When it comes to customer onboarding, everyone agrees: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” The quality and success of your relationship with any new customer is highly dependent upon your first contact with them.
Your customers’ opinion of your product or service is formed on the first touchpoint with you and your team. This is the main reason why most companies invest so much in the onboarding phase, both in terms of dedicated staff and facilitating tools.
One of the most effective ways to encourage a smooth onboarding experience for your customers is to offer a high-quality online video training about the product or service they have just acquired. A customer onboarding course should be the first stage of a solid customer education strategy that has an online customer training academy as one of its strongest pillars. A customer education strategy is clearly a winning investment for your company, with a significantly high return on investment.
In this article, we will try to answer the following question: what does an excellent customer onboarding course looks like? The answer might be quite simple: an onboarding course should replicate the product user guide in a video format or, if such a guide doesn’t exist, it should describe the product functionalities and specifications thoroughly. Correct? No! Not in the slightest!
Let’s take a step back and see what we mean by “onboarding experience”. Where does this onboarding experience start? And when does it end? What are its main objectives?
I will be quoting Casey Winters, scaling and sustainable growth advisor for companies like Google and Tinder, and author of the Casey Accidental blog.
I was fortunate to watch him speak live at one the world’s leading startup events: Slush 2018. For Casey, the onboarding phase is the most crucial stage of a growth strategy. He believes most customer drop-offs happen at the initial stage of our relationship with them. On the other hand, when the onboarding experience is successful, those exact same customers can quickly become advocates, and will probably generate more upside selling in the future. I couldn’t agree more!
Onboarding is about the first user experience, which is quite different from the lifetime user experience. Onboarding is about making that FIRST user experience meaningful and helping customers achieve their goals. Typically, this is not the time to show your product’s functionalities — it should be about the key actions that are meaningful to the client and ensuring that those actions are happening in a designated frequency.
In his talk, Casey used Pinterest as an example. Pinterest is a social network where users can browse, save, sort and manage images — known as pins — in different collections. Its main objective is to help people discover new interests through what they call their “catalogue of ideas”. There are many actions you can take on Pinterest (click, scroll, organise and save pins for later). Clearly, the most meaningful action is to “pin” something, meaning you save it for later and start building your private collection. Their designated frequency started as monthly, and it was later changed to weekly. It was by “pinning” content that customers started to actively engage with the platform.
We can add the example of our own product, bugle. As bugle is a video training platform, the meaningful action is — after you set it up — to share a course with a group of learners. You can use our platform to publish courses. You can use our platform to analyse metrics. You can customise our platform to your brand. But, without a shadow of a doubt, the key moment is when our customers first share a course with their students, and they complete it. That’s when the “A-ha!” happens! This is the key moment we want to transform in a habit moment, when we clearly demonstrate the value of our technology.
If the onboarding experience’s main objective is to help your customer through their first experience with your product or service — going from that “A-ha moment” to habit — it is only logical that your onboarding experience should focus on bringing that experience to your client as quickly as possible. That is why I’ve mentioned you shouldn’t make your onboarding course about everything you can do with your product or service, but rather focus on what matters the most to them.
At bugle, we are currently creating a bugle 101 course which will soon be made available to our customers and, at a later stage, to our prospects. We’re following the exact same rationale: this course is mostly targeted at optimising the first experience instead of describing the myriad of ways in which our platform can serve its users.
Choosing what not to include in this first course was actually the most important task. We’d rather include those features in subsequent courses so our clients can be totally focused on finding their first and most valued experience: to create and share a course with a group of learners.
To make sure we’re following all the necessary steps to create a course — from defining its scope through all the different execution phases until deployment — we are following bugle’s “8 steps to create a training course” guide, created by our Digital Learning Solutions team.
Finally, you must remember that you need more than a robust onboarding course. You must ensure that it is hosted in a beautiful, intuitive and branded platform, where your onboarding experience can also include multiple interactions (quizzes, surveys, Q&A…), notifications, strong reporting, certifications… And this is where bugle comes in! Contact us today and get your bugle on!
Customer Education, with bugle:
Download eBook “How to create a video training course”:
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Customer Training Academy ROI Calculator (ROI calculator)