April 12, 2018
The Best Ways To Succeed in Customer Onboarding
Customer onboarding has come up a lot lately, which is great since having a poor onboarding experience for your customers can pretty much kill your growth… if not your business.The first in-app experience your customer has with your product sets the tone for your relationship, and if it’s confusing, overwhelming, or otherwise puts up barriers to achieving success (or at least recognizing the value potential in your product), you’re in trouble.As I say all the time, the seeds of churn are planted early, and those seeds are planted deep if your onboarding experience for new customers or your prospects during a free trial is terrible.
And every time I talk to a low-touch, self-service SaaS company experiencing massive drop-off immediately after sign-up, low Free Trial-to-Paid conversion rates, few customers staying past 90 days post-conversion, etc. it is always an onboarding issue.
When I talk to Enterprise, high-touch SaaS companies that experience a lot of churn or non-renewals, aside from misleading sales practices, the main culprit is the customer onboarding process. Whether the Time to First Value is too long, the experience is painful, and you can get user adoption and or expectations are simply mismanaged, those “seeds of churn” can be traced back to onboarding.
Get to know the customer
You know, back in the days when traditional marketing dominated, the customers weren’t clicks. Understanding customers and their needs were important lessons for inbound marketers. Customer satisfaction surveys, for example, are a great way to learn how well consumers responded to your products and services. And also in customer onboarding you can get to know your customers very well. The tactic is important for any business — 83 percent of those who call themselves successful actively measure customer satisfaction.
And startups, however, are in the nascent stages of discovering their audience and catering to their needs. For these businesses in particular, getting feedback from consumer experiences that can guide future adjustments in products and marketing strategies is essential. Gathering records on clients will also help you have better insight into the products and services that would appeal most to customers.
And also while we’re solving for their initial success – not ours – you’ll find in a Free Trial, for example, that initial success for your customer is actually the point where becoming a paying customer is the next most logical step. So you’ll get that “they convert to a paying customer” outcome you want, by focusing on the outcome they want. Winner-Winner.
They’ve realized value – or they’ve seen the value potential in the product – and they’re technically ready to convert.
That could happen on day 2 of a 30-day free trial, but most companies will let them go the full 30-days (or even longer) before they try to get them to convert.
You can just imagine if you asked for the sale right after they achieved “success” … if that happens on day 3, you could convert a customer on day 3 of a 30 day trial, instead of waiting until the trial is over.
And you know this is also why you should tie your customer or prospect communication (in-app messages, emails, phone calls, etc.) to their progress – or lack thereof – through those success milestones instead of saying you’ll just send something on Day 1, 5, 7, and 32.