What is Online Onboarding?
In our daily life, we are always looking for products and solutions that simplify our lives. The range of our purchase may vary from products, services, new technology to online software, and services.
We often rely on reviews of the products or services before we make the buying decision. So to ensure profitability, companies making these products and services must provide stellar goods motivate the customers to make repeat purchases. This responsibility of ‘keeping the customers engaged and happy’ rests on the shoulders of the customer success teams in the organization. The customer success team has strategic interventions in place which educates the customer more about the purchased item. The industry calls these strategic interventions as ‘Customer Onboarding.’
‘Onboarding’ can be simply put as reaching out to the customers to help them to adopt the product easily. The onboarding plan means putting together a host of documents which would involve webinars on how to best use the product, PPTs, PDFs and screen sharing sessions. These will aid navigation of the product or service. This process generates a customer experience with the organization upon his/her first usage of the same – which may be negative or positive. Negative customer experience can spell disaster of unequal proportions which can lead to the death of even a great product.
Building a positive customer experience has become an integral part of the organization. The customer success team has an important role to play. A Deloitte study reveals that 62% organizations consider customer experience as a key competitive differentiator and Gartner anticipates that by 2018, 50% of organizations will redirect monies to innovations in customer experience.
Why Should You Choose an Online Onboarding Process?
The online onboarding tool provides an opportunity for you to address your customer’s queries by
- Reaching out to a global audience in real time– Reach out to your customers who are from different countries around the globe. An online onboarding software is a perfect way to reach out to them. For example, a virtual classroom of the onboarding software will facilitate a live virtual face-to-face interaction.
- Convenience – A customer can reach out to you at from the comforts of his space and vice versa.
- Solving problems in real time – The customer does not have to wait for assistance – it can be given immediately through screen sharing or a virtual interaction.
- Lessen cost of onboarding and ROI impact – An online onboarding is a paperless, minus travel, onboarding. However, if done well, it can contribute to a positive customer experience which can bring in repeat business.
- Saving Time – There is no need to spend valuable time in ancillary activities and only focus on creating the right content for the customer.
- Usage Tracking/measurement – Gathering insights through the onboarding software is an invaluable data source. Insights impact strategy and changes that are needed to promote a highly satisfactory customer experience.
- Certification – Upon completion of the onboarding process you may receive certification which would state that you know the intricacies of a particular product. For example, organizations such as Hubspot, Google offer certifications for their software products which ensures the success of their software with the customer.
- A Course Builder – Any good software, will help you compile instruction manuals into PPTs and PDFs which may be uploaded as courses for the customer to go through. A great motivator would be a certificate at the end of the course.
- Multiple Training Rooms – Being able to create different virtual rooms for different customers at the same time is to be able to fast track your onboarding interactions.
These are some great advantages to motivate you to consider switching to an online onboarding process. The combination of a high-touch onboarding process (delivered through customer success managers) and low-touch onboarding (self-paced courses or automated communication) depends totally on what will best showcase your product or service.
It is not surprising to know that data points to approximately 75% of all cross-sell opportunities occurring within the first 90 days of a customer using the product. Great guides for communication, really are the goals of the onboarding process and they may be as follows
- Customer Satisfaction – The onboarding process must aim at minimizing customer effort scores.
- Optimal product/service usage – Increasing product/ service usage is a vital target for the customer success team. Sharing product /service usage information and assisting the customer with his queries on how to best customize the product for his/her use is of greatest importance.
- Customer Loyalty – Customer experience most definitely impacts customer loyalty. The onboarding process may maximize reasons for the customer to stay with you.
- Retention – Here the focus is on how to minimize customer churn or retain present customers.
How Organizations Do It?
Trello.com’s Onboarding Process
Trello.com is a web-based project management application – the solution that the organization offers is Project Collaboration. You can communicate with your team members about the progress with each step completed on a project. This solution and the way it works is explained well on the first page of their website. The first-page header brings attention to the label ‘Customer Onboarding.’ Segments like ‘Getting Started’ ‘Additional Resources’ ‘To Do’ and ‘Doing’ ensure that during the onboarding process the customer understands the what, how, why of the application. In 2011 Trello was named as one of “ The 7 Coolest Startups You Haven’t Heard of Yet”. In 2017, A Firstpost article mentioned Trello as one of “My Must-Have iOS Apps 2017 Edition”. For the customer, the website provides tutorials, tips, usage examples too. By the third click on the website, you are intrigued and convinced that it is a great solution.
Did you notice that the onboarding process is completely online?
Lakme – Internal Customer Training
Lakme is a global cosmetic brand which faced the challenge of training internal staff in salons all over India. Putting up physical training stations was a costly option. Lakme turned to the WizIQ LMS software to onboard these external customer on their guidelines and systems. Online onboarding has helped to establish a seamless and a standardized training process. Online training has benefited the workforce and has translated well to the external customer.
Making an Online Onboarding Masterplan
Online onboarding plan is an effective channel to communicate with your customers. The first 90 days of the customer lifecycle are crucial to the implementation of the onboarding plan.
While building a plan for onboarding a first-time customer, there a few simple points to remember are
- Knowing what the customer wants the solution you are providing.
- Planning communication, when the first email that should go out, conducting webinars, sending PPTs and other information brochures or document. Listening to what the customer has to say is crucial in these interactions.
- Communication should be simple, helpful and engaging. Reducing the steps to your onboarding process also reduces the burden of information assimilation by the customer. Honestly delivering what you promise in your marketing is required too.
- Sharing organization’s customer success team numbers and relevant testimonials of other customers.
A Harvard Business Review study states “The single biggest driver of stickiness, by far, was “decision simplicity”—the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently weigh their purchase options. What consumers want from marketers is, simply, simplicity.”
Rolling it Out & Analysis
A proactive and well-timed roll out will determine engagement levels of your customer. A highly rewarding experience of the onboarding process is the feedback. Sampling the test will ensure that the real process is meaningful for the customer and will enrich the customer experience. The assessment feature of the online onboarding software provides deep data about the customer, usage, pain points and lacunas. Knowing drawbacks helps to review and update the process.
Online onboarding is responsible for the customer’s first win with the product. During this process, the customer should be able to understand that this product can change his/her life and create the “wow moment.” A successful journey of the customer will be a success of the organization in retaining, motivating and generating revenues for you.