by Ron Stein
Updated 8 yearss ago
Your marketing paid off. A large deal just closed and your new customer is happy to be on board. It’s time to turn your marketing attention again to bringing in more new customers.
Or is it? Brand new customers deserve special marketing attention. That’s because there are only two ways for things to go after the sale is made -- you can either keep the revenue flowing or lose money.
Your job now is to keep new customers extremely happy with their decision to do business with you. You'll need to continue building the relationship and provide an experience that introduces them to your company and the value you bring to them. And if necessary, help them acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to use your offering.
Welcome to customer onboarding. It's all about making sure the first sixty to ninety days with a new customer is a success and results in a great long-term relationship. Think of onboarding as a way to increase your revenues through informed customer care.
There are two great reasons to place new customers in a distinct marketing category: increased revenue from future sales and eliminating customer service issues that cost you in many ways. Onboarding is your key to success.
This makes for a strong argument that customer onboarding is the most important part of the marketing and sales process.
This is where most companies hit a big wall in their marketing. When something goes wrong after the sale, your company will waste time and resources. That almost always results in unhappy customers and less profits for you.
You say that your business has an onboarding process? My guess is that if you take a close look you’ll discover that what you currently do eats up supports services. And if people find that your solution is a hassle to use, they’ll use it less often. That can lead to grumpy customers who stop referring others to your company, or worse, bad mouth you.
No matter if your offering is fairly simple solution or you have a product or service that is more sophisticated, you’ll benefit from having an onboarding process. Long-term, profitable customer relationships start with great onboarding marketing.
Leverage the power of a well-timed email. Build a sequence of customer onboarding emails. Get your new customer entered into your email database immediately after signing up. Mark them to receive your pre-written messages and then put your autoresponder to work. Try to get the first email out within a day, if not hours of signup, welcoming them to your universe. Thank them. Send them a step-by-step walk-through of your website, product, or service. Let them know who to contact for whatever they need. Make sure they know about training or certification opportunities. Aside from your email autoresponder, tools like WalkMe, UserFox, and Zopim are available to make sure that new customers feel wanted and won’t get lost.
Teach new customers how to achieve their goals. Your marketing is built around the idea that people will benefit from using your products or services. Don’t leave it to chance that they’ll know the best way to reach the promised benefits by themselves. Do more than “train” them -- provide context in the form of education. Along with sending emails and offering a webinar series that prepares customers how to use your solution, include articles on best practices, how other customers of yours use your product, and related ideas and tips to help them reach their personal and business objectives.
Reinforce value before you start selling something new. Squash the urge to start upselling new customers immediately after they buy. People buy your products or services for a reason. So, in your initial communications after the sale emphasize the features and benefits that brought customers to you in the first place. For instance, a CPA or lawyer should highlight in one of the onboarding messages how easy it is to use a smartphone to share files with them securely as part of their service. Help customers feel good about choosing your offering and your company. This is what value is all about and that will give you permission to start adding selling into your onboarding education.
It’s easy to get distracted after a sale by turning your attention to the next deal. Leverage the power of onboarding. Have a process that lets your customer know what they can expect and guides them through the first steps.
New customers will appreciate the value you bring them and be open to buying more of what you have to offer. Both you and your customers will profit.
Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He works with small business owners, helping them to energize their marketing and sell more of their products and services. Ron has developed his own highly successful 7-step approach to winning new customers as a result of his experience as a small business owner, corporate CEO, marketing and business development executive, salesman, and mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.