The Art of Onboarding

onboarding new customers

Fresh off a successful acquisition campaign, preliminary reports are indicating a profitable quarter. Excitement is high as the sales and marketing teams sit down at their weekly meeting, doling out high-fives across the conference table. Job well done! Mission accomplished, right?

Not necessarily.

Unfortunately, marketing efforts often stop here, with the mindset that turning yesterday’s prospects into today’s customers is enough. Without setting appropriate expectations, these relationships can turn tumultuous quickly. The start of a customer’s journey is critical to ensuring the success and longevity of any relationship.

Here are five steps to transform today’s customers into tomorrow’s brand advocates:

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1 | Practice a people-based approach
In the landscape of big data and hypertargeting, one size does not fit all. A customer’s onboarding experience should be tailored and seek to set expectations, establish trust and reflect attentiveness to a customer’s specific need or goal.

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2 | Demonstrate value
Reiterate your product or service benefits to remind customers why they opted to purchase or enroll in the first place. Set your customer up for an “Aha!” moment in a series of quick wins (i.e., “This was an easy process”, “Setup was fast!”, etc.).

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3 | Establish the right cadence
‘Listen’ to your customer’s actions (or lack thereof). You may be overcommunicating or not communicating the right things. Adjust accordingly… what is enough for one customer may be too much for another.

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4 | Be reachable
It’s likely that the majority of questions will arise from your customers during onboarding. As such, ensure they know how to contact you for the various requests (e.g., chat, email, phone, etc.).

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5 | Track and measure
While objectives may vary, the following are two ‘high-level’ metrics to track the performance of how well customers are progressing through onboarding milestones: ‘Onboarding-specific surveys’ and ‘Customer Engagement.’
In summary, onboarding reaffirms your customer’s decision to purchase or enroll, and is critical to achieving a strong foundation for a longstanding relationship.
Yuri Kim

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