#90: Creating your onboarding process for the next few months and beyond

Office Operations, Working with Clients

The first 30 days the customer is using your product or service is a benchmark. The reason for this benchmark is that after a few weeks of using most products or experiencing your services, the customer understands the unique value of the product and the benefits it offers.

Your onboarding during the first few weeks, which we discussed in the last lesson, is for this initial period where the customer is still learning how to use the product and may not have felt its benefits yet. In today’s video, we’ll create a plan for the future, where the customer understands the product / service and its benefits.

We are continuing with our series with creating your onboarding process.

The first 30 days the customer is using your product or service is a benchmark. The reason for this benchmark is that after a few weeks of using most products or experiencing your services, they understand the unique value of the product and the benefits it offers. Your onboarding during the first few weeks, which we talked about last week, is for this initial period where the customer is still learning how to use the product and may not have felt its benefits yet. In this lesson, we’ll create a plan for the future, where the customer understands the product and its benefits.

With your goals and your customers’ needs in mind, you can use feedback such as surveys to find more ways you can help your customers meet their needs.

The first rule is to make them quick and easy. And we all know this, if there is any difficulty for them in completing the survey, such as having to log in, the wrong link, a slow response time, they will not finish the survey.

A small incentive helps to encourage them to complete the survey. Even if it just takes a few minutes, and I think we have all gaffed them off because they are so prevalent and, after each and every interaction, someone wants you to complete a survey.  There’s nothing wrong with giving them a small nudge like a discount, exclusive content, a digital product, a special call… anything that doesn’t cost you anything but provides some kind of value to them.

In your survey, ask for written feedback in addition to multiple-choice or rankings. That’s because they will tell you things here that your multiple-choice or ranking can’t convey. It also gives them a chance to interact with you personally.

For onboarding beyond the first month, you need to make it as personal and customized as possible for every single client or customer. Use your metrics and the data you’ve collected to make highly targeted offers. There’s nothing worse than buying a highly expensive program only to be offered something completely irrelevant two days later.  You can segment your customers according to their tastes, engagement, what program they are in, products they’ve purchased, or whatever category you have set up. 

Personalize your communications with names, dates, and whatever other information you know about each of your clients or customers. Point out and celebrate milestones with them, for example, “Congratulations on your first year with us!” or “Hey, you’ve completed Module 1, great job!” You can use opportunities like this for direct engagement and feedback.

For long-term onboarding, you can offer online meetings or a Q&A phone call. AccessAlly does a great job with this. I use their program and every single month they have a Q&A call called a “Tune-Up.” So you can come to the call, ask questions, and see how other people are using the program. People love it and I think it’s a great idea. 

After the first few months, you’ll also find it easier to ask for testimonials, social mentions, and reviews. Because you’ve now built a relationship with the customer and you’ve worked to ensure their satisfaction. They’ll be more likely to tell others about you. Again, you can offer a small incentive if you want to sweeten the deal.

Treat them like a VIP. In order to build a strong long-term relationship, treat them like a VIP. There are several ways you can do this, including:

  • Offering exclusive offers and deals that not all customers have access to
  • Keeping them in the loop about new products, new ideas, and other things going on
  • Giving them a sneak peek at a new product or the chance to buy or use the product before it goes on sale 
  • Offering an exclusive newsletter or other content that only they can get
  • Following them and engage with them on social media, their blogs, and wherever else they are online
  • Asking for their ideas on new products
  • Offering special gifts periodically as a way to say “thank you”
  • Creating a certification, points system, gamification, or system of levels that shows how far the customer has progressed using your product or service

The key is to offer them things no one else gets.

Action Steps:

  1. List the additional follow-up steps you will perform with every customer or client after 30 days and when they should be using the product. Identify which ones you can automate.
  2. List other tools, products, and services customers can purchase that complement the product they just bought. 

Remember that part of the preparation for customer onboarding is looking ahead to what upsell and cross-sell opportunities you can use in the future that complement the current product.

Next week, we will finish up with common mistakes to avoid with onboarding. My favorite thing to do is tell you mistakes. See you then!

 

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