Getting a one-time purchase is good. But if the desire is to build a long-term, profitable business that generates positive returns for years to come, you need to cultivate loyalty. And one way you do this is by mastering the onboarding process.
Why Client Onboarding Matters
Most businesses are so focused on making the sale that they undercut themselves in other costly ways. This is immediately evident in a shallow onboarding process.
If you want to build a business that’s scalable and enjoys sustainable streams of revenue, you can’t afford to stop with the sale. You need an impressive onboarding process that sets you up for success.
Here’s why a good client onboarding process matters so much:
- Sets expectations. People remember the onboarding process. It’s basically your way of establishing a first impression. And if that impression is positive, they’re likely to view the rest of their interactions with you through a more optimistic lens.
- Enhances loyalty. A customer who is thrilled by the onboarding process is much more likely to turn into a loyal customer. And according to one study, loyal customers spend 300 percent more than average customers.
- Cost-effective. A customer who is impressed with the onboarding process usually becomes a repeat customer. And when you eventually re-market to an existing customer, you have a 60 to 70 percent chance of closing them. (Compare that to an industry average of 13 percent for new prospects.)
These are just a few of the reasons you should invest in a better onboarding process. And if you do, you’re virtually guaranteed to move the needle on your bottom line.
4 Tips to Wow New Clients
The question is, how do you improve your onboarding process and wow customers from the very start? Well, we have a few suggestions:
- Develop a Customer Journey Map
Customer journey mapping is a really important exercise that every business should consider doing on a regular basis. If you’ve never done it before, it’s basically the process of creating a visual representation of each interaction and stage of a customer’s relationship with your business. This helps you understand how to interact with a customer at different points of the cycle to add maximum value.
When you start to map out customer journeys, you’ll soon realize that the onboarding phase sets the table for each of the other phases. And with this in mind, you’re able to strategically implement small actions that set you up for success further along in the journey.
- Emphasize High-Touch Interactions
There’s a time and a place for automation. But if possible, you want to push automated interactions further down the timeline. In the onboarding phase of the buyer’s journey, you should prioritize high-touch interactions as best you can.
A high-touch interaction is something that’s personal and hands-on. It could be a phone call, Zoom meeting, face-to-face meeting, personalized gift, or handwritten note. The goal is to ensure the customer knows you’re thinking about them.
- Gather as Much Info as Possible
Always be thinking two or three steps ahead. And if you’re smart, you’ll leverage the high-touch interactions you enjoy during the onboarding process to gather as much information as possible about each new customer.
By gathering information, you’re able to formulate a better picture of who the customer is, what they want, and how they make decisions. This information can then be leveraged in two ways: (1) To enhance the rest of their customer journey, (2) To improve future sales and onboarding for other customers.
- Be Generous With Guarantees
The customer onboarding process is the ideal time to introduce elements like guarantees and warranties. While you might be afraid to offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee over the fear that people will cheat you out of your products and services, the upside is far greater than the downside.
Statistically speaking, very few people ever take a company up on a money-back guarantee. However, research shows that they increase trust and confidence in the product. This makes it a highly valuable investment.
Give it Everything You’ve Got
The customer onboarding process is a very small part of the total customer lifecycle. However, it’s arguably the most important. Because without the right onboarding experience, a customer is much more likely to bail. Keeping this in mind, spend the necessary resources to address this phase right away. You’ll be rewarded in a variety of ways.