Following best practices for customer onboarding is essential for any company that wants to retain more customers. In this post, we’ll cover the 7 customer onboarding best practices you can implement to delight clients during the onboarding process.
1. Create a best-in-class customer onboarding program.
Customer onboarding is a process that nurtures and guides new customers through learning and using your products or services. Building this relationship increases customer lifetime value. While it is more expensive to attract new customers than it is to focus on existing ones, this process has the potential to create an excellent experience for new customers. As they move through this process, this can increase your company’s perceived value in their minds and push them to be loyal, repeat customers in the future.
2. Choose the best customer onboarding software.
You will need to find the right software to suit your needs in order to create an onboarding program. These programs give you the tools to create in-app onboarding, and onboarding videos and measuring engagement with your customers. These tools can translate into welcome email series, product tours, video tutorials, checklists and many more.
Customer onboarding software currently available includes WalkMe, Apty, Whatfix, Userpilot, Appcues and Chameleon.
3. Define expectations and set milestones.
The biggest question to answer is this: How do they define success? In the new age of customer success, the word “success” is synonymous with the ultimate goal. That means defining what they want out of your engagement. That will set the stage for setting the customer’s expectations.
Next, make a plan and make it happen. This will require setting “success milestones” and letting your customer define what those will look like during the sales process, no matter what it looks like in your industry.
Most importantly, make sure you’re setting milestones you can hit, accurately, every time.
4. Customize the experience.
Part of the onboarding experience should be personalized for each account, and that should be one of your standard protocols. What does individualizing the onboarding experience look like? Consider the principles of UX design: The experience with you, should be valuable, useful, accessible, etc. That could range from creating client-only VIP portals, creating personal profiles, offering exclusive content, being readily available, and understanding enough about your customer to know the questions they’re about to ask and answer them before they wonder.
5. Implement onboarding activities.
As you onboard your customers you might find it necessary to implement various activities throughout the process. To keep your customers committed during onboarding, consider adding video tutorials, Q&A check-ins, and even 1:1s to create variety in how they familiarize themselves with your product or service. As you decide which activities to include, the various methods will help you accommodate the different learning styles of your customers.
6. Focus on the relationship.
This is a partnership. It doesn’t matter if the sale is a matter of seconds or a couple of years but in selling you have created the opportunity for a relationship.
So how do you create a relationship? Assign account managers. Check in. Follow, like, and comment on their content on social media. Trust is the antithesis to churn, and relationships build trust and show value.
7. Follow up after onboarding is complete.
Your relationship with the customer shouldn’t end once the onboarding process is complete. Instead, leave the door open by giving customers a way to communicate with their account manager. This way, if they have more questions about your product or want to onboard a partner or new employee, they have a direct channel to reach your team.
Churn happens, but by following these 7 customer onboarding best practices, you can guarantee that your company won’t end up in the Business History Museum. So go forth, evolve, and welcome new customers with excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm.