Having already put in a lot of effort, blood, sweat and tears to the development of your growth strategy, keeping lots of new visitors entering your funnel along the way, you notice that conversion rates are somewhat lower than they should be. If you want to enhance your visitor to customer ratio and convert at a higher rate, then you need to put some work into your onboarding process.
The term onboarding is used to explain the process of getting someone who is new, to sign up to your site or to your service. Regardless of whether that is to make a purchase or not. It shows that you have created a genuine interest within them, and they have their pen poised to sign-up to your services.
Onboarding can occur in several different ways, and while it might take some time initially to establish which route is ideal for your business, there are some practices which you should be using as a rule of thumb.
Look to The Stars
The easiest and most productive way to create your strategy is to learn from the best. Look to those who are doing an outstanding job, go through their sign-up process for yourself, take notes and pay careful attention to what data they are collecting along the way. There are a lot of sites now that choose to use social logins, not all of them, but most will. By looking at these details carefully, you will emerge with a much better idea of which elements you can then incorporate into your own internal processes.
Top Principals for Onboarding New Customers
Moving onto the next stage is all about learning the do’s and don’ts for new customer sign-ups.
1. Make it easy; I cannot stress this point enough. Attention spans in today’s age are a lot shorter than in previous years, you need to be snappy, you need your sign-up process to be simple for the user and not overly complex.
2. Data Collection should be relevant. Work out precisely what information you need to understand about your clients and limit your sign-up process to include only essential information collection. Of course, it would be great to know in detail, an in-depth overview of your customer demographic, but it is not needed. If people feel like you are asking for too much information, they will drop out of your process.
3. Have a compelling Call to Action (CTA). It doesn’t matter what area of industry, or the type of business that you have, you will almost always have some competition. Working out your Unique Selling Point (USP), allowing users to distinguish you aside from the competition is essential. Try to condense this into no more than two short sentences and be sure to place it prominently on your pages.
4. Time is Precious. You need to think of yourself as a customer. Would you persist with a lengthy sign-up process? How much time is a reasonable amount of time to allocate to this task? If you are anything like me, it needs to be quick. Taking too much information, or time is a real turn-off. It can, and will lose you customers if it takes too long. Social logins are a real timesaver and are loved by most customers online today; it is one less password to have to remember. It’s not for everyone, so be sure to offer an alternative method as well.
5. A Warm Welcome! As someone once said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Make sure you greet your new customers with your arms wide open. A nice thank you email or message will be enough, just something to show that you appreciate them taking the time to sign-up and to being part of your community. If you can get a template ready to send, be sure to include any hints, tips or tutorials on how to make the most of their time / experience.
6. Ensure their experience is worthwhile. Once a client signs up as a member, you need to make sure that they stick around. Although we are looking at the onboarding of a customer, and retention comes later in the process, it is important to always have this at the forefront of your mind. It is much more cost and time effective to retain a customer than it is to go out and find a new customer. Having a great onboarding process is all part and parcel of making a great first impression, and hopefully starting a new relationship with a customer that will blossom over time. If you can treat the onboarding process as the first step to keeping your customers, you will be able to understand how crucial it is to get this right first time by investing the time and effort at the beginning and throughout to ensure that it works now, and in the future.
7. If there is any kind of loyalty scheme in place or rewards offer available, you need to tell your customers at the very beginning about this. Do not underestimate the power of incentive schemes.
8. Collecting a referral when onboarding a new customer is another great principal for you to deploy. Have the right people, sharing and inviting people within their networks is an extremely powerful tool. Facebook is a great example of this, if you can remember back as far as your sign-up process, it gives you the option to invite friends or existing contacts that you hold to be part of the platform. If you do not feel comfortable asking for their contacts, you can include a widget which makes it easy for them to share their activity on their networks. By adding a referral process into this onboarding process, it helps with your growth funnel. Keeping it filled with people is tough, why not take all the help you can get and ask your customers to fill it for you!
9. Streamlining, another exceptionally important point. Before you go live with your new onboarding process, you need to make sure it is well-worn in by getting as many people as you can to sign-in. What might appear to be straightforward to you might be a challenge for those who are not used to it. Time and money will need to pumped into this to make sure that it is streamlined. It doesn’t matter who you get to help you test it, as long as it is not you, and as long as they can be honest with their feedback. It is essential that you take the time to do things correctly. Time invested now is less time spent later.
10. Evolution. Once you have fine-tuned your process, it is crucial to periodically review this as a new customer. With technologies constantly evolving and new tools becoming available all the time, it is important to make sure you are keeping up with the Jones’.
Innovation and re-evaluation are key. Putting your customers’ needs first is essential to your future success. Remember this, and you are already well on your way to having the online success that you desire and the best onboarding process you can have for your business.