How To Improve Customer Retention With A Solid Onboarding Process

Meaning of Customer Retention:

Customer retention in simplest terms means undertaking activities which ensure that customer should not leave the company and stay connected with it for the long span of life.

Meaning of Customer Onboarding:

Customer onboarding refers to a process of introducing a customer to company/product/service and welcoming (adding) the client to business. It marks the start of the journey of a customer with the company.

Steps in customer Onboarding Process:-

The customer onboarding process should be designed in an effective manner in order to make it successful. The robust onboarding process put the impact on the minds of the customers by appealing to them and ensures that customer remains with the company for a longer duration. The onboarding process should be designed after critical thinking and careful consideration of factors like the emotions of the customer, the policy of the company, etc.

It is said and believed that First Impression is the Last Impression. A customer generally walks away in two cases1) When they do not like the product 2) When they do not like the experience they had with the company. So, a solid onboarding process, to a great extent, will help in customer retention for a longer period of time. Customer retention will help in increasing profitability and will help in increasing brand value.

So, how a solid onboarding should be like? What things to be taken care of while designing the onboarding process? Here are the steps in detail including what it should be like to improve the level of customer retention:

  1. Goal setting and team building: First and most important step is to set the goal as to what a company wants to achieve from onboarding a particular customer. After setting up the goal, build the team accordingly so as to deliver hassle-free services to the customer. The team can be a combination of internal resources as well as third-party service providers.
  2. Designing the journey of customer onboarding: As per the goals and resources, design the map as of how to onboard the customer. This may include steps as below:
  • Sign-up/contract signing: When the deal is done, an official agreement is made and a contract is signed by the parties. This contract abides both the parties with the rules and regulations of the contract as agreed upon. In the case of an online platform, a customer is provided with sign-up details or is required to create an account using username and password.
  • Welcoming email/call: Then a welcome email is being sent to a customer or in some cases call is being done. Both can also be done. A well-written email can help in making a customer feel important and thereby help in customer retention.
  • Setting-up of account: Now, a customer is required to set-up account by filling necessary details (in case of online platforms). It should be made effortless.
  • Demonstrating product: After this comes product demonstration. This can be done online as well as offline. For online product demonstration, educational video with necessary notes can be sent to the customer. For offline product demonstration, it can be done face to face or over a telephone. This can include but not limited to describing uses of the product, manner of using a product, what should be done case if any issue is faced, etc.
  • Initial transaction: Now, the customer can start doing transactions.
  1. Creating Content for guiding customers: The best way to provide smooth customer experience is to create content for guiding or providing stepwise directions to the customer. With this, they will be at ease and not require customer support every time when in doubt. The content can be written, in the form of audio or video. Webinars can be prepared.
  2. Selecting the right technology: Use the right technology and correct software to provide excellent services.
  3. Testing of a process: This is most relevant in case of an online platform. Test the process so as to check there should not be any shortfalls.
  4. Pre-launch: Launch for in-house use.
  5. The final launch of the onboarding process: Final launches of the process for customers and start onboarding.
  6. Assign dedicated customer service representative who is well trained in customer service skills.

The process does not end here. Now, it is the time to ensure that customer is able to adapt the process easily and to check progress step-wise. Try to maintain constant contact with the customer and try to find out new ways to impress customers.

While preparing onboarding strategies, the following points should be kept in mind to avoid issues in customer service:

  • Try to understand every customer and make necessary changes in the onboarding process accordingly as every customer is different and so does the obstacles.
  • Introduce product/service step-wise and in detail. See them as a layman. Do not pre-assume that they know things and do not require explanation.
  • Try to provide personalized onboarding experience.
  • Language used for creating tutorials and guiding should be as per their understanding. It is not necessary that everyone is comfortable with one same language.

Successful onboarding strategy keeps the customer engaged in the product/ service of the company right from the beginning of the process, that is, when they gets attached to the company. It is important to retain customers as the cost of retaining a customer is lower than that of the cost of adding a new customer.

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