Creating a New Client Onboarding Process
The relationship you build with your prospects shouldn’t end the day they become a client.
The communication you have with your prospects sets a standard for what they can expect when they become clients. To forgo onboarding and ongoing client-specific communications could be detrimental to the relationship you’ve created.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what client onboarding is, how you can set it up in your life and health insurance agency, and how you should leverage workflow automation to make it run seamlessly.
What is Client Onboarding?
Tallyfy describes client onboarding as “the process of welcoming new clients into your business, addressing their questions and concerns, and ensuring they understand the services available to them.”
A true client onboarding process begins on the first day someone becomes a client. It continues running for a designated time until you consider them no longer “new”. This could last 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, a year, or longer.
The onboarding time is for familiarizing the client with who you are and how they can access what they need. This period is different from regular customer service in that your messaging and communications directly discuss how to get up and going with their new insurance coverage.
Think of it like when you first start a new job. In the beginning, there is time solely devoted to helping you get up to speed. This same idea applies to your new clients.
As a quick aside, it should be mentioned that this type of process can also apply to existing clients with new policy types, coverages, carriers, etc. When something about their policy changes, it could be beneficial to put them through onboarding once again. This allows you to familiarize them with the changes, know where to go for what information, and what tools they’ll have at their disposal. We will focus heavily on the new client onboarding aspect in this blog, but new policy or new carrier onboarding could be just as beneficial for you to implement.
Gartner’s research found that “80% of a company’s future revenue will come from 20% of its current customers.” Creating an onboarding process to help transition your clients can make all of the difference for retention, reviews, and referrals.
Setting up a New Client Onboarding Process
Over 80% of insurance clients who left their agency cited “lack of regular and meaningful communication” as the reason why. Keep this in mind while you build your new client onboarding process and the communications you will include.
The primary purpose of your onboarding process is to inform and set your client up for success. You’ll achieve that by communicating relevant information with them in a timely manner.
Your onboarding process should follow a predetermined time table of events and communications. Outline what you want to happen and when to ensure all of your agents follow the process. An example process could include:
- On day 1, they become a client; you send a welcome email
- On day 7, you call to check-in and see if they have any questions
- On day 21, you follow-up with an email asking if they’ve received their insurance cards and if they’ve had any issues
Consistent communication is critical for your onboarding process to be successful and your clients to feel like you’ve prepared them. For more ideas of content to include, keep these questions in mind:
- What’s happening? (you’re a new client)
- Where can I locate my information?
- Who do I reach out to for questions? (customer service line, the agent, someone else?)
- What perks do I receive with this coverage?
- How do I access/start those perks?
- Where can I track my balance, receipts, etc.?
It sounds like a lot, but you can condense some of the information and pair it with related topics. For example, you can send a “Welcome” email where you include information like their policy number, their carrier, what number to call with questions, who to talk to, etc. That covers many of the questions above right off the bat.
Using Workflow Automation for Your Client Onboarding Process
Take your client onboarding process to the next level by automating your process and communications with workflow automation. The major bonus is that much of your process will run independently, saving you a significant amount of time.
Instead of marking your calendar and writing a reminder on a sticky note to reach out to John Smith on July 21st, your workflow automation will handle it. You create the process once; then it runs on its own following the rules you’ve determined.
Let’s break this down. Workflow automation is like having an assistant working full-time to help ensure nothing goes unnoticed or missed. You create the process you’d like to see, determine what type of communications to send when, and draft what you want to say.
In AgencyBloc, this is called Automated Workflows. They work on an if/then scenario. For example, you can have an Automated Workflow send a “Welcome” email to your new client the day they become a client. In AgencyBloc, it would look like this:
Cause: You update your new client’s profile status from “prospect” to “client”
Trigger: The Workflow you built sees this new update and immediately issues the actions you’ve created
Action, Day 0: Send an email to the client immediately welcoming them as a new client
Image Source | AgencyBloc
From there, you can build a multitude of actions across a predetermined timetable to nurture your new client and ensure they have the resources they need. The actions you initiate are an email sent to the client/policyholder, an email sent to the agent of record, or a task assigned to the agent of record. Within these emails, you can use variable data to personalize the message and make it more meaningful. In the tasks, add notes to remind you what information, topics, and questions you should cover at each individual check-in.
Variable data often looks like this [FirstName]. When the email is sent, AgencyBloc, or whichever system you use, will insert the information associated with that client. For example, [First Name] would change to John or Mary, [PolicyNumber] would switch to 7389UOF93201, and so on. This allows you to write one message that is then updated and personalized to fit each recipient instead of rewriting the message each time you have a new client.
This is how automation saves you time. It also gives you a better chance of success because it’ll run on its own, allowing you to focus on other parts of your business.
By integrating automation into your client onboarding process, you can refocus your efforts during the day while ensuring your new clients are still being nurtured. Create a mix of actions by integrating emails and personal calls to keep the client engaged and to make sure you’re taking care of their needs.
The benefit of sending emails is that the client will have something to refer to when trying to remember information. The advantage of calls from the agent is you can answer questions and cover a wider variety of topics in a shorter amount of time.
Using both forms of communication—and better yet, using automation to deploy them—you can start to build a meaningful onboarding process that not only sets your new clients up for success, but also improves their chances of sticking around for the long haul.
Learn the 7 Step New Client Onboarding Process
Handle your new clients with care by following these seven steps that'll help you onboard your new client and start your new partnership off on the right foot.