As a business owner, what does the word “onboarding” mean to you? According to a recent article by Merriam-Webster "the word onboarding summons up images of a more structured approach—like the highly structured and ritualized process of boarding an airplane". But getting started well doesn’t have to be this rigorous or frightening when you understand the value of getting started well.
The craft of starting well with a new client can be a challenge but it may be the difference between long-term success vs. short-term failure. Onboarding is a loaded word for many, and the lack of a good “getting started” process deters some businesses from getting started at all. We see this in small business marketing all the time. Learning a new tool or technology that may give your business an edge over the competition sounds too daunting so they stick with what they currently know, usually traditional advertising. The truth is, a lot of companies view onboarding as a barrier to adding new approaches and tools as a “nice to have—not a must have.”
This tendency towards sticking with what you have already tried, coupled with the limited time that small business owners have for learning new tools and limited marketing budgets can add up to a business losing ground or not keeping pace with larger or more cutting-edge competitors. But for the few that take the time to invest in new and advanced marketing techniques not only see the benefit to sales but often to employee satisfaction.
… good onboarding leads to higher employee engagement and greater retention rates. - Joyce E. A. Russell
At Soar Marketing we believe onboarding is crucial in making sure you not only have access to the tools that until recently have only been available to the market leaders, but also by making sure you know how to use them well without breaking the bank or taking an advanced degree in digital marketing.
Delight your Customer with Follow through
Have you ever been to a restaurant where after your food is served the server will come back a few minutes later to make sure the order is right, and everything tastes good? It makes the customer feel valued. In fact, this seems to be the standard in most restaurants today. This is an example of not just a business but an industry that has invested in a process that will give the customer a delightful experience. It may come off as pretentious from the restaurant but this change in the past decade, or so indicates that restaurants changed their attitude towards a customer’s first impressions. In effect, they are asking “Did we get it right and can we make it any better for you?”
So, why would the restaurant industry implement such a basic step in service?
Here’s a hunch; making sure the customer is satisfied from the start saves your business the heartache of a customer never returning or purchasing again. Onboarding is exactly that, it’s a pulse check on your customer’s satisfaction with the experience thus far. Opening up the communication lines to your customer right after purchase helps your business know if your customer is satisfied with the product or service offered. It circles back to retention. It is much easier to resolve an issue when you are sitting in the restaurant than waiting till you posted a negative review on Yelp later that night. With Soar Marketing, our onboarding process includes many touch points that allow us to find ways to improve a businesses experience and helps ensure that you are getting out of our product what you are hoping for.
Give your Customer Control with Self-Service
A self-service option for your customer is a must. With this model, it doesn’t mean you are off the hook for a great onboarding experience. A staggering 91% of customers say they prefer self-service if it were available and tailored to their needs. In fact, having a knowledge base of some kind should be where you direct your customer to continue to “educate” themselves on your product well after onboarding. Your self-service option should be a place where your customer feels empowered to independently tackle their questions. The 24/7 service also gives back time to your employees.
Even if you do not have the adequate time, or resources to build out a grand self-service knowledge base, the best way to start is with an FAQ page. Pick your top 10-20 asked questions you’ll anticipate your customers will want to know. If you are a more established business, you can start tracking the most frequently asked questions over a period of time and compile a list of those results. That’s exactly what we have done with Soar Marketing. Start small and grow your self-service support option over time.
We know the last thing someone wants to do is to buy another tool or add another subscription that is underutilized and lack effectiveness. At Soar Marketing our onboarding specialists are here to walk with you every step of the way. We have an extensive team of marketing strategists, web designers, advertising experts and SEO wizards that are now at your disposal. With Soar Marketing, you don’t have to go it alone.