Posted by Rachel Ho May 30, 2022 10:00:00 AM

A Precursive report found that 82% of organisations believe their onboarding approach to be a value driver. Meanwhile, 74% have a dedicated team for customer onboarding. In the same report, over half of the survey respondents said they believe improving their client onboarding process will enhance the enterprise's overall performance.

But what exactly is customer onboarding? Why is it so important? How do you onboard a customer successfully? In this guide, you'll find the answers to all these questions.

What is client onboarding?

Customer onboarding is the process of helping new customers get accustomed to your product or service and teaching them how to use it effectively. Customer onboarding aims to help the customer get to a point where they are comfortable using your product or service and can get the most out of it.

For instance, if you sell software as a service, your onboarding process will include showing the customer how to sign up, how to use the software, and more. 

Benefits of client onboarding

Every organisation needs to have an effective customer onboarding process in place. Here are some benefits of a practical onboarding approach.

Benefits of client onboarding

Increases customer retention

While acquiring new customers is vital to a company's success, retaining existing customers is just as important. In fact, it's more important because it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.

If you onboard your clients successfully, they will be more likely to stay with you for the long run. A good customer onboarding process will also help build trust and credibility between you and your customers.

If you take the time to show them how to use your product or service properly, they will see that you are committed to helping them in the long run. That forms the basis for a long-term relationship between the client and the company.

Reduces customer churn

Customer churn means the percentage of customers who stop using your product or service within a specific timeframe. One of the main reasons for customer churn is poor onboarding.

If a customer doesn't understand how to use your product or service, they are likely to get frustrated and stop using it. An effective onboarding process will help reduce customer churn by ensuring that customers know how to use your product or service.

Plus, it will incentivise them to refer your business to friends and family. A Temkin Group survey showed that 77% of customers would refer a company to their friends and family if they have had a good customer experience.

Prioritises your metrics and KPIs

When you're first starting, it's easy to get caught up in the acquisition and forget about retention. However, if you want to succeed in the long run, you need to focus on both. An effective customer onboarding process will help you prioritise your metrics like OKRs and KPIs.

Encourage interaction and communication

Once you manage to onboard your clients, you'll create an ongoing relationship with them. The customer onboarding process should encourage interaction and communication between you and your customers.

You can use this interaction to upsell or cross-sell your products and services. For instance, a McKinsey research found that satisfied and happy customers are likely to upgrade their packages or add services to existing plans. You can also use it to get feedback about your product or service and improve it over time.

5 critical steps for client onboarding

The client onboarding process differs from one company to another. But here are some standard steps of the customer onboarding process.

Benefits of client onboarding (1)

Step 1: Assessing the customer's needs

First off, you need to identify the customer's needs. You can do this by conducting interviews, surveys, or focus groups. It will help you understand what the customer is looking for and what they need help with.

For instance, a retail company might find its customers need help with product returns. As a result, they might decide to create a step-by-step guide on how to return a product.

Step 2: Determining the desired results

It would help if you had measurable goals for your customer onboarding process. What do you want to achieve? How will you know if you're successful?

Some companies might want to increase customer retention rates by X%. Others might want to reduce customer churn by Y%. Whatever your goals are, make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

Step 3: Ensuring the team's familiarity with the client

Your customer onboarding team must be familiar with the client. They should know who the client is, their needs, and what the company does to fulfil those requirements. It will help them provide a better onboarding experience for the client.

Step 4: Creating a timeline

It would help if you created a timeline for your customer onboarding process. When will each step take place? Who will be responsible for each step? What resources will you need?

Creating a timeline will help you stay organised and on track. Plus, it will help you identify any potential bottlenecks in the process. By having to have a solid plan in place, you'll be prepared for any unexpected situations. Utilise strategies such as an agile workflow, pareto distribution or resource levelling to work smarter. Other useful tips include having a project kick-off meeting or a weekly workplan template that helps you monitor your progress.

Step 5: Evaluating and refining the process

Once you've implemented your customer onboarding process, it's essential to evaluate it and ensure it's working. Are your goals being met? Are there any areas that need improvement?

You should also ask your customers for feedback. What did they think of the process? Is there anything you could do to improve it? Over time, you'll need to refine and adjust your customer onboarding process to keep it practical and successful.

Should you automate your client onboarding process?

Lucky for today's businesses, client onboarding can be automated using specific automated tools. Start your digital transformation journey today to understand why you need to automate your customer onboarding process:

  • Saves time: The most obvious benefit of automation is that it saves time. Automating your onboarding process will help you get your customers up and running faster.
  • Improves accuracy: Automation also helps improve accuracy. When you automate your onboarding process, you can eliminate human error.
  • Increases scalability: Automation makes it easier to scale your business. As your business grows, you can add more customers without hiring more staff.

Drive ROI by effectively implementing client onboarding with Tessaract

Tessaract offers a variety of features to help you automate your customer onboarding process by planning, capturing, managing, and reporting on customer data from anywhere. You can leverage real-time visibility and key metrics reporting features to optimise your customer onboarding process and drive ROI. View our comprehensive guide on filling up a digital form on Tessaract which includes modules on client onboarding to understand our features more. 

To run the smoothest project possible through digital workflows (or digitalisation), use Tesseract's business management software that automates your workflows by reducing time spent on repetitive tasks with features like digital signing that replaces physical signatures (also known as wet signatures). Power your business with Tessaract's cloud-native, intelligent corporate tools to increase oversight and improve your operation.

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Rachel Ho

Written by Rachel Ho