Customer onboarding is one of the functions involved after making sales. The actual customer satisfaction and success is involved only when the customer gets value from the delivered product/service. Thus we can say that customer onboarding helps build a strong business relationship. It is a must for SaaS businesses and equally beneficial for retail and e-commerce businesses where there are repeated sales. In fact, it is best for any subscription-based business where there is long-term customer engagement and revenue generation. If you wish to improve and maintain a lifetime value with your customer, think of applying customer onboarding to your business.
What is Customer Onboarding?
Customer onboarding simply means guiding the new customers through the product so that they can know more about it like how it works and what its value to their goals is.
Customer Onboarding & User Onboarding
We often use the term user and customer interchangeably though they are quite different. A user is one who is using the product without any charge. The users are those taking free trials just to check whether they should go forward with buying the product.
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On the other hand, customers are those who have actually bought the product and using it. Customers need to be shown the value of the product they are using, they should be satisfied by providing after-sales service and more. Thus you have to plan different strategies for both users and customers which means that the customer onboarding and user onboarding are different.
When can you say that the customer onboarding has begun?
As soon as you sell your product, you make a customer and as soon as you get a customer, onboarding services should start. If you think that your job is over after making sales, you’re gravely mistaken. The sale made is only half done. The other half of the story is customer success and satisfaction which involves all the post-sales services like onboarding.
How do you create a Customer Onboarding Strategy?
The onboarding strategies mostly depend on the type of product and customer base. It should aim at achieving the following 3 goals:
- Making customer use the product more than once within the first week.
- Study and establish a pattern of usage.
- Making the product necessary for the customer.
The Onboarding Process
The company gathers the maximum information about its customers during the marketing and sales processes. This can be used during the initial stages of onboarding. Further, you need to go with the following best practices to create an effective onboarding experience for your customers.
- Understanding the customers- Try to know as much as you can about your customer. Understand the challenges faced by them and find out the solutions.
- Setting clear expectations- The customer should clearly know what to expect from the product before purchasing it.
- Showing Value- Satisfy the customer by emphasizing on the fact that how your product will fulfill their requirements and solve their issues. You can go for a kickoff call, specialized training or documentation.
- Staying in Constant Communication- Constantly keep in touch with your customers via emails throughout the onboarding process. Make them familiar with any in-app tutorials and guides.
- Creating Customer-Centric Goals- The goal of every customer is different depending on their situation. Make your customers define success for them and create measurable milestones to achieve them.
- Seeking to Impress- Each time you interact with your customer try to deliver them some positive experience which they can probably share with others.
- Measuring Success- Try and gather customer feedback, track key metrics and identify the friction points.
Why should I ever invest in customer onboarding?
- To retain customers
- Make customers happy
- Happy customers will buy again thus increasing the sales
- Word-of-mouth marketing since your customers will tell their friends about their experiences
- The profit of the company will increase
Customer Onboarding Checklist
The necessary tasks for you to complete are as follows:
- Welcome email
- Kick-off call
- Product onboarding call
- Educational Emails
- Checkup call
At the middle of the buying cycle, many brands basically focus on using content marketing and direct engagement for the purpose of lead generation. Once you get your customers, this engagement and content marketing changes shape to become the customer onboarding process. Therefore, the responsibility for onboarding and tracking progress can change hands, and the type of content or engagement can also be changed, but the end goal will always remain the same.