It’s a familiar story. You’ve won a great new customer and it seems like it’s time to celebrate. But then they don’t fully adopt your product or service, and they stop buying or unsubscribe. What went wrong?
Some companies don’t realize that to develop long-term relationships with customers, there’s an important retention step that comes after the transaction: customer onboarding.
New customers need to see how your product or service makes a difference in their lives, and they need to see evidence of this value soon. Make sure you use customer onboarding strategies to retain new customers, starting with teaching them how to use every feature of your product. By understanding everything your product can do, knowing how to use it, and seeing results, customers gain the full value of your product. And when your product makes customers successful, your customers will be loyal—making your business an even greater success.
6 Customer Onboarding Strategies to Retain Customers
Onboarding lasts from the transaction’s end and continues until the customer can use the product on their own. It’s your chance to impress customers with your product’s functionalities and ease of use. Give customers a great first experience by ensuring your product is simple to understand and easy to use. Offer plenty of accessible support in case customers have questions. It’s the honeymoon period, and depending on how well it goes, you just might sow the seeds for lasting customer relationships. Best of all, a good onboarding strategy lowers the likelihood that new customers will churn.
Leverage these customer onboarding strategies to make an excellent first impression on your customers:
#1: Set Your Goals
How do you define success? The possibilities are endless. Before you embark on onboarding customers, define the goals and expectations that will mean success. Once you know what you’re aiming for, make success measurable by setting up key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs will help you know when you’ve achieved business objectives and how effective your strategy has been.
#2: Get the Whole Success Team Onboard
Make sure your entire customer success team understands your plan and knows how to help customers. You can put your processes in place by holding a kick-off call in which you outline your onboarding goals, key milestones, scope, and timeline. Be sure all team members are aware of all the things they will need to teach new customers. You may even offer your team a training session if guiding a customer through a new product requires following technical steps. By making sure everyone’s on the same page, your onboarding processes will be organized and trouble-free.
#3: Build the Right Adoption Program
Help customers fully adopt your product by engaging them with a nurturance campaign. On a regular basis, send customers messages that offer helpful information. These can be tutorials, FAQs, or guides that suggest ways to get creative with the product. The easiest way to run your customer nurturance campaign is by automating it with customer success software. Or, you could use such software to send messages triggered by a customer’s behavior. Offering information in digestible chunks helps build your relationship with customers and lets them know you’re always there.
#4: Gather Data Regarding Customer Status
Keep an eye on your customer’s progress during onboarding so you can spot troublesome areas and take action. Use software that offers visibility, collects data from every customer interaction and helps you analyze bottlenecks. Or you can create a usage report that shows which customers are adopting various segments of your product. With increased visibility, you can proactively help customers get over adoption roadblocks without them ever having to reach out for help.
#5: Measure Your Results
When you reach the end of the onboarding period, look back and measure your results. How long did it take each customer to fully onboard your product? Which features gave customers the most trouble? How often did customers use your product and which features did they use most often? Gather data to answer all these questions and evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy. Then you can refine your best practices in order to speed up future onboarding periods and maintain quality across all engagements.
#6: Check in With Your Customers
Even after you’ve made it through your first 90 days, you should check in with your customer every now and then to make sure they’re still seeing value from your product. Listen to customers wherever they go to speak, such as on social media. You want to get as much feedback from them as possible. This could be accomplished by sending out a satisfaction survey or using software to remind your team to reach out to customers on a regular basis.
The right customer engagement platform can make checking in with customers easier and more effective than trying to manage this ongoing process manually or with inadequate software. It can automate messages at certain intervals of time or send messages based on customer behavior, and it can remind your team when it’s time to touch base with customers. So, make sure your customer success team has the tools they need to check up on customers and maintain satisfaction levels.
Start Retaining Customers Today
These customer onboarding strategies should be painless to implement and can make your customer’s first 90 days using your product more successful. By taking a proactive, customer-centered approach, you can give your customers the right support and resources they need to fully adopt your product and see its true value, quickly.
Don’t wait until a hard-won customer becomes an unsubscriber. Try implementing customer onboarding strategies today to increase customer retention and reduce churn. It will help solidify your sales team’s efforts and get you on the path to mutually beneficial, lasting customer relationships.
Totango created Spark to help enterprises execute all these customer onboarding strategies. The software provides a top-down, cross-channel visual depiction of how every customer is engaging with your product. What’s more, it can be up and running in weeks, not months. Request a demo or explore Spark to learn how to craft a customer engagement strategy that boosts your lifetime customer value.