Your Complete Customer Onboarding Process Guide

Once you have a product that you are looking share with others, it is time for customer onboarding. Once your business is set up or your product is ready to be launched, the next step is the most critical for it involves the groundwork for a successful business: recruiting customers. Getting customers acquainted and cementing their loyalty and building trust has enough leverage in and if itself to determine the success of the business. That is why it is important to get this step right. The first 90 days of the new customer-business relationship are the most important and they require extreme care. Here is when the customer is most receptive and trusting of your offers.

Hence it is an ideal time for you as a business to really make a good and lasting first impression because it is the first impression with the customer that will determine the course of the relationship. Delivering on promises and keeping time are extremely important positive aspects to getting it right.

Avoid doing anything that may taint the impression also works for you because any negative aspects in this time period, no matter how small, can really turn things one eighty. Therefore it is recommended to avoid any bad communication or mishandling of transactions between the customer and the business.

With that said, you may be wondering how the whole process happens. Truth is that is not simple, but when done with care and a fine toothed comb, the results are bound to be satisfying.

The onboarding process generally refers to the signing up of new members to your site. It is an online event. Whether they are signing up to be a free member or to simply be a free member, it is clear that they have developed a keen interest on your business and now thy are ready to join you! Creating an inviting and effective onboarding plan requires an equally effective process, and here is what you may need to know. However, keep in mind that every business is unique and needs may vary from one to another in terms of having an effective onboarding plan. However, below are the general norms under which most types of business utilize to get successful results.

Your Complete Customer Onboarding Process Guide

Step 1: Background research

Perhaps when you hear research an image of a library flashes in your mind. Though that could be helpful, research in this context is referring to the process of actively learning from other successful businesses. Find out how they did it. One of the easiest ways to do this is by actually going through the sign up process yourself and taking your time to note even the smallest of details.

By doing this, you are gaining the customer perspective and knowing what they will expect from you as a business. Take extensive notes about what each site is asking for in the sign up process and how the you feel during the initiation–do you feel comfortable, bothered, scared? All this should be taken into account because chances are your customers will feel the same way. Knowing what works and what doesn’t first hand allows you to know precisely how your sign up process will look like.

Step 2: Streamline your process

Before taking the real deal to the streets, have people test it out. Chances are they will give you valuable pieces of information about the process you might have missed. It takes time and money, yes, but getting it right is certainly worth the investment. Ask testers to give their honest opinions about the process and any areas they see to be needing work. The more opinions, the better your sign up process will be.

Step 3: Make it fun and easy to start

No one will be excited and happy after five hours of filling out piece after piece of information. What this means for the businessperson is that they need to know exactly what information they want from their new customers in order to avoid an excessive amount of questions that will likely shut the process down and suck the fun out of it. Keep in mind costumes are likely not comfortable with sharing a whole lot of information right off the bat and they would rather save time on signing up. One way many sites have dealt with this is by offering the social login option for those who want the fast track.

Cutting down questions can be a difficult task because you are likely to feel as if every single question is important in one aspect or another. But recognizing the bare essentials and having the questions down to a bare minimum is certainly efficient for you and easy for the customer.

Step 4: Make a warm welcome

Making the customer feel valued and like a part of the family is an essential part of onboarding. Just because they have signed up does not mean the process is over–far from it. It only means that it will take more effort to retain the customer, and making them feel welcome is the first step. They do, after all, deserve a good welcome after taking their time to fill out the sign in information. Have a welcome e-mail handy oh my goodness with more information about how they can make the most out of being a member of the site. Offering of additional guidance and assistance is also important for they may at times feel lost. Be a good host!

Step 5: Include a referral plan

After the customer has signed up, maybe he or she may want to refer to a friend about your site to get them on board too! If you do steps 1-4 correctly, this should almost be guaranteed. By allowing and having a referral option to your customer, you not only increase new members, but also gain insight on how your recruiting process is working. Make it easy for the new customer to tweet, share on Facebook or share with contacts about their sign up with your site.

When all is said and done, one must always have an eye out for what’s new in the business. Because it is not stoic and it is ever evolving, make sure you keep your competitive edge by being aware. Testing out different things, integrating different parts, try everything until you find the correct solution for your unique business’ customer onboarding process.


Matthew is the Lead Author & Editor of CXperience Blog. Matthew established the CXperience blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Customer Experience.