Customers hate to be left in the dark after signing up for a new app or SaaS product, especially after receiving constant contact and personalised marketing up until the point of sale or download. It can make a user feel abandoned as if all you care about is money.
Over 90% of customers think companies “could do better” when it comes to onboarding, that’s an alarming statistic considering that the modern market industry prides itself on putting their customers first.
In this blog, we will explore the practice of customer onboarding as a way to enrich your customer’s knowledge and enjoyment of your products and, ultimately, promote loyalty. We will do this by showing you how to build the perfect onboarding campaign that is both personalised and omnichannel to ensure the most seamless experience possible.
What is Onboarding?
Onboarding is the process of welcoming a new customer to your brand by teaching them how to use the product they have purchased. Onboarding is a cross-departmental effort requiring sales, marketing, and customer service teams to provide guidance and support.
Think of onboarding as an instruction manual, without which your customer will have no idea how to operate your product. Sure, they may have a good crack at it — opening the box, setting it up, etc., but they won’t get very far, and in the end, they will blame your brand or your product for their lack of success. They might even ask for their money back and tell their friends to avoid your brand.
So, how do you deliver onboarding to your customers?
Is it as simple as writing them out a few pointers on a post-it note? Or how about mailing them a user’s manual and then changing your phone number? Well…no — seriously, don’t do that.
In reality, to compete in today’s markets and keep your customers happy, you need to deliver your onboarding messages across multiple platforms and formats, otherwise known as omnichannel marketing. Ensuring that you reach your customers and cater to all kinds of learners is essential, so be ready to create content such as blogs, videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars and more as part of your onboarding strategy.
Why should your onboarding be omnichannel?
Every customer is different, and they all have particular preferences when it comes to communications. That’s why an omnichannel approach to onboarding is essential to ensure that wherever and whenever your customer interacts with your brand, they receive a top-notch customer experience.
Omnichannel marketing is defined as delivering a completely seamless experience to customers across all channels and touchpoints. It involves multiple channels, both online and offline; however, it is different from multi-channel marketing. The distinction is in the treatment of your customer; in omnichannel marketing, you will strive to use the data you hold on your customers to remember them, react to their preferences and remedy their problems.
For example, let’s say a new customer of yours has trouble navigating your app after entering their login information; they open a chat window with your AI chatbot , and it asks them ‘would you like to sign up?’ or ‘login’ again. They then re-enter their information and are prompted by the chatbot to contact customer service via telephone, where their account details are requested once again.
Here, we see that despite your new customer reaching out to you on multiple channels, it was not an omnichannel experience as their data was not shared between these channels or retained. As such, their experience was hindered, likely leaving them frustrated. These inconveniences may seem minor to you, but they can all contribute to your customer’s overall experience of your brand, and in turn, influence their decision to churn.
Best practice for onboarding campaigns
Before we build the perfect onboarding campaign, let’s talk about the ground rules, or, in other words, best practices for onboarding:
> Choose your marketing tools and channels
There are several marketing tools that you will need to help you build and deliver the perfect omnichannel onboarding campaign. Here are just a few examples:
A CRM system helps businesses keep their customer details up-to-date, record interactions and analyse trends. These systems are designed to facilitate customer-centric experiences that prioritise personalised marketing.
Email marketing tools are used to create, schedule, deliver and analyse emails to your customer base. They operate via imported lists and often facilitate automated email campaigns that are scheduled ahead of time or segments.
Channel preference is a significant factor in onboarding; some users prefer to text or use apps like WhatsApp over email, so it’s often a good idea to ensure you have this option open to potential customers.
Live chat tools facilitate instant messaging between you and your customer base. These tools can be powered by live agents or artificial intelligence services, otherwise known as a chatbot. Chatbots are computer programs that use natural language processing and automated rules to answer customer queries.
Tooltips are short messages which appear when a user navigates over a particular area or element of a website or app. Most commonly, tooltips are displayed to users on their first journey around a new interface. Tooltips can be delivered in sequences that require manual navigation by the user or triggered by particular actions taken by a user, for example, clicking start.
Video is one of the most engaging tactics that you can use to captivate your audience and impart knowledge. A personalised video creation software lets you create animated or live-action video sequences that incorporate defined personalised aspects of individual viewer data such as customer name, job title, company name, profile photo, etc.
Omnichannel onboarding experiences require integrated data. Without them, there’s no way to share the data that you need between your tools and applications or build the multiple-channel-enabled sequences you envision.
Data integration is the practice of unifying disparate data sources to create a unified view of data; in this case, application integration enables data sources designed independently to work together in tandem.
An automated workflow is facilitated by software that uses rule-based logic and data integration to cut out the manual work needed to deliver marketing campaigns. Automation saves marketers time, reduces errors and makes your customers happier.
Think of an integrated workflow builder like the plumbing that allows your customer onboarding to flow seamlessly, across multiple channels, at various times, to numerous newly onboarded clients.
> Define a timeframe
It may sound cliche, but timing is everything in business, and in onboarding. It’s essential to define precisely when the process should begin and how long it should last. Timeframes are vital as they will help you to define a roadmap for your onboarding process, outlining which goals or actions you aim to have new customers reach by which time.
Onboarding should begin as soon as a prospect becomes a customer; this moment is defined differently for each business depending on whether you include free trials in your sales journey or whether the exchange of money establishes customer status.
It is hard to define when customer onboarding ends. However, some like to describe a fully onboarded customer as having reached an ‘Aha’ moment with your product or service when they feel they understand the functionality and value of the product.
> Set goals and objectives for your onboarding campaigns
Using the defined timeline can be helpful; however, some customers may take longer than others to reach their Aha moment with your product — and that’s okay! Whilst your onboarding process should cater to everyone, it’s important for you to define a set of goals and objectives that you can use to rate your customer’s progress throughout the onboarding process.
An example of an onboarding goal for Hurree’s product may include:
> The customer has activated their first workflow
And objectives that we can define to mark a customer’s progress toward reaching this goal:
- The customer has logged into their account
- The customer has completed their profile setup
- The customer has watched Hurree’s onboarding video
- The customer has integrated their third-party marketing tools
- The customer has created a segment
The content and communication that you share with your customer throughout their onboarding journey should gently push them toward reaching the goal and, ultimately, understanding the value of your product or service.
Remember, successful goals and objectives are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timebound).
> Research your target audience
Understanding your target audience and where they reside online can help you determine the best form of onboarding content to deliver.
For example, if you have created an app that targets and onboards 13–18-year-olds, then creating short, snappy intro videos hosted on the social media platform TikTok may be a great way to engage and inform. Whereas if your product targets a highly technical, older audience, then in-depth documentation may be more appropriate.
Within your target audience, create segments that further drill down into differences and similarities in this audience to deliver the most personalised experience possible. Segments can be informed by demographic , geographic , psychographic or behavioural data and promote higher engagement rates.
Always ensure that real data informs your target audience research, both primary (surveys of previous customers, carrying out focus groups, etc.) and secondary data (market research, census data, etc.)
> Record and measure your success
It’s essential to know the industry benchmarks for onboarding within your industry. To get a complete picture of your progress, you should include overarching metrics such as churn rates and CLV (customer lifetime value) and the average benchmarks for each channel and tactic you use to deliver your content during the onboarding process.
You can find plenty of advice and metrics calculations in our bumper list of marketing metrics you should track for data-driven success.
> Continue to optimise and learn
Look, I don’t want to patronise you here, but I have to say it: nothing lasts forever. By that, I mean you can’t just design your onboarding campaign, launch it and forget about it. You must continue to track, analyse and optimise your onboarding workflows to ensure you deliver the best possible experience and catch any potential pitfalls.
Not correcting or learning from your mistakes is far worse than making them in the first place.
If you would like to create a perfect onboarding campaign that integrates all of your trusted tools to create seamless, omnichannel experiences for your customers, then why not book a demo of Hurree’s marketing automation platform.
With Hurree, you can easily connect the dots between your marketing tools and create personalised segments and workflows in one place. Remove the stress from your marketing efforts and start building engaging, revenue-boosting onboarding campaigns today.
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Originally published at https://blog.hurree.co.