Adopt these 7 channels for greater tech customer onboarding success
The tech customer onboarding process is a goldmine for B2B tech marketers for two reasons: one, it allows them to find out exactly what their customers’ expectations are, and two, success is much more likely once marketers use the correct channels for monitoring the customer journey. KPIs can't be set if nobody knows how to tie up the loose ends, and this is where the right channels can be a boon for increasing competitive advantage.
1. Customer service
From your first-line user support through to the account management team, this channel is crucial for delivering onboarding success.
Secrets to success:
- Make it easy for the customer to reach you (explain where, how and when).
- Allow the customer to choose their preferred communication channel, from email, live chat and social to telephone and mail.
- Respond to all enquiries with expectation setting. Use auto-responder emails for timely and effective responses.
- Deliver on the expectations you set.
- Follow up all customer service interactions with a ‘How are things going? Need any more help?’ call and/or email.
- Be time sensitive and take into account the customer’s location.
2. Marketing automation and event-based messaging
Much of your onboarding messaging and engagement can be dealt with using marketing automation (MA). Triggering messages based on a user’s behaviour (or failure to demonstrate a specific behaviour) will help you lead new customers down the path you need them to take, and avoid the pitfalls you know can lead to customer dropout.
All the work carried out in sections three and four of this guide will inform your MA trigger points and programmes.
Email marketing automation
Key trigger points to consider:
- New user sign-up (welcome pack and programme)
- Abandoned tasks
- Red flag points
- Inactivity triggers
- Missed milestone/KPI triggers.
First-line support emails
A good email support service is paramount to successful onboarding. Email automation can help you deliver the right support messages and responses, at the right time.
On filing a support ticket, the email message the customer receives should:
- Let them know the query has been registered.
- Make it clear when they can expect a response.
- Offer an alternative form of immediate support if they desire.
- (Ideally) provide links to relevant articles or other troubleshooting material.
3. In-app messaging
- First-use wizards
- Progress metres
- In-app tooltips
- Live chat
- Product tours
- Personalised UX (e.g. white labelling and personalisable dashboards).
First-use wizards guide your users through the necessary steps to successfully achieve their goals. The first-use wizard should become immediately usable after the technology has been activated. It should be skippable and offer a manual automatic set up.
Progress metres can be useful tools for reassuring customers during your setup process, and reducing customer dropout.
Tooltips offer an effective way of delivering guidance at the exact point it's needed, without the user having to leave the screen they're on.
New tech users can often feel disconnected from the supplier once they’ve signed off the contract. Live chat can help you overcome that disconnect by providing real-time support.
Adding live chat can help you:
- Increase new user trust.
- Reduce first-line support ticketing.
- Improve response to customer feedback.
- Increase activation conversion rates.
Whether delivered in-app or outside of the platform user environment, video provides a uniquely effective way to deliver tutorials, tooltips, user guidance and support.
The best product tours take two to five actions – go much further than that and the tour can start to feel like a chore.
E-CRM is a more digital, data-driven approach to traditional CRM, incorporating data-driven automation based on multi-channel customer engagements. E-CRM will enable you automate tasks and activities for your sales and account managers, customer success managers and client support teams.
Consider automating your account management and client support activities through your CRM, based on:
- Abandoned tasks
- Red flag points
- Inactivity triggers
- Missed milestones/KPI triggers.
Social CRM enables you to extend your sales activity automation to social media engagement triggers.
5. Forums/user groups/communities
The more your new customers can learn from the experience and knowledge of other engaged customers the better. By creating and encouraging a user forum or community, whether in LinkedIn or on a brandable forum app, you can help drive this engagement and empower customers to help themselves.
Many tech companies are reaping the benefits of offering face-to-face onboarding experiences. These events not only demonstrate you genuinely care about your customers (and therefore catalyse advocacy), but also give them an opportunity to share their stories with other companies and learn from one another.
Face-to-face events to consider include:
- Breakfast meetings
- User conferences.
Don’t just bill. Offer help. If your first communication with a new customer comes in the form of an invoice, make sure it comes with an offer of help or a piece of content that adds value to their experience.
Tip: Build and promote a portal within your website where new customers can find adoption-focused content, training videos and email templates.
This free, 22-page guide will show you how to identify and set objectives that can transform your onboarding results, build only the most effective engagement techniques and tools into your plan, and maximise your customer activation and retention rates.