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Customer Onboarding

Do You Overlook This In Your Business?

In this Growth Engine Daily, I want to highlight an area that is often overlooked, and that is customer onboarding.

Now, what do I mean by customer onboarding?

It’s the way that you pass the client from the sales process into the fulfilment process.

We spend a lot of time working on marketing to bring more leads in.

A lot of focus on the sales and the sales pipeline converting these customers, but often a lot of customers feel, not let down but they feel a slowdown once the order happened.

Technical the way, sometimes, the customer see it is that you’ve got their money.

I just want to talk through some highlights of customer onboarding.

I’d love your feedback just to find out whether you’re doing this type of onboarding.

You’ve got these touch points in place or these strategies in place.

Leave me a comment below and let’s engage on that.

But if you’re not familiar with customer onboarding or you want to get started here’s some quick tips that I think you’ll get some value out of.

Who Is Finalising The Deal In Your Business?

Number one, At the point that the sale is getting completed.

Now I am assuming that this is not an e-commerce sale and there is an individual involved.

An account manager, a salesperson, a sales manager who’s actually finalising the deal.

I will do a section later on about e-commerce onboarding and make reference to that but this example is specifically more of a service business where we’re doing a face-to-face or a telephone close and a handover.

At the point that the sale is being closed, so, “Thank you for your business.”

At that point, the stages of onboarding should be spelt out clearly and then followed up to be communicated to set expectations.

On that call, a followup call set up with the client services, customer services, operations manager, whatever you call them.

Then once that call is done, the salesperson who closed the deal and then, let’s say, account manager or onboarding manager, sits on the call but I always recommend that you do that on a video call if it’s not face-to-face meeting and let people see people’s faces.

Make sure the camera’s on, you’re in a light area and people can see who they’re going to be dealing with.

What does that serve?

It serves that, number one, their expectations have been set that Sandra, or Bob, or Sally, or David is going to be on that call.

Now on that call have a preset agenda, even if you’ve got a basic slide deck.

It doesn’t have to be death by PowerPoint.

It might be one slide.

On that slide start by putting, “Welcome customer name,” on it.

When you do a screen share on the Zoom call it’s, “Welcome customer name.

Thank you for your business.

My name is.” Then that would be the customer service or onboarding manager.

What Is Your Agenda?

Number two, which is just the agenda.

What we’re going to go through.

What we talk about what we’re going to go through is the onboarding process.

The first thing’s first is to give them the steps of your onboarding process.

That it might be that your account is set up and that will take five days or 24 hours, or it’s already set up.

Set the timeline of what the next, and each, and individual stage that your individual business would need to go through.

That could be that after their account is set up that you need some information of theirs.

If you’re in the tech business you might need some access, log in and user codes.

If you are a commercial business where you’re building structures or delivering some machinery it might be that you then need to provide your address, or delivery details, or site contact details.

It doesn’t really matter.

I don’t want to get too drilled into those details.

The Timeline

Number three, once that timeline is set of what we’re going to go through in this call and the timeline, the next thing is to ask and set expectations of what you are also going to need from their key stakeholders.

Don’t assume that the person who’s given the order is the person who’s going to be taking it through.

It may actually be that they need to bring one of their coordinators or managers in.

It’s important to identify key stakeholders.

  • You’ve got the key stakeholders done
  • You’ve set expectations
  • You’ve got the timeline through, we always recommend to put that into some form of visual plan.

Whether that’s a slide deck, ideally a project management system that’s online.

You can get apps such as Teamwork, ClickUp, Asana or Trello.

For a few pounds a month it doesn’t have to be big, big bucks.

Set it all out.

Show them the dates and let it remind them.

Naturally once that call is done, get a hard copy letter out in the post.

A handwritten one.

A handwritten postcard or a typed letter with a handwritten signature up saying, “We appreciate your business.

Thank you for choosing us. It means a lot.”

Whether that’s from the managing director, the CEO or some senior person.

Personally, I like to record a video.

That would be, “Thanks for joining us here at the Growth Engine or Mike Midgley Executive.

My name’s Mike Midgley.

I’m the CEO and your business is extremely important to us.

Now I know you’re working with our handover team or I know you’re working with our onboarding team but I just wanted to reach out to you and say thank you for your business.

Welcome company name to our business.

We’re looking forward to serving you.”

What does it take me?

30 seconds to record a video and send it to the onboarding team.

Send it out there.

It means so, so much from a valuable point-of-view.

Make them feel like they belong.

That is the key factor.

As we start to wrap up here, a lot of people think that onboarding actually finishes when that first call happens or that second call with the project management team does.

We like to send an NPS survey after the first 10 days and then at the end of the month.

“How are we doing?

  • Is your first initial experience what you expected?
  • Have we dropped the ball?
  • Have we excelled and met/exceeded your expectations?

At 10 days, at 30 days.

Have your onboarding manager or your account manager make those calls as well or put them on an electronic email that they can click and score you out of 10 if you’ve got that type of software capabilities.

One of the most important things that I’m really trying to get across, and I’m so passionate about customer onboarding is, is that seamless transition from the sales process through to the onboarding but the key part of that is it has to be done with sincerity.

It needs to feel like an up-shift in attention not a down-shift in attention like I started this video where, “Oh, we’ve got your money now and it doesn’t matter.

We go quiet.”

They want to feel that as your sales team were, not pressuring the people, but in regular contact through the sales process.

Set Your Expectations

They need to feel that and some, as a bonus in the client onboarding process.

What does it do?

It sets expectations.

  • It stops those wild questions coming in.
  • It stops those fear or buyer’s remorse coming in saying, “Oh have we made the right choice?”

Increased attention like a new girlfriend or a new boyfriend on a first date.

It’s that increased attention.

You’re going to welcome them into your business.

You’re going to set the foundations for an advocacy programme to ascend them up for repeat customers, and ones who refer and become ambassadors for your programme.

If you want to learn more about customer onboarding leave a comment below.

I’d love to know two things off you today.

Number one, I’d like to know what your customer onboarding process is currently.

After listening to this do you think that could be improved or have you got it totally nailed?

Number two, what am I missing from the customer programme that you could give us some tips back and say, “Hey Mike, I think you guys could have this in.

This works well for us.”

We’re always learning.

Thanks for sticking around in the community.

I’d love to get your feedback.

Leave your comments below.

Let’s open debate.

Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and highly experienced with franchising.