We all may remember how nervous or excited we were for the first time in a new place or doing something for the first time. Your clients probably go through the same feelings while coming onboard for the first time. They may have many questions, fears, and concerns before they settle in.
Your only job right at the onboarding stage is to create an exceptional first impression by connecting with your clients in the right way. An article published on Forbes reveals companies can reduce client churn rate by 67% while focusing on the solutions during the onboarding process.
There are many effective ways to take your client’s onboarding experience from decent to great and beyond. But more on that later, first, let’s quickly understand what is client onboarding and why it matters for your business.
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What is Client Onboarding & Why it is Important for Your Business?
The client onboarding process may look different for different industries. But in simple terms, it refers to a process that starts with offering a great experience from the first interaction of a client with your company. Client onboarding is concerned with gradually and effectively revealing your clients everything your products/services have to offer.
Creating a good first impression through client onboarding is crucial for improving the client’s lifetime value and retention rate. It may impact either positively or negatively on your client’s entire journey with your company.
A study by ProfitWell found that a positive to very positive onboarding process boosts Willingness to Pay in clients by 12 to 21%. Also, the same study revealed the impact on the client retention rate as seen in the image below:
Client onboarding is not an add-on service but a business strategy to nurture your clients and improve their lifetime value. It helps in:
- Reducing the client churn rate
- Improving efficiency and avoiding bottlenecks down the line
- Ensuring void for scope creep
- Boosting positivity in clients
- And building strong relationships to gain more referral clients
7 Easy and Effective Ways to Onboard Clients Successfully
1. Personalize/Gamify the Onboarding for Each Client
Personalized onboarding begins with creating detailed audience personas and offering them tailored content during each stage of the onboarding. For example, a tech-savvy client would require content with technical aspects of products/services than the non-tech-savvy client.
The mantra, one size does not fit all, stands true here. Acknowledge the fears, queries, and concerns of each client to build trust early on and reinforce a detailed plan to address their concerns.
Gamifying the onboarding is another way to improve the client onboarding experience. It transforms the process into a fun and rewarding for clients. Here are some ideas to gamify the client onboarding:
- Let your clients create their Avatar
- Show onboarding progress through a progress bar
- Reward clients for completing milestones
- Showcase what you have to offer at each stage
- Include a survey or questionnaire to allow clients to express their concerns
2. Give Interactive Walkthrough
It’s the bare minimum for any company to give a tour of their products or services. But you can take this a notch above with interactive walkthroughs for successful client onboarding. They guide your clients through each step of the onboarding process and deal with educating them on how to use and get value out of your products/services.
Interactive walkthroughs are one of the digital transformation examples to help clients onboard through digital mediums. Another example would be heat maps to track the eye movements of your clients to better understand their behavior and tailor your onboarding walkthroughs.
Suppose you are offering a landing page creation tool. An interactive walkthrough would ask clients to start their journey by creating a landing page themselves. Show the instructions and guide clients throughout from creation to making it live.
3. Practice Micro as Well as Macro
Companies focus on optimizing the ‘Micro’ aspects such as welcome emails, communication scripts, kickoff meets, and follow-ups of client onboarding. But you also want to focus on ‘Macro’ aspects such as lifetime value, duration with the company, and others.
Macro aspects are concerned with the experiences clients are going to have during their lifetime with your company. The lifetime value of clients will have a much greater impact on your business than their initial transaction value. Thus, reassess your onboarding process and practice a combination of Micro as well as Macro aspects.
4. Emphasize Value
One of the effective tricks to successfully onboard a client is to demonstrate how your products/services will help them achieve their objectives. As mentioned, personalize the experience of your clients by segmenting them based on common pain points they face and the outcomes they want.
Once you have analyzed and identified the common goals of your clients, present them the ways to achieve those goals through your products/services. Present them the metrics, numbers, or time frame to achieve whatever their goals are.
It’s taken that not all clients will reach their goals instantly. But you must emphasize the value your products/services offer to boost their onboarding experience and lead them on the path to success.
5. Streamline Communication
There have been enough articles written stressing the importance of organized and streamlined communication. But here we want to add something that may help you onboard clients without fail.
Begin with setting up a communication schedule to ensure both you and your clients don’t withhold any vital information necessary for completing client onboarding. Figure out if your clients live in the same time zone as you? Do they need weekly, biweekly, or monthly communication check-ins?
And most importantly, get direct with your clients on how often they need to communicate with your team for any support needs. Show them your level of availability and the support you are ready to offer whenever they reach out to you. Remember to communicate enough to guide them through onboarding in addition to the knowledge base, FAQ page, and tutorials you’ve already sent.
6. Tech Automation In Client Onboarding
Technology has grown advanced to the point where even certain aspects of client onboarding can be automated. Companies must know that in addition to people and systems, the right tech automation is inevitable to fill the voids during client onboarding.
Many tools are built to automate onboarding throughout the client’s journey starting from first interaction email to follow-ups. You can even go a step further and integrate necessary analytics and data into your CMS for enhanced engagement.
Even though these tools are advanced and smoothen out the onboarding for clients, don’t forget to customize and tailor automated aspects for each client.
7. Listen, Learn, and Improve
The final trick up our sleeve is to listen to what your clients are saying about their onboarding experience and learn how to improve the same. Review your onboarding process and remove any obstacle that stands in the way to offer a great experience.
Ask your clients for the same to hear out their feedback and brainstorm with your team to learn more about how to optimize the onboarding experience. Check-in with your clients through email, or phone to get more insights about their journey.
Lastly, make such surveys an integral part of your organization to successfully onboard your future clients.
Final Words: Take Your Onboarding Game a Notch Higher
Onboarding clients successfully without much churn rate is critically important for keeping your business alive. These easy and effective onboarding tricks will enable your business to drive max ROI while improving your client onboarding experience.
But to achieve such a feat, first, you’d have to empower your internal team to go above and beyond to lay a solid foundation for a great client-business relationship. With that said, focus on personalizing the onboarding process for your clients along with other easy tips as mentioned.
The goal of these easy and effective tricks is to help clients onboard and get started with your products/services to accomplish long-term success.