Why you should care about customer onboarding

Have you heard of the phrase ‘customer onboarding’ lately? Read on to find out what it is and how you can improve your own onboarding process.

You may think that once a customer has signed up for a product or service then the customer has been ‘won’. But this is far from being the end of the story.  There’s a crucial gap between the customer signing up and achieving a feeling of success, and that’s where you can lose them. For example, many people will sign up for a software service but never log on again after that initial sign-up. This can happen because the customer doesn’t understand something, loses interest or just doesn’t see the value in your product or service.

It’s essential that the customer experiences their first success with your product or service if you’re to build a long-term and profitable relationship with them. This process of getting the new client from signing up to success is known as ‘customer onboarding’.

(Note that onboarding happens once the person is a paying customer, it isn’t about lead generation or converting a prospect to a customer.)

Here are three tips for successful customer onboarding:

Set expectations

If customers receive what they expect then they will feel positive about your business and their decision to buy from you. This will encourage them to engage with you in the long term and will help smooth out any difficulties that may come along later.

Don’t overwhelm them

Look at the forms your customers fill in the sign up to your service. Could you remove any of the fields to make the form feel less daunting?

Does your welcome email contain everything your customer could ever need to know about your service? And if so, can you edit it so that it contains just what the need to know right now? You can always give them more information later.

Look at every ‘touchpoint’ you have with your customer and make sure you aren’t bombarding them with requests of information.

Know your stats

It’s important to know if you’re losing customers and where this is happening in your onboarding process. If you can identify these ‘leaks’ then you can take action to prevent them from happening. This is just one example of where you need product usage stats to track the success of your customer onboarding process.

This has been a very short introduction to customer onboarding, as you can imagine this is an extensive subject. But it’s often overlooked as many businesses focus on getting new customers, rather than taking good care of the ones they already have. Paying attention to your customer onboarding process really could make a difference to your profits as well as keeping your customers happy!

Image: jeshoots

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