Companies invest a huge amount of resources in the research, production, distribution and promotion of new products and services. However, the process does not end with the acquisition of a new client or with their first purchase, rather it remains important to give the user a warm welcome and make them feel supported.
This is where customer onboarding comes into play. This concept is defined as a welcome process, where the user is guided and shown the benefits of the brand or company. It is also an educational process, as it allows the consumer to learn how to get the most out of the products and services available to them.
The importance of customer onboarding
Onboarding allows a company to anticipate the doubts and needs of an individual, while building trust and adding additional value to the purchase of the product or service.
Thus, establishing a standardized onboarding process means creating a clear methodology based on several steps or phases, which is replicated with the arrival of each new user and guarantees that all of them have the same resources and information.
Other advantages to consider are:
- It engenders strong customer loyalty. Maintaining communication with the consumer rather than neglecting them, contributes to making them feel heard and valued.
- It offers a competitive advantage. Users talk about the brands they like and recommend them. According to a Zendesk report, up to 40% of consumers switch to the competition due to better customer service.
- It allows you to customize user experience. A standardized onboarding can also include several distinct segments, each establishing the method and tone of communication that suits them best.
Five steps to develop an onboarding
After analysing onboarding and its advantages, we will now look at five steps which will allow us to develop an effective and flexible process, which can be automated for when a new client arrives and help them resolve any problems they may have.
1. Know the customer
The first step in creating an onboarding is to know the customer of your product or service. Defining who they are, how old they are, what they do, what their personality is like or what their motivations are, are some of the key things to discover through prior research.
Once all the information about the client has been gathered, it is important to define whether there will be a single general onboarding for all users or if several equivalent processes will be developed and adapted to the needs of each target audience. This last option means a more personalised process, which will be perceived as friendlier and more intimate by the different types of users. Decisions such as whether the communication will be via email or through the website, have a considerable influence on customer perception and satisfaction.
2. Set goals
An onboarding must be designed around the objectives it seeks to achieve. Like this, it is possible to create a clear path to follow and have all actions working together in a single direction, transmitting a solid and coherent message throughout the entire welcome process.
The objectives of a client onboarding can be very varied and depend on both the company and the particular period the business is in. Some of the most frequent objectives are: to explain how the product or service works, inform about its benefits or to highlight what separates it from competing alternatives.
3. Create a plan
After gathering client information and establishing the objectives of the onboarding, it is time to define how it will be executed. This is the ideation phase itself, during which decisions on the execution of the process are made. These consist of a formal and concrete action plan, which reflects the different methods and timings to be taken into account.
The action plan can be a very lengthy or short document, outlining a multi-step onboarding process over several weeks or, conversely, a basic welcome process lasting a few days. In both cases, however, the following aspects must be taken into account:
- What information should you convey?
- What technology will you use? Emails, web pages, apps or audiovisual content, etc.
- Which people or departments will be involved?
- How long will it last and how often will we communicate with the client?
- How will we measure the success or failure of the process? Metrics such as the conversion rate or the time the customer spends on different tasks can be established.
4. Get it going
The fourth step is the one where all the materials have been created and organized according to timing. The parties involved are ready to start the process and the necessary automation rules have been set (for the first email that is sent after the purchase, for example). That is when the onboarding starts, with the next customer that joins the company.
During this first stage of operation, it is advisable to monitor the customer’s experience. Talking with them one-on-one allows you to find out if the welcome process is useful and clear or, if it isn’t, what aspects can be improved.
5. Measure and optimize
Finally, it is essential to collect the statistics from the different onboarding processes, analysing them according to the metrics established during the development of the action plan. This can include anything from reviewing sales rates, to evaluating the rate of complaints or the arrival of new customers.
Once the incidence of the onboarding process in the company has been detected, it is important to establish possible changes and apply them through an iterative system of improvements, whose ultimate goal is the optimization of this welcome phase and constant adaptation to the customer’s needs.
Do you want to create a new, or improve an existing customer onboarding process? At GammaUX we have a team of specialized professionals who will help you improve the experience you provide to your users. Get in touch!