New client onboarding for accountants: 3 little-known ways the process helps grow your firm
Are you onboarding a new bookkeeping client to your accounting firm? When it comes to business development, the client onboarding process is a process that you need to be getting right. If you don’t know why, here are 3 reasons why a solid process helps grow your firm.
1. The first 90 days set the scene for your relationship moving forward
We all know that first impressions count and stay with us. We all know that we do tend to judge a book by its cover and it’s the same for the onboarding process. There is a reason that new clients are 3 times more likely to churn in the first 90 days of working with your firm, and it’s because it doesn’t take them very long to see how you work and to decide whether they like it and if they are happy to work this way in the years to come.
If you are onboarding a new bookkeeping client and you have a smooth and effortless onboarding process; you communicate and follow up with them regularly, you’re available, meeting deadlines and willing to go the extra mile for them, you can be almost certain that they will stay with you for the long term. Why? Because you’ve set their expectation of how this relationship is going to work from the very beginning. (Avoid these 3 mistakes when onboarding new clients!)
2. 90 days is the optimal time to get an upsell or referral
Banking research shows that 90 days is the sweet spot for upselling to existing clients and gaining referrals from them. This is if you’re making a first good impression that is (see point 1 above). If you’re working well and onboarding a new bookkeeping client effortlessly, there’s no harm in highlighting your other services that they can benefit from or asking them to help recommend your firm. By this time, they are most likely very happy with your work and have decided to stay with you for the long-term.
Most accountants are too afraid to do this too soon, but what better time to ask for more than when your new client is so pleased with the work that you are doing for them right at this moment? If you have a solid onboarding process and you’re making new clients happy, simply upselling or asking for referrals towards the end of their first 90 days with you will really help to grow your firm.
3. Getting the onboarding process right will wow your clients and they will talk about you to others
Your clients are the key to profitability, faster revenue growth and therefore, the growth of your firm, so by simply getting the onboarding process spot on, you will wow your clients and ensure that they become a loyal referral source for your firm.
When onboarding a new client, make sure to get the balance right between automation and human touch to create a seamless experience that supports your client on their overall journey with your firm. If you need help, make sure to read our other articles 4 essential tools to automate your firm’s onboarding process and The 4 key roles needed to onboarding your clients right first time. These will help you to refine your process to create an effective and repeatable onboarding workflow.
Onboarding clients is the first step to growth
Whatever your growth plans for your accountancy firm, take a look at your onboarding process. This is the first step, the foundation to building long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships that will help your firm grow sustainably.
Remember, first impressions count!