Nothing has a more significant impact on retention and churn more than onboarding. So, how can you make sure you do it the right way? Client onboarding software.
As people continue to expect more customer-centric products and services from companies — no matter the industry — it’s becoming more critical for businesses to optimize the customer experience (CX), but more specifically, how they bring new clients up to speed.
We’re talking about onboarding built on the back of client onboarding software.
What’s Client Onboarding?
Client onboarding (aka customer onboarding) is the process of introducing new clients to your product or service. Client onboarding is a walkthrough of the features and capabilities of that product or service. In today’s digital-centric society, this process usually manifests as something we’d consider a “digital customer onboarding process,” ensuring that nomadic and on-to-go clients can learn whenever and wherever they are.
This onboarding process — digital or not — is essential to creating a good first impression of your product or service, especially because clients may not have enough existing knowledge to fully benefit from it right away.
A streamlined customer onboarding process flow can help prevent customer churn and significantly reduce the amount of “hand-holding” required from customer success (CS) teams.
For example, creating a thorough online training program for customer education can benefit both you and the customer by streamlining their use of your product or service, emphasizing the value you offer and answering any frequently asked questions at the beginning. But, of course, the first step is creating that streamlined onboarding experience for your new customers.
This is where client onboarding software can come in handy.
Who Uses Client Onboarding Software?
All right, all of this talk about how great client onboarding software is and how online learning can help grow your education programs and we haven’t even talked about what types of companies use the software.
So, what businesses can benefit from client onboarding software?
- SaaS companies
- Gig economy businesses
- and more
No matter what service or product your business provides, client onboarding software can dramatically improve your clients’ experience by allowing you to create a thorough and streamlined onboarding process.
SaaS Client Onboarding Software
As we mentioned above, SaaS companies are one of the many types of businesses that can benefit from client onboarding software.
That said, now that you know client onboarding software can be helpful, how do you pick one and what features should you look for?
There are many different client onboarding software options available in the market today, especially as the need for them continues to grow.
So, how do you narrow down your options to find the most effective customer onboarding software for your business? Turns out, what is best for your business might not be the best for another business. The best software option for your company is going to depend on what services you need (or want) for creating your own client onboarding process.
While there are free options for onboarding software platforms, oftentimes, these free versions don’t offer as many options, customization abilities or as much scalability and are therefore much harder to personalize to your business. Additionally, with a free software option, you could run into a training program that functions more like a Powerpoint rather than an engaging onboarding experience that your clients (new and old) can directly interact with.
On the other hand, a paid onboarding training software, such as Gainsight Customer Education, can offer you total control and easy scalability of your training programs. This means that your online training programs can continue to develop and grow alongside your business.
But as we saw above, SaaS companies aren’t the only ones who can benefit from customer onboarding software. So what about another industry?
Client Onboarding Software For Banks
Another industry that can greatly benefit from an effective client onboarding process is the financial services industry. With digital customer onboarding, banking and other financial services can be confident that their new clients understand their complex services — without all the “hand-holding.”
Financial services are incredibly complex, especially to new customers, and because of this, many new clients may not understand what services they have just purchased or how to use them to the best of their capabilities.
With client onboarding software, financial services companies, including, but not limited to banks, can create detailed and engaging online learning programs for their new clients so that everyone can be on the same page with what services are being offered and what those services can do. For example, a wealth management client onboarding process may contain lessons that describe what services the financial institution provides as well as what some common financial advice means and how clients can best grow and protect their wealth.
When setting up client onboarding software, financial institutions should consider these five bank onboarding best practices:
- Set expectations of the onboarding process
- Create clarity and use simple language and/or define complicated terms
- Be consistent throughout the learning experience
- Level-set client knowledge — start at the beginning, but offer more knowledgeable clients the option to skip ahead
- Ensure your learning program is mobile friendly
Incorporating best practices can help not only new clients better understand what services they are getting but also help the banks (or other financial institutes) to make sure that they are offering the best possible service and experience for their clients.
Banks and other financial institutions can also greatly benefit from the analytics and reporting services that an onboarding training software, like Gainsight Customer Education, can provide. After designing your client onboarding experience, adding your educational and engaging content and setting milestones for your clients in their training, you can view the built-in insights that show real-time data from your onboarding process so that you can keep track of what parts are going well and what parts could be improved.
Essentially, the analytics and reporting features of a software platform can help you to make sure that your bank or other financial institution is always providing the best customer onboarding experience to your clients.
OK, now that you know you need client onboarding software, let’s get to the good stuff. How to start using it.
When to Use a Client Onboarding Template
If you’ve never built out an online learning program before it can feel a little overwhelming. Oftentimes, wide open pastures can cause analysis paralysis. It’s ok if you’re not 100% sure where to start with your customer online training program.
If that seems like a familiar feeling, don’t worry. You’re not alone. The best advice we have for you is to start small. Pick one problem or barrier and start there. Address that one issue. Once you’ve done that, move on to the next issue. And so on and so forth.
Once you get going, it’s not hard to keep it up. Courtney Sembler, Hubspot Academy’s leader, gives these tips when starting to build out your academy with a customer onboarding software application.
- Align Customer Education with Your Business’ Methodology
- Use Blinders When Identifying Personas and Pain Points
- Create a Structured Content Creation Process
- Think about a Global Approach from the Start
- Use Certifications as a Growth Catalyst
- Offer Something Tangible to Keep People Coming Back
With that in mind, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you can easily use a customer onboarding template and a course creation template to help structure your learning program.
- Create a short course description
- Who’s involved? Make sure you know whom you need to be on your team for each course you create. A subject matter expert? Instructor? Other course contacts.
- Course objectives
- What type of content; written, video, audio, a slide deck?
- How will you deliver the training to your customers? Email? In their account?
You can use the template as your “outline” your course and then just fill in all of the information that is specific to your company, product or service and then you’re all set up for a streamlined onboarding experience for your customers.
Creating a simple and effective customer onboarding playbook for your business does not have to be a difficult task. With a customer onboarding platform, like Gainsight, you can have easy access to templates that you can customize to your business so you can have personalized online customer training for your products or services up and running and help your customers to understand their new purchase.
Why’s the Client Onboarding Process is Important?
Whether you make use of a template as a basis for your client onboarding process or not, making sure that you have an effective and more importantly pleasant customer onboarding experience is essential to retaining customers in today’s market.
Because of this, it is important to create a client onboarding checklist that has everything you need to ensure a smooth and successful onboarding experience before you even start working on your onboarding program. This is where a client onboarding software, like Gainsight, can help out.
That being said, you could be using the best client onboarding software out there but without a clear and detailed checklist, you could miss out on something extremely beneficial to your onboarding process.
One good example of a checklist could be a client onboarding process flow chart. A flow chart gives you an overview of what your customer onboarding training will look like throughout the entire customer onboarding experience. This can be a great way to ensure that your onboarding offers everything that your new client needs to know when they need to know it.
For example, maybe your onboarding flow looks something like this:
- Customer sign-up.
- The welcome email.
- Account set-up.
- Give them access to your client onboarding portal.
- Product or service training modules and demonstrations.
- The first transaction.
- Continue customer onboarding.
- Use milestones and continue to provide your customers with the information they need to succeed as they become more familiar with your product or service.
Using this flow as an example, you would then know when to implement different parts of your onboarding process so that it is as simple and seamless as possible. This can help you to not only ensure that you are including everything that you need in your onboarding program, but also that the information is appearing where it would be most beneficial to your customers.
Get Started with a Customer Onboarding Template
And if you don’t know just where to begin with creating your onboarding checklist or flow chart, you can always use our good friend, the template. That’s right, templates don’t only have to be for your finished customer onboarding program, you can use them for the individual parts of your onboarding process as a whole.
So, let’s look at another example of where a template can be used.
One place where templates can be useful that often get overlooked is for emails to customers. Having a general customer onboarding email template can simplify the onboarding process and make it easier for you to ensure that every new customer is getting the same information (and all of the information they need) to begin their customer onboarding training.
As for your onboarding training content, templates can not only help to reduce the time you need to spend creating a training program but also improve the overall quality of your customer onboarding program. Whether you have previous experience creating e-learning content or not, a customer onboarding template can give you a base customer onboarding framework to go off of.
Using this framework, you can easily create a customer onboarding playbook for your business that can be used for every new customer. This not only dramatically cuts down on the number of individual calls or emails your business may have to help customers with issues but also provides you with a generalized customer onboarding process flow chart template that you can continue to alter over time until it fits your business perfectly.
When you are looking to create a new and effective customer onboarding experience for your business’s product or service, using a template can be incredibly helpful. So whether you are creating the perfect customer onboarding program, drafting emails or making an effective framework for your customer onboarding, using a customer onboarding software, like
Gainsight can provide you with the tools and templates that you need to create the best customer onboarding experience for your business.
training content that engages your clients and provides you with performance-boosting analytics. These analytics can help you see what parts of your online training are performing well and which could use some additional work. Basically, these analytics can help you to continually improve your online customer onboarding experience for all of your customers.
Additionally, with Gainsight Customer Education, you can adapt your training to any language and allow access to training from any device — so that your customers can complete your onboarding process in any way that is comfortable to them.