What Is Customer Onboarding?
Customer onboarding is the process of introducing new users to a company’s product or service. The process encompasses the sign-up, activation, setup, and initial use of the product. Businesses use the onboarding process to create a positive experience while teaching customers how to leverage a product or software platform to successfully meet their goals through hands-on care, informational content, and personalized engagements.
That said, the goal of onboarding isn’t to provide information on a product. Instead, onboarding exists to deliver as much value as possible, as quickly as possible, preferably with the first use of the product. Businesses must consider five key features to create a successful customer onboarding experience:
- The customer’s goals
- What a successful outcome and adoption process looks like
- How a business can provide assistance through customer care and other onboarding best practices
- How quickly users can move through training
- Ways that customers can rapidly measure success
Customer service agents may not be directly involved in every onboarding experience. Still, preparing client care agents to answer questions, listen to concerns, navigate the product lifecycle, and effectively express the value of a product will reduce the risk of negative experiences, poor impressions, and avoidable churn.
Ultimately, the customer onboarding experience plays a crucial role in long-term customer retention, customer lifetime value, and impacting the customer journey as a whole.
Why Is Customer Onboarding Important for Customer Service?
Customer care departments can enhance the customer onboarding process in several ways. After a user signs up and accepts the contract, providing initial contact enables agents to guide new clients through the activation and setup process. In addition, incorporating accessible user touchpoints – such as email or live chat options – into product platforms reduces the level of effort that customers must exert to access self-help resources.
As a result of a deliberate customer care plan throughout the customer onboarding experience, your business can enjoy a variety of benefits, such as:
1. Better Customer Engagement
Engaged prospects often become loyal customers. With this in mind, early engagement with a customer care agent via phone call, live chat, or email can set the relationship off on the right foot.
Support representatives can pick up where sales and marketing teams leave off, ensuring that new users understand the product or service’s value. Ongoing communication from a customer care team also gives clients a reason to log in and use the product.
2. Higher Conversion Rates
Many companies use complimentary trials or discounted products to entice users to sign up for a product. When customer care agents collaborate with sales and marketing teams to provide added value to the customer, trial users are more likely to become paying customers.
3. Improved Customer Experience
Nearly 70% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 have high expectations for customer service. When they interact with a business, they expect care teams to provide rapid, helpful responses and personalized assistance. Customer care agents can meet and exceed user expectations through customized insights into the needs and goals of their customers.
4. More Word-of-Mouth Referrals
Word-of-mouth marketing influences more than 70% of consumers during the purchasing decision-making process. Fortunately, satisfied customers tell their friends, family, and colleagues about products, commodities, and businesses that fulfill a desire, solve a problem, and get the job done.
By ensuring a positive customer onboarding experience, businesses can convert more customers and boost sales.
5. Lower Operational Costs
Depending on the industry, customer acquisition costs are five to 25 times more expensive than customer retention costs. Even so, only 18% of businesses prioritize customer retention over customer acquisition.
Streamlining and optimizing the onboarding process helps guarantee a positive start to the customer journey, ultimately lowering operational costs for marketing teams, salespeople, and customer support departments.
Optimizing the Customer Onboarding Process Through Customer Service
The customer onboarding process spans several critical steps of the overall customer journey, ranging from the initial purchase to product or service activation to user initiation. Because of this, the customer’s experience during onboarding can significantly influence their overall perception of a brand.
However, companies can work to increase the likelihood of a positive experience through knowledgeable customer care, personalized assistance, and convenient communication channels.