Usually I end my posts with a quote to provoke further exploration of these Customer-Centric concepts. Today I am starting with one because I believe your Customer Experience map should be considered your key strategy to elevate you above your competition. Onboarding is a critical element of this strategy.
“A strategy is, at its core, a guide to behavior. A good strategy drives actions that differentiate the company and produce financial success.” Chip Heath and Dan Heath, Authors of Make it Stick.
Getting customers is hard enough. Keeping them is the greatest challenge of all. A special Onboarding experience should be a key element of your overall Customer Experience strategy. Let’s talk specifically about how you welcome your new customers.
A special Onboarding experience takes advantage of Buyer’s euphoria. Making purchase decisions can be tough. There is a sense of relief when the decision is made. This is the time to seize the moment, as soon as the contract is signed or a new customer is registered. Shower your new relationships with love and attention. Reinforce to your new customer that they made the right decision to do business with your company.
Critical components of Onboarding:
Outreach: In general, your customers should feel appreciated. How do you currently say “Welcome, Thank-You-for-your-Business”? Email, cards in the mail or a phone message demonstrates how much you appreciate them.
Set Expectations: I also list this as a Customer Service Basic in a previous post. If your business entails some kind of implementation or project rollout, your welcome letter should include a general guideline of the process and timeline.
Introductions: Depending on your business, you should provide some key points of contact for your new customers. Ensure they have the 800# and the email address. Ensure the end users of your products/services know how to get in touch in the event of problems.
Getting Started: A quick start guide, product/service documentation and online training sessions are all modes of helping your new customers get started, while they are still excited about the new purchase.
Checking In: Do you have a process for ensuring you check-in with your new customers? Do you have a way to ensure your customers are using your new product or service? One of the top metrics I listed in an earlier post is Utilization. If there isn’t rampant use within the first 3 months your new relationship may be at risk.
Ask so they will tell: How are we doing? Finally, if you don’t ask you are not likely to know why this new relationship may be failing. A key element to your overall experience is that you keep asking.
Bringing on new customers and keeping them are your biggest challenges. Give your customers a reason to say “this is the start of a beautiful relationship.” Ultimately you are striving to build long term customer loyalty.
Share what is unique about your Onboarding process.