Today, companies face numerous challenges. Delivering an exceptional customer onboarding experience is one of them.
With the increasing availability of goods and services, customers have more choices than ever. Hence, it’s no surprise that their expectations are also much higher.
As a result, attracting new customers is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses of all sizes. But after landing a new client, an even more challenging task awaits — retaining them.
If the client decides to churn and switch to a competitor, your customer acquisition efforts will be lost, and you’ll be back to square one. The good news is that an effective customer onboarding process can often prevent this from happening.
What is customer onboarding?
Customer onboarding is the process of getting new clients up and running with your product. It starts when a new client signs up for a free trial or makes a purchase and lasts until they can confidently use your product to reach their goals.
An effective customer onboarding process shortens the time to value, so customers can reap the benefits of your product from day one.
What are the benefits of an effective customer onboarding process?
Customers are more likely to churn in the early stages of the business relationship. As a result, starting off on the right foot with a new client is crucial.
Properly onboarding new customers can positively impact your business in a number of ways:
Lower churn rate
As mentioned before, customers are more likely to churn at the beginning of the business relationship. A great way to convince them that they’re making the right decision is to provide them with a good onboarding process. This demonstrates value from the get-go and removes doubt and uncertainty.
The client onboarding process provides businesses with a great opportunity to find out exactly what the customer expects from the business relationship. In turn, the client gets a clearer picture of what the business can deliver. This ensures that the business and its customer are on the same page from the start.
Stronger customer relationships
Customer onboarding plays a key role in delivering an excellent customer experience. This, in turn, results in stronger customer relationships.
Happy customers are a major driver of business growth. They are more open to upsells and cross-sells and can help you acquire new customers through referrals.
Properly onboarded clients can positively impact your bottom line. Hence, you should definitely consider implementing a customer onboarding program.
8 steps to an effective customer onboarding process
So, you just got a bunch of new customers, and you want to set them up for success with your product quickly and effectively. Here’s what you should do.
1. Make it convenient to sign onboarding documents
When it comes to signing engagement letters, trading and data processing agreements, and non-disclosure agreements, new customers expect convenience above all else. So, ditch handwritten signatures and opt for a digital signing solution that allows customers to sign onboarding documents effortlessly on the go.
Digital signatures help your employees and customers save time while drastically reducing delays and disruptions in the signing process. Additionally, digital signing tools allow you to keep track of your documents’ status and send automatic reminders to clients who didn’t sign.
2. Send new clients welcome emails
A great way to kickstart your relationship with a new customer is by sending them a welcome email.
Take this opportunity to thank the client for choosing your company and let them know how happy you are to have them on board. This will make them feel acknowledged and appreciated.
Besides the greeting message, the welcome email should also include:
- links to relevant resources, such as knowledge base articles or video tutorials, to help new customers get started with your product
- a button that conveniently takes new clients to the login page, so they don’t have to spend time looking for it
3. Gather information on new clients
Onboarding questionnaires are a fantastic way to get familiar with your customers.
Digital data collection tools like Penneo Sign make it easier for your customers to provide you with their company and billing information, preferences, and goals. You can then use the information to deliver superior experiences to your new clients and build stronger customer relationships.
4. Build a knowledge base and give your customers access to it
A knowledge base is an invaluable resource for new clients. Besides helping them get started with your product, it allows them to find all the information they need in one place and solve problems by themselves. If they need any assistance, they can also contact the support team via the knowledge base.
For a knowledge base to be truly useful, it should include:
- articles on how to get started with the product and how to use it
- articles on how to integrate your product with third-party solutions
- troubleshooting articles
- button or link to contact the support team
5. Create video tutorials and share them with your clients
According to Think with Google, people are 3 times more likely to watch a video tutorial than read a product’s instructions.
Video tutorials communicate information more efficiently than text instructions while also making learning more convenient via demonstrations.
6. Develop a toolbox for new customers
A customer toolbox is a straightforward document or web page that helps customers get started with your product. Since it’s not as comprehensive as the knowledge base, customers can easily navigate it without getting distracted.
Here’s what your toolbox should include:
- introduction to your company and product
- tutorials on how to get started
- links to relevant knowledge base articles
- contact information
7. Host webinars
Webinars are a great way to show new customers how to use your product while also enabling them to ask questions and get answers in real-time.
8. Send follow-up emails to your customers
Personalized follow-up emails show new clients that you care about them and really want to help them succeed. When writing a follow-up email, make sure to include:
- tips & tricks for using the product more efficiently
- customer stories & articles that are relevant to the customer’s industry
- button to sign up for the newsletter so that customers can receive the latest news and product updates
How can Penneo help with customer onboarding?
An effective onboarding process should provide new customers with the tools and resources needed to successfully use your product from day one.
With automated signing and data collection processes, new clients spend less time on paperwork and more time learning how to use your product to achieve their goals.
So, if you’re tired of lengthy and inefficient paper-based onboarding processes, you should definitely give Penneo a try.