Customer onboarding is a crucial time for any organization. It represents the key period in a relationship between when a new customer first commits to you and when they begin to find success with your organization.
If your organization does not excel at onboarding new customers, you risk undermining a relationship before it really gets started. An impersonal or confusing onboarding process will lead to early customer churn, undoing all the good work that your team did to secure a new customer in the first place.
At Fryed Egg Productions, we work with our clients to help them show customers that they have made the right choice, giving them the confidence to begin a new relationship without regrets or doubts. There was a reason your new customer chose you. Don’t make them lose sight of that. Use customer onboarding to set the proper tone and begin the critical, ongoing process of customer retention.
A strategic approach
As an organization, you should have a clear strategy for the customer onboarding process – what you hope to accomplish and how you’re going to accomplish it. That means establishing a standard plan and clear ownership of the process. Onboarding should be choreographed as much as possible, but with plenty of space for improvisation and adapting to each individual client’s needs. Be sure to define what success will look like – and then measure it to make sure you achieved or to see if you’re falling short. Don’t allow your process to grow stale or outdated. You will need to refine it routinely to better align with your changing offerings and customers. When you design customer onboarding, be aware that one of the most common mistakes organizations make is to throw too much too soon at their newest customers. Avoid the infamous “drinking out of a firehose” analogy and design a process that is meant to be digestible.
Clarity and purpose
Since you are avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach, you will want to establish a pathway to success for each individual client and share it with them. The temptation during onboarding can be to simply explain how to use your product or service, but you will want to ask questions and be sure that every step of the way you are tailoring your product or service to their particular needs. In this way, you can demonstrate your value from the outset and take important steps to build their trust in your team, your product or service, and your organization. This is a time of setting clear expectations for customers. If initial bumps are often part of the process, don’t promise them a process without them.
A seamless transition
The promises you’ve made in the marketing and sales process must be met through your initial touchpoints after your newest clients commit to you. Emphasize seamlessness in this process – there shouldn’t be jarring changes in tone or expectations. Your team members should collaborate closely with each other so that your new clients don’t feel as though they are starting all over – answering the same questions, explaining things that they’ve already explained. You should know why they bought your product or service and what their specific opportunities and challenges are and how you can help them from day one. Show that you know them and aren’t meeting them all over again. The more that you can nurture new customers at the outset the more quickly they will feel comfortable with you and the service or product that you are offering them.
In many ways, onboarding is about content and resources. Your newest customers will judge your organization on the quality of the tutorials, welcome videos, documents and other resources that you initially bring to the relationship. If they are confusing or shoddy or just unimpressive, it will be hard to overcome that impression. It is essential to create high-quality materials. However, every client will need to be guided and not just thrown a bunch of resources, no matter how sterling they are. Give them the capabilities to work autonomously but don’t assume that they will. Provide training tailored to them and show them how to succeed rather than just tell them. Keep close tabs on them and do everything you can to help them to get to their first wins as soon as possible. Once that gap between committing to you and success has been filled, onboarding is over and a new exciting chapter in your relationship can begin.
Fryed Egg can tailor an onboarding plan for your organization that will fit your particular needs and clients. We can build a plan out and manage it for you or pass along the reins to you to run yourself. If you want to learn more about how Fryed Egg can help, contact us at (813) 478-0494 or [email protected] or visit www.FryedEgg.com.