By Katy Cesarotti | Gallery Design Studio Editor + Copywriter
Customer experience doesn’t stop the moment the customer hands over their credit card or clicks “buy now” online. Customer onboarding is the process of welcoming new clients to your business and giving them the tools to get the most out of your service.
Onboarding is like a first date with your customers. They’ve already swiped right, so to speak, on your business: you sold them with your superior services and careful attention to their customer experience. But it’s still too early for wedding bells. Your customers might still be nervous and confused, and onboarding will give them confidence that they made the right choice by picking you.
Why does onboarding matter?
It’s all about customer retention.
When customers feel loyal to your brand and stay with you longer, you can bring in more revenue over the duration of your relationship. Retaining more customers can be more valuable than bringing in more new users. According to Bain research, retaining just 5% more customers can boost profits anywhere from 25 to 95 percent.
Yes, you read that right. Better customer retention also saves you time and money previously spent on finding new clients. By encouraging customers to keep coming back, you can increase their lifetime value and create a stable base of customers as your company continues to grow. According to Adobe research, repeat customers can spend five times more per visit than one-time customers.
Churn rate measures how many customers you lose over a period of time—a month, quarter, or year, depending on your business. What makes for a good churn rate varies by industry and business model, but for many companies, the month right after a customer’s first purchase can see the most churn. Customers give your product or service a try, and then choose not to re-subscribe or purchase again from your company, either going to a competitor or giving up the product/service completely.
This is where onboarding comes in. Onboarding is the first impression you make when your potentials customers are finally actually your customers. It sets the stage for the rest of your relationship. During onboarding, you can ease customers into your process and show them how to succeed with your offerings.
What can onboarding do for your company?
1. Tailor a seamless customer experience. By building onboarding around customers, you can anticipate their needs. Address concerns early on to head off problems before they become full-blown customer service issues.
Clients only reach out to customer service when they’ve been struggling with a problem for a while. At best, successful onboarding prevents those negative reactions from even happening.
2. Get customers up to speed. For cutting-edge companies, especially software or tech innovators, your service might be something clients are totally unfamiliar with. They’ll need a little more support as they learn how to use your offerings.
Videos can break down complicated how-tos into easy to understand bursts of information. With strategically designed visuals, you can make technical information clear, and give customers the tools to learn about your business on their own time.
3. Gather intel. With a kick-off call or initial user questionnaires, you can gather more data on your customers needs to ensure you’re giving them the solutions they need. What are their goals? What are they hoping to get out of using your product?
4. Show what makes you shine. Onboarding is a chance to brag about what your company does best. With a video or email “course”, you can give your customer tips and tricks to get the most out of your partnership. Set your customer up for some quick “wins” that will get them excited about working with you.
5. Roll out the welcome mat. Onboarding can show how much you appreciate your customers and demonstrate your willingness to go the extra mile for their satisfaction. When they first sign up or make their first purchase, send a customized welcome note or package to thank them for choosing you.
6. Establish expectations. Make clear any boundaries you have upfront, so there’s no miscommunication later on. Talk to your clients and come to an agreement about turnaround times, project scope, and your definition of success.
7. Check in before they check out. Follow up with customers and thank them for signing up, give them contact information, and ask if they have any questions during that crucial early phase of your relationship. Regular check-ins foster a more personal relationship between you and your customers and can give you valuable insight into your customers’ evolving needs. By asking for feedback, you can also make customers feel more comfortable seeking help when they need it.
8. Leave them wanting more. Your onboarding materials shouldn’t drown customers in information with every little detail about your service. Just cover the basics to get them up and running, so they can start using your offerings with confidence.
With client onboarding, you can build a better customer experience and get more lifetime value out of your new customers. Contact us to learn more about creative onboarding solutions for your business.
About Gallery Design Studio
We specialize in B2B creative solutions that address client needs and wants at every stage of the customer journey. From a customer’s first interaction with a brand to their first purchase and beyond, we craft experiences that are engaging and easy to navigate. Our services: