Customers’ first impression of a company is hard to shake. If getting started with a new product or service is difficult and without guidance, they may decide to look elsewhere for an easier alternative.
According to Precursive, 82% of enterprise organizations consider their onboarding approach “a key driver of value.” You should, therefore, set up a smooth onboarding process for teaching them how to utilize their new purchases.
The onboarding process is about ensuring that new customers feel valued, guiding them through the details of your product or service, and answering questions.
Customer onboarding is a crucial process that can strengthen or shatter a company’s customer relationships.
In this post, will discuss the onboarding process, importance of customer onboarding and best practices for customer onboarding.
What is customer onboarding?
Customer onboarding is the process of taking new customers through the use of your product or service. This process assists a customer in understanding your products or services and all their features and capabilities.
It encompasses the entire journey, from customers signing up to when they become fully accustomed to their purchase and are utilizing the product or service well.
An effective onboarding process can prevent customer churn caused by lack of understanding of the product’s usage or its value.
The customer onboarding process
The onboarding process entails familiarizing new customers with a product or service they have signed up for or purchased and guiding them to maximize its benefits. Following are some of the steps of this process.
Sign up your customers
The process of signing up is an important first step in the customer onboarding strategy. It entails customers making a formal commitment to use a particular product or service.
Customers can usually sign up for or purchase your products through:
- Your website
- Calling your customer service number
- Your physical store, if applicable
Once a customer has finalized a purchase or signed up for a service, it’s time to provide them with a warm and friendly welcome.
This can be achieved by either welcoming the customer in person or send them a welcoming email.
The welcoming email should contain:
- Appreciation for their patronage
- Information on how to get started
- Contact information for questions
According to Gitnux statistics on customer onboarding, 76% of customers are likely to continue using a service after a welcoming onboarding experience.
A warm welcome not only adds a personal touch but also helps in building a solid relationship with your customers.
Product or service setup
During this phase, a company helps its customers initiate their journey with their product or service. A company’s support or dedicated onboarding team can guide customers through:
- Configuring their accounts
- Establishing data connections
- Personalizing their settings
They can also show them how to access the main features and benefits of your company’s product or service.
The product instructions can be done through tutorials, videos, checklists, and documentation until and unless the customer requires more complex aid.
A knowledge base with specific tips, techniques, best practices, and practical examples to enhance their product usage is a great link to provide.
Make customer service more interactive
The onboarding training can be more involved than prepared materials can cover in some cases. Also, there are always customers who run into issues.
Part of the onboarding process is allowing them ask questions and give suggestions. Live demos and support can be offered as part of your new customer service.
Moreover, these interactions can be used to encourage customers to explore the company’s offerings and motivate them to uncover additional benefits and advantages that the product or service can provide.
Routine checking in with the customer to see their progress is a good idea in client onboarding, depending on the product. This can be done through emails.
The attention makes new customers feel a company’s genuine dedication to their success. Regular check-ins track progress, build relationships, and allow feedback.
They shape new customers’ perceptions of the organization.
Importance of customer onboarding
A good customer onboarding process is essential in every business because it:
- Establishes good relationships: The onboarding process is vital in building positive relationships with new customers and nurturing their loyalty to a company, as it creates a good, lasting first impression.
- Improves customer retention: Having a well-executed onboarding process improves customer retention, as it ensures that customers understand how to utilize your product effectively, reducing customer frustration and therefore churn.
- Increases customer lifetime value: Establishing a relationship foundation through customer onboarding not only engages new customers and improves trial success, but also builds trust. Ultimately, this enhances customer retention and loyalty, elevating their lifetime value.
- Facilitates effective communication: The onboarding process offers opportunities to set up clear and efficient communication channels with your customers when they reach out to you with their queries and concerns. They’re more likely to take chances with your products if they know it’s easy to get help using them, which you prove in your onboarding.
Customer onboarding best practices
The onboarding process helps new users understand, engage with, and recognize the value of a product or service. Following are some customer onboarding best practices.
Identify and define your customer onboarding goals
What do we want to achieve with our onboarding process? That’s the first question a company should answer before designing theirs.
They should identify the objectives of the customers being introduced to the product or service and determine the onboarding’s expected outcome.
Setting goals during onboarding provides a clear direction and purpose.
Measure the KPIs and onboarding success
After setting your goals, establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and measure the success of your onboarding process. Set up ways to collect the data you need for them.
These KPIs help you assess the effectiveness of your onboarding strategies and how changes you make influence that effectiveness.
Analyzing these KPIs will help in pinpointing areas needing improvement and checking whether the onboarding process is on track with its intended objectives.
Create a program to promote your product or service
The first interaction your customers have with your product plays a pivotal role in determining their long-term engagement.
Therefore, you should develop a program that motivates customers to utilize your product or service.
These programs could involve a series of tutorials, webinars, or even one-on-one training sessions, depending on your product.
These programs enable your customers to understand the total worth of what you’re providing and how to utilize it fully.
Just make sure you don’t overwhelm your customers. Start with the basics and offer more complex feature training once that’s mastered.
Gather information on the progress of your customers
Clearly understanding your customers’ progress with their new purchase lets you offer them appropriate support when they need it.
This involves gathering or collecting data from all customer interactions, such as:
- Support chats
- Support tickets
- Forum discussions
- Feedback surveys
By collecting information about your customers’ advancement in the onboarding phase, you can determine where customers are getting stuck when attempting to utilize different aspects of a product.
You can then customize the onboarding materials or structure to smooth out the customer journey. You can also train your support team to anticipate these sticking points.
Assign ownership of the onboarding process
You need to decide who will be responsible for overseeing all the onboarding materials and activities. This person or team will be responsible for organizing all onboarding tasks and guaranteeing a smooth operation.
Choosing the right person or team is important as it establishes accountability and the careful execution of the customer onboarding strategy.
Determine the onboarding method
Decide how best to conduct your onboarding process. For example, this can be done through personal training or online tutorials.
The chosen method should be designed to meet the specific needs and preference of the customers being onboarded, as well as the nature of your products.
Offering more than one option for learning can be beneficial if your customer base is varied.
Maintain good communication
The importance of effective communication in successfully onboarding individuals cannot be overstated.
Address their questions and concerns, but also update them on new improvements and changes and how to prepare for them.
Communicating with your customers about these improvements and changes fosters a sense of readiness and value to customers.
If aspects of your product or service change just as a new customer is becoming familiar with how to use it, they may grow frustrated or confused.
They may not see announcements on your website, so specifically sending them notifications is better.
Prepare a checklist for new customers
A well-structured checklist for customer onboarding aids in self-monitoring their progress through the training and ensures no step is overlooked.
The checklist may include tasks like:
- Setting up accounts
- Testing features
- Attending training sessions
- Reviewing policies and procedures
Client onboarding templates
Client onboarding templates can streamline the onboarding process, providing a smooth transition for new clients and establishing the foundation for a successful customer relationship.
Invitation email template
This is the initial email a new client will receive from you after registering for your service or product.
This email’s goal is to welcome the consumer to your business and give them all the information they need to get going.
Making a good first impression is crucial, so make sure this email is approachable, educational, and supportive. For example:
Customer Invitation Email Template
Dear [Customer Name],
Welcome and thank you for choosing [Company Name]! We hope you will be happy about your choice.
We at [Your Company Name] always strive to provide the best for our clients.We should schedule a meeting to initiate your customer onboarding process.
Before we begin the session, kindly check out these resources to familiarize with your new [product or service]:
[Link to your self-service portal or documentation]
[Link to your customer service portal or form]
[Link to your online community forum]
[Link to your feedback portal]
Please reply to this email to let me know which dates and times work best for you for the onboarding meeting.
If you have any questions before then, feel free to reach out to our support team through [support Contact Information] for assistance.
I sincerely hope you enjoy our service.
Template for a customer intake form
A client intake form aids in obtaining necessary information about a new customer.
The form collects the information about the customer, their specific requirements, preferences, and contact details.
This template streamlines the collection process and ensures all essential information is gathered from the start.
Here is an example you can use:
Template for Customer Intake Form
Please fill out the following:
Preferred contact method:
Product or service information
Product or service purchased:
Reason for purchase:
Goals for using our brand:
Previous experience with similar products or services:
How did you hear about us?
Do you have any questions or concerns?
Template for onboarding timeline
An onboarding timeline template is a formal schedule that outlines the key milestones and deadlines during the onboarding process.
It aids in informing both the company and the new customer about the expected time-frame.
This form includes the dates for the first meeting, training sessions, and evaluations.
Onboarding Timeline Template
Welcome again to [Company]! In order to make your onboarding as smooth as possible, we have compiled a list and schedule of training courses, as discussed in our email correspondence.
The following is the onboarding training schedule we will follow:
Day 1: Introductory meeting with product expert.
• Introduction to the company policies and procedures.
• Introduction to the product or service.
Day 2: Product training session
• In-depth exploration of product features and their usage guide.
Day 3: Third training session
• Evaluation of user goals and objectives.
• Discussing achievable solutions to business success.
Day 4: Tracking progress and feedback
• Training on how to track your progress.
• Feedback regarding the onboarding experience.
Offer training resources
These resources can include how-to guides, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and video tutorials.
By ensuring easy accessibility to these resources, clients can gain confidence and become more self-reliant in utilizing the company’s products.
Repository of Training Resources
Welcome to our training resources repository!
Here, you’ll find:
• The [product] user guide
• Video tutorials
• Webinar recordings
• Support forums
Template for email handover to other departments
This email template is meant to be simple, direct, and educational. It gives the new clients an overview of the support department, outlines their responsibilities, and includes contact details.
By receiving this, the client knows who to contact for concerns or queries now that the onboarding phase is concluded.
To hand-over clients to other departments you can use the following template:
Template for Departmental Customer Hand-over
Dear [Customer Name],
We sincerely hope you are satisfied with [Product]. We are dedicated to giving you the best service possible, and therefore, we would like to introduce you to our [Department Name].
[Shortly outline the department’s job] is the responsibility of the [Department Name] team. They will serve as your contact for [Name the problems or queries that the department deals with].
Contact the department through [Department Email Address] or [Department Contact Number].
Team members will be available [Name the hours of operation for the department]. We guarantee that you will receive the best service possible from our [Department Name] staff.
It’s been a pleasure serving you for your onboarding. We appreciate you selecting [Your Company’s Name]. We’re eager to provide you with better service.
Offer effortless customer onboarding experience
A good customer onboarding process is crucial for customers becoming well accustomed to your product or service.
With a well-executed strategy, you can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty by facilitating a smooth transition for your new customers through their onboarding journey.
Understanding the importance ourselves, we offer a streamlined customer onboarding process for BoldDesk. BoldDesk can also help you improve your own onboarding processes.
It comes with knowledge base software that helps you easily create an organized repository for your training materials. Initiate a 15-day free trial or schedule a live demo. For additional details, reach out to BoldDesk’s support team.