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Customer onboarding

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding includes all the activities involved in getting new customers familiar with your products or services. It involves nurturing and guiding customers to help them become comfortable with your offerings and get the most value out of them.

Since it is at the start of their relationship with your company, it can define their attitude towards your offerings and your organization. A good onboarding process is vital in order to establish a healthy long-term relationship with your customers.


Why is customer onboarding important?

To find an answer to this question, you would need to answer two other questions: 


  • How important do you consider customer retention?
  • Do you want your customers to turn into brand evangelists?


A good onboarding process is all about giving customers what you promised them and more. It’s about setting them up for success with your solutions.

Without a proper onboarding process, you’re pretty much saying, “Thanks for signing up with us. Now, do whatever you want on the platform, we aren’t going to help you.”

How do you think your customers will feel about that? 

Now if your solution has a learning curve to it, you definitely do not want to leave your customers to survive on their own wits. You need to onboard them, show them what they need to do to achieve their goals, and make it as easy as possible for them to succeed. 

Thinking is tiring. You need to have an onboarding process that minimizes the need for them to actually think and figure things out on their own.

The easier you make it for your customers to do something, the more likely they are to do it. So, a good onboarding process increases your chances of retaining customers.


The benefits of customer onboarding

Onboarding your customers well and set them up for success brings your business many benefits. The most obvious benefit is that it reduces churn and increases your customer lifetime value.

Here are X other benefits that effective onboarding would afford you:

  • Shorter time to value:
    Your customers would be able to put your offerings to use faster, rather than spending time figuring them out and setting them up. This is very important for you, especially if you operate a subscription-based business.
  • Word of mouth marketing:
    When you take time to onboard your customers, give them a great experience and help them succeed with your platform, they tend to see great results. And when that happens, they end up telling their circle about this amazing brand that helped them achieve their goals. That’s free marketing.
  • Increased revenue:
    When you show your customers that you have their back and are willing to help them gain more value from your solutions, you earn their trust. When they need to upgrade or purchase another solution, you’re on the top of their minds, making cross-selling and up-selling much easier.



At what point do you need to create an onboarding process?

A customer onboarding process is not something that you should wait to create after hitting a certain milestone or reaching a particular threshold. Every single one of your customers deserves a good onboarding experience, and yes, that includes your very first customer as well.

That does not mean that you need to create an extremely sophisticated, complex process right at the start of your venture. Put a simple one in place in the beginning and allow it to evolve over time.

Customer onboarding best practices

1. Simplify everything

Explain everything as easily as possible. Don’t try to push all the information they need in one go. Break it down into smaller segments, allowing them to understand each part, and accomplish a small task before moving on to the next segment.


2. Create milestones

Especially when done in a platform tutorial, this adds a flair of gamification to your onboarding process and keeps your customers more engaged.


3. Personalize the onboarding experience

Try to tailor your onboarding process to the individual customer’s goals and requirements. You aren’t just showing them how to use your product, you are setting them up to achieve their definition of success with your solutions.


4. Understand your customers

You can’t personalize your onboarding process if you don’t understand your customers in the first place. In addition to understanding personas, take the time to understand the obstacles that individual customers face and the goals that they seek to achieve.


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Customer onboarding

October 14, 2020

Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding includes all the activities involved in getting new customers familiar with your products or services. It involves nurturing and guiding customers to help them become comfortable with your offerings and get the most value out of them.

Since it is at the start of their relationship with your company, it can define their attitude towards your offerings and your organization. A good onboarding process is vital in order to establish a healthy long-term relationship with your customers.


Why is customer onboarding important?

To find an answer to this question, you would need to answer two other questions: 


  • How important do you consider customer retention?
  • Do you want your customers to turn into brand evangelists?


A good onboarding process is all about giving customers what you promised them and more. It’s about setting them up for success with your solutions.

Without a proper onboarding process, you’re pretty much saying, “Thanks for signing up with us. Now, do whatever you want on the platform, we aren’t going to help you.”

How do you think your customers will feel about that? 

Now if your solution has a learning curve to it, you definitely do not want to leave your customers to survive on their own wits. You need to onboard them, show them what they need to do to achieve their goals, and make it as easy as possible for them to succeed. 

Thinking is tiring. You need to have an onboarding process that minimizes the need for them to actually think and figure things out on their own.

The easier you make it for your customers to do something, the more likely they are to do it. So, a good onboarding process increases your chances of retaining customers.


The benefits of customer onboarding

Onboarding your customers well and set them up for success brings your business many benefits. The most obvious benefit is that it reduces churn and increases your customer lifetime value.

Here are X other benefits that effective onboarding would afford you:

  • Shorter time to value:
    Your customers would be able to put your offerings to use faster, rather than spending time figuring them out and setting them up. This is very important for you, especially if you operate a subscription-based business.
  • Word of mouth marketing:
    When you take time to onboard your customers, give them a great experience and help them succeed with your platform, they tend to see great results. And when that happens, they end up telling their circle about this amazing brand that helped them achieve their goals. That’s free marketing.
  • Increased revenue:
    When you show your customers that you have their back and are willing to help them gain more value from your solutions, you earn their trust. When they need to upgrade or purchase another solution, you’re on the top of their minds, making cross-selling and up-selling much easier.



At what point do you need to create an onboarding process?

A customer onboarding process is not something that you should wait to create after hitting a certain milestone or reaching a particular threshold. Every single one of your customers deserves a good onboarding experience, and yes, that includes your very first customer as well.

That does not mean that you need to create an extremely sophisticated, complex process right at the start of your venture. Put a simple one in place in the beginning and allow it to evolve over time.

Customer onboarding best practices

1. Simplify everything

Explain everything as easily as possible. Don’t try to push all the information they need in one go. Break it down into smaller segments, allowing them to understand each part, and accomplish a small task before moving on to the next segment.


2. Create milestones

Especially when done in a platform tutorial, this adds a flair of gamification to your onboarding process and keeps your customers more engaged.


3. Personalize the onboarding experience

Try to tailor your onboarding process to the individual customer’s goals and requirements. You aren’t just showing them how to use your product, you are setting them up to achieve their definition of success with your solutions.


4. Understand your customers

You can’t personalize your onboarding process if you don’t understand your customers in the first place. In addition to understanding personas, take the time to understand the obstacles that individual customers face and the goals that they seek to achieve.


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