Best Practices for Onboarding a New Client Contact

New client contacts can throw a wrinkle in the daily workflow for agency teams. Whether the old contact left or the team is simply shuffling or expanding, a new contact is another chance for your team to prove its worth.

(Put another, less optimistic way: a new client contact comes in with no ties to your team and no attachment to the work you’ve already done.)

It’s beneficial for the agency and the new contact for the former party to get the latter up to speed as quickly and comprehensively as possible. Here’s how we achieve that at JDM.

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Establish goals of onboarding

 

1. Set clear expectations

First and foremost, make sure clients understand how you operate. Misalignment here – from patchy communication on the agency’s part – leads to immediate friction in the relationship.

2. Highlight your agency’s value and partnership

If you don’t tell the new contact what you deliver (and have in the past), they won’t know. Use your intro meeting with them as a way to highlight what you’ve done for the accounts – and what you’re excited to achieve together going forward.

3. Demonstrate deep account knowledge

Part of JDM’s appeal as a partner is our philosophy of bringing an in-house mentality to every account. This means that we’re deeply integrated in account goals, business objectives, and strategies to achieve those. If your agency works the same way, make sure the new contact understands that you aim to stay in lockstep on these.


 

Set the stage for great communication

Get the mechanics of your contact communication locked in right away.
  • Get their email for access

  • Add them to your communication channels. For JDM, these are:
    • Google Drive
    • Asana
    • Weekly meeting invite
    • Slack
      • If it’s a shared channel, someone from the client’s end has to add them
      • If it’s a channel that lives on the agency’s Slack, the agency can invite them

  • Schedule a separate 1-hour onboarding call with them

Importantly, you should keep the 1-hour onboarding call separate from your regular weekly call to ensure that the new contact gets exposure to your regular call structure, and they don’t confuse the effort/presentation of this call for something you do on a regular cadence. If the onboarding call comes after a regularly scheduled call, use a few minutes in the regular call to introduce the idea of an onboarding call, and prep the new contact for what they can expect on the call.


 

Nail the onboarding call

The goals of this call should be to set expectations, let the contact know how you operate, and get them up to speed on account management thus far.

  • Do a round of intros/roles and responsibilities

  • Provide your agency’s background info
    • Who you are
    • What you do
    • What they get from you
    • What other services you offer
    • What platforms you currently use

  • Communication (Slack/Asana/Email)
    • Expectations for turnarounds/response times
    • When to use each method of communication

  • Weekly call breakdowns
    • Length
    • Agenda
    • Cadence

  • Upcoming projects in the queue

  • Big projects/tests you’ve done recently

  • Recent wins and learnings

  • Current goals

  • Account walkthrough
    • Review structure, major themes, naming conventions, etc.

  • Any questions from the contact’s end


 

This may all seem fairly basic, but missing any of these important steps leaves room for the new contact to have a less-than-favorable impression of your team out of the gate. Nail this and align the contact effectively with the partnership and its structure and benefits, and both parties will be better for it.

Reach out to us on LinkedIn if you want to hear more about our processes!

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