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Customer Experience
  I  
March 15, 2023
  I  
xx min read

The A to Z Guide to Customer Onboarding

A great customer onboarding process can turn first-time buyers into customers for life. Your company’s customer onboarding process sets the stage for a good customer experience, making it one of the most important steps of the customer lifecycle.

When it’s done right, it gives your customers the tools they need to fully experience the value of your products and services. When companies overlook the importance of customer onboarding, first-time buyers end up disappointed and seek better products from competitors.

Want to make sure your customers are satisfied? It’s time to set your new customers up for success. Below, we’re diving into the importance, benefits, and best practices of customer onboarding so you can deliver value and increase conversions.

Quick Takeaways

  • 86% of consumers are more likely to stay loyal to a company that invests in welcoming, educational customer onboarding after they’ve made a purchase
  • Quality customer onboarding leads to positive growth by keeping customers engaged, reducing churn rates, and boosting referrals
  • Customer onboarding takes many forms: emails, on-site/virtual training, application-based intro flows, knowledge base articles, community forums, etc.  
  • 80% of customers stop using an application because they don’t know how to use it

When you create a quality process, you show new customers the value offered by both your company and its products.

Customer Onboarding: What Is It?

Customer onboarding refers to the process companies use to teach and demonstrate the value of its products and services to new customers. This process takes place after customers purchase a company’s product, but before they experience using it for the first time.

graphic shows stages of the customer lifecycle
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Quality customer onboarding processes provide clear, detailed instructions on a product or service’s best use. Customer onboarding is a part of the nurturing process, making sure new customers are well-acquainted with products before using them.

There are a few different ways companies can share information with new customers:

  • A series of emails
  • On-site or virtual training
  • An application-based intro flow
  • Knowledge base articles, videos, or other content that clearly explains how to get started
  • Technical documentation
  • A help site
  • A call with a customer success manager
  • Access to VIP customer service for one month
  • Community forums where new customers can find help from other buyers

Companies need to demonstrate their product or service’s value as soon as possible since it will hook new customers and encourage them to become long-term clients.

Why Is Customer Onboarding Important?

Customer onboarding sets up new customers for success. By teaching customers how a product works before first-time use, companies can increase the likelihood of a positive experience, ultimately improving customer acquisition. Not only that but 86% of consumers are more likely to stay loyal to a company that invests in welcoming, educational customer onboarding after they’ve made a purchase.

 graphic shows that 86% of consumers are more likely to stay loyal to a company that invests in customer onboarding
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This makes the customer onboarding process extremely important to increasing both customer satisfaction and conversion rates.

Benefits of Customer Onboarding

Increased customer satisfaction and conversion rates aren’t the only benefits of making a great first impression on new customers. A quality customer onboarding process will also:

  • Keep customers engaged. When your customers experience the value associated with your products and services, they’ll be more likely to use them over and over again.
  • Reduce churn. Churn, or the measure of how many customers stop using a product, is reduced when customers don’t feel frustrated or abandon your company for a competitor.
  • Boost referrals. When customers experience the value of your product first-hand, they are likely to feel passionate about your company and refer other people in their network to your business.

By reducing churn and boosting referrals, customer acquisition costs are lowered and revenue is increased, ultimately leading to positive growth.

Customer Onboarding Best Practices

As you enhance your company’s customer onboarding process, there are a few best practices to follow to ensure a positive customer experience.

1. Understand Your Customer

When you know your buyer persona, you also know how to communicate effectively with your audience.

Be sure to understand and address your customers’ questions, concerns, challenges, and ideal solutions. When you know your customers inside and out, you can tailor their experience to meet not only their goals but also your own.

2. Set Clear Expectations

Create a sales process that clearly explains the benefits associated with using your company’s products and services. This way, your customers know what to expect before making a purchase.

graphic shows that 80% of customers delete an application because they don’t know how to use it
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Did you know that 80% of customers delete an application because they don’t know how to use it? When new customers have accurate expectations, they’re less likely to become disappointed or frustrated if they hit a roadblock with your product. They’ll also know exactly where and how to find solutions to their problems.

3. Demonstrate Value

Re-iterate the value of your products to keep customers excited about their purchase. By giving specific examples of how your products can satisfy their unique needs, you create excitement around a personalized experience. Kick-off calls, specialized training sessions, and access to exclusive services are great ways to get customers excited about their purchase.

4. Communicate Consistently

Throughout every stage of the customer journey, it’s important to keep communication consistent – but especially during customer onboarding. Make sure your new clients have access to accurate, up-to-date content, intentionally created for new users.

By providing helpful, customized documentation to your customer, you can communicate clearly and consistently about how new users can solve their problems. Answering their questions and encouraging engagement with self-service help content creates a sense of comfort for new users and makes a positive experience more likely.

5. Center Your Goals Around Customers

Every customer’s experience should be unique to their own needs. Creating a personalized experience encourages higher conversion rates, increased average order value, better lead nurturing, and boosted customer retention.

infographic shows benefits of personalized customer experiences
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To create a personalized experience, ask your customers to define their own version of success, and then help them create measurable goals to satisfy their needs.

Personalizing each customer interaction heightens the chances of a positive experience. It also encourages customers to share their experiences with others, giving your business a bit of word-of-mouth marketing.

Perfect Your Customer Onboarding Process Today!

A quality customer onboarding process can help your company see positive growth. By creating a positive customer experience for first-time buyers, you can increase conversions, keep customers engaged, reduce churn, and boost referrals.

Ready to get started? Heretto Deploy API allows businesses to efficiently create consistent, positive customer experiences. Start optimizing your business’s customer onboarding process today by requesting a demo, or visit Heretto’s deploy portal to learn more!

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