Gaining new customers is not only hard work, it can be costly. In fact, it is the most costly aspect of marketing. So the last thing you want is for a new client to walk out the door with no way to communicate with them again. You want to be able to express your appreciation for their business, make them feel welcome, and invite them into your community so they'll want to come back and give you more business.
Onboarding is nothing more than a strategy or plan that does just that. Regardless of whether you are retail- or service-oriented, a well thought-out onboarding plan is certain to increase your retention.
In creating your onboarding plan, you'll first want to map out a buyer's journey. This is simply the journey a typical customer will take from prospect, to first purchase, to loyal client. The number of steps in the journey varies depending on the number of products and the complexity of your sale and will differ for every business. In fact, one business may have several different buyer journeys (i.e. a bank would have one for a mortgage customer, one for business owners, one for students, and so on). This is the outline(s) you'll use for your onboarding plan(s).
Once you've established the outline, essentially you'll want to approach this as a host would approach first-time guests. You want to go out of your way to be "the hostess with the mostest." You will want to give a brief tour of your facility or web site, and an overview of your offerings. Be careful not to overwhelm them with too much information! Ask for their email address and provide your contact information and drip information slowly to them over time.
Also consider their future needs as they begin to utilize the product or service they just purchased from you. Do as much advance troubleshooting as possible to anticipate any frustrations they may encounter. Extend multiple invitations to reach out to you for assistance. Reassure them they won't be a bother. This helps to put their minds at ease if they have any doubts about their purchase and also prevents angry calls to you if things don't go as anticipated.
In considering future needs, anticipate their immersion into your culture and the need for additional products and services. Consider gifting helpful small dollar items with a purchase, coupons for future purchases, etc. Refer back to last week's post for additional value-add ideas.
Lastly, make sure you're touching base regularly via email. Create onboarding automations that introduce your business gradually and in a way that addresses where they are in the buying journey.
Ultimately, the end goal is to make your new customer feel a part of your community and let them know they are valued. Keep this in mind with every interaction and you'll have a customer for life.
Would you like an outside perspective on your onboarding process? Contact Rethink Marketing for a free consultation!