The first impression of your customers is decisive. When you onboard new customers, you introduce them to the way your business works. Right Customer Onboarding is crucial to guarantee long-term satisfaction. Thus optimize renewal rates and your bottom line.
Customer onboarding automation assists in the following ways:
- Speeds up the process of onboarding new customers, regardless of the industry
- It dematerializes the corresponding workflows and
- Reduces latency between touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
Results: you gain efficiency and you improve the satisfaction of your customers.
Easier said than done, isn’t it? The trick is to make the customer experience as good as your products and deliver on your promises. The goal is to eliminate any friction between the initial customer point of contact and the post-purchase.
We know it can be difficult, which is why we’ve created this definitive guide to automating customer onboarding so you can integrate it in the future.
You can check out our Ultimate Guide to Onboarding.
Is customer onboarding that important?
In short, yes. How you choose to engage with your new customers will determine the expectations for an ongoing relationship. If done right, it can help reduce turnover and increase the Overall Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). Many businesses can lose up to 75% of their new customers within the first week. Additionally, up to 60% of your free trial leads never come back to make a purchase. For current revenue, the most profitable route is through existing customers. Not to mention that your fans can do free marketing. In addition, you can reduce acquisition costs when you retain your customers and increase the growth of your business.
Why automate customer onboarding?
Most importantly by automating your Onboarding process, you can allocate your human resources toward more impactful and urgent tasks. Additionally, automation helps you with scalability. You don’t have to allocate your precious human resources doing repetitive administrative tasks like sending welcome emails. Instead, they can be used better in helping customers.
Suggested Read: Designing a Customer Onboarding Framework for B2B SaaS
So what challenges does client onboarding automation solve? (Note: For more complex products it is better to use high-touch onboarding)
- Makes the process shorter and more structured
- Easier access and segmentation of documents & data
- Less likely to have errors and miscommunications
Let us talk about the processes you can use to automate customer onboarding.
Essential Read: Onboarding guide
Top 7 tips to automating onboarding
Define your goals and customer journey before automating customer onboarding. Which processes in the customer journey do you want to automate? Which segments of customers do you want to automate?
Integrate with CRM
When your customer signs up and you start with your initial onboarding process, where does all the contact information go? Is it updated in your Onboarding tool? Or are you required to update it manually? You need to ensure your onboarding tool is integrated with CRM to be able to get all this data and avoid duplication of efforts. At CustomerSuccessBox, we’ve integrations with a variety of CRMs.
CRM provides access to pre-sales and sales data. Entry enrollment data for the new customer is fed through the CRM to our product.
Create simple workflows for Automation
Create simple workflows for the next step in the customer journey. It might be sending them a welcome email or high-value action steps for their Onboarding. This can be done through simple workflows in automated customer journeys like the example below:
Add different functions to customer journeys based on conditions
Define milestones and key business outcomes for every step of the Onboarding Journey. Set rules and conditions in your Onboarding tool for the next set of actions when a customer achieves a milestone or there is a delay in achieving a milestone. For example-
- What is the next set of emails or training videos that needs to be sent when a customer achieves a milestone?
- If there is a delay in achieving a milestone, what is the alert and email that needs to be sent to the customer?
All this should be automated in the Onboarding tool itself for self-serve. The Customer Success Manager needs to intervene only when the workflow breaks.
Create Onboarding playbooks based on segmentation
Segment your customers based on common traits- business, use case, MRR, etc and define the ideal customer onboarding journey for each of the segments. Create a playbook and automate the process. If you’re wondering, what a playbook is? The playbook is nothing but a detailed checklist of steps that should be followed in the customer journey. It has the tasks that need to be performed both by the customer and Customer Success Manager(CSM) with timelines. This way there is no chance you would miss any important step in your onboarding process.
Get notifications for every step along the way
As a CSM, you are handling multiple accounts all the time and you need to get notifications for important steps achieved. If you are automating onboarding, you need to know when a new account has been enrolled or when a customer has started using your product so you can send them educational emails, etc, or when a customer has gone inactive.
At CustomerSuccessBox, whenever any user goes inactive or a product usage drops, there is an alert that goes out not only to the user but also to the CSM for proactive intervention. That way, the CSM is saved from manually looking into each account.
Human Intervention Tasks
The main reason for automating the customer onboarding process is for scalability but you should never forget the customer experience. At no point, you should compromise on this. Not all processes in your onboarding should be automated.
There should be a provision for Human Intervention. For example- If your product usage drops drastically or your customer has been inactive for a long time, you should get an alert for Human intervention. Your Onboarding process needs to have a hybrid approach, rather than optimized human intervention. You need to automate all processes but whenever anything breaks there should be provision for Human intervention.
Obtain timely feedback through customer interactions.
You need to keep fine-tuning the process via continuous customer interactions. Getting feedback is the holy grail to improve both your process and product. Automating Onboarding can anticipate customer needs. It can provide required resources at critical points of the customer journey. Thus saving time and costs for the company. It responds to customers as soon as they reach out for help via chatbots and other channels.
Voila! You have the basic structure for automating the onboarding process ready.
Final thoughts on automating your onboarding
It is essential to create a slick automated onboarding process. It will make your processes transitions and handoffs seamless too. Also, lead to fewer errors and also provide personalization for the client if done correctly. You can check out the CustomerSuccessBox blog for solutions to B2B SaaS problems.
P.S. – The main image has been taken from pexels.com