The spread of Covid-19 has changed the way we do business immensely, sparing no industry. We are all learning how to operate partially or fully online while maintaining business growth. As we adjust to new schedules and best practices internally, another area of change is onboarding new clients.
Especially in traditional industries, B2B client onboarding often happens in person. Many companies will fly to meet the new client and hold onboarding sessions to get everyone on the same page and up to speed. Due to travel and social distancing restrictions, these sessions can no longer happen. This change means onboarding clients must be a digital process.
If you are moving to onboarding online, here are tips to navigate the transition.
#1. Prepare technologies
The new client will likely have a home office set up as we all become used to working remotely. However, you may need to consider a variety of technology needs. Prepare all user logins, company access, VPN needs, company software training and security guidelines so that your new client can get up and running quickly. You may need to talk to your IT team to help virtually prepare everyone’s home office. Make sure you leave enough time for this, depending on software needs.
Additionally, prepare the communication technologies you will use so your new client knows how to get in touch. Will you use Zoom or Hangouts for calls? Will you chat on Slack or communicate via a project management software? Instead of jumping between technologies, make a process that includes them.
Since you can’t meet the client in person to introduce the team, create an organization chart with your entire team, including pictures, roles and contact information. It can be confusing meeting a large group over video chat, so be sure to create this document to avoid any mix-ups.
#2. Move hard copies to digital
You probably have hard copies of training manuals, contracts, handbooks, policies and more, so it’s time to make those digital copies. Ensure all necessary people can view these files so no one is requesting access during a training session.
#3. Leverage collaboration tools.
According to Olivia Tan, the co-founder of CocoFax, onboarding often includes holding brainstorming sessions or working together on campaigns. Doing this in person means seeing facial expressions and responses to ideas (whether they’re positive or negative). Doing this over video can be tricky, but many collaboration tools can help. Just like in person, make sure brainstorming sessions are clear and organized with a facilitator and noted goals. Use a digital whiteboard tool or even a Google Doc to take notes. One benefit of online brainstorming sessions is that the facilitator can use the mute button to quiet participants who speak over others. If the team is too big, opt to break into smaller groups before coming together as a whole.