10 Best Practices For Customer Onboarding
A successful customer onboarding is critical to reducing churn and turning new users into loyal poduct champions. Keep these five tips in mind when creating your customer onboarding experience:
- Send the customer a welcome email as soon as they’ve signed up.
- Create a customer success team to help new users navigate the process to get set up successfully.
- A successful onboarding process should be quick, easy, and tailored to the specific user.
- Be sure to include onboarding for customer upgrades.
- It is important to follow up with new clients regularly to ensure they are getting all they need from your product.
User onboarding is one of the most important aspects of customer loyalty and brand retention. A recent study reported that 86% of people say they’d be more likely to stay loyal to a business that invests in onboarding content that welcomes and educates them after they’ve bought.
No matter what type of business you are in, you’ll need to keep your customers happy and coming back for more. What does a successful customer onboarding strategy consist of? Let’s explore the 10 best practices for a positive onboarding experience to help you turn happy customers into brand advocates.
Why a Positive Customer Onboarding Experience Matters
Your telemarketing or email marketing campaigns may do a great job of getting new customers into your lead management platform. However, if their first experience with your brand is poor, they are not likely to stick around. That is why onboarding is critical for driving new customer acquisition and reducing churn rate. The goal is to welcome new customers and help them get the most out of your company’s product or service quickly. According to Forbes, “Onboarding is the time to make your client feel special. If you’re pushing them into a one-size-fits-all onboarding process — or worse, you’re not using an onboarding process at all — you can’t be surprised if they’re packing their bags for a competitor after their first month is up.” A solid onboarding process guides the user through setup and introduces them to the core functionality. There are a lot of ways to onboard a new user, including:
- Walkthroughs and product tours
1. Create a Customer Success Team
Create an in-house customer success team to help customers through the onboarding process. This approach makes customers feel more comfortable about using the product and give them specific team members to contact when they have questions or concerns. That way you can minimize churn from people who leave because they don’t understand the product.
2. Include Onboarding Procedures for Upgrades
Upgrades, add-ons, and subscriptions are all examples of products or services that increase your product’s value. By including onboarding procedures for these kinds of products, you’ll help your customers get more out of them. This approach also helps your company maximize revenue opportunities.
3. Create a Customer Onboarding Process Flow
An onboarding checklist is a template that represents step-by-step procedures. The checklist guides your customers through their first login and the necessary setup steps the first time through the system. You can consider it a blueprint that will help your users stay on track and get the best out of your app or product.
4. Personalize the Onboarding Experience
Onboarding isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. One of the best ways to engage with your customer base is by tailoring the onboarding experience for each individual user. Be sure the process is relevant for each individual. Don’t force the user through a process that takes them to areas of the system they won’t use.
5. Make the Customer Onboarding Process Straightforward
By making it easy for new customers to get their accounts set up, you can reduce customer churn and increase customer lifetime value (LTV). Plus, by providing these onboarding resources during onboarding, you’re more likely to retain customers in the long term because they already know how best to use the platform. Here are some tips for keeping things simple:
- Keep It Focused on One Purpose: Don’t try to tackle everything at once. The onboarding customer journey should be focused on one specific goal. In general, what’s most important is that your users understand the main purpose of each step and what they need to accomplish by finishing each step before moving on.
- Use Clear Calls-to-Action (CTAs) at Every Step: Use CTAs at every step of your user flow to make sure that users know exactly what action they need to take next. For example, use CTAs like “Sign up,” “Continue,” or “Next” for each step in your user flow.
- Ensure Customers Can Understand and Remember Where They Are in the Workflow: To make sure that users can easily understand and remember where they are in your user flow, use clear visual cues like arrows or labels at every step.
- Use Consistent Navigation and Color Schemes: Use consistent navigation and color schemes throughout your product. If you use different navigation styles in different places, it will be confusing for the user to understand where they are and what to do next.
6. Use Gamification To Enhance the Customer Experience
To make the onboarding experience more fun for your users and encourage them to complete the onboarding flow, use gamification techniques like points, badges, and leaderboards. For example, you can give your users points for completing each step of the onboarding flow or you can display badges on the user’s account page to show progress in completing the onboarding flow.
7. Send Welcome and Follow-Up Emails
When someone from your lead generation campaigns converts to a customer, be sure to send them a welcome email. The email should include basic instructions on how to get started with the product. The email should also include contact information and links to FAQs and any relevant knowledge base.
To help customers become more engaged with your platform, consider sending them follow-up emails that offer tips, tricks, and helpful resources related to the product. These kinds of emails will help your customers become more familiar with your product and make them more likely to continue using it in the future. Plus, by providing these kinds of resources to customers, you’re also enabling them to achieve their goals faster with your product.
8. Continuously Assess Client Needs
The purpose of onboarding is to make customers feel welcome and give them everything they need to accomplish their goals. However, depending on how long your process takes, customers’ needs may change when they start using your product or service. It’s important to check in with customers regularly so you know if the onboarding is still useful. Checking in also helps identify pain points in the process. That way, you can optimize the process for a more streamlined experience.
9. Make Your Onboarding Process Accessible, Flexible, and Repeatable
Businesses are living, breathing organisms that evolve in response to their goals, circumstances, and environment. As a company grows, its short- and long-term needs change, leaving your success team to respond to the customer’s transition. It will be difficult to meet all of your customers’ needs if your onboarding process is rigid and does not allow for change.
Furthermore, your onboarding process should be accessible and repeatable so that new employees or partners of your customers can learn how to use your product. Customers expect your company to make it easier for them to bring on new users, even if it comes at a cost.
10. Build a Relationship
Trust is the antithesis to churn, and relationships build trust and show value. Focus on building a relationship with your customers. Be a partner in their success by continually offering them value. So how do you create a relationship? Assign account managers. Check in. Follow, like, and comment on their content on social media. Call for progress checkups.
How FiveCRM Helps You Manage Customer Onboarding
The key to successful onboarding is building a positive client relationship to keep tabs on the interactions you have with your clients over time and on different platforms.
Managing customer relationships can be tricky when you only keep a basic client database, or worse — an outdated paper system. Thankfully, customer relationship management (or “CRM”) software is here to help. More than a simple database, CRM tools allow you to monitor interactions between all clients and prospects and view each person’s case at a glance.
Specifically, FiveCRM’s intuitive software platform includes customer database functionality as well as outbound calling, email marketing, real-time website analytics, and prospect analysis and profiling. Using automated workflows will enhance even the most difficult of customer onboarding tasks, allowing your team more time to nurture and build customer relations.
If you’d like to see the system in action for yourself visit our website and book a free demonstration.