How to Become a Company that Offers the Best Customer Onboarding Experience

By GUIDEcx
Dec 15, 2022
Everyone has experienced a bad customer experience in their lifetime. In fact, nine out of 10 employees believe their organization’s onboarding process could be handled better, despite the fact that a strong onboarding process can increase customer retention by more than 80 percent. Are you one of those organizations that isn’t giving your customers a great first impression?

If you’re wondering if it’s time to revamp your company’s customer onboarding process, there are a number of things to consider before making that decision. This includes reviewing what your current onboarding process looks like, understanding the essential elements of successful customer onboarding, and how to effectively measure your customer onboarding success with demonstrable data.

Auditing Your Current Customer Onboarding Experience

How do you know when it’s time to update your customer onboarding experience? “It’s always time to improve your customer onboarding experience, and that isn’t going away,” says Mark Mitchell, director of customer experience at GUIDEcx. While many of the ways you can improve your customer onboarding approach are impacted by your organization’s operational maturity, there are key indicators to help you recognize when it’s time to make the change.

Here are three questions you should use to evaluate when to upgrade the experience for your customers:

1. Have you standardized and documented your process that guides clients to achieve desired outcomes? 

If so, are you also ensuring that the process is being delivered consistently? If your process is not consistently standardized and documented to guide clients to achieve desired outcomes with your offering, you may be experiencing difficulty getting customers to engage and/or keeping them engaged once they transition from sales to onboarding. Standardizing your onboarding processes allows you to monitor timelines, better analyze the steps in the process, ensure everyone follows the same process for onboarding, and provide stronger analysis on what is and what isn’t working.

2. Are you measuring how your process is performing? 

If so, are you also empowering your sales team to set realistic expectations and sell your onboarding experience? Data means nothing if you’re not collecting it, and if you don’t have the tools to analyze it. You need to be recording KPIs that your sales and onboarding team can evaluate. Some must-know metrics might include time-to-value, net revenue retention (NRR), ROI, and engagement rates (see article for formulas on how to calculate these metrics). Other metrics include onboard completion rate, trial conversion rate, and customer response rate (calculations are also included in this article). If your onboarding process is not being measured, you may be experiencing increasing churn earlier in the user experience. Additionally, if your sales team cannot set realistic expectations based on a lack of quantifiable data, you may be finding it difficult to efficiently scale your operation.

3. Are you using CSAT Tools (Customer Satisfaction)?

The CSAT score will tell you how well you are delivering on the best customer onboarding experiences for your clients. Measuring your CSAT will be much more valuable when paired against how your process is performing, which can influence how your process, product, and sales motion evolves.

If you’re not surveying your CSAT, or your CSAT score is trending poorly, you may find that your product adoption is also trending poorly. Customer experiences are one of the best barometers for how your current onboarding process is functioning, as they can provide real-time feedback on its operation.

While there is always an opportunity to improve the customer onboarding experience, addressing these three components can help give you a better understanding of the efficacy of your current process and where your strengths and weaknesses lie in the customer journey.

Understanding the Customer Onboarding Essentials

Depending on the industry in which you work, there may be dozens of onboarding processes specific to your organization that are important when it comes to maximizing customer retention. However, there are a number of baseline standards that all organizations should strive to optimize in order to make the user experience as seamless as possible.

1. Use an onboarding plan. 

“Have an onboarding plan that keeps the customer’s desired outcomes in the spotlight,” says Mitchell. “This helps them be more comfortable and confident with using your software or services.”

Catering the customer onboarding experience specifically to the needs of your client not only demonstrates an understanding of their desired outcomes on your end but can also allow for a more vested interest from the client in utilizing a system they know is focused on helping them achieve their goals.

2. Be consistent. 

“Deliver your process consistently,” says Mitchell. “Set a level of clear expectations as to how each onboarder needs to guide clients through each step of the process, as it’s possible that you can have a solid plan that 10 people execute differently.”

As with most things in life, there is no “one size fits all” solution to client onboarding. People in general learn in different ways and at different paces, but providing clear, concise, consistent expectations in every step of the customer onboarding process can allow you streamline all the various approaches that customers take to retain and utilize the information provided while onboarding.

3. Be flexible. 

“If your process is set in stone, it is your tombstone,” says Mitchell. “Don’t get married to your ego or your own ideas—get married to the journey of continually finding better ways of doing things.”

No system is inherently perfect straight out of the box. If it were, everyone would simply use that system and be done with it. Adaptability is the cornerstone of growth, and recognizing when an onboarding process is working less effectively is imperative to improving the user experience, not only for your customers but for your team as well.

These are just a few of the keystone elements to take into consideration when applying changes to your client onboarding process. As with many other aspects of your business model, your onboarding process will inevitably grow and develop to suit the needs of your organization, your teams, and your clients.

GUIDEcx is here to help guide you through the process. “Although there are some best practices we will suggest out of the gate, we like to approach guidance like healthcare,” says Mitchell. “Most good doctors will have assumptions as to how to improve your health, but they will do more tests before offering a diagnosis.”

To put it another way, customer onboarding experts will likely have assumptions as to which practices should be adopted to best improve the user experience but will seek more testing. In the case of GUIDEcx, this means not making any significant changes to the existing processes before running them in the GUIDEcx system itself, which can then tell you where there is room for improvement via reporting, enabling better data-driven decisions.

“The journey requires discipline and a scientific approach to delivering the best possible outcomes and experiences for your customers,” says Mitchell. “Science requires data, tests provide data, and projects in GUIDEcx provide the best possible means of running those tests with your customers.”

Measuring the Metrics of Successful Customer Onboarding

As you begin to measure your customer onboarding process. There are three metrics, we suggest you begin to measure now: churn rate, engagement, and client satisfaction. As discussed above, there are many additional metrics you’ll want to begin measuring, but these three are strong indicators of how well your current onboarding process is performing.

Churn Rate

While all industries experience some level of churn, the goal of any organization is to minimize it as much as possible by providing a quality product with a user-friendly process. Churn often occurs when customers don’t understand the process, feel overwhelmed, and drop off in their engagement in completing their onboarding. GUIDEcx is here to help mitigate those concerns.

“Anything that we’re not used to is gonna cause some kind of fear and anxiety,” says Mitchell. “I think some of the fear can be mitigated in knowing that we’re not here to completely flip your process on its head. We’re giving you an upgraded vehicle to help deliver your current process.”

With over 250,000 customers successfully implementing the GUIDEcx platform, we understand your concerns, and our incredible account managers are here to guide you through the process  as seamlessly as possible. We put our customers first and ensure they are getting the solutions they most need.

Engagement

As you continue to fine-tune your customer onboarding process, quality data metrics should demonstrate improved engagement. You want to see your customers completing tasks, moving toward the finish line, and getting to value more quickly. Using the data you gather from your process improvements, you can continually modify the process to always be improving the user experience. GUIDEcx uses transparency to help you see where your clients are in the process. Our new customer dashboard gives you a high-level overview of the project’s status. Our mission is to help you and your customers work together toward a common goal.

“Customers, subconsciously or not, are comparing the experience they get to an airline or Amazon or UPS or when they make any kind of purchase and understanding where they’re at in the process,” says Mitchell. “They need to know that ‘Yes, the boat floats. I promise we’re going to be in the boat with you. We wouldn’t get in it if we weren’t confident in that.’”

As you begin to measure the engagement of your customers in the onboarding process, the GUIDEcx platform and your account guide will help you better understand those reports and identify where and how to make updates to your process.

Customer Satisfaction

Taking into consideration the aforementioned metrics, you should be able to start to get a clearer picture of customer satisfaction as it pertains to your onboarding process. Additional qualifiers such as CSAT are another integral piece of understanding the customer experience and how you can best implement changes to improve client satisfaction.

One of your most powerful tools for measurement is the satisfaction of your customers. The GUIDEcx CSAT tool allows you to measure that satisfaction both at the task level and the project level. Without knowing exactly how your customers feel about the process, you won’t be able to understand where the issues are.

GUIDEcx clients see many incredible measurements of success. For instance, Epion Health was able to beat onboarding timelines by 60 days. Kount increased their capacity by 40 percent. And Alleva reduced their client implementation time by 68 percent, allowing them to double their sales team. GUIDEcx is helping improve the customer onboarding experience across all verticals, and clients are seeing real results from implementing the platform.

How GUIDEcx Can Help You Improve Your Customer Onboarding Experience

GUIDEcx provides a world-class solution and master classes on how to use it consisting of two phases. It begins with a 30-day goal to first value, which is critical when it comes to customer retention, as discussed in the GUIDEcx webinar “How to Ensure a Successful Customer Onboarding Experience.” This is followed by engagement guidance through your first projects to ensure adoption of the system and delivery of processes that support desired outcomes.

“We’ve done it thousands of times with all kinds of different industries,” says Mitchell. “We’re excited to help our clients get to a place where fear is eliminated and they start to thrive and take pride in what we do.”

Understanding how your current onboarding process works—as well as tentpole elements to include in that process and how to measure your success—is the best place to start when it comes to determining whether or not it’s time to make changes. While this can be a daunting task, GUIDEcx is available to help guide you through these processes, so contact us today to schedule a demo.

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