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Why Timing is Everything in the Customer Onboarding Process

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Why Timing is Everything in the Customer Onboarding Process

Posted by Christina Clemens

6/21/16 9:15 AM | Comments

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With everything vying for consumers’ attention nowadays, finding a way to get your target audience to take notice of your SaaS business over your competition is hard enough. However, that uphill battle really kicks into high gear once prospective customers enter the onboarding process.

This critical element of your business strategy can, in many cases, have a monumental impact on the success of your company. The slightest miscalculation could alienate your potential customers and cause them to pursue other options for their SaaS needs rather than validating all of your hard work by giving your product the shot it deserves. Let’s delve a bit deeper into the significance of customer onboarding.

Why Onboarding Matters

Imagine a customer finally reaches the point in the SaaS Marketing Journey where they’re ready to engage in onboarding, only to be discouraged by some bump in the road -- whether relating to pricing, the signup process or simply the offer -- that causes them to retreat. There goes not only your sale but the customer relationship your business could have seized. The onboarding process is your customers’ first impression of your company, and you simply cannot miss the opportunity to wow them right from the start. This stage largely sets the tone going forward for the customer and carries with it the chance for exponential growth or, conversely, dangerous limitations to your business’s potential.

While there are a number of strategies you could put in place to streamline your customer onboarding process, the first thing you need to realize is just how vital it is to ensure that your system is user-friendly and allows customers to progress rapidly enough to meet their needs. Here are a few elements of your business that may suffer if your onboarding process fails to place the necessary emphasis on speed and usability.

  • Revenue: Of course, a faulty customer onboarding system will have a direct effect on the amount of revenue you have coming into your company. Your marketing efforts can be used to foster profitability within each customer, but if you run into problems as early as onboarding, your business may be doomed to limited revenue. The creation of an appealing onboarding process should then be one of your main concerns upfront.
  • Customer retention: At this point, most businesses are familiar with the adage that “80 percent of sales come from 20 percent of customers.” Yet, few take the necessary steps to protect their customer retention rates. Such repeat business keeps your business thriving, and these loyal customers could soon become your product’s most staunch advocates.
  • Word of mouth: When everything is going well and business is strong, that word of mouth carries some genuine heft behind it, causing a ripple effect that helps draw in new customers. When the opposite is true, the poor customer experience and shoddy reputation can wreak all kinds of havoc on your SaaS business. This isn’t the track record you want to establish for your product.
  • Long-term success: All successful companies experience growth spurts at one point or another, but your business needs to concentrate on its onboarding process to protect the customer retention rate and ensure the longevity of the company itself. Empires aren’t built in a day, and likewise, your product has to earn its place among the best (and easiest-to-use) on the market. That takes time to accomplish.

All Aboard

Considering the integral role that customer onboarding plays in the performance of your business, this is one area wherein you must remain vigilant. Perhaps you already have an airtight onboarding system in place, but it never hurts to review the current model for any necessary tweaks. After all, complacency is the enemy of growth. As the SaaS business continues to develop during the coming years, you cannot afford to fall behind in as crucial an area as your onboarding process. The future of your company could very well depend on the efficiency with which you welcome new customers.

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Topics: Customer Success, User Onboarding

   
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