Customer onboarding is likened to creating a first impression of your software or app. And unless you explain the process to them in detail, your customers might have difficulty using your product. However, there is more to delivering an excellent customer onboarding experience than teaching your customers how to use your products and services. Customer onboarding begins an ongoing relationship between your business and a new client. And a recent survey shows that 86% of people are likely to stay with a business that invests in their customer onboarding processes. Consider these effective ways to improve your customer onboarding to lower customer acquisition costs, generate more revenue, and turn your existing customers into top referral sources.
- Prioritise onboarding from the get-go
You will likely miss out if your onboarding process only begins after a lead has converted to a paying customer. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure the onboarding kicks off immediately after the first interaction with your business. You can set up an automatic onboarding process as a brief introduction to your business, even if the interaction doesn’t lead to patronage. They are less likely to give up even when they face a snag. This will improve individuals’ likelihood of converting when they succeed with a product or service.
- Customize the process for every customer
The process of converting a lead into sales usually involves the collection of some personal data using surveys or web forms. You can personalize the customer’s onboarding experience with any relevant information your sales teams acquire. It would help if you took advantage of every interaction to gather useful information, no matter how minimal. Later, after successful conversion, you can introduce them to all other products or services your business offers.
- Interactive walkthrough
A product tour is beneficial for a software or app development and solutions business, but it is essentially the basic minimum for selling any product or service. On the other hand, an interactive walkthrough can significantly boost the customer experience. That’s because they are step by step and more capable of improving the understanding of your products and services. You can discuss the best ways to set up interactive training sessions with your sales team. For example, if you sell an email app, you can use pop-ups to guide your customers through creating their emails. This includes using arrows and clear instructions at every stage to help customers complete tasks.
- Build an onboarding self-service process
This is more about allowing your users to learn to solve problems themselves. You won’t have to guide them through it but provide them with a checklist of things to complete via email or as part of their product package. Researchers say that most consumers prefer to solve their problems, and so if you do it right, you are likely to benefit. For example, a survey showed that over 90% of customers use videos to better understand a product or software. It is useful to include a support section on your website if you don’t have them already. Your onboarding self-service structure can include knowledge-based how-to guides, frequently asked questions (FAQs), search functions, or featured videos on particular products.
- Provide a proper handoff to CSMs for customers
While preparing to receive payment, your sales team should ensure that customers are prepared for a successful handoff. A user should never be left wondering what to do next. Formalizing the handoff with an introduction meeting where a sales team member presents the tools needed to use the product to the customer demonstrates how much you value relationships over merely the subscription or purchase of your new customer.
- Display customer progress via onboarding
Whether your customers prefer to use self-service onboarding or desire to be assisted throughout the process, updating them on their progress during onboarding is a simple approach to making them feel valued and appreciated. Setting and visualizing milestones can be motivating. This can significantly impact whether a customer patronizes your business for a long time or abandons it after a few weeks or months.
- Offer assistance
Customer service is an essential component of every business. It is useful to improve the whole experience if you want your customers to keep coming for more. Problems will likely occur, and customers will want answers quickly when they do. And the last thing you want is to leave your clients hanging. You can assist your customers via phone or email or add online chat to website functions in order to be responsive and provide the best service. This also helps to set your business apart from the competition. Social media is another way to stay connected with your existing and potential customers.
- Engage customers via gamification
Gamification is popularly used as an online marketing tool where the usual game-playing elements are applied to encourage engagement with a service or product. Creating such an interactive environment is the best way to go if your business requires teaching clients how to use your products and services. Additionally, the gamification approach effectively recommends new updates to your existing clients when purchasing or renewing an existing subscription or when you offer a new update. However, it goes beyond customer engagement and may involve a feedback system. If you decide to make your customer onboarding process more gamified, ensure to go beyond just encouraging people to answer questions and reward them right away for their contributions.
- Request for feedback
The early stage of an onboarding process can be a little glitzy sometimes, especially when customers are enthusiastic about using your product and have even achieved a few successes with it. At this point, it is practical to design a sound retention plan to keep your business running and rake in more recurring revenue. You can do this by sending follow-up emails, phoning them about service challenges, or encouraging them to join a referral program. The goal here is to build and maintain a loyal customer base. It can also be useful to regularly remind them why and how your business adds value to their lives.
- Collect data on your onboarding success
It can be challenging to determine whether or not your client’s onboard process is a success. Just providing a customer onboarding process does not guarantee that there won’t be any glitches along the way. Like everything tech-related, the best approaches are data-driven. So you want to keep track of how customers use your products and services and other accompanying features. The more data accessible by your sales and customer service teams, the better you can fine-tune your onboarding process. To measure your onboarding success, create a consistent and repeatable new experience, customize and seek feedback and measure your retention rates.
- Share useful content
While the world doesn’t revolve around your software as a service (SaaS), customers are under time and attention constraints due to several external factors. For this reason, you want to provide valuable solutions that improve their lives. You don’t have to make a product out of every solution you offer. For instance, it would be best for specialized-accounting software businesses to figure out challenges facing users instead of just providing accounting advice. Your audience may require time management tips or assistance locating a lawyer in their field. At this point, you can establish yourself as a trustworthy advisor when you assist in an area outside your expertise. You stand to gain when clients trust you more.
- Set customer-centric goals
Customers set goals and KPIs that are unique to themselves so allow them to define what success means to them. Afterward, you can guide them in developing measurable milestones and benchmarks to meet along the way. Sharing this with your customer can get them enthused about getting close to their objectives. You can do this via congratulatory emails, in-app notifications, or a quick phone call. They will be more invested in your solution when they feel you have their success at heart.
- Display product testimonials
Even with the best products, you will need a success story as proof they work to sell them. Customers are usually only interested in products they know would be worth their while and money. And displaying the success stories of other users can motivate them. This strategy is useful for promoting your brand and highlighting customer satisfaction. Experts suggest utilizing case studies and surveys to demonstrate the usefulness of your product and service compared to others in the industry. Likewise, you can take this a step further and demonstrate exactly how the product assisted users in achieving their goals in real-time. You can devise a plan for highlighting their stories, such as creating a short video or inviting them to participate in a webinar with other customers.
Improving customer onboarding is an ongoing process and may require reworking from time to time. Consider the tips mentioned above to make your customer onboarding a crucial part of your customer experience to reach your targeted goals and build brand loyalty. Onboarding, when done correctly, keeps your customers satisfied and demonstrates the value of your product.