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Do you automate client onboarding?
When a new customer or customer signs up for your service or product, do you send that new customer a series of updates on how to get the best of your offering?
Long before it was on my to-do list, the resistance was working against me and I put it on my to-do list someday.
Your client sent a quote request or signed up for a free trial, what happens next?
They are willing to work with you but are often thrown into a black hole and have no idea what happens next.
Client onboarding is an educational process where you teach your clients or clients how to work with your service or product.
You may be familiar with the process. When you take a free trial of a new software package, they will prompt you to add your team members, import emails, add your company details, etc. They will prompt you to add your own software. Trying to bring in and get you. To be a long term customer.
Your onboarding should be to make working with you as painless as possible.
You’ve been doing yours for years and you know how to do it, but your customer or customer is buying this item for the first time and doesn’t know how the process works.
By setting up automatic learning for your newbies, they know exactly what to expect and how to use your thing.
Do it automatically so you don’t forget to do it. Do it automatically so you can focus on delivering your best efforts rather than responding to the inevitable custom support requests.
You can send your clients a huge onboarding video with 20 minutes of content, but do they really have time to take it all in? I doubt
What I recommend is that you make a series of small material nuggets, which you feed to your client over a few days.
You can do this with automated email or you can drip blog post content if you’re using subscription software.
There are several ways to onboard customers, for example, SaaS providers, onboarding programs in their software if you are walked through the steps to achieve 100% setup of your account.
If you have time for their service, you can skip the onboarding time between the time the quotation is accepted and they begin work on their project.
If you have a product, send your customer an email order detailing how to use the product from the day it will be delivered to them.
Do you have a membership site? Tell your members how to login, how to cancel and how to get the best out of your course. Ask them to come and join the forum.
If someone is coming to your clinic for a personal service such as sports massage therapy, ask them to bring some clothing or items to change.
Briefly think about all the questions your customers or clients have asked you, and pre-empt those questions with your onboarding.
I’ve created an onboarding chain so that my customers can get the most out of their new WordPress support plan.
When a new client signs up for that service they are added to my Mailchimp list and I add a tag in front of their email address. Here’s a screen dump from Mailchimp so you can see what I mean.
Mailchimp has a type of automation that is triggered when a tag is added to a subscriber.
They then get a leaky sequence of emails containing training videos on how to work with me and my team, and what to expect from their support plan.
I host those videos embedded in my email sequence on YouTube as unlisted videos so that only my onboarders can see them, here’s an example.
Here are the automation emails I send:
+1 day after signup – welcome email starting the onboarding chain
+2 days after signup – How to request support from us
+3 days after signup – details of the backups we took
4 days after signup – Updating software, how we do it
5 days after signup – How our monitoring works
6 days after signup – weekly in-depth checkup, what is it and why do we do it
+7 days after signup – we send a weekly report on all the work done
+8 days after signup – exception reporting
9 days after signup – How to cancel your plan
28 days after signup – How our billing works
You will see a huge difference between Day 9 and Day 28. They’re about to end their free trial on day 28, so this is a reminder that it’s coming and how to pay for ongoing service.
I don’t send any other emails to people tagged as “onboarding” so they don’t get overwhelmed with emails. Me.
For example when I send an email to my list about this blog post “onboarders” will not receive that email.
After the 28th day email is out of sequence and the tag is removed from their user and normal email service is resumed.
I get analytics from Mailchimp on how many opens I’m getting and they seem to be high, so people are connecting with onboarding.
I am offering a 30 day free trial of my WordPress maintenance service here at WPDude.
There are a lot of moving parts in that maintenance plan, I want new customers to get the best out of that free trial and stick with me on the paid plan after 30 days.
There’s a better chance they’ll stick with me than teaching new customers how to use the service. By automating this process, it ensures that all new users get that education and that no one is left behind, which would lead to a poor introduction to my service.
I don’t have time to handle all new customers so it is 100% automated.
As I already mentioned that this has been on my to-do list for months, why have I avoided doing it?
The answer is simple. It’s a crap ton of work (that’s a valid English measure of work ), it’s a pain, it took me about a day to complete this sequence.
I had to record, produce, upload, thumbnail videos and compose emails.
But, this is a single task that is now automated and can be reused for all new customers who sign up, you only need to do your automated onboarding task once.
Involving customers or clients in a new service/product is a great way to provide exceptional support without adding a lot of new tasks to your plate, once the initial work is done it goes away without requiring you to do anything it happens.
Would you like to see an example of my client onboarding? Why not try out a free 30 day trial of my WordPress support plan and you will see how my onboarding works.
I plan to do the same for my stand alone project work on NeilMatthews.co I’m a full card now taking automated onboard.
photo credit: compfight cc. Massive Content via Flickr
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