What is onboarding?
Customer onboarding is a term used to describe the process that your customers experience at the beginning of their customer journey with your business, and if you think that as a professional, you don’t have to consider onboarding, think again! The beginning of your customer journey is one of the most important, especially in regards to fostering future engagement and retention.
Why is onboarding important?
First impressions matter, and this is the foundational idea behind having a strong onboarding process. The first one-on-one experience your customer has with your services sets the tone for their entire relationship with your business. If it’s stressful, confusing, or convoluted, you could risk losing their business and develop a negative reputation.
Especially if you acquire a new prospect via a special promotion, discount, or free trial, if you want to limit the number of drop-offs immediately after this special ends, a strong onboarding experience is key.
How to build a strong onboarding experience for your customers
The goal of customer onboarding is not only to reduce churn, but also to showcase the long-term value of sticking with your business as opposed to a competitors. A good onboarding experience will:
- Build trust between you and your customer
- Guide your customer through any initial forms or required registration
- Create engagement with you
- Set expectations for the future
- Impress them
Some aspects you an utilize in your onboarding process
Here are some suggestions we have for you to try in your onboarding process.
Customize your welcome
Adding a specific person’s name to even the first welcome email you send them goes a long way to setting the tone for the relationship you’ll have with them during their entire customer lifecycle. Sending custom emails and notifications to them is simple with many online marketing platforms, and can increase long-term retention and customer satisfaction.
Assign an individual representative
Assigning an individual representative to each customer is not only something simple your business can do, but it adds a personal touch to your relationship, and gives your customer a point of contact they can connect with in the future (which often makes them more willing to connect with you!). Even if you have the same representative act as the main point of contact, letting each customer know that they can call in and ask for someone by name goes a long way in onboarding that customer.
Set check-in milestones
The first time you meet with your customer, set some milestones for the future, and let them know that there will be certain moments where you’ll check in with them, to see how they’re doing, whether they need to come in again for another appointment, or if they’re all good for the time being. Establishing this during the onboarding process plants the seed early in your customer’s mind that you will be in touch later, and thus – they will be more likely to engage with you in the future.
Showcase success stories
All customers enjoy knowing that others have come before them, and enjoyed their experience. So if you can, during the onboarding process, showcase some success stories you have had in the past, so that you not only highlight the positives of a long-term relationship with your business, but you set your customer’s mind at ease: they have made the right choice to choose you.
These are just a few ways you can work to improve your customer onboarding experience so that you set the right tone for your customers in the first days of their time with you. Remember, excellent customer onboarding not only keeps your customers happy, but it keeps them coming back and referring you to their friends and colleagues.