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4 Tips To Nail Client Onboarding Taken From Startups

Filed Under: Business | Case Study | Strategy
Date Published: August 1, 2022
By: Claire

As an entrepreneur, you are almost programmed to do things differently, including startup onboarding of customers.

Innovation is the very lifeblood on which you build your business with the deep desire to make a change to the status quo.

Never is this more apparent than when you look at the world of tech startups. Backed up by venture capital, these companies are given licence to experiment and change how business is done.

As a service business provider, technology-based startups can inspire not only on how to make things run more efficiently within the business but also on how to stand out from the crowd. 

One of the challenges service businesses face when they go to market is differentiation. As service businesses are often similar, how do you stand out in the market? Part of this will be having clear brand positioning and methodology. 

However, when it comes to making that branding come to life, a lot can be leveraged from what successful startups do to build loyalty as challengers to the status quo.

We will dive into four tricks startups use to effectively onboard their customers and build trust automatically. 

The benefit of using techniques pioneered by startups is that they are both scalable and allow you to stand out from competitors who may prefer more traditional approaches to onboarding. Thus allowing you to build a stronger brand presence in the eyes of your clients.

innovation & ideas

Tip 1: Customise Your Client Experience


One of the startup onboarding tricks  I love comes from a company I recently mentored, Fluffy. The team created a multi-step onboarding process using a quiz that uses the data to create custom care and training packages for your dog.

The data they gather allows Fluffy to accurately identify unique factors to help the user take the best possible care of their pet.  

This technique is something that service business owners can use too in both lead capture and onboarding processes.

There has been a trend in using quizzes for lead capture, allowing you to learn more about, qualify and target specific pain points of potential clients. 

However, the technique hasn’t gained so much traction in the onboarding process.

Having a quiz is a fun way to get key information about your client & speed up the scoping process of new projects. 

For example, you could use a quiz to learn more about:

  • your clients’ brand identity, 
  • their copy style 
  • What does success look like for the project

Capturing this information can be laborious, so if you can make it engaging and provide custom results on the back end, that will be a real win for your clients.

Tip 2: Automate, but first focus on scalability for Startup Onboarding


Startups need to scale. How these companies obtain, investment is linked to how scaleable people believe the company.

That goal forces you to think differently about how you build the business. This includes what products you launch, how you set up your workflows and prioritisation.

Automation becomes your friend!

But not just automation for automation’s sake – which is where service business owners can win.

Instead of implementing something because it can be automated, first, streamline your activities as much as possible to maximise value & leverage.

Then when you automate the startup onboarding process, you can scale your business faster and leaner than other providers, giving you a comparative advantage.

startup tips for onboarding

Tip 3: Brand Everything To Build Recognition


You must stand out when you’re going against the status quo and innovating within your industry.

Great startups do this in 2 ways:

  1. Make it clear what they stand against
  2. Brand everything!

Startup founders love swag! They will brand literally anything.

Founders will go all in to ensure their branding is out there, and you can do the same with your service business.

I’m not saying go out and buy 1000 pens with your brand name, but think about how you can use your branding more broadly in your business to create something people recognise & associate with you.


Tip 4: Provide Education Early On To Increase Engagement 


When you first install a new app or sign up for a new tech service like ClickUp, you are immediately directed to a guided walkthrough of all the key features.

This step-by-step guide is part of the app onboarding process. This goal is to ensure you have the basic knowledge you need to succeed with the product.

When you have that knowledge, the product becomes more useful, making you more likely to stick with the product. This stickiness makes the company more money.

You can do the same thing with your clients. 

By providing educational content during onboarding, you give them a win and help them feel more connected to the process of working with you. This connection builds trust and ultimately leads to a better relationship.


There’s plenty to be learned from startups onboarding…


In conclusion, you can learn plenty from the startup onboarding world as a service-based entrepreneur. 

You end up with a unique and compelling offering by harnessing different techniques and using them in new ways that can provide a great experience for your clients.

To summarise:

  1. Customise the experience
  2. Automate strategically
  3. Brand everything!
  4. Educate to engage

What other great tips have you got from different businesses? Comment below; I’d love to hear them!

4 Tips To Nail Client Onboarding Taken From Startups