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Five Powerful Tips for Onboarding Your New Customers

Five Powerful Tips for Onboarding Your  New Customers

Chris Christoff is the co-founder of MonsterInsights, a WordPress analytics plugin used by over 3 million websites.

Do you want to learn how to turn first-time customers into brand advocates? If so, you need to make a great first impression and deliver a top-notch experience from the moment they buy your product. 

In my experience, the best way to do this is through product onboarding. Onboarding sets the tone for your customer's entire journey with your brand. A good program shows people how to get the most value from your product, which reduces friction and makes it more likely your customers will stick with your business.

We've found that a good onboarding program drastically improves customer satisfaction and retention. The reason why isn't hard to figure out; people are more likely to keep using something if they've figured out how to use it! 

Today, I'll share five powerful tips I've learned over the years that will help you create a memorable, value-packed onboarding experience for your customers.

Let's get started! 

1. Personalize the Onboarding Experience

It doesn't matter what industry you're in—personalization is always the key to making customers feel valued and connected to your brand. People are more likely to find something engaging if it actually aligns with their interests and goals. 

With that in mind, tailoring the onboarding experience to match your customer's needs and preferences can almost instantly foster a strong sense of trust and boost engagement.

There are various ways to personalize the onboarding process. The one that works best for us is asking new customers to tell us exactly what they'd like to learn about our product when they sign up. With this information, we can show them relevant guides first so they can get to what they want fast. 

This level of individual attention not only demonstrates that you understand your users' needs but also increases the likelihood that they'll become repeat customers.

2. Streamline Communication and Support

Like all aspects of running a business, clear and effective communication is essential if you want people to trust you and stick around for years to come. If people have trouble getting in touch or learning how to use their product, there's a good chance they will not want to place a second order. 

I've found that it's crucial to offer access to a customer success representative during this time. You want to make sure there's someone around to help your customers during the onboarding process, especially if they have a more nuanced question or concern. 

You can add chatbots to the mix to resolve people with more common questions so your team can focus on people who need guided support. This strategy is how we keep our queue times down while our customer happiness score is still close to 90%. 

Prompt responses and a smooth communication process will leave a positive impression and encourage customers to continue using your product or service.

3. Provide Comprehensive Training and Educational Resources

Next, remember to equip your customers with the knowledge and skills they need to make the most of your product or service. 

Along with your guided onboarding program, offer comprehensive training materials and educational resources that customers can use. We like to make sure new users have easy access to tutorials and an FAQ page as soon as they place their order. 

Since quick answers to common questions will help them get started and find value in your product, the importance of this step cannot be overstated.

We have resources like video tutorials, webinars, online courses, and links to step-by-step guides readily available for all of our new customers. By investing in comprehensive training materials, you'll make it super easy for customers to quickly understand and appreciate the value of your product, which is how you build their confidence.

4. Set Clear Expectations and Milestones

I want to talk about why you should establish clear expectations and milestones during onboarding. This simple step can help keep customers on track, engaged, and motivated, which means they're more likely to understand your product by the end of their first session. 

My advice is to break down the onboarding journey into manageable steps. For example, if you're selling a page builder, you'd want to start by showing users how to create their website homepage. By offering this guide, you're putting a manageable goal in front of your users and giving them a foundation they can build on.

Setting clear goals and milestones makes things just a little easier to follow, which is especially important for new users. When done correctly, it increases the chance that customers will follow through and complete the onboarding program.

5. Measure and Analyze Onboarding Success

Finally, tracking and analyzing key metrics can help you gauge the effectiveness of your onboarding efforts and identify ways to improve. You'll want to keep an eye on metrics like your completion rates, time to value, customer satisfaction scores, and retention rates to figure out what's working and where you can improve. 

By refining out onboarding strategy based on real-world data we were able to create a much better customer experience. Once we started looking at our feedback forms, we learned that customers really wanted video guides for new features, so we took action. After taking this seemingly small step, we saw our completion rate nearly triple!

All of this information, whether from your analytics or feedback, can help you optimize your onboarding process and improve your customers' overall satisfaction. I like to review this data at least once a week.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! The tips presented here today have helped us create onboarding programs for several of our products. 

Here's my last tip: Don't expect to get everything right the first time. Despite your best efforts, there will be room for improvement. Instead of trying to cover every base, get a basic onboarding program out there and improve it over time. 

I know that investing in a comprehensive onboarding strategy is time consuming, but it will put you in a better position to help all future customers find success with your brand.

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