What is customer onboarding, and how can it help you retain your customers? Customer onboarding is probably one of the most overlooked parts of a customer acquisition strategy, but it is essential to turn your customers into devout brand loyalists. Here are some frequently asked questions about customer onboarding that may answer some of your own inquiries.

What Is Customer Onboarding?

Customer onboarding is the process of taking on new customers in your organization and helping them to start using your product. This involves the initial exposure a person has with your product or service and every subsequent interaction.

Ideally, customer onboarding will help your customers understand how your product or service will help them achieve their goals. That way, they will continue to use it and become loyal customers.

What Does Customer Onboarding Look Like?

Customer onboarding is a multi-step process. Here’s a general overview of what it can look like, regardless of your industry:

1. Get to Know Your Customers

Before you can onboard your customers, you need to know who they are. Your audience’s identity can be summarized in a customer persona—a document that outlines their pain points, general demographic information and other details that personify the ideal customer.

To gather this information, you can employ a few different methods, including:

  • Sending email surveys to existing/previous customers
  • Developing a customer advisory board
  • Tracking online behavior of website visitors
  • Studying industry market analysis
  • Pulling from current product/service subscription data

2. Create Customer-Centric Goals

In every customer onboarding solution, you should identify the customer pain points your product aims to resolve. Having those pain points in mind can help you better communicate how your product can solve your customer’s needs.

Additionally, you should establish your success metrics based on customer satisfaction. So success shouldn’t necessarily be measured by the number of units sold, but whether the customer was pleased with their purchase experience.

3. Tell Them What to Expect

Educate customers on what your product can do for them. This may be with a product video, a description on the product’s landing page, or a customer testimonial. All you need to do here is clearly establish what the product/service is (and what it isn’t).

4. Illustrate Value and Proof of Concept

If your product description was enticing enough, the customer will move on to the next phase of discovery—seeing the product/service in action. There are a few ways you can approach this, namely:

  • Product demo. Demos allow customers to try out a portion of the product or service for free. After experiencing the demo, they’ll have a better idea of what the whole package could bring.
  • Free trial. Similar to a demo, free trials allow customers to try out the product. However, most free trials will feature the entire product or service instead of just a small piece.
  • Demonstration video. If it doesn’t make sense to give a free trial for your product, you may choose to create a video to show what it does in action.

These strategies won’t apply to every type of product or service, so try and pick the one that best represents your organization.

5. Follow Up

After the customer is familiar with your product, keep in contact with them until they convert. That means sending emails and giving them more information about your offering and doing all you can to keep them interested.

6. Measure Your Success/Make Changes

Take note of what went well and what could’ve gone better during the onboarding process. Were there any points of contention for customers? Did you lose a lot of customers after a certain step? After observing how things went, make plans on how to change the process to make it better.

Who Is Typically Responsible for Customer Onboarding?

Customer onboarding should be supervised by at least three different people, including the:

  • Customer Success Manager. They are responsible for establishing the strategy and roadmap for customer onboarding.
  • Customer Experience Manager of Head of CX. They measure metrics of success regarding the onboarding strategy and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • CEO. The CEO should be the final decision maker when it comes to the onboarding strategy.

What Makes an Effective Client Onboarding?

The best way to have an effective client onboarding experience is to keep your customers engaged. Give them a reason to come back to your website and purchase your service. Otherwise, they’ll get lost in the sea of digital marketing messages and forget about your brand entirely.

Why Is Client Onboarding Important?

Client onboarding helps you keep your customers happy. If you can manage that, those happy customers are more likely to:

  • Make regular purchases from your company.
  • Tell their friends about their great experience with your company.
  • Stay with your company’s services (therefore reducing customer churn).

Is Digital Onboarding Different Than Customer Onboarding?

Digital onboarding encompasses all onboarding practices that take place online. So while not exactly the same as customer onboarding, there should be a lot of overlap.

Today, it’s not enough to have a salesperson answer all customer questions over the phone or at a physical store location. Therefore, you need to offer digital onboarding in your customer onboarding strategy. Doing so allows you to offer an exceptional customer onboarding experience no matter where your customers are.

How Do You Automate Customer Onboarding?

The best way to automate client onboarding is to adopt a customer onboarding software solution. Doing so helps you capture and analyze high volumes of customer data quickly and accurately.

Ephesoft’s onboarding software—Transact —can help you:

  • Pull information from IDs and passports
  • Quickly and accurately process paperwork by capturing and extracting data
  • Organize your data into digestible information
  • Export the data into any ERP, CRM, RPA, iPaaS, workflow or other business repository

Because you can gain better access to large amounts of customer data with Transact, you can make more informed decisions about your approach to onboarding automation. As such, automating customer onboarding will help you improve the satisfaction of your customer experience.

How Long Does Client Onboarding Take?

On average, the customer onboarding process can take up to 30 days. That’s often too long to keep a new client’s attention. Fortunately, automation can change that.

When one of our customers implemented automation into their onboarding process, they saw a 77 percent reduction in their onboarding time. This was thanks to better access to customer data—a product of optimized automation.

A Better Way to Onboard Customers

Hopefully, these FAQs have answered some of your questions regarding customer onboarding solutions. If you’re tired of the poor results you get from your current strategy, consider reading our eBook: A Better Way to Onboard Customers. In it, you will find how to improve your onboarding process using AI and machine learning technologies.