Providing seamless customer onboarding and great customer service will make the greatest impact on your organization’s efficiency and success. However, it can feel challenging to ensure you’re offering an amazing experience for all of your customers. Over 90 percent of customers feel that the companies they buy from could provide a better onboarding experience, and one in three customers (32 percent) will walk away from a brand after just one negative experience.
Organizations need to develop deeper relationships with their clients as the modern customer has come to expect an exceptional customer experience. When it comes to onboarding, the experience can vary greatly between solutions, and it can be difficult to identify the right option for your organization.
What do the best onboarding experiences look like? Let’s explore the major differences between a good and bad onboarding experience, as well as seven components every onboarding experience should deliver.
Good vs. Bad Customer Onboarding
What is the pivotal difference between a good and bad customer onboarding experience? Ninety percent of Americans use the experience they have as a customer in deciding whether to keep doing business with a company.
With bad customer onboarding, you miss out on long-term customer retention, revenue opportunities, and growth. Bad onboarding can also lead to a series of problems and costs, including the following:
Damaged brand reputation
Stunted referral growth rate
Increases in operations & service workloads
Lower employee morale
Poor customer reviews
Bad onboarding can take several forms. It could be that the process is too long—especially if clients can’t track their implementation progress. Or it might be that you’re not providing the right support and customized service your customers need. Or it might be that your system is too complex, discouraging customers from staying engaged and completing their onboarding.
The great news is that if your onboarding flow is slow, overwhelming, or lacking transparency, it doesn’t have to stay that way. A great digital onboarding experience is within reach and can offer transformative organizational benefits, such as the following:
Increased customer satisfaction and engagement
Positive business growth
Improved time to value
Great onboarding is the key to retaining and expanding your user base, as well as improving your business processes and growth. Let’s dive into some of the traits that the best onboarding experiences have in common.
7 Characteristics of the Best Onboarding Experiences
Great customer onboarding guides users through what they need to know without overwhelming them with too much information or too many requests. How can an organization achieve this? Let’s explore seven essential characteristics of excellent customer onboarding.
1. Streamlined, Straightforward Processes
The best customer onboarding experiences are straightforward and streamlined, offering users the right-sized solutions they need to get to value quickly. If you’re working with the right onboarding team, they have established and proven processes in place to help you succeed. From your first kick-off call to final implementation, the process should feel smooth and painless, with just the right amount of steps to get you up and running as soon as possible.
PayPal Honey is an excellent example of a company that delivers a streamlined onboarding process. It has reduced its customer onboarding tasks to just four steps. To begin using the platform, users simply need to add the application to their browser by clicking “Add to Chrome.” A self-paced demo is included to help educate users on the ease of use of the app. With intuitive, easy-to-follow tasks, the shopping assistant gets people up and running in just minutes.
“If you need help managing your process for an onboarding, GUIDEcx would really be the perfect solution for you. It not only gives you valuable insight for your team, it also gives your customers a clear path and sets the right expectations on their level that work. You immediately see a decrease in your onboarding duration, and you have a better understanding of where your time is spent, which helps improve the customer onboarding experience overall. It also helps your team with the internal processes as well.”
Organizations that understand the power of streamlining their processes, like Maxio, have cut their onboarding time substantially to provide the best onboarding experience possible. By implementing the GUIDEcx customer onboarding platform, the organization automated 20 percent of its onboarding tasks, empowering the company to improve customer engagement, increase clarity, and collect valuable insights into the overall customer experience.
2. Sustained Support from Expert Professionals
While the most optimal onboarding experience would be one without any hiccups, roadblocks sometimes do occur. You’ll want a team of experienced professionals working together with you to overcome any unforeseen obstacles. Whether it’s added training for your team, a personalized solution for your organization, or industry insights, the best onboarding experience will include a robust support system to help you achieve your goals.
Triple AAA is a recognized name in the roadside assistance industry. Once customers are onboarded, the company goes above and beyond providing service to its clients with the ability to deliver fuel, unlock a vehicle, charge a car battery, or even tow a vehicle any time a member breaks down on the road. Customers know they can trust and rely upon the service Triple AAA will provide as the company employs proven experts in their field. This eases drivers’ concerns and is a frequent choice for car buyers looking for roadside support.
When AgriSync began growing and bringing on more customers than ever before, it soon realized it needed more onboarding support to help create the best client experience possible, as well as allocate its resources well. With GUIDEcx’s help, it designed custom project management templates that continue to deliver the exact capabilities each partner needs. Now every client can go through onboarding and experience the quality of service they’ve come to expect. Since implementing these templates, AgriSync has seen a significant improvement in the adoption rate of its platform.
“Everything is so much easier with GUIDEcx. Originally, it was hard to get in the swing of the different scenarios we had to support with our customers. Now, we have GUIDEcx to work with us on anything we need support with, whether it’s branding or creating a wonderful customer experience.”
3. Full Visibility into Progress, Next Steps, and Stakeholder Accountability
If you’re unable to track progress or understand the next steps in your onboarding process, that’s anything but a great onboarding experience. Another essential component of excellent onboarding is the ability to identify where clients are in the process, what steps they have left to complete, and who is responsible for what. A customer dashboard that gives you full visibility into the project ensures everyone is on the same page and understands the scope of the project.
HubSpot, a powerful CRM tool, offers amazing customer onboarding that guides users through every step of the process. With progress bars, user checklists, and separate guides for each feature, customers can see exactly what they’ve learned and how many tasks they have left to complete. Best of all, these elements allow users to learn at their own pace, giving them tooltips, contextual product tours, and even a skip button to control their experiences. Stakeholders can easily access shared information on projects to which they contribute.
Finding itself drowning under the pressure of sorting through every onboarding step with its customers, sMedia struggled to keep track of information without anything slipping through the cracks. Leveraging GUIDEcx, it can now offer its users a holistic view of project and task progress. With just a click of a button, sMedia can send out project communications, receive comments, and review implementation progress, all in one unified location, enabling it to offer a seamless onboarding experience for its customers.
4. Proven Processes for a Consistent Customer Journey
A customer should be able to rely upon their onboarding team to deliver a consistent experience through tried-and-true processes along the customer journey. While customers differ across industries, the general process for implementation should include standard practices that have a proven track record of success. When clients sign up for your services or platform, they are looking for a process with forecasted and clear results. To do that, all onboarding processes should include a clear explanation of the benefits of a product or service.
They should also follow a standardized list of steps (that can be personalized when necessary) to be completed to implement the service. Demos, training, or other support should be provided to explain product or service features. And customers should have a clear understanding of who needs to be involved, and when they can expect to complete the process. Each of these components should have been rigorously tested beforehand so the customer experiences a seamless onboarding.
Calm’s interface automates tasks based on a customer’s desired outcome. By allowing customers to set their goals from the moment they sign up, the platform immediately engages them, as it personalizes experiences through consistent processes based on each customer’s needs. With proven results for improving health and alleviating stress and anxiety, customers have come to trust and rely upon the app.
“One of the best things about GUIDEcx is the time-tracking capabilities they offer. We had no data before partnering with them, but now we have clear insight into our implementation time and process data.”
Without an organized and clear onboarding system in place, NEOGOV recognized the need for a reliable and repeatable process. Working with GUIDEcx, it infused proven project management procedures into its onboarding process, which provided its customers with clear project timelines, added transparency to tasks, and improved its customer service. This new, consistent customer journey has helped all stakeholders understand their specific roles and responsibilities on the project and increased agility on projects.
5. A Personalized Experience
While your onboarding should include consistent and reliable processes, each customer is an individual with unique challenges. For the best onboarding experience, you deserve the human touch. Working with a real person who understands your pain points, has experience in a variety of verticals, and is engaged with your organization can provide you with a more personalized experience. The right onboarding solution includes a support team that walks you through each step of implementation, ensures you are fully trained and feeling confident, and are available to answer any questions you might have. Whether it’s suggesting a feature to alleviate a roadblock in your process or designing a customized solution for your specific challenges, the right team will prescribe solutions that work because they KNOW you!
“Your onboarding and training Guides want to take training your team completely off your plate. In six months from now, when you’re long done with onboarding, you can come to us with a new member and we will get them up to speed for you. With GUIDEcx, you’ll get the best experience possible because we know you and we know your team.”
Customers want to feel heard and understood, which is what makes personalization so powerful. Take Netflix, for example: The streaming service is known for its great customer experiences—especially because it knows how to collect the right data and make individualized suggestions for each customer. Based on users’ behavior, Netflix tailors the platform experience for each customer. The customer experience on Netflix is so positive that the platform has self-driven virality, with viewers sharing their latest favorite shows through social media platforms and in-person conversations.
“There’s a lot I love about GUIDEcx. Having a centralized system has been essential to our success. We have at least 80–120 photos for every job we do. This means sending 10 pages of attachments or more to everyone on the project. Being able to organize that under one system has been incredible.”
As its existing client-facing software was not delivering a great first impression, Safety NetAccess was in need of a customized solution. GUIDEcx designed a more organized and engaging interface for the organization that now enables it to easily tailor its support to best suit any of its clients. This solution not only improved the customer experience but also allowed the company to increase its project manager capacity, allowing it to bring in new customers.
6. Intuitive Workflows that Drive Engagement
If your customers are not engaged, they will not complete the onboarding process. Offering intuitive workflows is an excellent way to improve engagement and keep your client on track for completion. A workflow defines the order in which steps must be completed for any project. The best onboarding experiences include sequenced tasks that automatically flow from one step to the next until onboarding is complete. Rather than guessing what comes next, the system should inform you of how to proceed, allowing you to work on tasks in an order that makes sense.
Popular designing platform Canva features an interactive onboarding flow that encourages users to try a variety of tools and resources to create a design alongside one that has already been made. In this process, onboarding does not interrupt the use of the tool: It is integrated with it.
With onboarding deadlines that were stretched or missed dramatically impacting the quality of patient care, Epion Health recognized how vital a faster implementation was for its clients. Due to the intuitive nature of GUIDEcx, clients now require little training and instead have the power to autonomously complete their tasks more quickly. With the implementation of GUIDEcx, Epion Health is beating onboarding timelines by 60 days.
7. Accessible and Manageable Usability
The right onboarding solution does not necessarily mean a complex and difficult implementation. The key to a great experience is one that is efficient and manageable and feels smooth and seamless. If you’re engaging with a platform that is disorganized, difficult to understand or navigate, or lacking transparency into the progress of the project, then you need a different approach. Your time is valuable, and your team and clients will become disengaged and frustrated with a process that can’t deliver ease of use. You need a solution that works the way it should and fits perfectly with your organization.
Genially, an interactive content creator platform, is an excellent example of an organization that understands time is money for its clients. The tool starts onboarding customers before they even sign up, allowing users to see results firsthand with a product demonstration. Users are then given a checklist of tasks (much of which they have already completed during the demo), visibly demonstrating just how easy it is to learn the platform’s features while simultaneously using the system.
Facing an onboarding process that was complex, disorganized, and difficult to manage, MaidCentral needed to improve the efficiency of its system. Enlisting the help of GUIDEcx, the organization automated its onboarding process, greatly simplifying the system for its clients and itself. The result helped MaidCentral eliminate 75 percent of all onboarding tasks, automate client communication during onboarding, and reduce the time to value for MaidCentral’s clients by 25 percent.
“The efficiency that we see from the GUIDEcx software is incredible. We get so much value out of all of the reporting, tools, cadence of communications, automations, and integrations. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without this software. I feel like I have an infinite workload now.”
Providing an amazing customer experience is no longer “nice to have.” It’s essential to maintaining growth and remaining competitive—whatever your industry may be. By seeking to implement these key components into your customer onboarding process, you will be empowered to offer the incredible service your customers have come to expect.
How GUIDEcx Can Help
When it comes to your clients, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make sure it’s a great one with GUIDEcx. Our platform gives you the capability to invite, guide, and engage internal and customer implementation teams. This enables organizations everywhere to reduce time to value, create visibility, and save time and money with automation. Ensure project managers and their clients get work done as quickly as possible by partnering with us.
To learn more about what GUIDEcx can offer to take your organization to the next level, reach out to us online and ask for your free 14-day trial to get started.
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