You and I both are aware of the importance of onboarding and how much of a hassle it can be. So many things can go wrong. Your onboarding machine can go RUSTY and we’ll give you some ideas on how to solve that.
You’re in charge of the customer onboarding process in your company or you know someone who is? What if I told you I can make your job easier with a simple mentality change?
By introducing your customer support guys and gals to the process, you will increase your conversion rates greatly and have much happier and loyal customers in the long-term.
Today I introduce you to 7 ways customer service can help you with onboarding of customers. Customer service can be the most important thing in a company and it IS powerful.
The most important thing about your customer support is to have self-aware and high EQ individuals, other than that it’s important to utilize their full potential by encouraging them to use those traits in every possible way at any given moment.
Furthermore, you need to have a system that encourages strong and independent employees to take that initiative to make your team’s results even better.
So, what is onboarding exactly and why is it important?
Basically, your whole company depends on the effectiveness of this process and we’ll show you how to improve it with customer service.
Here are the 7 ways customer service helps you so that you can quickly scan for what resonates with you:
Before email sign up
1. Great customer service is your PR
2. Strong principles of customer service = greater LTV
3. Your sales team is customer service here and here is what they should do
4. Great customer support makes the customer feel special
5. 10X’ing on customer service in free trial is 10X’ing on locking in the customer
After the trial
6. Great customer support has content prepared for customers to easily implement product
7. Randomly getting in touch with customers
1. Before the email sign up – Great customer service is your PR
This is where it all begins. Your customer support guys should definitely have access to your social media accounts. The fact is that active and positive social media accounts help build your brand’s image. Also, there are studies showing that customers first go to complain to their social media accounts.
Want to know scary a few facts?
So, your social media accounts are a GREAT way for you to show that you CARE about your customers. If your customer support guys and gals can’t have access to accounts, you can still encourage the social media employees to contact your customer support on some of the subjects and give them relevant and QUICK answers. Don’t do it like this …
Onboarding process starts long before potential customers even visit your website. So make sure to build a reputable brand with active social media accounts.
Gary is all about action and practicality, so here are some actionable tips…
Looking at Vayner Media’s twitter account, you can conclude that literally every employee is an ambassador of the brand.
You should go and research what they do to make this happen.
To save you some time, here are quick tips for building reputable social media accounts learned from looking to the Vayner media’s twitter account:
- Encourage your employees to write articles on medium.com
- Use emojis in your tweets
- Make visually appealing content
- Promote your employees personal brands
- Make videos and gifs
- Publish behind the scenes content
2. Before the email sign up – Strong principles of customer service = greater LTV
Another important thing is to make sure that customers know your service principles. I love what buffer did here.
With this approach buffer managed to:
- Put customers into context of Buffer
- Start building relationship even before customers decided to become a part of team buffer
- Humanize the relationship from the beginning
- Tell customers here is what we believe in and here is what you can expect from us
- Tell their story and values in an easy to grasp way
That, my friends, is a customer service at its finest.
Let the client know who will be on his side even before he’s on your team. It’s so easy to relate when you know something about people. When you put your customers into YOUR context they are more likely to become a loyal customer.
When you put the things into perspective like buffer did here, it will be easy for you to humanize your relationship with clients which is one of the keys to SUPERIOR customer support and service.
We love buffer and here is our article on their blog from way back.
Another great way to accomplish this is to have a live chat app on your website like Intercom does. It’s a complete must to be as quick as possible to respond to your potential customers and to be available to them at all times.
Here is the thing, if you can save client’s time (even 10 seconds), you’ll win. Time is the most valuable asset and this is the way to start going in that direction. This is not so common in onboarding process, and it’s always great if you can include valuable novelty to your arsenal.
3. Demo – Your sales team is your customer service, so train them well
Demo’s are not an easy task and sales guys and gals deserve some special medal if they’re doing an awesome job at this. They need to know every aspect of your product AND have incredible people skills to demo your product right.
This is a great challenge and the nature of their job makes them rely on metrics and analytics a lot. That can be a trap. A good tip here is to encourage them to respectfully decline some clients if they see that they are not the right fit for your product.
Too often, the sales team is encouraged to burn every interaction to the ground, meaning, to pursue every potential customer even if they’re not the right fit for your service. Don’t do that. If your sales team respectfully declines a customer which is not the right fit, that will bring you better long term results.
Don’t go down the road of manipulating your clients into your service and then having them unhappy with the service. If you tell them that they are better off with somebody else, they will appreciate the thing that you respect THEIR and YOUR time and well-being.
This way they’ll be more likely to refer you to some friends or colleagues that are more compatible with your service.
The truth is that every demo should be done with 100 percent effort, and if they notice that the client is really not for that particular customer, that should be said in a gentleman’s manner.
The trick is to start every demo like it’s the most important thing in the world(it really is) and go from there. Make them in love with your product and clarify what it does for THEM. Don’t talk too much about yourself, they already have a positive image about you. They requested a demo, right? That means they’ve researched you and they like you.
4. Free trial – Great customer support in this stage takes over and makes the customer feel special
So, you’ve done all the steps so far. A customer is trying your product, GREAT, you’re on the right track.
The first thing your customer support do upon signing up for the free trial is to thank your potential customers for joining with a personal message. You can do this with a quick phone call, an email or a message within your app on your website. But connecting with them in this stage will do wonders for your onboarding process.
After that make yourself available for any inquiry and be quick to respond.
Encourage your customers to use your product on their own. You can do this with having a useful knowledge base which will solve a lot of their problems and with a simple UX that they will love.
Here are two of our articles about those subjects.
And if your customers still have questions after these make sure to answer quickly and thoroughly. Respond with every detail possible and write like you would write to your grandma. Explain every detail and do it in a simple way, they will appreciate it.
5. Free trial – 10X’ing on customer service in free trial is 10X’ing on locking in the customer
At these times, you need to make your Call To Action as convincing as possible. Go and reverse-engineer what makes your service a “must” and make that the primary angle through which you are communicating with your customers.
One of the greatest ways of achieving this is to make your customer support really 24/7. You can do this with two people actually. Want to know how? Here is a prime example of that …
You want to know more ways to go over and beyond for your customers?! I love this Nordstrom example by James Lloyd. This is how powerful the customer service really is.
- Encourage your team to humanize the relationship
- Trust your team
- Make the right system for them
- GO OVER AND BEYOND (whatever that means for your customer)
6. After the trial – Great customer support has content prepared for customers to easily implement product
Imagine this, you’re going to a restaurant to have a dinner, you enter and sit down. It’s a fiiiiine restaurant and you’ve already decided to eat there. The only problem is that there’s no menu inside. How can you know what to order exactly?
That’s exactly the same with the content for the implementation of your product. Make a quick pdf guide for your customers, make a welcome email series, plan you knowledge base content properly.
And once again welcome them properly. It’s like with hiring. When you go through all the process of hiring, you want to finish with a bang.
Make something special to mark the beginning of a whole new level of your relationship with customers. This is where high EQ customer support guys and gals come in handy.
7. After the trial – Randomly getting in touch with customers
Listen to me carefully – You need to smack your customers in the face sometimes. Yep, you’ve read that right, you need to smack them in the face but with something goood 🙂 Did you really think I was going to tell you to hurt your customers?
I hope you know how great that feeling is when an old friend gets in touch with you randomly. That’s the same effect you can get by doing this to your customers. Ask them how’s their day going, are they having any problems, can you help them… They will know how to appreciate that and this gesture will make them your long-term loyal customers.
We have a practice to get in touch with our top clients with hand-written notes and a box of juice. It’s just the human nature to love the positive surprise.
This way you’ll make your customers truly appreciate you even more and make them more likely to refer your business to their circle of influence and that is the ultimate goal.
Aaaand that’s how it’s done. Perfect onboarding with specific tips for customer service. I know it’s a lot of work, but it will pay off, both long-term and short-term. Go do a mental check right now. How many of these do you utilize in your customer service?
If it’s more than the half of these you’re doing GREAT but you should keep striving for excellence which means getting all of these right.
Care to share?
Tag one friend that needs to read this 🙂