Top 3 Customer Onboarding Strategies that Accelerate Time to Value

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In this article, we will discuss how to iron out the creases that can arise during customer onboarding. Think long and complex installation processes, unclear starting points, lacking product education and product tours… we could go on. The point is, all of these ‘creases’ hinder your user’s overall experience, and as a result, it takes them longer to see the value in your product - if they stick around long enough that is.

We’ve said it once, and we’ll keep saying it, first impressions are more important than ever. When a new customer signs up to use your service, time is of the essence to establish a long-lasting relationship. The speed at which your customer can navigate their way through this onboarding phase will create a positive experience, increased sales opportunities, and ultimately gain loyalty from your customer. By following these 3 successful onboarding strategies you can achieve these loyal customers and accelerate Time to Value. 

In this article, we cover:

  • What is time to value and why is it relevant in customer onboarding?
  • Getting started with customer onboarding
  • Top 3 onboarding strategies that accelerate time to value
  • Additional tips and tricks for speedier onboarding

What is time to value and why is it relevant in customer onboarding?

Time to value is critical for business. Literally speaking, it is the time frame beginning with the first moment a customer purchases a product or service, to the moment they start realizing your product’s value, commonly known as the ‘aha moment’ - basically when they decide they want to do business with you on a permanent basis. Accelerating time to value is tremendously important, as it ensures your users are finding value within a product at the start of their journey, rather than at the end! This in turn will drive Customer success and reduce churn. The onboarding process should entice your customers from the get-go, providing value instantaneously and offering supportive tools from the moment they access your product. If you ignore your onboarding, you could become part of over 92% of companies that go out of business due to low growth rates. With this sounding somewhat of a nightmare, let's look at strategies to improve time to value.

 

Getting Started with Customer Onboarding

Using the right tools and onboarding software is crucial to cater to the needs of your customer. The overall strategy should be to minimize mental effort and create a straightforward path for the user, with specific goals in mind. Key steps can include sign-ups, welcome emails, and consistent proactive customer support. 

We also recommend integrating your onboarding software with your CRM to manage interactions with customers and potential new customers. By automating your customer onboarding processes, such as using data entry, email follow-ups, and welcome content, you can ask those user-specific questions during the sign-up flow, therefore reducing time to value and churn rates.

Another way to show your product value faster to your customer is by using tooltips and pop-ups, which can drive customer engagement and product adoption. You can use these to show off your newest features and provide other helpful information. Also, including a chat option or help center provides a better user experience, which increases conversion rates and allows for a happy customer.

Top 3 onboarding strategies that accelerate time to value

1. Goals, Checklists, Gamification & Rewards

A successful customer onboarding strategy begins with clearly established goals. Start with a customer journey or map. Gather feedback from existing users to understand areas that are critical to truly using your product. Identify sections where users stop onboarding and... By collaborating with your Customer you can discuss goals, milestones, and priorities. Action plans and checklists can be used to document the progress of your customer's objectives and improve time to value, leaving customers feeling valued and supported. These days you can no longer get away with simple discounts or loyalty programs, but by offering interaction, gamification and rewards you can highlight the product benefits and add quicker value to the customer experience. 

 

2. Tracking Customer Engagement

During customer onboarding, it is vital to know what your users are doing at every moment. By using software to monitor customer trends and engagement, you can analyze common problems and levels of product adoption. Data you to see how your company is progressing and ensure customer engagement is consistently improving while empowering your customers at the same time. You can also use this data to optimize your product, redesign features, and remove unused ones. In this way, data can flow effortlessly from one team to the next. 

3. Providing the Human Touch

Along with monitoring customer behavior, it is also important for customers to feel a personal connection with your product or service. You can’t beat real human experience and therefore by offering an open line of communication from customer support to survey feedback, messages, meetings, and demos, you can establish trust with your customers. 

Disclaimer: This communication should provide customers with progress updates, indications when milestones have been met, and offer feature tips offering help to the customer. Don’t spam them.

Personalization is key to communication and increased engagement. 

Additional Tips and Tricks for Faster Onboarding

  • Asking customers relevant questions to improve time to value
  • Replacing generic messaging with personalized content where possible
  • Using demos to allow customers to test a product
  • Introducing welcome screens for a more personal user experience
  • Using interactive walkthroughs

You can get access to our full customer onboarding guide here.

Accelerating your customers' time to value will always be an important measure to consider during the onboarding process. By helping customers understand how to use, and interact with, your product faster you will keep them engaged, and onboard them faster.

In turn, this will reduce the risk of churn, provide a better customer experience, and more importantly create brand loyalists who recommend your product to their peers. Focusing on a comprehensive onboarding strategy and process, based on user behavior will increase your product’s value and help your business grow.

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Heather Rodgerson
British, born and raised. Digital Marketing Nerd living in the Costa-del-sol, Spain. Full-time Growth Marketer, book worm, Lego lover & gym rat. Part-time singer, translator & sketcher

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