Jun 6 / Think Design Today/Sherry—The Biz Starter

How Customer Onboarding Can Quickly Create Loyal Brand Advocates

Yes! Finally, you made a sale! All the grinding you did for the weeks and months leading up to the first sale of your new product or service paid off. You did your research and narrow your focus on the ideal customer for your offer. The needs of your audience were heard and you created the perfect solution for them. You created a high-converting landing page, and a killer sales funnel to match your flawless offer.

The journey of your customer is not over once they’ve purchased your offer—the journey has just begun. After your customer clicks “buy now” for the first time, it’s up to you to transform them from a one-time buyer to a loyal brand advocate. To make this happen, you need to have a customer onboarding plan. The key to customer onboarding is to make sure the post-sale experience exceeds the presale expectations. 

Here we discuss why customer onboarding is so important to your business and building loyal customer advocates.
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Why customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding not only boosts sales, but it also keeps your customers engaged with your brand. The goal is to have the customer interact with you regularly so they can become brand advocates for your business. As you continue to onboard them and give value, they will be more open to your upsells, cross-sells, and you will be their go to for solutions, instead of the competition.
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Repeat Business Rocks

To get customers can be a huge expense for any company. The costs can be advertising dollars, use of the resources, and time building a buzz about your offer, and nurture leads. This is why customer retention is so critical for every entrepreneurs. Building a customer onboarding plan increases customer retention and it will save you time, money, and resources. After your customer buys something from you, don’t ghost, properly onboard them, treat them well, and you are more likely to get repeat business.
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Referrals Build Businesses

When you build an army of happy customers who value you and love your offers, they will tell their friends and peers all about you. Referrals from your loyal customers are the most powerful business-building goal. Word of mouth travels so much faster than an email, sales page, or paid advertisement. In addition to having a customer onboarding plan, you also create a loyalty rewards program, depending on your offer.

For example, if you sell products you can give customers a discount on their third purchase of a similar item. Another similar example is if you offer coaching services, each coaching session brings them closer to a reward of a digital product or a free coaching session with you.

Keep in mind that customer onboarding should be focused on the customer and ensuring the customer gets the most out of your product or service. Never assume your onboarding plan is successful. Check-in with your customer and ask them if the onboarding plan you put into place is working for them and is helpful. This is part of getting the data you need to measure the effectiveness of your onboarding plan.
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More Feedback—Fewer Issues

One of the biggest benefits of customer onboarding is it gives you the opportunity for several touch points with the customer so you can get feedback. Obtaining valuable feedback will improve your marketing efforts and offers so you can further meet their needs. It gives you the chance to make any tweaks or improvements if needed based on the feedback you received.

The most common customer complaint is either not understanding how to use what they purchased or not being able to contact someone to get an answer to their question. Another huge benefit of customer onboarding is that it creates open communication so you are immediately there to answer any questions or address any concerns. Opening this line of communication is a proactive approach to showing your appreciation for your customer and allows you to quickly reduce customer service issues. Customer onboarding decreases complaints and increases your ability to quickly handle customer inquiries.
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Does your onboarding work?

The only way to know if your customer onboarding is working is to analyze the metrics. Depending on the metrics you choose if you’re using a tool (s) to implement customer onboarding or customer feedback, frequently check the metrics of your customer onboarding.

There are a few different metrics you can review to measure the success of customer onboarding based on the goals you set. For example, if your goal is to have a specific number of sales from repeat business, then you would measure the percentage of repeat sales you have. If your goal is to acquire more referrals, then you would measure the percentage of new customers who provided referrals after their purchase. Increases in either of these areas indicate your customer onboarding process is successful.

Don’t forget to also measure the percentage of customers that leave and pay close attention to where in the onboarding process this is happening.
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Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the three things you should avoid when onboarding your customers:

1. Lack of customer knowledge
No amount of customer onboarding can help a product or service that falls short of meeting the needs of your customers. Be sure to create an ideal customer profile and stay focused on their pain points and the challenges they face. If your product or service provides a solution, they are likely to give you repeat business.
2. Making it too complicated
Avoid making the stages in your onboarding process complicated, keep it simple. Streamline your process to make each touch point with your customer is seamless. This includes making signups, emails, feedback, and the ability for your customer to get help super easy. Automation is key in delivering a quality customer onboarding experience.

3. Ending engagement prematurely
The average customer onboarding process takes close to 30 days and begins right after the customer makes their purchase from you. This is adequate time for your customer to get familiar with your product or service and gauge their level of satisfaction. At the end of the onboarding process, continue to engage and continue to provide value with them. This is how you turn your customer into loyal brand advocates. Continue to create opportunities for communication so you stay at the top of their mind for any other needs they may have.
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Summary

As you create your customer onboarding plan always make it about their experience with your brand, seek feedback, and continuously look for ways to communicate to customers all that you have to offer. Use every chance to provide good customer service, get feedback, and meet their needs which will result in higher customer retention rates.
Got questions about how to avoid the overwhelm in your business—Just Ask Sherry. 

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