Training the client
The next phase of onboarding is training the client. As we’ve already said, training begins with the very first onboarding call and may continue through the entire engagement. During this phase, it is helpful to understand your client’s learning style. Do they prefer auditory instructions? Video? Written explanations? Perhaps they prefer to teach themselves. If possible, have a plan for each of these learning styles so that you are able to give your client a tailored experience.
Either way, you should have a plan of how to teach your clients what they need to know about working with you, and how to interact with whatever critical few technologies you are using.
Schedule dedicated training sessions with the client. They will be prepared to learn, and you will be prepared to teach with your plan in hand.
There are a number of possible topics for training:
- How you work together
- How the firm is structured
- Who the key people are
- Book them training for working with QuickBooks Online or whatever the processes and systems you use
- How they should contact your firm when they need support
Remember, however, that training is not just for clients; everyone in your firm should always be training as well.
“The client is becoming part of your firm, so they need to know how to work within your processes. Letting them know how to upload files to you or process payments in the accounting system, or who to speak with about an issue, is critical to the success of the relationship. Training does not have to be a formal classroom course or even a webinar. Training should take place informally and often, with every communication and with every member of the firm. It can be a short video, step-by-step instructions sent in an email, a link to a web page, or a short document. Every interaction with the client — from the salesperson letting the client know the process your firm uses, to the transition from onboarding specialist to account manager — will train the client on best practices and how to work within your framework.” (Carla Caldwell, Owner of Caldwell Consulting & Training)