How satisfied are you with your customer onboarding process? Would you say it is as effective as it could be? Are you confident your customer funnel does not become narrower after their first visit? In business, as in real life, you generally only have one chance to make a strong impression. A successful customer onboarding strategy does more than attracting customers: it also makes them stay, converting them into long-term paying users.
Onboarding is seen as one of the most crucial moments in your customer’s lifecycle. The way you onboard new customers sets the tone for your ongoing relationship with them and can effectively reduce churn. But it is important not to put all your eggs in the onboarding basket: there are other key periods in which your ability to effectively engage with users might result in them becoming enthusiastic about your product.
At bugle, we believe it is essential to look at every customer engagement moment as an opportunity to delight. Customer activation should be the end goal, and this can happen at any point in time. Customer activation refers to the act of helping customers realise the benefits of your product or service, increasing their engagement. Customer activation can mean acquiring a new customer as much as re-engaging an inactive one. Some business literature refers to customer activation as the elusive ‘aha!’ moment — almost as if your product’s real value has been unlocked and magically revealed.
There are a few tips to make this activation easier. In general, you should aim to push product usage (ideally, more than once in the first week), make sure to measure and study use patterns (in order to follow-up accordingly and offer help as needed), and strive to make your product indispensable. The onboarding period is a phase when you must seek to impress and ensure your communication is constant, personalised and useful. Even though they don’t happen exclusively in the onboarding period, most customer activation moments do take place in the first contacts.
A video training platform can help you manage this phase and make the most of this golden opportunity: customers have already shown their interest and their willingness to be converted, it’s up to you (and your online academy) to make them want to stay.
Sending a welcome email is recommended. You can do this directly or through your customer academy platform notification, which will invite your customer to see your CEO’s welcome message and where to find the information they may need.
Now is also the time to anticipate any customer difficulties and solve them upfront. If you offer product training, you can invite your customer and users to take a free product course to leverage their new product from the start. You might even consider offering a certification. Remember to use historical data from other customers and your industry knowledge to stay ahead of their needs and deliver the right solution at the right time.
In some cases, offering skills training related to your product is key to reach the ‘aha!’ moment, and get more active customers. Especially if you know that it may be difficult at first to fully and truly understand the value and benefits of using your product, without first learning related concepts and skills (ex: its underlying technology, how it will help you be productive, what its metrics mean, how to get better results...).
Remember to personalise your content and make yourself available to answer any queries. It is very important to have a cohesive communication style. Every contact they have with your company should be aligned and follow the same tone and style. This should include interactions with customer support, technical troubleshooting and any other departments they talk to. Your customers must feel you are all the same team, showing the same values and spirit, and working as a team to serve them.
By using an online customer academy, you are also helping your customers reach their internal teams, even when new team members arrive at the company, they can easily share the onboarding and training you provide with them, so that these new people in the team continue to use and understand your product.
In conclusion, we’d like to remind you that customer onboarding and activation should not be left to chance. We encourage you to structure it as a formal objective, attach measurable results to it and push to make it happen. Only by formalising it you'll be able to follow-up on these tips that will ensure successful activation in the long run. Engage, communicate and offer value: these will result in more ‘aha!’ moments for sure.
We would love to be a part of your successful customer activation narrative! Are you ready to get your bugle on?
If you are not sure if you need an online training platform for your customer training academy, here is a checklist that will help you find out.
You may also find useful:
Customer Training Academy ROI Calculator (ROI calculator)