Selling your product is great! But it’s not where your interaction with clients should end. If customers have issues with using your product, are still exploring its functionality, or don’t know how to get the best out of it, your sales task is far from done. After all, getting a customer is one thing, and keeping a customer is another.
Once a customer has taken the plunge and signed on the dotted line, you need to make sure that they understand your product and know how to get the best possible value from it. That’s where customer onboarding enters the picture. Selling gets you a customer. Onboarding helps you to keep that customer satisfied and likely to recommend your product or support you again.
In this guide, we’ll examine the customer onboarding process and how you can use it to build long-standing customer relationships.
What Is a Customer Onboarding Process?
The aim of customer onboarding is to make things easy for your clients, and to make them feel they’re well taken care of. Help your customers to feel they’ve made the right decision in choosing you by making the whole process easy, user-friendly, and rewarding.
When you deal with customers in a face-to-face setting, a lot of the elements of customer onboarding occur in-store or at your offices. When working remotely, however, customer onboarding must be more carefully structured.
The usual process begins with a welcome email in which you thank your new client for choosing your product or service. To strengthen the welcome message, many companies include a small gift, for example, a discount or special offer. If that doesn’t fit what you do, you will simply confirm that your client is now subscribed or that their purchase is being processed.
When your customers must take some further action, such as setting up an account, you may decide to send a separate greeting message encouraging them to get started. It should include links to helpful resources, for example, an explainer video.
As your clients go through a setup process, your website or app can give them helpful hints and tips that show them how to get the most out of your product. With each interaction, they’re directed to set up or explore product features. You can also show them tutorials that demonstrate your product in action, but viewing these should be optional.
Help menus, resource bases, or chatbots can help with commonly asked questions, and most people will be perfectly happy to go the self-service route. However, it’s really important to be accessible when your customers decide they need to talk to a human being. Chatbots should be programmed to offer a call or chat with consultants should their responses not contain the information your customers are seeking. Being hard to reach doesn’t create a good impression of your service, so make sure it’s easy to get human help whenever it’s needed.
Even when it looks like everything is going smoothly, your customers will appreciate a follow-up mail from you to check on their progress and to discover whether they have any questions. Needless to say, if they do have any issues to address, responses should be prompt, helpful, and on-point. Follow up to ensure that all issues are now resolved.
Remember that Some, But Not All Onboarding Activities Can be Automated
A well-designed customer onboarding process should make getting started with your product so easy that it can be an automated process. Your customer onboarding strategy should ensure that information is drip-fed on an as-needed basis. If you try asking your clients to do too many things at once, the process begins to look complicated. Your customers may even feel that, rather than solving the problem that led to the purchase, you’ve only given them a new set of problems!
However, no matter how simple and well-structured setting up your service may be, there will always be people who have unusual questions, or who have difficulty understanding certain points. When they run into trouble, they will want quick, efficient, assistance from real people.
Since a bit of give-and-take is often needed in order to understand their questions, voice chat is likely to be the most effective method. It also offers a personal touch. Can you remember an occasion when a company asked if they could call you to follow up on an enquiry? It made you feel valued, and you were impressed with the service, even if you were feeling pretty frustrated before the call.
So, while you can use automation for a basic onboarding process that will work for most people, you still need to address the needs of the few. It’s likely that they’ve done their best to find answers for themselves, so by the time they ask for help, they’re already well and truly stuck. A bit of personal attention will go a long way towards restoring their confidence and boosting their satisfaction. The bottom line? Automate, but be ready to intervene with in-person service.
Can Your Staff be Available 24/7?
Making customers wait is never a good idea. And with business being conducted across worldwide time zones, being ready to jump in when customers show signs of struggling with your product can seem like a tall order. It’s really not worth having staff on duty 24/7 just in case a customer wants help. So what’s the solution?
While some companies indicate the times when help and support are available and simply tell customers to wait for their business hours to commence, that’s not customer onboarding best practice. Customer service, including onboarding, should be about what suits your customers rather than what suits you.
Using a 24-hour call centre’s agents to field communications offers a solution. However, the call centre’s agents must be the type of people you’d like to have as brand representatives. That means choosing an exceptional company where agents are intelligent, helpful, well-informed, efficient, and empathetic – just the kind of people you’d like to speak to yourself!
At RSVP, our handpicked customer service and support personnel are ready to represent you with written and verbal communication that matches your brand’s image, resonating with your customers, and leaving them feeling like “you” have offered them best-in-class service. Talk to us about our Back Office Services and Solutions which includes customer onboarding, and find out just how easy and cost-effective top-notch, round-the-clock customer service and support can be. We take care of you by taking good care of your customers. Call us today.