Customer onboarding is something every company should be investing in. While most organizations will consistently invest in creating products and services that address their customer’s core goals and pain points, onboarding is how you ensure your buyers can take full advantage of your solutions.
The right onboarding flow is an investment in customer success, ensuring your target audience knows how to use your solution effectively to achieve their goals. Used correctly, it can improve engagement and retention levels, and even increase customer lifetime value.
According to some studies, 88% of customers say they’re more likely to remain loyal to a company that creates an onboarding strategy to engage and welcome them after a purchase.
So, how do you master the onboarding journey?
The first step in building the right customer onboarding process is understanding what “onboarding” actually involves. Customer onboarding is the art of teaching new customers how to leverage your product or service to unlock the highest level of value.
It starts from the moment your customers chooses to purchase your product, and provides your buyers with everything they need to discover the potential of your solution.
The goal of customer onboarding is to show your customers they’ve made the right choice in buying from you. If you can demonstrate the value of your product as quickly as possible, you’re more likely to benefit from greater customer retention rates and loyalty.
While customer onboarding is common among SaaS companies, it can be essential to virtually every type of business. Around 63% of companies say the support they expect to receive after a sale helps them to make a purchase. The same studies show 55% of people have returned a product because they were unsure how to use it.
The customer onboarding process can vary for each company. Essentially, it’s a series of steps you take to introduce your customers to the solution they’ve bought. It might include product tours, webinars, a series of emails, or even an interaction with a customer success manager.
Some of the most common strategies used in the customer onboarding process include:
The onboarding process is an important part of every customer journey, as it ensures you can retain the highest number of users, and transform customers into advocates for your brand.
Like many sales and customer service strategies, customer onboarding works best when combined with data and insights. To ensure your onboarding process is successful, you’ll need to commit to monitoring the right KPIs and metrics. These often include:
Creating a successful customer onboarding strategy takes time and focus. You’ll need to think carefully about how you can serve your customers as they interact with your business, and pay attention to your metrics to make regular updates to your campaign.
Here are a few tips to help you boost the success of your customer onboarding process.
A comprehensive onboarding strategy generally includes a lot of components. You’ll need specific team members to take ownership of each part of the process, to ensure you’re generating the right results. Examine your current team, and ask yourself who will be responsible for:
Giving each of your team members a specific role to play in the onboarding process will ensure you have enough resources on-hand to increase customer satisfaction over time.
Once you know who in your team will be responsible for the onboarding process, work with those professionals to determine goals for what the program should accomplish. These goals will help you to determine which metrics to measure, and which strategies to use.
Remember, your onboarding goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For instance, you might decide that you want to ensure each customer you onboard achieves at least one “success” by the end of a 3 month period.
Make sure you monitor your progress towards each goal consistently, and take steps to alter the onboarding process if you’re not making progress.
The customer onboarding process can come in many forms. The right strategy for you will depend heavily on the complexity of your product or service, and your target customers. Options include:
If you’re not sure which strategy is best, consider speaking to your customers and asking them about the level of support they would find most helpful.
The chances are you’re probably selling more than one product, to different kinds of customers. Taking a moment to understand the customer journey for each of your segments, and the specific pain points each customer may encounter can help you create a better onboarding experience.
Don’t just use the same onboarding strategy for every customer. Think about how you can cater your strategy to the needs of customers with different goals. You could consider creating content that helps customers with achieving specific types of success, like saving time, or increasing revenue.
It’s also worth ensuring customers always have a way to reach out to your team members for extra assistance if something is missing from your onboarding strategy.
The only way to consistently improve and optimize the onboarding journey is to listen to the feedback shared by your customers. Open the lines of communication by giving your buyers a way to share their insights with reviews, feedback, and testimonials.
Use your CRM software to track the progress of your customers, and ask team members to follow up with each customer at scheduled times so they can collect valuable data. This will help you to determine exactly which parts of your onboarding strategy are driving the best results.
Based on the feedback you receive, be ready to update and enhance your onboarding process constantly. This will strengthen your customer success scores, loyalty, and retention over time.
A successful customer onboarding strategy is crucial to increasing the lifetime value of your customers. Success in today’s business world doesn’t just rely on your ability to attract new customers but your skills in retaining and empowering the customers you already have.
Implementing the right onboarding strategy and consistently updating your efforts based on customer feedback, will boost your revenue, and your brand reputation.
Learn more about the power of customer onboarding, and how you can improve customer retention rates, by joining the Hard Skill Exchange today!