Customer Onboarding: Best Practices

“Customers are the lifeblood of business.”

You’ve heard of this saying, right? Everyone will surely agree on this. And that’s enough reason for every business to have customer onboarding regardless of the industry, product, or service it provides. Every customer needs to be oriented early on so they won’t be left confused, unsatisfied, or worse – ripped off from availing of a product or service.

So, what is customer onboarding, and how can it grow your business?

What Is Customer Onboarding?

Customer onboarding is a welcome process intended to guide users in using a product or service.  The goal is to educate them about the what, why, and most importantly – how of the product. What is it that they need to click? Why do they need to do it? How to navigate the product to get what they want to achieve?

The ideal customer onboarding experience will put the users’ goals in mind. It must answer and anticipate the questions and challenges that their customers might have in mind because the goal is for them to have a smooth experience with the product. It is made to educate, engage, and satisfy its users.

Why Do You Need to Invest in Customer Onboarding?

Did you know that customer onboarding can make or break the whole customer experience? Customer onboarding best practices set the value of your product. It communicates what your users should expect from it so they will be satisfied and happy, which can also increase your product’s net promoter score.  

If you are still not convinced, here are other reasons why you should invest in it:

  • Increases customer engagement/ Minimizes abandonment rate

We all know that people tend to abandon products, whether physical or digital, if they can’t understand it. If they can’t navigate it, they are more likely to skip it and move on to other products. 

  • Increases conversion rate

Customer onboarding videos can also be used as a marketing tool to communicate the product’s value.

  • Reduce customer complaints

Let’s face it, some complaints are more likely mistakes made because of lack of awareness. Frequently asked questions and troubleshooting guides should also be included in customer onboarding.

  • Increase sales and revenue

If customers are onboarded properly, they are more likely to get the most out of the product they are using. Not only will they become loyal customers, but product promoters as well. People rave about the products, services, and experiences they like and that will increase sales.

Steps to Ensure Effective Customer Onboarding

Now that the importance of customer onboarding is clear, let’s dive into the steps and customer onboarding best practices to execute them properly.

1. Create an account (Sign-up or login)

This can be taken out, depending on the product and business needs. The trick here is to keep it simple and easy for your customers. Don’t ask for too much information at this stage as it may annoy customers. The easiest way to sign up/login is by connecting it to any platform people are usually using like Facebook, Instagram, or Google.

2. Welcome email

Send your warmest greeting to customers, not just through messages, but with resources and tools for easier navigation.

3. Product or Service walkthrough

Guide your customer through the whole process – from setting up an account to everything in between for a seamless user experience.  It can be through an infographic or explainer video that will discuss the whole process.

Tip: Some people prefer to watch videos at a certain speed, while others do not want to watch at all. They would rather discover and experience it on their own. So it is best to provide a “skip” button, just to cater to everyone’s preference.

4. Follow-up/Check-in emails

Don’t expect customers to have it all figured out in just one sitting. There would be a learning curve so expect concerns to come from time to time. It is good to have a customer hotline and email indicated in the video.

But it is better to anticipate possible questions and send resources in advance through follow-up emails. Remember, customer onboarding is not just a one-time session as it takes time to master any product’s basic features. The goal is to build a relationship, engage, and satisfy your customers so they will end up coming back for more.

5. Analyze the results

Ideally, there should be metrics that you can track to gain insights about your customers and understand which materials appeal to them the most and which ones should be taken out or modified.

Conclusion

Customer onboarding is usually done at the beginning of the customer or product experience, but it doesn’t end there as it is a continuous process to ensure that customers’ needs and concerns are addressed. The steps may vary depending on the business goals but generally, the goal is to retain them.