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How to Revamp Your Customer Onboarding Effectively

27th Apr 2017
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Your business has marketed your product effectively, and now users are signing up to register. But while you may want to kick back and celebrate, getting users to sign up is only step one of ensuring that they stay loyal, enthusiastic users of your product. Think about all the products or websites which you have signed up for one time to get something you wanted, only to never use it again.

The process of ensuring that your customers are engaged and using your product is known as customer onboarding, and it is just as important as the initial marketing. As Aaron Agius with Entrepreneur points out, keeping customers engaged is easier than acquiring new ones and just as profitable. Furthermore, if a user has a bad initial experience with your product and never uses it again, he will likely complain to his peers and give them a negative impression. The losses of a poor customer onboarding strategy can be much bigger than a single customer.

If your business customer base has a high amount of churn, then you may have to reconsider how to approach your customer onboarding strategy. Here are some fundamental aspects to consider for how to improve onboarding and keep customers.

Keep It Simple Stupid

At the most fundamental level, a customer buys and uses a product to achieve something. While your product may not be able to help customers with their goals immediately, you want them to feel like they are making progress and accomplishing something from the very beginning, no matter how small it is.

There are multiple methods to manifest that feeling immediately from the moment they sign up. Facebook does an excellent job at this. When you create a new profile, they put a big button of “Create Account” at the bottom of the page, but that is actually only the first step. Facebook then asks users to complete very simple tasks such as verifying your e-mail, finding friends, and making your profile public. Every step is numbered, showing users how much farther they have to go.

Registering or signing up for your product should be simple, interesting, and short. Far too many companies make their registration process too long by asking for too much information such as a phone number or last name. If your business does not immediately need certain bits of information, do not ask for it. You can always ask for it later and the sooner the customer can get to the meat of your product, the better.

Show the Product

A customer may buy a product to achieve something, but he really will not know how to use the product and all of its features. While some customers like to learn on their own, businesses must provide a tutorial and show customers how to use their product.

This can be trickier than it appears. You do not want to intimidate the customer with a deluge of facts and details about all the incredible things your product can do. Your customer may want to learn, but he does not want to be lectured. This is something many law firms in Seattle can learn from.

Instead, focus on the core aspects and what the user will need to run the product at a basic level. In addition to not overwhelming the customer with too much information at the start, you leave information which they can discover on their own once they are more acclimatized to your product. That discovery can make them feel like they are making progress and keep them using the product to discover other interesting features.

Ask Customers what they want

There are plenty of products through history which were invented to accomplish one thing but which customers used for a totally different purpose. Customer success from your perspective may be very different from how each individual customer defines success. 

The only way to understand how your customers define success is to ask. Your business should already be sending customers a welcome e-mail, but also hand out surveys or an easily accessible method to contact your company. Furthermore, regularly keep in contact with them with small e-mails which contain tips, discounts on other products, and other such benefits. Make it so that the customer feels comfortable communicating with the company.

Onboarding and Experience

A strong customer onboarding strategy should be similar to your overall customer service strategy. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore customers the moment a sale is made. They need to continue to provide a great experience to retain customers and keep a strong reputation. And if customers are confused about how to use your product, find signing up to be too complicated, or are inundated with information, they will go elsewhere.

Keep things simple, have a clear definition of customer success, and regularly keep in contact with the customer. While some level of churn is inevitable, a strong onboarding strategy can keep churn low and customer support high.

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