Conquering the Top 8 Customer Onboarding Issues

Appreciate your clients/customers. Thank you notes, thank you gifts for onboarding new clients and/or discounts to your most loyal customers can speak volumes. Even something so simple as recognition on social media for your most loyal customers can be valuableFiliberto Amati
founder of Amati & Associates

Additionally, companies must be aware of the potential issues that can hinder onboarding success. Below are the top eight customer onboarding problems and issues that can derail your onboarding efforts.

Cookie-cutter Approach

Treating all customers the same is a common mistake that can offset your onboarding initiatives. Ideally, customers should feel valued from the first exchange of communication and from the moment they are welcomed aboard. Examples of a cookie-cutter approach to customer onboarding include the following:

  • Failing to offer a customized welcome message to customers
  • Forcing customers to adapt to one or two modes of communication
  • Sending emails that lack a personalized subject line

Solution: Avoid a cookie-cutter approach by personally welcoming customers. Customize customer communications whenever possible. Make it easy for them to remain engaged by offering them a variety of channels to remain engaged (by phone, in person, electronically, etc.). 

Outdated Policies

Stale business policies and standards can thwart innovation and stymie customer enthusiasm. Outdated policies can also make customers feel confined and can prevent a company from reaching its full potential. Four illustrations of this pitfall are:

  • Failure to review and update policies and procedures that have been in place for decades
  • Continually using the same antiquated approach to business
  • Refusal to consider novel processes and problem-solving methods
  • Overuse of the phrase, “This is how we’ve always done things.”

Solution: Outdated policies should be examined and revised if they refer to outdated ways of conducting business. All policies should be formally reviewed at least once annually to ensure that they address rapidly changing industry regulations

Creating Unrealistic Expectations

The tendency to over-promise is a surefire way to derail the customer onboarding process and lead to dissatisfaction. Over-promising is often the byproduct of a customer’s unrealistic expectations and should be avoided. Some factors that contribute to unrealistic expectations include the following issues:

  • Failure to talk to customers about their goals and objectives
  • Inaccurately assessing what your organization can deliver
  • Over-promising in an effort to secure a customer’s business

Solution: Ask customers to outline their goals and needs. Do not promise to deliver results without analyzing your agency’s resources to confirm that you can meet or exceed the customer’s needs. If you discover that you may not be able to follow through on a promise to a customer, notify the client immediately.

Post-sale Abandonment Issues

Few things are more frustrating to a customer than being dropped like a hot potato once the sale is finalized. A successful onboarding experience requires nurturing before, during, and long after a sale is completed. Post-sale abandonment usually unfolds in the following stages and issues:

  • First, there is a constant flurry of proactive communication with the client
  • Communication then continues until the sale is completed
  • After the sale, communication abruptly stops and does not resume until the customer reaches out for help

Solution: Promise customers from the start that you will continue to deliver great service after the sale. Then hold yourself to that promise! Send a thank you note right after the sale and schedule regular customer follow up calls to prevent any abandonment.

Insufficient Training

Inadequate product training can erase any positive benefits of a customer onboarding experience. Your customers invest in your product with the expectation that you will provide them with the tools required to put it to good use, and product training is at the top of this list. Below are some common training-related issues:

  • Training is glossed over or provided without an organized approach that engages the customer
  • Steps are not taken to ensure that customers understand key training points
  • Training ceases without confirming that a customer can use a product with confidence
  • There is no follow up with the customer after training to confirm product satisfaction

Solution: Make product training a top priority. Consider using onboarding emails to engage customers. Create a training agenda that includes a means of assessing retention of learned material. Proactively follow up with customers after completion of product training to see if they have hit any roadblocks.

Lack of Accessibility

Accessibility plays a critical role in the onboarding process. Customers want to feel confident about the product that they purchase. They want to be assured that any problems or questions about their purchase will be resolved quickly and thoroughly. Unfortunately, poor accessibility during the onboarding process can derail progress, especially when customers experience the following issues:

  • Difficulty reaching live support to discuss product questions or needs
  • Limited channels through which help can be sought
  • Lengthy delays in resolution of problems

Solution: Make sure customers can access technical support 24 hours a day 7 days a week if feasible. If this is not possible, make sure customer have multiple ways of contacting you to leave a message. Customers should be able to use contact you using their preferred mode of communication (voice, email, chat, etc.).

Sending Irrelevant Information

Information sent to customers during the onboarding process should be clear, concise and relevant. When used properly, content is an effective onboarding tool. However, you can disrupt the onboarding process by misusing content in these ways:

  • Sending content that is too lengthy or boring to read
  • Providing content that is completely unrelated to a customer’s industry
  • Sending too much information or sending information too frequently
  • Failing to personalize content

Solution: Keep content useful and targeted to your customers’ needs. Personalize your messages whenever possible. Avoid lengthy paragraphs and refrain from blasting your customer with too many automated messages.

Poor Follow-up Problems

Failure to follow up with customers during onboarding is an issue that can result in high levels of customer dissatisfaction and early abandonment. Poor follow-up exists in many forms, but the majority of follow-up problems relate to a lack of timeliness or the frequency of follow-up. Below are some examples of inadequate follow-up as issues:

  • Lengthy delays between initial exchange of communication and follow-up
  • Follow-up never occurs or months pass by between follow-up attempts
  • Customer follow-up is undertaken by a new representative who is unfamiliar with the customer

Solution: Strive to follow up with customers within three days of completing a sale or transaction. If possible, ensure that follow-up is conducted by the same person who completed the sale or a person familiar with the client. Finally, make a point to follow up at least five or six times with customers. 

Seeking the Guidance of a Customer Onboarding Expert For Your Issues

The best way to identify and address customer onboarding issues is to enlist the support of an industry expert. Because there is a vast difference in the quality of process improvement companies, you need to use care and caution when choosing a provider. Ideally, you should seek a company that offers the following:

  • Experience with companies of all sizes
  • A proven record of success resolving onboarding issues in your industry
  • International experience
  • Robust references and testimonials
  • A complimentary 30-day trial

The customer onboarding experts with Tallyfy are dedicated to helping companies across the globe increase their customer loyalty and satisfaction through improved workflows. Regardless of your company’s size, the Tallyfy team has the resources to resolve your onboarding issues. With their free 30-day trial, you can get a glimpse of the many ways Tallyfy’s customer onboarding solutions will benefit your company.

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About the author - Amit Kothari

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