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Onboarding Call vs. Automated Onboarding: Which to Use?

What are the pros and cons of onboarding calls, and how can you make the experience great for you and your client? Is there a healthy medium between personal calls and automation? Our guide will help you choose the best onboarding process for your agency. 🏆🌟

Johannes Radig
December 21, 2023
3 min. read
Article Content
Understanding the basics of onboarding
What's the importance of effective onboarding?
The traditional approach: onboarding calls
The modern method: automated onboarding
Comparing onboarding calls and automated onboarding
Making the right choice for your agency
Take the hassle out of onboarding agency clients with Leadsie

Marketing agencies face a crucial decision when it comes to onboarding new clients: should they opt for traditional onboarding calls or embrace the efficiency of automated onboarding systems?

Understanding the basics of onboarding and the pros and cons of each approach is a necessary first step in making an informed choice.

Want to know what's right for your agency? Happy clients = happy life right! Let's get to it.

Understanding the basics of onboarding

Onboarding is a crucial process for marketing agencies that involves integrating new clients smoothly and efficiently into the agency's operations.

It goes beyond a mere introduction and aims to establish a strong foundation for successful collaboration.

By providing a seamless onboarding experience, agencies can ensure that clients feel valued and supported right from the start.

Onboarding encompasses various tasks that are essential for a successful client-agency relationship.

One of the primary objectives is to gather all the necessary information from the client. This includes understanding their business goals, target audience, and any specific requirements they may have. By obtaining this information, agencies can tailor their strategies and approaches to meet the client's unique needs.

Another crucial aspect of onboarding is setting clear expectations. This involves discussing the scope of work, timelines, and deliverables with the client.

By aligning expectations from the beginning, both the agency and the client can have a shared understanding of what needs to be achieved. This helps in avoiding any misunderstandings or miscommunications down the line.

Introducing clients to the agency's workflow is also an essential part of the onboarding process. This includes familiarizing them with the tools, systems, and processes that the agency uses to execute marketing campaigns.

By providing clients with a comprehensive overview of the workflow, agencies can ensure that everyone is on the same page and can collaborate effectively.

What's the importance of effective onboarding?

Effective onboarding is vital for the success of both marketing agencies and their clients. It sets the tone for the entire client-agency relationship and significantly impacts client satisfaction and success.

One of the key benefits of effective onboarding is the establishment of trust; when clients have a positive onboarding experience, they are more likely to have confidence in the agency's abilities and trust their expertise.

This trust forms the foundation of a strong and long-lasting relationship, where clients feel confident in the agency's capabilities and are willing to invest in their services for the long term.

Aligning expectations is another critical aspect of effective onboarding. When both the agency and the client have a clear understanding of what needs to be achieved, it becomes easier to work towards common goals. This alignment helps in avoiding any potential conflicts or misunderstandings that may arise during the course of the client-agency relationship.

Clear communication channels are also established through effective onboarding.

By setting up regular check-ins, status updates, and reporting mechanisms, agencies can ensure that clients are always informed about the progress of their projects. This open line of communication fosters transparency and allows for timely feedback and adjustments, leading to better outcomes.

The traditional approach: onboarding calls

onboarding call

One established method of onboarding is through scheduled onboarding calls, allowing direct interaction with clients. Such calls offer several benefits but also have limitations to consider.

Onboarding calls provide a personalized experience for clients, allowing for direct and personalized attention from the agency. This personalized experience establishes a personal connection between the agency and the client, fostering better collaboration and a deeper understanding of the client's objectives.

Another advantage of onboarding calls is the real-time interaction they offer.

Direct conversation during these calls enables immediate clarification of questions and concerns, reducing potential miscommunication. It allows agencies to address client queries promptly, fostering confidence and trust.

However, onboarding calls also come with their limitations. One of the main drawbacks is the time constraints they impose. Onboarding calls require allocating specific time slots for both the agency and the client. Scheduling conflicts may arise, leading to delays or frustrations.

Additionally, lengthy calls can be exhausting for both parties and may hinder the efficiency of the process. It is crucial for agencies to manage time effectively and ensure that onboarding calls are productive and focused.

Furthermore, the scalability of onboarding calls can be a challenge for marketing agencies dealing with numerous clients simultaneously.

Conducting individual onboarding calls for each client becomes increasingly challenging as the client base grows. The limited scalability of this approach may strain agency resources and slow down the onboarding process, affecting overall productivity.

Agencies need to find a balance between personalized attention and efficient scalability to effectively onboard multiple clients.

FIND OUT MOREThe Best Way For Marketing Agencies to Onboard New Clients: 7-Step Definitive Guide

What makes successful onboarding calls?

Key Elements of Successful Onboarding Calls

To maximize the effectiveness of onboarding calls, agencies should consider incorporating these essential elements:

Creating a Structured Agenda - Developing a clear agenda helps maintain focus during onboarding calls, ensuring all relevant topics are covered. It improves organization and ensures that both parties understand what to expect. A structured agenda also allows agencies to allocate time effectively and address the most important aspects of the onboarding process.

Active Listening - Actively listening to clients' needs and concerns fosters a sense of understanding and empathy. It demonstrates that the agency values their input and is committed to tailoring strategies to meet their specific requirements.

Setting Clear Expectations - Clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and timelines from the outset ensures alignment and minimizes the possibility of misunderstandings later on. This clarity sets a foundation for seamless collaboration. By setting clear expectations, agencies can establish a framework that guides the onboarding process and ensures that both parties are on the same page.

By incorporating these key elements into onboarding calls, agencies can enhance the effectiveness of the process and set a strong foundation for a successful client-agency relationship.

Effective onboarding calls not only help clients feel valued and understood but also enable agencies to gather crucial information that informs their strategies and ensures a smooth transition into working together.

The modern method: automated onboarding

As technology advances, marketing agencies have started exploring the potential of automated onboarding systems that streamline the process through digital platforms. Automated onboarding presents various advantages and challenges worth considering.

Benefits and drawbacks of automated onboarding

how to automate agency client onboarding

Benefit: Efficiency and scalability - Automated onboarding systems reduce the time and effort required to onboard clients significantly. By automating repetitive tasks, agencies can process multiple client onboarding simultaneously, increasing overall efficiency.

Benefit: Consistency and accuracy - With automated systems, agencies can ensure consistent delivery of onboarding materials and information. This consistency minimizes the risk of human error and guarantees clients receive accurate details about their collaboration with the agency.

FIND OUT MORE: 6 Ways to Automate Agency Onboarding

Drawback: Lack of personalization - Automated systems may lack the personal touch that onboarding calls provide. Clients might miss the direct interaction and personalized guidance, potentially leading to a less engaged client-agency relationship.

Drawback: Learning curve - Adopting new automated onboarding systems requires a learning curve for both agency employees and clients. Technical difficulties or unfamiliarity with the platform can create temporary disruptions before everyone becomes accustomed to the system.

Essential features of automated onboarding systems

When considering an automated onboarding system, agencies should look for these essential features

User-Friendly Interface - The system should be intuitive and easy for both agency employees and clients to navigate. A user-friendly interface minimizes potential frustrations and ensures a smooth onboarding experience.

Customizable Templates - An effective automated onboarding system allows agencies to customize templates to reflect their branding and tailor the onboarding process to meet client-specific needs.

Clear Information Flow - The system should facilitate seamless information exchange between the agency and the client. Clear communication channels ensure transparent collaboration.

Comparing onboarding calls and automated onboarding

When deciding between onboarding calls and automated systems, marketing agencies need to evaluate various factors that play a crucial role in client satisfaction, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Efficiency and time considerations

Automated onboarding systems offer significant time savings for agencies, allowing them to process multiple clients simultaneously. Conversely, onboarding calls require more time and resources, which can result in delays in the onboarding process.

Personalization and user experience

Onboarding calls provide a personalized touch that can foster stronger client relationships. However, automated onboarding systems can still deliver a satisfactory user experience through customizable templates and clear information flow.

Cost implications

Automated onboarding systems can reduce overall costs for agencies by streamlining processes and minimizing the need for extensive human involvement. On the other hand, onboarding calls may require additional staff and resources, increasing costs.

LEARN HOW an agency saves hundreds of hours with a simple automation: Check this out! 

Making the right choice for your agency

When choosing between onboarding calls and automated systems, marketing agencies should consider the following factors:

Client preferences - Evaluate client preferences and willingness to adapt to automated systems. Some clients may appreciate the personal interaction of onboarding calls, while others may prefer the convenience of automated systems.

Agency capacity - Assess your agency's capacity to handle onboarding calls efficiently. Consider the number of clients and available resources to ensure a smooth onboarding process.

Client complexity - Certain clients may require more direct interaction and personalized assistance, making onboarding calls a preferable option. It is essential to consider the unique needs of each client.

Adapting to agency size and client needs

Smaller agencies with a limited client base might find onboarding calls more manageable and beneficial in building strong client relationships. However, larger agencies dealing with a higher volume of clients can benefit from the efficiency and scalability of automated onboarding systems.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every marketing agency. Assessing the unique requirements, client preferences, and available resources will guide agencies in making the right choice between onboarding calls and automated systems.

By selecting the appropriate onboarding method, agencies can lay a solid foundation for fruitful collaborations and deliver optimal results for their clients.

Take the hassle out of onboarding agency clients with Leadsie

One of the biggest onboarding hurdles, that can often take weeks is getting access to client's marketing assets. When you use Leadsie, it takes away the need for long winded onboarding explainer calls.

You share your Leadsie link with your client, they log in to the accounts you need access to and just like that you have access! Couldn't be simpler.

how to use Leadsie

“Leadsie is like an employee for us! Instead of hiring someone to do the technical setup, we use Leadsie!" - Luke, Founder Skytale Digital

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Johannes Radig

A self-confessed marketing geek with a fetish for spreadsheets, Johannes is in his element when solving problems and building systems for solutions. When he’s not working on Leadsie, you’ll find him sharing his expertise with other startups as a mentor for 500 Global. In his spare time, he enjoys flinging a ball around a tennis court and cycling up daunting-looking mountains.