A customer onboarding plan is a detailed strategy that a company uses to guide new customers through the process of getting started with its products or services. It typically includes a series of steps and milestones that are designed to help customers become familiar with the product, understand how it works, and begin to see the value that it can provide.
There are several benefits to using a customer onboarding plan, including:
The specific steps and milestones included in a customer onboarding plan will vary depending on the company and the product or service being offered. However, some common elements of a customer onboarding plan might include:
Customer onboarding plans are most effective when they are used as a proactive tool to guide new customers through the process of getting started with your product or service. It's important to communicate with customers regularly throughout the onboarding process, and to make sure that they are making progress and achieving key milestones. Additionally, it's important to listen to feedback from customers and make adjustments to the onboarding plan as needed.
The first step to creating a customer onboarding plan is to understand the journey your customers take when they use your product. Create a user flow chart to see exactly what steps your users will take. This way, you can internalize each individual feature you will need to explain.
Now that you understand the journey your customers will go on, it’s time to create a simple and universal presentation you can send them when they need help. In your onboarding process, it’s great to have a quick and easy PDF or PowerPoint that you can send the users to help them get started (e.g. set up their account, add additional users, adjust their settings).
One of the most critical parts of onboarding is setting up an onboarding email cadence. This will be possibly a daily, semi- weekly, or bi- weekly set of emails that are sent to your users who have just started using the product. These emails can contain tips on how to use the product or resources they may not have seen. Remember to A/B test your emails and constantly be iterating for improved results.
Now that you have your system set up, it's important to make sure it’s working. Work with tech to have a system set up to track usage of the product. Are users who open your email more likely to convert to a purchase? What questions are users asking after they read your presentation? Where in the usage funnel are most of your onboarded users falling off? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to improve your onboarding process and increase conversion rate.
Lastly, make it known to your users that customer care and assistance is always available. Make sure they know who/where to contact if they have any questions at all. When users feel like they are being taken care of and all of their issues can be solved, they are much more likely to purchase.
The length of a customer onboarding plan will vary depending on the complexity of the product or service being offered. However, most onboarding plans should aim to get customers up and running within a few days or weeks.
In most companies, the responsibility for creating a customer onboarding plan falls to the customer success or onboarding team.
Some common mistakes to avoid in customer onboarding include overwhelming customers with too much information at once, failing to tailor the onboarding experience to the customer's specific needs, neglecting to provide ongoing support and resources, and failing to measure and optimize the effectiveness of the onboarding process.
The success of a customer onboarding plan can be measured by tracking metrics such as customer engagement, product adoption, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. By monitoring these metrics and making adjustments to the onboarding process as needed, you can continually optimize the experience for new customers and improve overall retention.