5 Customer Onboarding Mistakes That Lead to Early Churn
When hiking up a mountain, one of the best parts is reaching the view at the top. After the time spent planning your trek, packing your gear, and doing the climb, looking down at your accomplishment is extremely gratifying. Customer onboarding is a similar journey. When taking the steps to onboard a new customer to you platform, successful software adoption is that view from the top. The achievement is the result of small steps: planning, implementing, and solving technical challenges that arose along the way.
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The importance of effective customer onboardingFor SaaS companies, the customer onboarding process is critical for ensuring customer satisfaction and preventing churn. The ideal onboarding process is simple and straightforward. It also helps get your clients excited about the new capabilities your platform will enable them to unlock. Exceeding your customers’ expectations during the onboarding phase will keep customers loyal. On the other hand, a poor onboarding experience will likely lead to premature customer churn. Onboarding is a lengthy process with many turns in the road; make sure your customers stay on track through the entire journey. Don’t make these mistakes during the customer onboarding process.
1. Not providing enough support during the planning stagesEven before it’s time to implement your software, it’s important for your customer success teams to be highly communicative with your clients. During the planning stage, you should address the following:
- Clarity on how the software can be used
- How it will affect workflow
- Issues that are likely to arise as employees learn the new system
- Any other common change management issues
2. Failure to demonstrate long-term valueCustomers want to know that they invested in something that will provide value to their team. Product features are a great pull to get people interested, but it’s even more important to make sure customers understand the big picture value of your product. Does the tool provide useful data that will help them solve a business problem? Does it make their employees more productive? Does it automate processes and increase overall efficiency? Rather than focusing on your product’s bells and whistles, center your customer onboarding around its broader, long-term value.
3. Not being “on-call” during implementationThere is no doubt that questions will arise during the implementation period. Anticipate that you will need to support the client a bit more during this stage. Companies with the most attentive customer service send a support representative to a customer’s office to help guide the implementation in-person. If this isn’t possible, the next best thing is to make sure you have resources available to answer incoming questions on the phone. Without support, the client will become frustrated right off the bat. The implementation period is also a great time to ask for feedback. After answering their questions, ask the customers how you can support them better. Each customer needs a different amount of support, so knowing that balance can be a big help.
4. Not taking a role in employee trainingAlthough it’s not traditionally the software vendor’s job to train the end-users, you can vastly improve the onboarding process by lending your expertise during employee training. In addition to responding to questions during the onboarding period, your representatives can help ensure the employee training is successful by:
- Providing tips and training best practices based on other customers’ experiences
- Advise training professionals where employees commonly experience friction
- Offer solutions for these challenges
- Recommend digital training solutions to improve employee time-to-productivity and reduce IT support tickets.