If you provide some type of product or service, having an established process for customer onboardings is essential.
Onboarding is a tutorial of sorts that gets new users acquainted with your tool, teaches them its ins and outs, guides them through their first project, and helps them come up with new ideas for future projects.
But before we delve into the intricacies of how to ensure a positive onboarding experience for your clients, let’s establish the exact reasons why you need to invest your time and resources into doing so.
Why Is An Extensive Onboarding Process Important?
A good customer onboarding is much more than a simple 30-minute walkthrough of your tool in a Zoom meeting.
You have to think beyond just teaching users how your tool works. First and foremost, an onboarding process shows them that you care about them, and are able to address all of their needs properly.
While it’s not your first point of contact with your clients, it’s still extremely important to interact and communicate with them in a way that will make them feel like you truly care.
If someone has an exceptionally good experience with your company, they are much more likely to keep using your services, recommend you to their friends, and potentially upsell.
In fact, retaining an existing customer by ensuring a good experience is a lot easier than winning the trust of a new one.
It is also cheaper - developing all of the tutorials associated with your tool is a one-time investment, whereas a single client can make multiple purchases - especially if you offer subscription-based services.
Checklist For A Strong Customer Onboarding
Now, let’s take a look at some of the most important elements a good customer onboarding should have.
1. Sit Down With Them In A Personalized Meeting
A lot of companies strive to automate the whole onboarding process so that some weight is lifted off CX managers’ and founders’ shoulders.
But still, even the most inclusive interactive tutorial can’t convey a very important message - that the user is interacting with not just the business, but the human beings behind it as well.
So, if you can afford to have a dedicated person sit down with new clients and talk them through a 30-minute onboarding session, you should.
This will allow you to build stronger bonds with your users, as well as run personalized onboardings, showing users how exactly they can use your tool to reach their own, personal business goals.
So, for example, our own tool, Respona, is an all-in-one email outreach platform that can be used for link building, digital PR, marketing, sales, podcast outreach, influencer outreach - a lot of different purposes.
We tailor each onboarding, depending on the type of outreach our clients intend on doing - and show them how to set up their campaign of the type that is most important to them.
2. Develop In-App Tutorials For All Major Features
Even after an in-depth, personal onboarding, most people are going to forget the majority of the things that you teach them. So, the purpose of the initial, in-person onboarding is more to show them that you care about them rather than actually teach.
The first time they log into your tool on their own, it’s likely that they’re not going to know where to start.
So, it is important to make sure that before they can get to the actual functions, they have the option to refresh their memory by watching a video or going through an interactive, step-by-step in-app tutorial.
But you shouldn’t make it mandatory - if they already know what they’re doing, having to go through this tutorial is only going to frustrate them. Give them the option to opt-out of it, just in case.
This in-app tutorial not only should teach users how exactly everything functions, but also suggest further steps to help guide their experience with the tool.
It is also a good idea to send out a regular newsletter that shares some tips on how to get the most out of your tool.
3. Set Up A Knowledge Center
The in-app tutorials should only pop up a single time. If the user is prompted to repeat them every time they log in - that’s only going to be annoying.
But still, regardless of the user’s experience and the type of your tool, they are always going to have questions or run into unexpected problems.
For these situations, it’s extremely important to have a dedicated knowledge base. This knowledge base should have a series of articles that cover all aspects of your tool: from the most basic functionality to major features, common issues that people experience, and a FAQ section.
It is important that your knowledge base supports a search field - so that when a person has a question, they can just type it in and find an answer instead of having to go through all of your articles manually.
4. Actively Respond To Questions In A Support Tool
There is a common misconception that onboarding is a one-time kind of thing. You welcome users to your tool, and that’s it.
It is very wrong. Onboarding is an ongoing process that ensures that your users have the best possible experience at all stages of interacting with your company.
So, it is vital that you provide your users with a way to reach you at all times. An online chat is one of the best ways you can do that.
Take, for example, Intercom. Ever seen the little chat blog in the bottom right corner of a website? Through it, people can type in their questions and get a hold of someone from your team to help them.
Obviously, you can’t provide 24/7 support, unless you have dedicated support teams working in different time zones - although that is a privilege accessible only to the largest of companies.
For those cases, you can leverage chatbot creation tools and incorporate a chatbot into the mix - depending on the question the user has, the chatbot can give simple answers by providing links to corresponding content within your knowledge base.
Check-In On Their Progress And Celebrate Their Achievements
In addition to simply providing support at the request of your customers, it is also important to stay in touch with them, see how they’re doing, and celebrate their achievements together.
Of course, it’s better if you contact them personally - like through email or on social media to see how they’re doing, but you can also take advantage of automated chatbots that send messages on your behalf after a set time period.
As for celebrating their achievements, for example, you can give them a discount for their next subscription for, say, sending one thousand emails through your tool.
This will help you further engage with your customers and maintain a positive relationship, making them feel like you truly care, which is extremely important.
So, a customer onboarding process is an ongoing task that starts by you introducing yourself and your tool to them, guides them through each step of using it, helps them when they need it, and contributes to maintaining a good relationship with your users.
About The Author
Managing brand partnerships at Respona, Vlad Orlov is a passionate writer and link builder. Having started writing articles at the age of 13, their once past-time hobby developed into a central piece of their professional life.