Transform Your Customer Onboarding Program (5 Best Practices)

Customer Onboarding

Key Insights

  • Your customer onboarding strategy is probably the most important stage of the customer lifecycle
  • While it comes right at the start of their journey, with your offering, it sets the tone for their whole relationship with your product and company
  • The ultimate goal of any customer onboarding program is to get your customers to come back to your product 

A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profit by 25%, according to a report by Bain & Company. 

Why? Because loyal customers are more likely to repeat their purchases. 

Effective customer onboarding is one way to ensure this.

User onboarding is so critically important because it sets the tone for the ongoing relationship your customer has with your product. A good customer onboarding process will:

  • Keep Your Customer Engaged: They will clearly understand and experience the value they’ll get from your product. More importantly, it will give them a reason to log back in and use your product again and again.
  • Improve Trial Conversions:  If you offer a free or discounted product trial, user onboarding is where your trial users get to experience the value of your product. A good user onboarding process— right at the start of their trial — will help them to convert into paid customers.

But how do we create the perfect customer onboarding experience?

The article shares the top actionable practices and trends of customer onboarding for 2022.

1. Simplify the Sign-up Process

The average landing page conversion rate stands at 2.35%. The top 10% of sites are looking at 11.45% and above.

The above onboarding statistics brings us to a common misconception– that customer onboarding doesn’t start until a customer has signed up for your product. 

While every company operates differently, if you are seeing a higher than average drop-off rate, it suggests you’re asking for too much information too soon. 

Such an approach gives a negative brand review or recommendation.

Ask yourself the following questions while working on your company’s sign-up page:

  • Does your page make it easier for customers to sign up?
  • Are you collecting only the essential information to personalize users’ experiences?
  • If the answer to these questions is a resounding yes, you’re on the right track!

Don’t forget that you can always collect more information about the customers in the later stages.

2. Make Way for a Memorable First Log-in

The first time your customer logs in is their first impression of your product. 

Effective customer onboarding will be incomplete without keeping in mind the following practices:

  • Don’t make your customers guess. Your customer should not find themselves staring at a blank screen. Whether you start with a welcome pop-up or a set-up wizard, you must have a way to show your customers around and help them start using your product.
  • Give them a quick win. Your customers need to experience meaningful value from your product. The more they use, the more value they will get. Small milestones should be part of your customer onboarding strategy to give your clients a psychological boost 

3. Send a Welcome Email

A welcome email expresses gratitude. It speaks volumes about how much you value your users.

It also sets expectations for the customer onboarding process. 

A few tips that can help you craft a stellar welcome email are

  • Ensure that your content is crisp, actionable, and easy to understand.
  • Consider including a call to action (CTA) along with the welcome email. 
  • Share the email IDs of your support team so that your customers know who to reach out to in case of queries.
  • You can also make way for AI-powered writing tools and automate the entire process of sending welcome emails.

4. Integration and Data Imports

Data Integration

If you are a B2B business, then your customer onboarding strategy is more than just helping your customers learn how to use your product.

Your product is now part of your customer’s technology stack. This means that they may need to set up integrations with other tools they use or even invite their team to get the most value from your product.

Automate as much as you can. 

Set up an integration between your customer’s marketing automation platform and your product. This will help you remove sticking points that might stop the customer from getting value from your product. But ensure that such a practice is optional and not mandatory.

5. Product Walk-through

A well-thought customer onboarding plan consists of product walkthroughs for your customers. This helps them get set up and complete key tasks within your product.

However, product walkthroughs can be done away with if your new customer is already familiar with your product. An unskippable walkthrough can be just as much a barrier for your clients.

It is important to remember that not everyone will want to go through a product walkthrough the first time they log in. Make it easy for your new customers to come back to your product walkthrough at a later date.

For some users, such walkthroughs might not be enough to get them started. Make it easier for your customers to find extra support.

Building Better Rapport

It is easy to think that the main goal of your customer onboarding process is to help your customers start using your product. It is so much more than that. 

Your ultimate objective is to set your customers up for long-term success, where they become not just your repeat customers but also loyal brand advocates.

Your metric for a successful customer onboarding program is whether or not your customers log back into your product in the days, weeks, and months after the first use.

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