Preparedness is an important aspect of professionalism, and it’s especially important when it comes to introducing new clients to your policies and procedures. Having a plan to present to clients from the beginning sets the expectations from every angle, and can prevent unexpected surprises down the road.
Consider some of these tips from our acclimation process that clients are offered at the start of every partnership.
- Offer a checklist. Include items the client will be responsible for providing throughout the project, like contact information of external partners or approval of layouts. If there are timelines or due dates for any of these, send friendly reminders a few days before, or even set up calendar reminders from the beginning, so everyone gets a notice.
- Provide usernames and passwords. Bundle everything into one document and attach it to an email so they can save it in a secure place. If accessing the system or database isn’t quite user-friendly, include a step-by-step process document.
- Introduce all the partners. Send a contact sheet of all the project contact people, and include photos if there won’t be much face-to-face contact. Sometimes knowing what someone looks like on the other end of the phone or email makes the conversation more personable.
- Invite clients for a facility tour. This is a great opportunity for clients to see the everyday operations of your staff and offers a hands-on learning day. If there are going to be technical responsibilities of the client throughout the project, make IT a stop on the tour.
- Show the big picture. Provide an explanation of what every department at your facility does, even if they’re not involved in the project. You never know what other opportunities may come up. For example, tell your marketing clients you’re also a full-service printer, and vice versa.
A bonus tip: There’s always a learning curve with new business. It’s important to be sensitive to change, especially if your client is transitioning from another vendor, where processes were probably rather different. Be open to suggestions and requests, and hold flexibility as a virtue.
Does your company offer new clients an introduction to your services before digging into the project? What’s worked for you and what hasn’t? How has your process changed based on feedback from longstanding clients?