Let’s look at it this way – presume that you planted the seeds of churn pretty early and then left it under the nurture of Mother Nature. Then, the paucity of adaptability takes you down as the churn hits you like a humungous asteroid careening towards your little planet. Therefore, to save your company’s environment from the pernicious seeds of churn, you will have to sprinkle in some of the customer onboarding best practices.
Now, what is the customer onboarding meaning or customer onboarding plan? Simply put, it is nothing but the budding process of getting new users to get accustomed to your product or service. This could involve active guidance, user-friendly tutorials, and support. In this blog, we shall be looking into some of the onboarding best practices that will help you flourish in no time.
- Provide a customizable experience
- Data Collection on the go
- Talk it out
- An essential follow-up
- Yes to the Feature Callouts
- AI-enabled chat boxes too
- An easy onboarding framework
- Multiple teams help too
- You work on a Relationship
- Set and define Targets
Provide a customizable experience
For starters, it is best if your employees feel at home, the second they face their first interaction with you. Well, here’s your long story short lesson: treat your new clients just like you would a new, valuable employee. Consider them more like a partner and cook a better onboarding experience for them, something to cherish and remember by.
A part of the best onboarding experiences includes the most important ingredient of customization. It is of high pertinence that your prospects feel special and you cater to their specific needs and desires. This should basically be your general baseline practice and it will zip through when defining those expectations.
Brownie Points: It is incredibly helpful to do timely check-ins, these tend to be a pleasant surprise. Ask them their experience so far, any pros or cons.
Data Collection on the go
Be it a customer’s buying tendencies, website dynamics, sales cycle length, or the wavelength of customers’ demands – collect as much as relevant data possible. Not only till the onboarding process, but data will also be your go-to beyond it. With this, you can easily have a figure to compare progress or failure. Over and above, you must constantly prove your value even after the onboarding ends. And collecting the requisite data simplifies the process to a large extent.
Brownie Points: In fact, a Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Talk it out
One of the ‘goes-without-saying’ best practices is communication. Be it whichever strategy you apply, it will stay incomplete when not dashed with the right virtues of communication. Contacting and communicating are necessary for success. Let’s face it, good communication during a successful onboarding program takes you a long way.
Brownie Points: Be with the clients during the initial stages of your engagement with them. Ensure that they see you around, whenever, wherever they need. Like said, you can always talk it out!
An essential follow-up
It should not be like the second you have onboarded them exempts you from all the necessary follow-ups in the later phase. Also, wouldn’t it be a hassle to work all hard to build the customer rapport and then break it all up with a no-show? So what can be done instead? Let the clients vent out after they complete onboarding. Connect with them periodically to see if there is anything that is bothering them and how can you render them with a valuable service.
Brownie Points: It could be possible that once they have mastered the basics, they might want to go for any advanced or premium subscription. This is where your follow-ups play a pivotal role by striking the iron when it is hot.
Yes to the Feature Callouts
Freshly being onboarded, they might not be aware of all the features of your product. To curb this, you can use a tip banner that illustrates the users around the product and calls out any important feature that they might leave out. It is your responsibility to let them beware of all the features of your product, their functions, and how to use them efficiently.
Brownie Points: Having said that, that does not mean that the actual tutorials or manuals can take a backseat from here. Remember, these banners serve just as an introduction to the new ones, not a substitute for the rather informative training. This calls out to be one of the client onboarding best practices.
AI-enabled chat boxes too
To create a seamless experience, you can take help of the artificial intelligence. Simply put, you can put up a chat box to do the needful. To top-up the seamlessness, you can add an inviting option of letting the user chat with one of the executive representatives too.
Brownie Points: Who knows, you might rescue a customer from churning away by assisting them the very moment. This will not only provide a personalized touch to the user onboarding framework but also solve their problems without having them search through your website for an answer.
An easy onboarding framework
A recent survey from Harvard Business Review states that an increased focus on the customer onboarding framework achieves a vital impact over the lifetime of the product. To bring out a happy customer onboarding, put up a simple sign-up form, do a normal verification check. Once you are through, send a welcome email or a welcome call. Over and above, extend great customer service support whenever they need it.
Brownie Points: In order to transform the newbie customers to a rather potential permanent prospect, focus on the aforementioned, and see how that changes volumes in the business.
Multiple teams help too
It is always better to have multiple onboarding teams and processes. Some reps should be dedicated to onboarding new customers while others should help existing ones learn how to use add-ons and upgrades.
Brownie Points: You need to remember that, repeat customers are more valuable than new ones because they’re purchasing additional products with little or no acquisition cost. These people already trust your brand so it’s up to your team to keep them happy and engaged.
You work on a Relationship
This is a partnership. It doesn’t matter if the sale is a matter of seconds (buying an article of clothing) or a couple of years (selling software to whole companies) but in selling you have created the opportunity for a relationship. Trust is the antithesis to churn, and relationships build trust and show value.
Brownie Points: So how do you create a relationship? Assign account managers. Check-in. Follow, like, and comment on their content on social media. Call for progress checkups. It’s not rocket science. It’s simple, honest, earnest communication.
Set and define Targets
Before onboarding, brainstorm ways where you all can envisage a creative onboarding system – unique and seamless. In the new age of customer success, the word “success” is synonymous with the ultimate goal. Next? Make a plan and make it happen. This will require setting “success milestones” — a fancy word for goal deadlines — and letting your customer define what those will look like during the sales process, no matter what it looks like in your industry.
Brownie Points: Be real. Do not target something which is a little out of the scope. Make sure you are setting milestones you can hit, accurately, every time.
In a nutshell, onboarding best practices are the processes that make things more accessible and repeatable so new employees, or your customers’ partners, can learn how to use your product. For that, it is important to learn how to create a great customer onboarding framework.24
Even if this comes at an additional cost, customers expect your business to make it easier for them to bring on new users. Although churn might take place, by following solid, thorough onboarding practices, you are guaranteeing that your company won’t end up in the dusty shelves. So go forth, evolve, and welcome new customers with the 3E’s: excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm.
Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her ‘gift of the gab’ to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens.
Published September 25, 2020, Updated May 15, 2023