Designing the perfect customer journey: how to onboard like a superstar
We are currently at that point in the market where customers have so many options to choose from, the competition is so tight that customer experience is the determining factor. It is what is going to inform if your business is going to win or loose.
Imagine that moment when a potential customer gets the first time experience of your brand, when, where and how this happens is all under your control. It can happen when they browse your website for the first time, when they see your ad online, when they open your email, or when they talk to your team and generally when they actually use your product or experience your services.
Customer experience is that first time impression your onboard processes leave on your customer after that first time experience. Think of the first time impression rule, except that in this rule book, it's a make or break. So the key secret here is to proactively craft the customer engagements to keep your customers want to come back for more. And based on the current market influx of options, these processes need a more refined touch to win them over.
The new redefined customer journey: funnel to cycle
Take for instance a subscription based business model, this unique process is about recruiting the customer to always stay with you, by ensuring that they are always engaged on your products and services right from the beginning, that day you offer them a free 30 day trial. Note that you can't simply do it at the end of the month when it's time to renew their subscription.
So why should the modern customer success team take to post-sales refinery?
Why you ask? Because in a subscription model, the money always start coming in right after the sale. In simple terms the entire process has been reversed from a funnel to a cycle, its no-longer about getting them to come in, but about how to keep them within and prevent them from leaving. The real work starts right after the customer acquisition.
Reading Guy Nirpaz's book, Farm, Don’t Hunt, where he likens customer success to a farming paradigm and says,
“When farming, the goal is to profit over many years and any single plant will have many crops. This concept of nurturing and a long time horizon is the opposite of hunting with its upfront reward and short term focus.”
he then continues:
“If in this new world your customers must be farmed not hunted, then Customer Success is the farming paradigm…. Your goal as a farmer is to maximize the yield from your grove over time.”
You do this by proactively refining the experience to nurture your customers through all the stages of their journey with your product.
Let’s take a look at the customer acquisition stages
How to onboarding like a superstar
When you think of onboarding process, think of a series of first impressions, meaning you have to make every stage of the process as unique and exciting as a first time meeting. The goal is to always get that "Aha!" moment each time the customer sees the value your product is delivering. Optimize the process to help speed up the time it takes before your customer starts seeing actual value.
There are a number of ways to onboard as discussed here just make sure to pick the one that best defines your products and services and is directly aligned to your customers. We have also compiled a summary of key essentials to keep in mind during the process.
Welcome your customers to your nest
Let your customers know that you are excited and happy to see them, while promising them that you look forward to finding ways to help improve their experience.
Learn more about your customers (Human approach)
Your customers are real human beings, so why not treat them like one. They mainly came by to find a solution to one of their problems, so it is key to have a clear picture of who they are and what their interests are, and most importantly what solution they are looking for. This allows you to focus on their needs and not your product!
Send your customers customized targeted messages
Did a new customer just signed up for your product or service? Or did they simply just made an attempt to find out more about your products? Reach out to them and acknowledge their presence and guide them through the process.
Avoid overwhelming your customers with everything all at once
So you have all these amazing products that you are selling, that's great and all. But it is very important to note that you shouldn't try to show it all at once to your customer, they will feel a bit overwhelmed and frustrated. Only focus on the customer's current needs and let the process flow seamlessly. This will also ease your workload on making the first impression.
Find out how you performed
Congratulations, so you managed to get them onboard, they are smiling and happy with your product. That's great, but keep in mind that there is always room for improvements, so request for a post-onboard feedback. Find out how you did, and gather some insights on how to improve the process next time.
They’re up and running. Now what? Stay tuned for more on naturing...
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