Client Onboarding – The Process You Build, And Use Will Impact Your Customers Beliefs And Their Results

By Chad B. Rawlings
Jun 7, 2022

The best leaders at the best companies in the world, are constantly striving to create a culture of customer centricity! The culture of customer centricity is more than just saying the customer is at the top of your mind. It’s about truly understanding who your customer is so you can anticipate their needs, how they want communication, and creating a meaningful interaction and experience that validates why they invested in you to begin with! This is what is called “Cognitive Closure.” In other words, you get to influence their mind with positive beliefs you create, and you need to do it quickly and efficiently!

Building lasting relationships is truly about helping the customer feel with your actions that you care, and not just hearing that you care about their business. What you do speaks so loudly, what you say, I cannot hear!  Your client onboarding gets one shot to do it right, your actions and process for client onboarding, must and should create beliefs that you care, that you validate them and listen to their needs! You must be the catalyst to build their beliefs on WHY they invested in your solution or service. 

Focus on the Customer Experience

For decades companies have utilized tools that don’t help the customer experience quickly reach the time to value that they want. According to a McKinsey & Company, poor onboarding engagement and customer service account for 52% of the reason why customers leave in the first 90 days. 

And most of the time you may not know the customers are unhappy. According to research conducted by Esteban Kolsky, the founder of thinkJar, 1 in 26 customers make a complaint when they are unhappy. This now begs the question, why do companies settle with less than the best in world class processes for their onboarding new customers?  

When we choose to not focus on the customer’s experience you must realize the customer already is afraid of project failure the moment they start having any kind of trouble in the client onboarding process. This is the quickest way to a customer’s defense mechanism and creates doubt. When this happens, good luck trying to get them back on board with a view your company is top-notch. Your customer will either embrace the self-defeating belief and lose hope this will work at all, or they may be the one who says to their company, “see I told you this was not going to work”, or “this was too good to be true.” They might even say, “the ROI is just going to take too long, we need to look at something else.”  You may even hear the dreaded, “oh the integrations just are not going to work like we thought, we must abandon this now”… Any of these comments sound familiar?

The Value of Creating Positive Experiences for your Customers

The key to the right process, the right positive culture, is making sure everyone is informed on both sides of the journey. Transparency!  Remember if you want to create positive results for your customers in the client onboarding journey and experience, you cannot overlook this, it all begins with one important yet simple principle: Creating Positive Experiences for their beliefs about you and your product, solution, or service!

There is a mathematical formula for this equation. EXPERIENCES that you create for your customer are what drive their BELIEFS. Think about this for a minute. If you are settling for a less than optimum process, that isn’t customer centric, then you must own the beliefs you are creating for them. If they are not positive experiences, then you can take it to the bank, this will have a direct impact on the ACTIONS that they take. These actions will be evidenced in the outcome of the equation; known as the RESULTS. They will be visible in your NPS Scores (PPS), Net Revenue Retention (NRR) going down, churn, lack of user adoption, and a host of other issues associated with negative customer beliefs that started from day one, that you allowed to be created about your company during client onboarding. 

These results you get speak so loudly that you either did or didn’t give them what they needed in the  beginning. You must focus on creating positive experiences in the onboarding journey, so that they have the foundational beliefs that drive positive actions in your relationship. These positive actions yield results such as cognitive closure (mentally embracing your product and service as a critical piece of their business), increased customer engagement, excitement about the value you bring (creating your raving fans), bigger investments in your product and/or services. 

You Hold the Key, it’s your Decision

You literally hold the key to the entire process at this critical point in your customer journey. The results always speak for themselves. Experiences create beliefs good or bad. These beliefs create the actions your customer will take, and ultimately the actions they take, which take to the bank, they will yield the to positive or negative results you will see! It’s all a simple formula and you must execute the right way to get the right results.

This formula is not rocket science, but ask yourself, what do you compromise in your customer journey and experiences today that are costing you with the customer to yield the results you both want in the end?

The key to helping change this madness of churn and all other issues caused by negative beliefs of your customer, is simple. You must not think old school anymore by just simply trying to utilize strategies to manage a customer onboarding project on paper, spreadsheets, or a PM (Project Management) tool that doesn’t manage customer engagement with transparency and accountability. 

The companies today that are wildly successful are the ones who focus on creating the beliefs upfront for their customers during onboarding. They empower them, enable them to get the highest possible results. They are the companies that automate and manage the engagement of their customers during a project. This is a major shift in thinking and how you execute, but the facts do not lie, it will completely enable the power of building the beliefs that ultimately drive the results you are seeking for your customer while effectively reducing the time to value for them!

Yes, managing your customers’ engagement in a project, while you manage the project is exactly how you will get the positive results you seek in the customer journey!

I love the tag line from Capital One, “What’s in your wallet?”  

I will modify that for this post and ask, “What’s in your wallet to build positive beliefs for your customer?”

Are you building something that just gets you by, are you just settling, or are you employing a world class process that sets you apart from your competition?

The Results Speak for Themselves

It’s important to remember, you must ‘Create Value’ not only post sale, but create experiences during the sales process, pre-contract or close stages, and use your defined process of the client onboarding journey as a huge selling point to building value, and reducing time to value for your customers! Give them the vision of “why” they need you and “how” you will deliver by focusing on creating the right experiences upfront to drive the beliefs and actions you desire for them, so that you both get the right results!

 

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