A Complete 6-Step Guide to Creating a Client Onboarding Checklist - Reveal My Secrets!

Client Onboarding Checklist

In essence, client onboarding is a crucial step in welcoming and integrating new clients into your business ecosystem, often guided by a comprehensive client onboarding checklist.

The checklist sets the tone for the entire journey ahead, ensuring seamless communication, understanding of needs, and alignment of expectations. In this article, I will guide you through a detailed six-step instruction on how to create a client onboarding process checklist. This includes:

Step 1 – Recording the customer’s information

Step 2 – Research the customer and their company

Step 3 – Ask all the right questions

Step 4 – Create a custom client onboarding checklist template

Step 5 – Offer proactive and reactive support

Step 6 – Check and update regularly

Let’s get the ball rolling and see if you’re handling client onboarding the right way.

Why does a checklist for onboarding new clients matter?

By following a checklist, you can ensure that no steps are overlooked, leading to a smoother and more organized experience for both the client and your team.

Now, let’s delve deeper into why these checklists matter.

#1 – Improve efficiency and productivity

Client turnover poses challenges, regardless of your business’s scale. Utilizing a new client onboarding checklist demonstrates the customer’s significance to your company. By asking the right questions, you convey your commitment. This not only protects your client base but also unlocks referrals from satisfied clients when you deliver effective results.

Satisfied customers are loyal customers. If you observe a high turnover rate, it’s a cue to review and refine your onboarding practices.

#2 – Increase customer satisfaction

To enhance client retention, it’s crucial to anticipate why clients might leave. This could be due to slow responses or unanswered queries. Your client might opt for another provider if they feel unheard or lack a strong connection. Hence, a client onboarding checklist serves as a tool to review your communication efforts, enabling you to identify and address any gaps you may have failed to notice.

#3 – Avoid miscommunication

Miscommunication can be a real headache. However, with a checklist in hand, you can dodge those confusion bullets. By documenting everything clearly in a project execution plan, you ensure everyone is on the same page, minimizing misunderstandings and keeping the lines of communication open and transparent.

#4 – Keep things in check

By taking advantage of an onboarding client checklist, you can keep scope creep at bay. Moreover, with upfront project plan boundaries, you can prevent any projects from spiraling out of control, keeping both time and budget in check.

#5 – Manage resources better

Resources are precious, and we want to make the most of them. A checklist helps us do just that. By planning and allocating resources efficiently, we can maximize productivity, minimize waste, and keep our operations running smoothly.

That’s all you need to know about the importance of having a thorough, comprehensive checklist when onboarding any customer who comes to you. But don’t stop there. How do you get started? What factors contribute to a standard checklist? Keep reading to find out.

What to include in a client onboarding checklist?

#1 – A welcome email

Your welcome email doesn’t need to be overloaded with text, but it should promptly showcase what your organization offers. Keep it simple for maximum effectiveness. Remember, this email forms an impression of your brand. Be clear, reflect your style, and include a call-to-action (CTA).

Hence, a successful email strikes the right balance of information without overwhelming the reader. Make sure your clients know who you are, how to get in touch with you, and what steps they should take next in the client onboarding process.

#2 – An onboarding survey

Your onboarding checklist also needs to involve crafting a survey to gather valuable insights for future improvements. If your clients aren’t completing the survey, consider addressing these questions through a phone discussion instead.

#3 – A kickoff call

A kickoff call is like a starting whistle for a project. It’s where everyone gets together to talk about what needs to happen. We discuss things like what the project is about, who’s doing what, and when things should get done. By talking things through at the beginning, we can avoid problems later on.

#4 – Follow-up and feedback

After the onboarding process, the final step is to check back in with the client. You want to hear about their experience and any thoughts or concerns they may have. Gathering feedback helps you understand how to improve your services. If there are any questions or unresolved issues from the onboarding process, you can address those as well. The goal is to ensure the client feels supported and satisfied with your work.

6 – step guide on making a client onboarding checklist

And not to keep you waiting any longer, below are six key steps in creating a client onboarding checklist that my colleagues and I follow when onboarding any new client. Particularly, it works perfectly; we have had extremely efficient working periods and a well-connected process.

6 step guide on making a client onboarding checklist

Step 1 – Gather the customer’s details

Before detailing your onboarding checklist for new clients, remember that you never want to be in a situation where you forget to write down important customer information. To avoid this, make sure to keep track of these details about your customers:

  • Their name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Purchase date
  • The plan they have bought
  • The company or group they’re from (if applicable)

Step 2 – Research the customer and their company

Before starting, it’s essential to know your client and their business well. It’s not beneficial to ask them basic information like their name or where they work, as it wastes their time.

collect customer information and their company

You can learn a lot about their business online. This helps you understand how much they know about similar software—whether they’re just starting out, know a bit, or are experts.

Step 3 – Pose relevant questions

After conducting your research, it’s common to still have unanswered questions. These are the queries that are best directed at your customers’ pain points. Here are some examples:

How are your current sales performing?

Understanding the current state of the customer’s sales provides great insight into the financial health of the company. It helps gauge revenue generation and overall business stability.

What is your average customer churn rate, and has it changed compared to last year?

This question probes into the customer’s focus on improving ‘customer service’ within their brand. A higher churn rate may suggest problems with satisfaction or retention strategies. By comparing this to previous periods, you can determine whether efforts to enhance customer service have been successful.

Who are your main competitors, and what tools or software are they using?

Identifying the customer’s primary competitors and the technology they employ provides competitive intelligence. It allows you to understand the landscape within the industry and potentially point out opportunities or threats.

What are the main challenges currently impacting your organization?

Directly hearing from the client about the challenges they’re facing offers a goldmine of information. It provides a deeper understanding of their pain points and areas where they’re struggling. This insight is essential for tailoring solutions and showcasing how your product or service can effectively address their unique needs.

By when would you like to feel comfortable using our product?

Understanding the customer’s desired timeline for becoming proficient with your product aids in effectively planning the onboarding process. It ensures that training and support efforts align with their expectations and needs, leading to a smoother transition and adoption procedure.

asking the right questions is key when onboarding new client

Step 4 – Create a custom client onboarding checklist template

While you might have a standard new client onboarding checklist template for all your clients, why not customize it for each individual?

Let’s design a unique timeline for each customer based on when they want your product to start working for them. Setting a deadline will help you understand how quickly the customer needs to learn. This way, you can determine if they have plenty of time or if they need to work harder to complete everything within their expected timeframe.

Step 5 – Provide proactive support

Even as you’re welcoming new customers onboard, maintaining a solid employee-to-customer connection is a must. This means consistently offering top-notch customer service and support.

always support your client

Instead of just sticking to a checklist, think about how you can go the extra mile to assist your customers. Be proactive in addressing their needs and concerns. Anticipate any potential challenges they might encounter and offer solutions in advance. Besides, demonstrating your commitment to their success shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

Step 6 – Regularly review and update

The last step is right here. It’s not enough to communicate with your customers only during scheduled phone calls, whether they occur daily, a few times a week, or weekly. Remember, “out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t apply here. It’s crucial to keep your customers top of mind at all times.

By checking in with them periodically, you have the opportunity to address any emerging issues promptly and prevent dissatisfaction from escalating. Regular communication not only helps you stay informed about their evolving needs but also demonstrates your ongoing dedication. This proactive approach fosters strong relationships and reduces the risk of customer churn.

Who can benefit from a client onboarding checklist?

Business owners

A new client onboarding checklist can help business owners streamline their workflows and ensure top-notch customer service. Following a checklist ensures that all necessary steps are taken to keep clients satisfied.


Managers can oversee client onboarding and benefit greatly from such a checklist. It prevents crucial steps from being overlooked, ensures efficiency, and avoids redundant tasks.

Customer service representatives

For customer service reps, an onboarding new client checklist should simplify the process of getting clients started with company products or services. It minimizes errors and ensures a positive initial experience for clients.


Last but not least, customers also benefit from a new client onboarding checklist. With all the necessary information in one place, they know what to expect, reducing frustration. A smooth onboarding experience encourages repeat business and positive reviews.

Tips on follow up new clients – My secret tips!

During my journey of helping clients onboard, I’ve gathered a lot of experience, and there are some standout highlights I’d love to share with you, including:

#1 – Drop a heartfelt note

Send a personalized thank-you message promptly within 24 hours of your meeting. It’s like planting a seed of appreciation that can blossom into a strong relationship. Your message shows that you’re not just about business; you genuinely value their time and input.

#2 – Pop them on your mailing list

A successful checklist for onboarding new clients involves keeping your clients updated regularly and providing exclusive offers to ensure they are always informed and part of your inner circle.

#3 – Get a close connection on social media

Engaging socially and connecting with your clients on platforms such as LinkedIn or Twitter allows you to follow their journey and engage with their posts, showing interest in their success and building a stronger bond.

#4 – Invite clients to industry events or networking meetings

By extending these invitations, you’re not just expressing gratitude for their business, but also creating opportunities for mutual growth and collaboration. These events provide valuable chances to connect with like-minded professionals, share insights, and explore new possibilities, thereby strengthening your relationship and fostering a supportive network for future endeavors.

#5 – Send free resources or courses

Providing complimentary resources or consultation services to new clients is a powerful way to demonstrate your commitment to their success. By offering these valuable tools or advice, their business can thrive thanks to your dedicated support.

Remember, even the smallest gesture can make a significant impact. By going above and beyond to support your clients right from the start, you’re laying the groundwork for a partnership based on trust, mutual respect, and shared success.

Get yourself an onboarding client checklist right now!

Creating a smooth onboarding journey is key to building strong, lasting relationships with new clients. However, it shouldn’t be overwhelming for either party. Cognitive overload can hinder client retention during onboarding.

Mastering the onboarding stage can be simplified by following the best practices outlined in this 6-step customer onboarding checklist. Now, experience the difference with PortalStack! Level up your client onboarding process with consistency, efficiency, and professionalism every time. Try PortalStack today and see the difference it can make for your clients.

Onboard clients x10 faster with Portalstack

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