Think about whenever you've tried to build a relationship based on trust. The “getting-to-know-you” period can be notoriously fragile in any relationship—from a first date to a first call. There is always a chance of being turned down, and inadequate communication at such a critical point can be fatal. Adopting a straightforward and personalized approach will usually stand you in good stead. Client onboarding is a process that some would initially consider "non-automatable." Most people believe that only humans can get the best results when onboarding a client. And that's partially true. But we still use actual humans, like you, to power our automated workflows.
So, how can businesses reach client onboarding goals where face-to-face interactions are less common?
The solution is to adapt your client onboarding process for remote work. Automation, believe it or not, can help you stay more connected, not less.
The Challenge of remote work to Customer Success
Recent global events may have accelerated remote work, but it's here to stay. Globalization and international clients are other reasons that you need more flexibility. Now, more and more customers are used to digital onboarding and expect it to be easy to follow, with a minimum of touchpoints. This doesn’t mean we can say goodbye to the human element. The likelihood of retaining customers, and earning their loyalty, increases when the onboarding process is fast, frictionless, and—let’s not forget—personalized.
"Depending on the fortunes of a business, today’s customer success challenges can range from addressing—and being sensitive to—an uptick in churn rate, to dealing with an unanticipated surge in customers."
Fortunately, these values can be near-to-hand even when onboarding is done remotely, for example, with the help of Wrk’s Hybrid Automation Platform. More on that later.
Like everybody else, Customer Success teams face pressure to adapt to the unpredictable—or, perversely, the "new normal."
How has client onboarding been affected by our current (virtual) reality?
Client onboarding can be a stable point of focus in conquering Customer Success challenges on both ends of this spectrum. It's important to remember that onboarding is also a part of getting new clients, maybe even more so when times are uncertain and trust is key. For instance, by some measures, up to two-thirds of customers report that the promise of onboarding support factors into their decision to try a product or service.
Many Customer Success teams are feeling strapped for bandwidth at the moment. Even though it may be clear that changes to the client onboarding process are desirable or even necessary in a remote world, what resources are needed to make these changes is less clear. Some businesses have made client onboarding less of a priority because they don't have enough virtual or automated resources. An additional obstacle to improvement might be an inflexible organizational culture.
Nevertheless, change has become unavoidable. Some businesses will have to move the parts of their client onboarding that are currently done in person to digital platforms like Zoom or Skype. Such transitions present an opportunity to make the complete onboarding journey—from automation to human touch—more seamless than before.
This task is eminently achievable through platforms like Wrk. Also, looking for these kinds of solutions for onboarding remote clients is low risk and can help you be more efficient and save money.
The Knack for Remote Client Onboarding…and How to Get It
No matter how complex an onboarding process is, it should appear effortless for your client. Following best practices, their concerns should be anticipated early on so that nothing too surprising arises as they get acquainted with the onboarding process. A successful onboarding journey will make your client feel personally welcome and empowered sooner. With remote onboarding, customers expect it to be easy and take little time. This makes it harder for them to be patient.
Complex-yet-simple. Speedy, without skimping on personal touches. All done remotely. This sounds like a recipe to overtask Customer Success teams, combined with everything else they have on their plate these days, right? Wrong!
Thanks to automation platforms like Wrk, even the most complex onboarding workflows can be split into individual, automated, and configured Wrk Actions for optimal results. So just because a remote onboarding process is complex, that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. That goes for businesses and customers alike.
Making Wrk Work for You
Every business’s client onboarding process will look different and ideally be personalized to match each client’s needs. That said, here are a few fundamental steps in the client onboarding process, that can be delivered in parallel with Wrk’s Hybrid Automation Platform:
Personalized welcome messages
A no-brainer, but heed that “personalized” modifier. Research suggests that 33% of customers will end a relationship with a business if it’s not personalized enough. Nobody wants to feel like they’re going through the (robot-powered) motions when being welcomed to a new product or service. Even when onboarding many clients, a business should never lose sight of the individual.
It's no secret that companies have started to use automation to send welcome messages quickly and make account setups easier. At this stage in the game, if you haven’t discovered the role automation can play in customizing onboard messaging, you’re probably tying up resources. Consider how one-click Wrk Actions can automate personalized welcome messaging.
Helpful video tutorials
People love to watch videos! I may or may not be watching a video as I type this. (I’m not.) The video tutorial has become an essential part of client onboarding experiences. Through step-by-step training videos, new customers get up to speed and onboard quickly. Video tutorials may be a preferred way for some clients to learn more about a product or service during the onboarding process. Moreover, Post Funnel even found that 30% of user drop-off was due to the customer not understanding the product.
Videos sound fine and dandy, but not every business has the resources to produce them. All the more reason to look for remote client onboarding tools that offer end-to-end solutions, such as video tutorials. Such is the case with the human + machine processes of Hybrid Automation.
"The transition to remote client onboarding shouldn’t have to spell an expensive overhaul."
Would the remote client onboarding experience be complete without a webinar? Where video tutorials might teach how-to fundamentals, webinars offer more in-depth focus, for instance, on specific use cases for a product or service. Webinars can also be the place to promote cross-sell opportunities, an important feature of any onboarding process that hopes to get a jump-start on customer loyalty.
We all have our limits when it comes to webinars. It’s always nice to see a friendly face and to learn more about something, but maybe not every damn week. As new customers learn more about a business in the early stages of the customer life cycle, we recommend webinars to help learn more.
The transition to remote client onboarding shouldn’t have to spell an expensive overhaul. There are user-friendly, scalable solutions like Wrk that will ease the transition in delicate times and help Customer Success teams and their clients see immediate results.
The Benefits of Client Onboarding Remotely
Times have changed, but client onboarding remains worth the investment. The odds of retention grow considerably when a customer journey starts off on the right foot. As retention grows, so does your business.
You stand to see further material gains by adapting to remote client onboarding. With automated tools such as Wrk, operational costs will be lower, freeing up your Customer Success team to focus on other objectives that need deeper attention. In addition, remote client onboarding’s efficiency and seamlessness will enhance your customers’ satisfaction levels. Converting to remote onboarding can also help identify and solve persistent stumbling blocks in your organization.
For Customer Success teams, now is the chance to transform an old onboarding process to a new way of doing things. And with the help of automation platforms like Wrk, going remote doesn’t have to mean a loss of human touch.
Learn more about how Wrk’s Hybrid Automation can benefit Customer Success teams today, check out our Customer Success White Paper!