When your business lands a new client, it’s customary to take a breath and savor the accomplishment. Though, in truth, the selling isn’t done when the sale closes — not by a long shot. The onboarding process is chronically overlooked as a key part of a profitable business strategy.
A thorough yet seamless customer onboarding process includes many touchpoints along the way. Robust customer onboarding prompts users to take key actions that introduce them to the most important features of your business, software, or product.
Onboarding is, in essence, a training series for new clients. But to ensure your new customer stays a customer for years to come, it must feel nearly effortless and even enjoyable.
Of course, creating a resonant experience for a new customer is gratifying. Knowing that your product or service has delighted your customer is the reinforcement you need to keep improving on your efforts.
Ultimately, though, a five-star customer onboarding process is a financial victory. Companies that nail onboarding—think Slack, Etsy, and Trello—cultivate the most coveted asset in business: loyalty.
The Measurable Financial Impact of Customer Onboarding
While it’s easy to understand conceptually why an investment in customer onboarding makes sense, a CFO deals in numbers, not concepts. TaskRay has data to prove that customer onboarding is an ROI super-tactic.
In a TaskRay internal study, we found that excellent onboarding more than pays for itself by producing short- and long-term dividends.
ROI of High-Touch Onboarding
- Within the first 18 months of the customer journey, users that had a high-touch experience resulted in 7.4% extra revenue
- 28% higher dollar retention was achieved from high-touch onboarded customers after 12 months
- Users had a 20% higher likelihood of yearly renewal after a high-touch onboarding experience
Here are some other reasons a high-touch onboarding experience is a profit-generating strategy.
Lifetime Value as a Key KPI
In our data-driven landscape, one metric is always at the top of the KPI list: lifetime value. To achieve a high lifetime value, customers need a thorough onboarding experience. According to Gartner, a staggering 80% of a company’s future revenue comes from 20% of existing customers. Bain and Co. found that just a 5% bump in customer retention results in a profitability increase of 75%. If you can build a base of customers with a best-in-class onboarding experience, your company’s financial future will be positively impacted.
Protect Resources and Morale
It’s not just about avoiding the dreaded high churn rate. An onboarding process can help avoid many downstream issues that will clog up your help-desk tickets and frustrate your support team. Plus, any sales team member will tell you that it’s easier to retain a customer than to sign a new customer.
The Best Salesforce Money Can’t Hire
Word of mouth and referral marketing are absolute goldmines of opportunity. When you create a Four Seasons-level onboarding experience, you essentially create a salesforce out of your clients. The data is clear; customer onboarding contributes to higher renewals, usage, and satisfaction.
Mistakes in Customer Onboarding
Now that we’ve made a case for a premium onboarding experience, you probably want to get into the shop and overhaul some things. Before you start, here are the mistakes to watch for.
Mistake 1: Lack of alignment and inconsistent quality
To build out a high-touch customer onboarding sequence, you need a clear process with a shared vision supported by an executive sponsor. Be sure you have a capable champion on the team who is ready to push the onboarding project to success. Make sure there is clear communication on desired outcomes to the entire team, from stakeholders to individual contributors.
Mistake 2: Not offering onboarding to all clients
It’s tempting to cherry-pick a few clients to get the high-touch onboarding experience. However, this hurts your brand because you will have designed the process for a few versus all. Plus, every new customer should have an onboarding experience, as the first days of any contract are the most fragile. In the early days of being a customer, they want you to prove to them that they made the right choice. To avoid this you should segment your customers and determine what each segment needs to thrive. That way you can build a tailored experience for all customers.
Mistake 3: Not being able to scale your process
Scaling a high-touch customer onboarding process can be daunting. That’s why the scaling often fails. How to successfully implement a premium onboarding experience depends on your product or service.
Some clients may need a high-touch engagement, like in the case of a company-wide systems integration. Other clients will need a mid-touch experience that combines aspects of personalized outreach and automated outreach. This can be a lot to manage, which is why a tool like TaskRay can help you manage the moving parts of segmented onboarding efforts.
Mistake 4: Not having clearly defined metrics and goals
Often customers don’t have clear goals for what they want out of an onboarding experience. It’s important for a customer to make their own KPIs and goals. The more specific, the better. Some ideas include utilization, churn, and onboarding score.
Mistake 5: Not iterating on the process
While your onboarding vision may be perfect, your execution certainly won’t be. Customers should build in room to iterate and then iterate again. Set the tone to your team that customer onboarding is an ever-evolving process, which will help everyone keep a growth-oriented mindset.
Tip: For more on the key onboarding mistakes to avoid, watch this on-demand webinar.
Uplevel Your Onboarding with TaskRay
TaskRay has a talent for creating a five-star onboarding experience, regardless of industry. Let us take a peek inside your process and help you uplevel your onboarding. Start building a legion of loyal customers. Connect with TaskRay today or sign up for our next Overview Webinar.