In our consumer lives, we expect to know exactly what is happening and when. Just ordered a pizza? You can track it from the restaurant to your doorstep. Going on a trip? Your airline will notify you when it’s time to check in for your flight. You’ll get real-time updates about everything from delays to gate changes. In the consumer world, positive user experiences are a must.
In the B2B world, however, positive user experiences are less common. Customers are often in the dark about when and how they’ll receive the products or services they paid for, and a lot of companies don’t know how to fix it.
“Meeting the modern-day customer expectations is a challenge that a lot of companies are facing and yet they’re failing at it,” said Peter Ord, Founder and CEO of GUIDEcx®. “Customer experience is the biggest differentiator, and the biggest problem with client onboarding today is not meeting the expectations of the modern-day customer.”
The good news? The right software solution can help you do client onboarding better. But how do you know you are getting the right solution? Don’t do these five things when choosing your client onboarding software.
1. Don’t Focus on Internal Client Onboarding Efficiencies
The key to a positive customer experience is open and effective communication with—you guessed it—the customer. Good internal processes mean nothing if your customer has no idea what you are doing and when they are going to see results. An onboarding software solution that focuses on improving external customer communication will keep everyone happy and in the loop.
2. Don’t Make More Work for Your Clients
Whether it’s managing a restaurant or running a tech start-up, your customers have many jobs to do besides implementing your product or service. If your onboarding process requires customers to do a lot of manual or extra work, they won’t be your customers for long. And don’t make them sign up for another tool just to work with you.
A good client onboarding platform won’t make your clients log into a portal to complete tasks or check status. Instead, it should allow customers to access the project whenever and wherever they want. You’ll reduce friction and increase engagement when everyone can interact on their own terms.
“When companies hear self-service and automation, they think efficiency automatically, and that’s what the customer wants,” Peter said. “They don’t want to have to get on a two-hour phone call. If you can make it easy enough for them to self-serve and get you the information you need in a frictionless fashion, they appreciate you all the more.”
3. Don’t Choose Something That Doesn’t Integrate with Other Tools
Employees use a lot of different tools to get their jobs done—for some companies, we’re talking 123 apps! Their suite of tools could include everything from a digital marketing dashboard to a financial analysis tool to a sales leaderboard. Many of these tools—such as Salesforce, Jira, Slack, and HubSpot—can provide useful data to your onboarding process. Integration with these tools can also eliminate duplicate efforts by syncing data between them.
Make sure your client onboarding software can integrate with any tool that adds value to the process.
4. Don’t Choose a Solution That Can’t Scale with Your Teams and Implementations
Maybe you can get by with manual email reminders when you are only doing five new implementations a month, or when each implementation only has a handful of steps. But what about when you have hundreds of implementations a month, with hundreds of tasks per process? Drafting an email reminder for every task isn’t looking so good anymore, is it?
The right client onboarding software will automate manual tasks like email reminders so you easily manage multiple complex implementations without missing a beat.
“You don’t have to remember to pass the baton and say, ‘Hey, now you have to do this,’ and you don’t have to write a custom email or get on the phone and say, ‘This is how you have to do this part of the process,’” said Harris Clarke, VP of operations at GUIDEcx. “Think of the time you’ll free up. You’ll also save time and make it easier for people to find what they need by storing all your project assets in one centralized location.”
5. Don’t Choose Something That Interferes with Your Relationship Building
If your onboarding software means implementation managers are constantly tracking down information and manually updating task statues, that also means they are not spending time communicating with customers and figuring out what’s working and what’s not. And that’s an epic fail.
A tool with personalized, automated communication like task reminders gives implementation managers more time to spend where it belongs—building long-term relationships with customers. Here’s G2’s list of client onboarding softwares.
Once you find the perfect client onboarding software, don’t forget to consider the sales-to-onboarding handoff in your process!
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