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 client onboarding process is vital in order to establish a healthy long-term relationship with your customers and reduce your customer churn rate.
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 new customer onboarding process is all about giving customers what you promised them and more. It’s about setting them up for success with your solutions, which would earn you many happy customers and have a positive impact on customer loyalty.
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 a new customer onboarding process flow 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.
Why should you improve customer onboarding? What benefits does this bring?
Onboarding your customers well and set them up for success brings your business many benefits. The most obvious benefit is that it reduces churn, earns you more loyal customers, and increases your customer lifetime value.
Here are 3 other benefits that an effective new customer onboarding process flow 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.
What does customer onboarding include?
Customer onboarding includes the entire process till the time your customers get set up and can begin using your offerings. It includes the initial sign-up, customer training, and the first use. Customer onboarding aims to help you give as much value to your customers as soon as possible, preferably in the very first use of your product.
What is a customer onboarding process?
This is essentially the process that you follow to help your new clients get acquainted with your product and all its features. You will have to vary your customer onboarding process according to the individual customer’s specific needs, not all your customers will want to go through every step in the process, but those steps should be available for them to access and go through if they wish to do so.
At what point do you need to create a client 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.
What are some best practices to follow while creating a new customer onboarding process flow?
Here are some best practices that you can use to enhance your customer onboarding, improve your customer service, and increase your customer retention.
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 product or platform tutorial, this adds a flair of gamification to your customer onboarding process and keeps your customers more engaged.
3. Personalize the onboarding experience
Try to tailor your customer onboarding process to the individual customer’s goals and requirements. When you incorporate a personal touch into your onboarding strategy, 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.