Customer On-boarding Process: Here’s What You Should Care about in 2020

Is it a reasonable game-plan to find new customers every day? What good it will be if people purchase your product once and never come again? 

According to a Gartner report, 80% of the company’s future revenue depends on 20% of existing customers.

It’s crucial to practice a fruitful customer onboarding process that makes them attached to your service, giving positive feedback, and feeling an urge to build kinship toward your business. 

The first interaction writes the whole course of your forthcoming relationship with a customer. After someone shows interest in your product, you need to nurture him through continuous activities that focus on improving his knowledge of that product.  

So if you aren’t addressing customer onboarding as a serious issue yet, we don’t want you to fall apart. Here in this post, we will show you how to develop and practice such a process that sticks and help to increase customer retention nonetheless. Keep reading.

How Onboarding Works

The customer onboarding process starts from the very touchpoints when a visitor lands on your website for the first time. 

Firstly, it includes impressing clients to purchase, then keeps them connected, help them learn the product and how to get most out of it. Secondly, you need to solve their issues, provide technical support if necessary. And finally, do whatever it takes to earn trust and make them acquainted with your service. 

In a nutshell, customer onboarding is a set of activities that involve aiding customers to understand your product, giving information step by step through emails, guidelines, tutorials, videos, or live chat, etc.  

The onboarding cycle starts before the purchase, then beyond the post purchasing stage, and keep going on.  

The Importance of Following a Customer Onboarding Process

Having a data-driven and reliable customer onboarding process means you will ensure a low churn rate and on a way to building your brand reputation. 

The top 3 reasons for a 53% churn rate are- poor onboarding, failing to build a strong relationship, and lack of authentic customer service. 

causes-churn

The customer onboarding process demands you to take care of every single customer, give them a feeling that you really want to improve their product experience and provide the relevant information gradually. 

That’s how it works. If you are not convinced enough, let’s get straight to some magnificent stats on the importance of customer onboarding. 

  • 82% of customers left a business if they face bad customer experience. 
  • It’s almost 16X more expensive to create a long term relationship with a new customer than curate and cultivate the relationship with an existing one.  
  • The worldwide value of average lost customers is $243. 
  • It cost 5x more money to acquire a new one than to keep a regular customer. 

Emphasizing your customer onboarding is a potential way to establish long-lasting customer relationships. And, if you already have one but don’t get the desired results, it’s high time to renovate your whole process.

Set Your Customer Onboarding Strategy

People tend to abandon a product they don't understand clearly. And, people love to get along with things that deliver the values they have been promised. 

As you are not going to let your users abandon the site before converting, you must keep them to a continuous success funnel. 

It is all about attaching people step by step in your onboarding cycle. As a business owner or marketer, you need to think from the customer’s perspective. 

process-online

Before you are going through the activities to get your user familiar, there are some key customer onboarding best practices that need your certain attention.

Know Your Customer

Until you know how your customer perceives things, what is their early experience with a similar product, and the pinpoints that stimulate their purchasing decisions, your chances are low. So it’s your first task to gather as much information as you can, conduct research, try to know what makes them enthusiastic to buy a service. 

Well, how to get that information? You should read similar product reviews on various platforms. When they opt-in to your website, make individual research on their online activities, participation on social media, etc. 

Set the Bar of Expectation

Never promise for something you are not capable to deliver. Avoid sugar-coating your offer. Be specific, be honest. Say exactly what you have and how your features and service can play a sufficient role in your client’s success. 

You may ask, why would I do that where boasting can hit the right cord and increase sell? 

Well, here your intention isn’t selling a product for one time and get past a customer. So, if you boast about a factor and when the time comes, fail to give it, can you imagine what happens? 

On the other hand, if your customer knows what he can achieve or not, he can make himself prepare for any circumstances. 

Set Customer Oriented Goals

Ask your customers what are their success metrics. Set your onboarding goals centered around those metrics. You will gain two advantages from it. One, it will let create a feeling amongst your customers that you truly doing business to make them successful. Two, your growth will be based on their satisfaction. 

Establishing value

People care for values. Before they purchase your product, you should get them to learn and realize the utmost values your product may add to their achievement.

One of the best ways to emphasizes values is by giving them examples, show them how other individuals or company get benefitted from your business. You can share specific use cases, documentation, or free training courses (if it is possible) to brandished yourself.  

Consistent Communication is the Key

After sending a welcome email to a customer, you can send him essential guidelines by maintaining a stable email sending frequency. 

There is a thin line between a balanced or chaotic communication effort. You shouldn’t poke your customers each hour of the day. Also, you shouldn’t let someone detached from your learning attributes. A fine balance and wise approach is the key here.

Do something so stimulating that your customer feels free and enjoy every approach you made to them.  

Success Measurement

Measuring success get us to improve our weaknesses and guide us where to focus more. Suppose you are following a customer onboarding process but don’t measure all the efforts, the chances are high that you won’t progress as you aiming at the beginning. 

Some of the key metrics you ought to find out are the Churn rate, Lifetime Value of a Customer, Retention Rate, Customer Survey or Loyalty through Net Promoter Score (NPS). 

Top 7 Steps to Establish a Successful Customer Onboarding Process

For any type of digital business, customer onboarding has two core milestones. One, when a customer signs up for your product for the first time. Two, when your customer gets the very first success by using your product. You need to achieve these milestones before your customer gets along with you and make decisions to stay with your product for a long time. 

From the first interaction to last (though you don’t know and should expect it may keep going), there are some crucial steps to guide the customers. It’s essential to maintain a strategy while sharing product information. For example, people can’t grasp a product’s technical specifications unless they ask for it. 

Well, let’s take a look at these steps to establish a fruitful customer onboarding process in your company. 

Send a Welcome Email as the Initial Catch

74% of people expect to get a welcome email after they are opt-in for a product. So it’s inevitable. Welcome emails have a magnificent 91.43% open rate.  

When one of your customers purchases your product, they expect an assurance from you. You should let them know that you are so thankful that they choose your product over others, and you will not let them down. 

You can look at this welcome message from the renowned WordPress project management plugin WP ERP. It will help you to understand how to greet a customer in the first place.

welcome email

Help Your Client With Product Setup Guideline

You can add a user guide in your welcome email. The email example we’ve shown above has used this technique. They add a CTA button with an in-depth product setup guideline. The intention here is to aid a customer to learn the product setup step by step.

Though, it’s also great to send the product setup guide in your next email. One best hack you may apply, make this tutorial or setup wizard simple and optional. 

Include Information on How to Get the Best of it

When a customer buys your product, and get into their dashboard, they will see all the features and maybe feel a bit scattered on what to do at first. Because all the info fields will be empty and it’s normal for them to get confused. You don’t want to let your customers wandering around alone in this stage. 

WooCommerce Multivendor Plugin Dokan is doing an amazing job in this regard. They add a help section directly to the user dashboard. 

dokan help

This step will guide any user to utilize all the features they need to the highest.

Interactive Product Learning Tips

We have emphasized consistent communication earlier in this post. Though, here we want to include consistent product learning guidance as one of the most crucial steps in the customer onboarding process. You should provide these learning tips gradually. And, it must be interactive. 

You should follow the customer interaction with your product. At any stage, if they face an obstacle, you should solve their issue as soon as possible. 

Some of the best ways to provide interactive product learning tips are- sending them video tutorials and infographics, inspire customers to submit support tickets and employ instant support, etc. 

Build a Q & A Section and Powerful Product Data Centre

A data center or knowledge base helps any interested people about your business to learn simultaneously. It should be such resourceful with information like your product’s technical specifications, documentation, customer reviews, detailed set up guidance. Besides this informations, you must launch a Q & A section where anyone must find all the possible questions and answers regarding your product. 

Sending Product Update Email and Offers

Product updates are a continuous process. It intends to improve customer experience and increases brand value. Whenever you release an updated version of your product or introducing a new feature, let your customers know this. Also, show them the necessary steps on how to utilize this new update or feature in the simplest way. 

On the other hand, get your user to feel more excited by sending offers on various occasions or festivals. Also, let them know if you have made any achievements. 

For example, Dokan shares greetings and offers a few days ago when it touches the milestone to have 30000+ active marketplace around the world.

dokan shares success

Celebrate Each of Your Client’s Success 

Your company grows with your clients. And, at the beginning of your customer onboarding strategy, you have set customer-centric goals. So, each time one of your product user making a success or gain, you should celebrate it. 

You can send congratulatory emails or calls, tips on how to improve the strategy to grow more. The intention of this step is to spread the idea upon your business people that they are getting success and you consider yourself an essential part of it.    

Wrapping Up

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.

– Jeff Bezos

It needs an ongoing effort to develop the perfect customer onboarding process. We believe now you can plan and execute your own way. 

As it is been said, never stop learning and improvising, you should find yourself on this growth funnel. If you want to strengthen the user experience, the only way is to improve your service and let them understand it. 

So tell us what do you think right now. Do you have any questions left? Don’t forget to put your questions or idea in the comments section. 


Tips To Ensure Excellent Customer Support In eCommerce Marketplace

A successful eCommerce marketplace is not just about quality products and eye-catchy website design.

Well, obviously these two will help you cross the first few miles smoothly. But soon after that you will begin to face the heat of the competition. You might feel tempted to ask, what will differentiate one business from the other at this stage? The answer is pretty simple.

The way you are servicing your customers will define the long term future of your business. No matter which products you are offering and at what price, if you are not providing quality customer support, you are doomed. Make sure that your customers are getting help whenever they reach you. And most importantly, do not forget-

When you make a customer feel valued, you create a customer for life.

In this write-up, I will first discuss about why you should make customer support an absolute priority. After that, there will be some tips on how to achieve highest customer satisfaction.

I would insist you to bear with me. Because this time it will definitely add some real value into how you have been running your show.

Why You Must Ensure A Solid Customer Support

The reasons are manifold, it is not just restricted to your budget book or reputation. As a matter of fact, how you approach customer support in our business tells a lot about who you are as a person.  Companies with short-sighted vision will not actively solve customer's issues. They will try to find out the return of customer servicing in a faulty approach. In most of the cases, this attitude indicates where the company is heading to- ‘nowhere'. 

Customer Retention

You might have heard about this popular stat about customer retention and acquisition-

“It costs five times as much to bring in a new customer than to retain an existing one.”

Excellent support gives you this leverage to retain customers. Issues with products or services is not totally uncommon. It definitely hurts the customers but what follows after that is more important. If she receives post-sale service from you, she will consider to purchase from you next time. Otherwise, you will remain as a sorry memory in her mind.

Word of Mouth Advertising

This is possibly the best form of promotion in today's connected world. Whenever you are making a customer feel valued or avoided, she will discuss about it with her friends and families. In this age of social rating, it will be difficult to step up your game if you get labelled as a hostile company, even for once.

Brand Reputation & Trust

Enhanced reputation and customer trust is a collective result of all your customer oriented activities. The more you give efforts to satisfy your customers ( i.e open up priority support channel, deliver promo offers etc.), your customers will become your fan and take an active role in building your brand image.

Partnership Opportunities

Excellent customer support is like a guarantor for potential partners. If a company is treating their customers in the best possible way, there is no reason why it wouldn't do the same with partners. In many cases, it turns out a lot of customers have their own initiatives that can be tied up with your business.

So these are the broad business area that gives you positive results when you give your best at providing customer support. There are some other indirect results such as higher employee turnover, reduction of problems and so on.

Time To Step Up Your Game

So you already know why customer support is essential to stand out in the overcrowded industry. Now you need to equip yourself with the right kind of knowledge that will help you achieve that. In this segment, I will share some ways to offer great customer support. Go through it and think how you can implement it for your business- if you haven't already.

Contact Form & Newsletters

This is a must have thing in your website to help both potential and existing customers to reach out to you. You should provide contact forms at relevant places in your websites. Your support email ID should be featured in visible spots as well, preferably at footer and sidebars.

Newsletters can be a great way to provide customer support. For example, you can email resources to your customers who bought a particular type of products from your store. Or you can send automated follow-up email to customers who have used products for a certain time.

Live Chat & Phone Support

Customer expectation has evolved a lot with new tech and cutting edge apps. That is why live chat is becoming popular among the digital shoppers. There are loads of benefits that comes with live chats. Customer can explain their problems easily, and as a result, their issues are resolved almost instantly. Same goes for phone support too. But you need to have resources allocated for these support channels, otherwise the idea might backfire.

Support Ticket

Support ticket is a great way to report service requests to the providers. With this, your customers can let you know about the issues she is facing in an organized way. She can track the tickets, get notification for updates while you can assign tickets to particular team members, check ticket history, set priority, track resolution time and many more. A customer centric online business will definitely struggle without a support ticket system. So you should check out some solutions for you and purchase one that suits you best.

FAQ Page

Most of the customers look for FAQ section right after they decide to purchase your goods. That is why you must invest substantial time to find out which questions your prospective buyers ask most before buying? After you have noted those down, write the answers as plainly as possible and get them live on your FAQ page. Don't forget to make it easily navigable from your landing page!

Resources

By resource here I mean anything that adds up to the knowledge base of your customer. A certain section like blog can serve as an excellent resource for them. Your social media account like Facebook group or LinkedIn page can provide excellent and up to date knowledge too. Whatever the channel is, make sure you feed updates to your customers related to campaigns, new features, sales offer and achievements.

A golden rule is to ensure your customer do not need to leave your site to find information on your product. Also keep in mind that, customers find visual contents more engaging than text contents.

Wrapping Up

Before implementing any customer support, it is important that you understand why it is important and how it will sync with your operation. Once you got hold of that, decide which of the aforementioned support options you can set up using your current resources. Carefully implement these plans and allocate resources for them. I guarantee that you will reap its long term benefit.

Is Customer Trust Really the Determining Factor for your eCommerce?

Why is it that so much emphasis is placed on developing customer trust and good consumer relationships for eCommerce business?

Research finds that: 67% of consumers trust a purchase on a familiar online marketplace even if the retailer selling the product is unfamiliar to them. If customers had a satisfactory experience, 54% will return to buy from the same marketplace again. The reason being they trust the marketplace.

With the continually emerging and evolving online marketplaces, one of the known ways to stay sustainable in the eCommerce ecosystem is to develop long lasting and reliable relationships with customers. There are other factors too that influence customers to buy from you, for example, the quality of your product and a well-functioning website. But what makes Trust stand out?

Trust is the overriding factor that determines whether a visitor will purchase from you or not.

Trust is the magnet that brings together your other strengths and competencies.

Without consumer trust, no individual quality of your business is usually enough for visitors to buy your service or product. If all your distinctness and strengths don't come together to create trust for your visitors, they will simply leave for other options.

Obtained from “Study: Why B2B Marketers Waste 19% of Their Budgets”

So what are some of the proven ways you can influence and grow trustworthy relationships with your clients?

Solidify the Relationship

Online fraud of financial and personal information is one of the major reasons people are reluctant to buy online. Offline shopping precludes giving out personal and financial information in many cases. Since eCommerce precludes live and verbal social communication, your customers may never get to interact with you personally. Therefore, the need to establish trust is higher in eCommerce.

So how can you reinforce that you are genuine and trustworthy?

One way to do it is through communicating testimonials and reviews. Post reviews from your previous happy clients on your website, social media, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and also send them on newsletters to your subscribers. Online feedback and testimonials play a huge role in shaping your users' decision to buy or not. Word of mouth remains to be the single most effective sales factor and marketing technique that does its job without you having to spend your finance on it. But it obviously doesn't come without effort. Therefore, it's important to have a good website technology, quality products, and of course, a good customer support service for your clients to speak something good about.

Research again shows:

88% of online consumers look for ratings and reviews, with 47% of online consumers seeking them only if [they] are not familiar with the retailer and 41% only purchasing if ratings and reviews are present. – Bizrate Insights
.

Obtain reviews by seeking them personally from your consumers either through email, phone calls or social media. It can also be in the form of ratings like on Facebook, but even better are descriptions and videos of your clients talking about how your product or service benefits them. And don't be afraid to ask, because customers do love communicating their experiences. Also, keep up with reviews of your services and products given on other websites and forums, such as Yelp, Amazon, and Yahoo. Show that you are responding to customer's feedback, solving their problems, and also appreciating their good ratings.

Invest in Trust Seals

However, reviews and testimonials are not 100% guaranteed to build trust between you and your customer. Once a potential buyer has read and heard all word-of-mouth and first-hand reviews, there may still be a gap in his/her mind before they choose to buy from your store. A significant percentage of online shoppers (70%) refuse to continue with their online transaction because they did not trust the transaction. 53% also say that if there was a seal present, they wouldn’t have canceled the transaction.

This is important. It pushes your customers to trust you and have faith in your business. Computer users and eCommerce consumers now increasingly recognize the significance of Trust Signals. One of the most widely recognized methods is the SSL/TSL certification, which is a networking protocol that serves browser authentication, encrypts and secures client and server communication, and makes the server authenticated.

eConsumers increasingly look for the padlock and know the difference between http:// and https://. When they see the green bar on a website, they instantly know that it's a place they can trust enough to enter their information. They know it's a genuine business and safe. Without this, they are left to trust the vendor alone which is something most users are not comfortable with.

Though this license can be expensive depending on the level of security you integrate, but worth it if you are serious about building customer loyalty and selling more.

A padlock and green bar in a browser’s URL window are an indication that the website has obtained Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL). Even that little “s” in a URL is a sign that the site is a trustworthy e-commerce site…It ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private. – Jeremy Said

After Sales and Ongoing Support

What's next after you have ensured your website is secured, authenticated, and users are able to verify that you are a genuine seller?

Ensure that your customers are now able to reach you anytime. Your contact page and details should be up to date. And the contact information should be present in every page, usually in the footer. Adding your address in addition to your phone number eases your customer's worries even more. Ensure that you respond to all customer queries. Having representatives to manage live chats is the most beneficial support you can provide to your users. It works as a substitute for face-to-face interaction and brings satisfaction that you care about your clients and there is someone to listen to their issues.

Stay in touch with your customers through email marketing. Send newsletters for updates, new products, and offers. Reward your loyal customers with discounts, coupons, and gifts, and they will reward you.

Wrapping up

Trust influences a consumer's decision to visit your site, buy your product, return to the site, and even promote your brand. Sometimes customers themselves become brand ambassadors of products because of the benefits they have received and the faith they have gained in the business. Without trust, visitors will simply drift away to competitors and choose other options. It doesn't take much long for the visitor to lose attention, but a lot for the vendor to gain and retain it. So ensure that you are investing wisely in building trustworthy relationships.

So, is TRUST really the determining factor for the success of your eCommerce? The answer is overwhelmingly, yes. But it is not something that can be built in a short time. Moreover, with each customer, building a long lasting relationship will vary because the perception of each client will vary and so will their interaction with you.

No one method guarantees success.

What is known is that customer trust develops in stages, not instantly. The more you solve customer's concern points to remove their hesitations, the more you increase your chances to gain trust from your visitors.

Do you know of other methods to build trust with your clients? Have they worked for you and your business?

Share your experience with us in the comments below!