Onboarding 101: All You Need To Know To Get Started

User Onboarding

Onboarding – one of those new-age terms people running businesses are using left, right and center but never really get down to explaining. There could be two reasons to the following – either they don’t have the right words to put together an understandable explanation or they probably don’t understand it in its totality.

Even though a superficial look at it may seem enough, understanding it at its core, its importance and being able to implement it successfully can result not just in keeping your customers happy, but also in maintaining a steady flow of income coming in for potential business plans.

What is user onboarding?

In the simplest of words, it is the process of welcoming a new customer to a business and introducing them to the available products and services. Even though onboarding is often related to other processes like welcoming a new hire to a company, it essentially means giving the person who is new to a company, all the information he needs to feel settled in.

The importance

Most businesses today think onboarding is something their customer service team can handle as and when a customer makes an interaction.

What they fail to understand is that the customers more than often get irritated with the fact that the information given to them regarding a product/ service is incomplete. This irritation might push them to make an interaction with your team, but it could also nudge them to try the other options available in the market.

  1. The first impression is the last impression

Commonly used for times when we meet someone, this holds true for the meeting between a business and a customer for the first time as well. And the rules of creating the most alluring impression are are as straight as possible:

  • Greet them with a smile – all their queries need to be addressed; even those that you feel can be ignored.
  • Be useful – don’t boast about what your products/ services do, tell them what use it is to them instead.
  • Sharing is caring – don’t hesitate in sharing a little extra information about your product/ service. It wards off the impression of someone who is transparent and believes in sharing knowledge.
  1. Faster processing times

When your customers are given the right information before they get down to using your products/ services, the chances of failures are lesser. And even if there are a few trouble cases, their processing time gets reduced 5 times already.

People Buy From People They Trust Reminder Message

So how do you achieve this one?

  • Create interactive how-to guides – a step by step screenshot guide isn’t just cumbersome for the creator, but also for those who will have to remember each step. Whatfix lets you create interactive how-to guides, that nudge the user to the next step till conversion while the product/ service is being used.
  • Update FAQs – the FAQs need to change with every lot of new customers that come in; you can’t possibly be receiving the exact same questions every time.
  1. Efficient information gathering

What’s a better way to know what the market demands than knowing it from the customers themselves? None that comes to my head!

Initiate the interaction and show that you aren’t just about sales, but also about imparting knowledge to help your customers use your products/ services efficiently. This not just encourages them to interact with your business more often, but also provide the real feedback you’re looking for to better your future products/ services.

  1. Easier record keeping

Because the entire onboarding process is digitized, keeping a record of even the smallest of interactions is easier. From whether an email has been opened, read or ignored, how many times a guide has been viewed, there is a way to track just about everything. Google Analytics and DidTheyReadIt are great to start with.

  1. Effective promotion by word of mouth

The biggest benefit that come in with successful execution of an onboarding process is customer satisfaction. Word of mouth has been the most tried, tested and effective way of promotion for years together and still is.

Business man pointing to transparent board with text: Referrals

If your customers are happy with your products/ services, there is an 80% chance that they will recommend the same to their friends and family. And what they ask for in return are the simplest to give:

  • Quick response time – because no one has the time to keep waiting for the customer care to respond. If your response time is more than 48 hours, they’ll either look for another source of information or simply switch to another product/ service.
  • Occasional surprises – if you’re offering paid services, it is always a good idea to offer special discounts to your customers every now and then, or a loyalty card that benefits them at the end of the day in one way or the other. This is the best way to give them something to look forward to and have them coming back every time.

Specifics of user onboarding

The exact setup required to carry out successful onboarding may vary from business to business, depending on their end goals. But there are a few common facets that have been observed in the successful onboarding programs:

  • Know-your-customer approval methods – popularly referred to as KYC, these are the methods of production of products/ services based on what the market demands, the standards set by the customers, etc.
  • The right hires – to be able to succeed, it is important to ensure that the employees recruited to interact with your customers directly have the right set of skills.
  • Demarcated and measured processes – planning out different onboarding processes and tracking the success of each is a great way to constantly improve. An onboarding process must not only serve the needs of all customers, but also all areas of the business.

In the end everything comes down to making your customers happy. Happier the customers are, better the retention rates and hence, higher the cross-selling opportunities and sales.

Take a look at the 7 Best Onboarding Practices You Must Follow , before you start creating your process.

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