Want to successfully onboard a new customer?

Here are three key factors to consider.

Marketing has worked closely with the business and sales organization to put together a strategic and robust marketing plan with messages designed to win over a prospect.  The sales team has worked closely with the prospects to sell the product and services that marketing has so eloquently helped showcase in sales tools, on the website, through email, through social channels and through standard advertising.  The moment of truth has occurred – when the prospect that has been worked so hard agrees to buy.  Now what?  You must deliver on the promises outlined by the business, marketing group and sales organization.  Operations – it’s your time to shine.

To make the onboarding experience a seamless transition, ensure processes have been established that are simple to execute by those doing the onboarding (oftentimes the operations team) and metrics are in place to measure success.  Here are a few things to consider:

1.  Centralize customer management - assign an individual point of contact.  Providing one point of contact to your new customer adds a personal touch and further supports building a strong foundation to the start of the customer relationship.  It’s a simple action that can go a long way with the customer.

2. Deliver a flawless experience by having processes in place for onboarding customers - first impressions matter and often set the tone of the relationship. Make sure operations is in lock step with the sales team to understand any specific circumstances surrounding the new customer. 

Establish a customer onboarding checklist that the sales representative completes and shares with the customer’s assigned individual point of contact.  The checklist should include the basic information needed by operations to onboard the customer along with any specific circumstances surrounding the new customer.

Develop a schedule for communicating with the new customer (immediately send a welcome email and follow up with a phone call within 24 hours).  Once the new customer is onboard, have their sales point of contact follow up and officially welcome them within the first week.

In general, be sure to deliver on the products and services that were promised and do it in a timely, courteous and consistent fashion.

3. Use metrics to measure and improve customer service – send out a survey to the new customers within two weeks of onboarding and ask for their feedback on the experience.   Send an additional survey three months into their tenure to gauge their satisfaction with the products/services they received.  Use the data collected from these surveys to continually fine tune your onboarding process.

With a seamless onboarding experience, you will enjoy the benefits – revenue, repeat customers and referrals, to list a few. 

Amanda Utz

Amanda has nearly twenty years of experience driving change for senior executives at start-ups, private equity-owned businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. She has successfully managed transformational projects across strategy, marketing, sales, and operations for leaders at Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, MasterCard, Discover, Mannington Mills, The Impact Partnership and Veritiv.

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