Happy weekend to you. I've been trying to send this letter all week but computer said no! It's about onboarding clients.
Onboarding new clients isn't difficult, but the story I'm about to share with you is revoltingly common.
I recently contacted a kids' multi-sports program to arrange a free trial. I had to do this by sending an email.
Let's see if you can guess what the numbers are!
Here's what happened:
- I sent an email (1) with all of our details asking to arrange a free trial. I included locations, because I'd seen those on the organisation's website.
- A person emailed me back (2) saying yes ok, please send me these details.
- A bit irritated (I'd already provided them), I complied. (3)
- The person then sends an invoice (4) and a sign-up to a membership database (5), which I didn't consent to and hadn't asked for.
- More irritated, I sent a note saying I'm not signing up, and I didn't consent to being put into a database, and what's going on please? (6)
- The person then sends another email (7) tell me oh sorry you have to call this number and arrange with Head Office.
Boy, can you get any more awful than that?
Here's how this could have looked different:
- I send email as outlined above (1)
- Person at the other end reads it. Calls the mystical people at Head Office (wherever they are) and says, hey this lady and her kid who is xyz age in abc location wants a free trial. Can you buzz her back please? When can you do it?
- Person at the other end emails me (2) with yep no worries. This person (whose name is X) will call you on (day) at (time) to your number (blah blah blah). You don't need to reply unless you have more questions.
Wouldn't that be amazing?
Here's the lesson:
Your customer service is only as good as the service that your staff are willing to (empowered to) provide.
Service means, 'how can I reduce the client's required steps to almost nothing'?
It doesn't mean eliminating their consent.
It means taking all the hassle and irritation and fear of things going wrong out of the equation. Doing this usually means taking two - maybe four or more! - steps more than the situation suggests.
If you can do that, you will onboard new clients fast, and you'll have them for life.
Nothing says luxury more than a service that, by its very elegance, is almost invisible.