Items to Include In Your Client Welcome Packet
1. What to expect for the duration of your partnership:
During the first session or service package, and beyond, it’s important that your clients know what you expect them to do, and what they can expect of you.
2. An explanation of communication methods:
Do you prefer phone calls? Is email better for your record-keeping? Do you use Voxer or Slack? These are all things that you need to explain in your welcome packet. If you don’t like using Voxer and your client expects it, then there’s something you’ll need to work out.
3. Pre-meeting prep:
What prep does the client need to do before your meeting, or before you start working together? What would you like your client to bring to your first meeting, or have on hand for your first phone conversation?
4. How to schedule additional sessions:
Whether a client has additional sessions with you from a package, or they want to schedule a one-off extra session, it’s always good to explain how they can continue the work that you’re doing, should they choose. Give them a link to your online scheduler, if you use one, or explain your process for that.
5. Tips for your client to talking to others about the services you’re providing them.
It is early in the process to consider asking for referrals, so this document could come as part of your closing, but you could also include suggestions on what they could tell people if the topic of your
services or products came up in conversations with others.
6. Other resources:
This is an opportunity to give your referral partners a boost, or to shout out your clients’ products.
This is a great time to provide your new client with a list of the questions you get most often, and of course, the answers. You may even go as far as to include a line or two about your reasoning with each of the questions. If they have these listed, they won’t have to ask, and you’ll be able to dive into the work you’re going to do together, whether you’re creating products or providing services. It also helps people to better understand the person they’re working with if they know what your thought process is, or why you do something the way you do.
8. Advice from other clients:
This one requires a bit of work on your part. It’s Ask your current clients to share their advice to get the most out of working with you and create a document of their responses.
How to Create Your Client Welcome Experience & Tech Suggestions
There are many different ways to create a welcome experience. Email, video, resources, all of those things can be useful.
Several of my clients have created a template email welcome message that then has links to different google documents that include the information they want to share with their client, like frequently asked questions, resources, and the like.
A template email message allows you to send one email with links instead of tons of attachments. This also allows you to link to this document in other places (like in a client communication log, on your website, or in other emails.)
A few of my clients have included a welcome video. In the video, they welcome the client, go over general information, and then link to their welcome packet that can either include all of the information in one document or link to different documents, as mentioned above.
If you have multiple programs, you’ll probably want to create welcome processes for each one, because each program is likely to have different prep forms and different processes or procedures for the client to follow.
A few more tips…
When you’re creating this welcome packet, remember: the more visual you are, the better it’ll be. No one wants to read a wall of text or pages of text. Add images, bolded headers, color changes when you feel they’re warranted, and you can even include video. Video is very popular right now.
One caveat: You’ll want to be open to these things changing. It’s best to view your welcome packet as a living document that evolves over time. As more and more clients go through your welcome process you’ll discover you don’t need to share some of the information, and that you’ll need to add other pieces of information. Remember, the goal is to make this document useful to your clients, and provide enough background that you’ll have an easier time getting the job done as well.