New Book: Roadmap For Starting a Business

You Made the Sale, Now What?

4 min read

Most new customers don’t make a second purchase. 

Here’s the good news though: your customers have already taken a liking to you when they made their first purchase. They wouldn’t have wanted your product or service otherwise, right?

Now, it’s your responsibility to keep the good feelings rolling. 

Obviously what you’re selling is pretty great and there’s no reason for customers not to keep coming back, but sometimes there needs to be a little hand-holding involved.

There are generally two reasons customers churn (don’t become repeat purchasers): they don’t understand your product or they’re not receiving any value from it. 

You don’t want your customers thinking either of these things, because retention is the lifeblood of a business: 

  • Most revenue comes from existing customers
  • Continuously satisfied customers are your best referral source
  • Acquisition costs are lowered

Customer onboarding addresses both of the most common churn reasons.

The Fix: Customer Onboarding

Customer onboarding is that beginning phase where new customers learn the ins and outs of your product or service. An exceptional onboarding experience includes step-by-step tutorials, guidance and support, and personalized communication.

Onboarding requires a strategy with goals and objectives like any other initiative. The three goals you need to keep at the forefront of your plan are:

  • Getting your customer to use the product or service more than once in the first week, month, etc., dependant on your specific usage cycle
  • Establish a usage pattern
  • Make your product/service indispensable to the customer

The input to finding ways to achieve the goals above will come from the information you gather during your marketing and sales processes. The more you know about a customer, the better the onboarding experience will be. 

Case Study

Christine found social media success using specific tactics she tested and tweaked to perfection. To help other business owners and bloggers maximize their potential, she created an online course walking subscribers through all of her strategies. 

Hype for her course is huge! Clients come on board with high expectations, and she offers a 7-day money back guarantee. To make sure her customers stick around and she continues generating revenue, Christine has created a detailed onboarding program addressing any friction that typically occurs during the first few days. 

She has created detailed personas of each customer type and identified their challenges and ideal solutions. In her initial email to each new customer, she outlines the benefits they will receive and how they can achieve their individual goals by using the tools she provides them. Christine also reminds each customer that the results they will see are ultimately up to them and the efforts they put in. 

To add a personal touch, Christine holds a one-on-one meeting with each client to welcome them and answer questions, highlighting she’s available at any point during the course to answer questions. 

Since creating an onboarding process, the number of clients that dropout the first week has decreased significantly thus increasing revenue and the number of satisfied customers who recommend her services to others. 

Setting Up Your Customer Onboarding Program

  1. Know your customer personas (see where marketing comes in!). Understand each obstacle, pain point, and challenge the customer faces and what the ideal outcome and solutions look like for them.

  2. Set clear expectations. You should have already done this during the sales process, but during onboarding, remind your customers of any potential issues that may come up. This way if something does run askew, the customer will be prepared for it and not be caught off-guard.

  3. Get them excited. Now that they’ve purchased, don’t let the enthusiasm you have been showing die down. Reemphasize all the good your product/service will bring and get specific about each customer’s unique situation. For services, this is where a kick-off call, training, or user guide comes in. 

  4. Stay in contact. This is especially important if you’re selling courses or other long-term programs. In addition to the platform you’re delivering your content through, reach out via email to simply check in.

  5. Aim to impress. Each interaction you have with a customer is an opportunity to wow them and remind them how great their entire experience is. Lots of businesses bring out all the bells and whistles when winning a customer over, but once they have them all of the magic is gone. Your customers won’t consider switching to another provider when they know you continue to provide exemplary customer service after the initial purchase. 

  6. Measure success. Gather feedback from customers, address pain points that occur, and keep an eye on your churn rate.

Remember that onboarding is part of your overall customer lifecycle. Without strong marketing and sales processes, your onboarding will fall flat. When all parts of the journey align, you will strike gold.

 

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