learn the secret to increasing customer retention in your company – WAU
Customer onboarding is a process that involves the initial stages of contacting a new customer with your company. In this phase, the details of the project will be aligned and structured to guarantee the long-term success of the partnership.
Have you ever stopped to think how does your company treat customers after they sign a contract?
Or have you considered how many times you, as a consumer, had the impression that you were deceived by a sales process that left you enchanted, but at the first chance to impress you disappointed you?
Well, I’ve been through it and it’s extremely frustrating.
Most of the problems we have as consumers are related to a frustrated expectation, the lack of success in achieving what we expected with our purchase.
So we have to talk about onboarding, and how it is the guarantee that your customers will be well served, but, mainly, well oriented to results in the first points of interaction with your company.
If you liked the idea and want it to be a reality for your customers, read on (you won’t regret it!)
What is Onboarding
Customer onboarding can be defined as the initial phase of a new customer’s project in your company.
Whether with the purchase of software or even a service, the customer’s first steps, using what you have sold to him, will be critical to his success – and a double check confirming that you made a good choice when purchasing from you.
However, much more than a beginning period, it is necessary to think about the process.
For this, it is worth reflecting on what the customer intends to achieve from the moment he purchases his service or product.
For this result to be achieved is it necessary that he has some kind of knowledge or action? By adding the answers to these two questions, you will arrive at an onboarding process design for your company.
In short, onboarding consists of helping your client to have the best possible result with what you sold to him.
This is the role of the Customer Success Manager in the ongoing, that is, throughout the entire journey of the customer in your company, but this is a topic for another post.
Why have onboarding in your company?
Onboarding needs to be well structured, preferably with an exclusive team and well-defined processes and a correct measurement of results.
So, when it comes to getting your hands dirty and taking action it is necessary to be careful and carefully structure the area.
However, I can guarantee you that the effort will be worth it … if you are still not convinced, I have separated some advantages that will make you prioritize onboarding in your company right now:
Onboarding “teaches how to fish, but does not give the fish” to the client, so that he has more autonomy, knowledge and continues to be successful in fishing.
A customer who not only buys from you but knows exactly what his role is to be successful is more engaged, committed and more likely to be successful.
A successful customer is one who achieves the expected and desired results with what you have offered it, be it software, a service or, in the case of Websites Are Us, both – we work with our platform and the Content Marketing service.
Onboarding is key to improving one of the most relevant metrics for SaaS companies, decreasing the churn, or the exit rate of customers.
This is because customers who are well oriented and achieve results right from the start feel more secure and satisfied with your company and this makes them stay longer (they may never cancel!) In your company.
In addition to retaining current clients, improving your client’s experience can make you a true “lawyer” for your brand.
The customer who has a closer monitoring at the beginning will inevitably be better served, will have a more positive perception of your company and, probably, will be a great vehicle for word of mouth advertising.
Note: As you can see in all the reasons I listed above, the focus should always be the customer. Your company has to be Customer Centric, because only then will you ensure that everything, your processes, products, employees and suppliers are committed to the same purpose and, therefore, any decision is taken towards ensuring the success of the customer.
How to make a good onbording for your company?
If you are convinced not only of the importance, but of the urgency to implement onboarding in your company, do not worry, because I will give you the path of stones right now.
Structuring the team
The onboarding team can be composed of the same Customer Success professionals, at least to begin with.
This is cool because CS has experience with customers and you will be able to better niche the type of attention the customer needs in the first steps.
However, it is essential that a better bridge be made between Customer Success and Sales and that is where the specificity of the onboarding team comes in.
The profile of the onboarding professional
The onboarding professional needs to collect all the most valuable information that the seller obtained during the sale and establish rapport with the customer, in order to not just to win your sympathy, but your trust.
Dynamism and service
So it’s important that the onboarding professional is a dynamic guy, who likes to deal with people (and know how to differentiate the different types and adapt your approach).
In spite of all the necessary sympathy, the onboarding professional needs to be profoundly knowledgeable about your solution, be it a product or service, as he will need to not only clear technical doubts, but help the customer solve specific problems with your product or service applied to his specifics.
It is also essential that he has a systemic vision and knowledge of the company, to identify bottlenecks and specific points of attention for each client and how to resolve them quickly, even while onboarding.
If you can prioritize “old people from home” better, if not, take care in training culture, deadlines, processes, features, etc.
Everything that involves knowing more about your company, services and products will be extremely valuable to form great onboarders for your team.
Good communication and organization
Another function of the onboarding professional is to pass on all the information obtained during the process to the Customer Success Manager, who will take care of the customer from then on, continue the good work.
For that, it is necessary to be organized, have methods of registration and follow up with customers and be able to communicate this information to the next “project father”.
Clarity and information without gaps will ensure the smooth running of the post-onboarding project – just as onboarding guarantees this after sales.
Structuring the process
If you already have a strong team to apply onboarding in your company, you have taken the first step towards the success of the first steps of customers in your company.
However, you need to have a well-structured process to ensure that no tips are loose.
As a starting point, consider customer activation, your customers’ first value, milestones and success metrics. We will talk about each of them now:
What did the customer see in you to hire your product or service? This is a question that must be considered and answered throughout the customer’s journey in your company.
In onboarding, however, it is necessary to focus a little more on: what is the first value, the first victory, the customer needs to see to make sure that he made a good choice choosing my company?
Well, here it is worth mentioning that even though your solution doesn’t give quick results, it’s necessary to give the customer some “goal scent” after a few first actions on his part, so that he remains motivated to continue and fully trust on you in the beginning.
Want an example? If a customer hired Websites Are Us services to generate more leads and consequently sell more, the first lead generated is a first victory and should be celebrated, recorded and used as motivation so that the client does not lose focus.
For this reason, those responsible for onboarding should be oriented towards “first value” in projects, adopting actions that will give short and medium term results – leaving the actions of results more time consuming for the Customer Success Manager, when the customer is already activated, trusting and ready to generate more and new values, new results.
I just talked about an activated customer, but I still haven’t explained what is it right?
Well, during the sales process you have a lead, who becomes a potential customer and, finally, when you sign the contract, a real customer.
When the customer is already at your base it will be essential to ensure that he does not leave and, for that, it is necessary to help him take the first steps as his customer, towards success.
This will activate it, ensuring that it is not just another customer past sales for Customer Success, but a customer who has already reached the first value and is ready to take their next steps, using your product or service, with the help of the person responsible for your account at the company.
It is important to define which “milestones” will be followed during the client’s onboarding, ensuring that he is on the right path towards success.
These “checkpoints” must be plotted with the answer to the main question in defining them: what is success for your customer?
Only then will you be able to guarantee satisfaction, engagement and, above all, the customer’s results with your product or service.
In order to obtain this information you will need to remember which result is expected by the client when you hire him, how his results are measured.
You will need to make it clear to the client that in order to achieve the result expected by them, they will need to trace a path based on these milestones, fulfilling each step with their help and taking the next step towards success.
From this it will be possible to guide not only the work of your team, but to even more accurately align customer expectations in relation to the onboarding process, to the first possible value to be achieved and also in relation to what will not be achieved so quickly – what will need the ongoing to achieve it and will leave the customer motivated to continue with the Customer Success Manager.
When defining your onboarding process and having a well-trained and aligned team, you will need to have metrics to measure the results of onboarding in your company.
You must monitor the short, medium and long term results, the impacts of onboarding on customer retention (considering the churn rate, which should decrease) and the acquisition of more revenue (with customers who do some type of upgrade in their offer , for example).
Besides that, you must measure the performance of the team and individual, considering activation, passing the baton to Customer Success, but also in the indicators I highlighted above, mainly churn – a well-educated customer at the beginning of the project is unlikely to have reason to leave the company in the future.
What can hinder your onboarding process?
Onboarding can become the solution to several problems in your company, mainly in customer satisfaction and retention.
But like almost everything in this life, if it is not done well it will end up becoming a “shot in the foot”. So, my tip is that you have some special care.
Customer Success X Team Success
It is quite common the mistake of thinking that if your customer uses your tool correctly, he learned what each button is for, for example, you were successful with that customer. No! It just means that you did a good job of teaching him how to use the tool.
Customer success is when he achieves the first result he wants – remember, for him! – with your product or service, also with the help of your specialist, in this case, the onboarding professional – the same applies to other results, with the assistance of the Customer Success Manager.
Remember that it is very good to grow the number of activated customers, but if you are using the wrong criteria to activate them it will dirty your numbers and this will give you
Experience and results are the main consequences of onboarding for customers.
If your company is focused on this, on satisfaction, but above all on ensuring the success of the client, onboarding must stop being an idea and become a reality.
Ensure engaged, motivated and very knowledgeable professionals, motivate them with the fact that they will be a fundamental part of turning clients into lawyers for your brand and getting to work!
To the next!