As a growing business, your customers are the center of your everything. You can have the most incredible product or service in the world, but if you can’t get and keep clients, you will find yourself going nowhere. Fortunately, with these new customer onboarding practices, you can increase sales and retention.
Why Does Customer Onboarding Matter?
86% of people say they’d be more likely to stay loyal to a business that invests in onboarding content. Customers who get bottlenecked or confused in a new product or service onboarding are likely to bow out.
When businesses invest in customer onboarding practices and procedures, they find their customers become more loyal, are happier with the product, and will even preach to others about your services. Rather than making a sale and pushing the customer back out the door (physically or digitally), you can create a solid foundation for a lifetime customer with just a few simple steps.
11 New Customer Onboarding Practices
1. Create an Onboarding Program
The first step to creating a successful onboarding funnel is to build an onboarding program. Utilizing the appropriate software, you can essentially create a yellow brick road for your customers to follow from initial interest to the sale and beyond. Whichever platforms you use, it must be a simple process the customer can understand, implement, and enjoy.
2. Automate Whatever You Can
Small businesses often reach bottlenecks in the onboarding process because they haven’t made it easy on the backend. When customers have to wait for emails, forms, or other content to be sent to them, they may lose interest. Therefore, you should automate whatever you can. We recommend using those onboarding platforms to build email sequences, pre-recorded videos, forms, surveys, and other customer action steps that don’t need a human touch.
3. Get to Know the Customer
Through automated content and communication, it is essential to get to know your customers as you bring them into the fold of the business. We suggest making it a mission to discover the clients’:
- Basic demographics
- Needs that require your service
- Pain points that drove them to you
- Personal and business story
- Background of experience
- Expectations of service
- What they hope to achieve with you
- Their definition of success
4. Customize Their Experience
Everyone wants to feel special, especially when they take a step to pay for quality service like yours. When you customize a client’s experience, it makes them feel noticed and appreciated. Part of this customized onboarding experience can be automated, such as adding their name to a field requirement in a newsletter, creating personal profiles in login spaces, or providing badges as they complete tasks. It can also be offering exclusive content, sending a postcard, or reaching out to check on them personally.
5. Assign Varied Onboarding Tasks
Variety is the spice of life! We advise mixing up the media to create a diverse and engaging content funnel as they go through their onboarding process. For example, you can include tasks such as video tutorials, Q&A forms, webinars, or even a one-on-one chat with a representative. Not only will this keep customers connected to the process, it will also allow for various learning styles and teach you more about your customers.
6. Consistently Gather Data
DATA! DATA! DATA! Data is everything, whether you are brand new to the scene or an established company! It is the insider look, the peek behind the curtains, to your customers. As you onboard clients, make sales, and develop new services, consistently gather data so you may analyze it later.
7. Continuously Challenge Your Practices
You must continuously challenge your practices as you gather data and learn what is and isn’t working in your business and customer onboarding. Problem solve what doesn’t work and why! Have third parties follow your system to find choke points. Adjust as you go, and never be afraid to scrap areas that simply don’t work.
8. Build a Solid Relationship
Building a solid relationship with customers is so vital to onboarding that it shouldn’t have to be mentioned, but we will anyways. A few ways to build a solid customer relationship are:
- Being available for questions and concerns
- Checking in regularly with a personal communication
- Sending thank you notes and surveys
- Connecting on social media or other platforms
- Building communities for them to engage with you and others
- Showing empathy when they need it
- Offer premiums, incentives, and special perks
9. Follow Up After Onboarding
You’ve gotten them through the customer onboarding process, congrats! But… you aren’t done yet! Just because they are now an established customer doesn’t mean you can ignore them and assume they will keep coming back. By circling back to your existing customers to see if they need more from you, have questions or recommendations, or simply to say hi, you can continue building that solid relationship and increase your retention rate. Eventually, this may lead to more sales or referrals.
10. Provides Upgrades for Repeat Customers
Speaking of those loyal customers, they are the bread and butter of your business. Once they have trust and investment in your business, there is a greater chance you can sell them a new product, upgrade, or other services. We recommend providing those loyal customers with a “special deal,” such as early access or a discount to thank them for their loyalty.
11. Make Customer Onboarding Simple, Flexible, & Enjoyable
Last but certainly not least, customer onboarding should be a pleasure, not a chore. When building these processes, you want the process to be as simple and flexible as possible so your customers are excited to get started. Put yourself in their shoes, take off the cap of knowledge you know from being behind the scenes, and see what it looks like through their eyes. If it is easy and fun, you are on the right track!
Spotted Fox Digital Marketing
When it comes to onboarding clients, digital marketing may seem like a chore beyond your capability. You need to spend your time and effort on building products and services, but worrying about hashtags and google algorithms. Spotted Fox is here to help you build an effective marketing strategy and align it with your business goals. Schedule a consultation with Spotted Fox today to learn how we can help you.