You don’t want casual users who will visit your website once, make a quick purchase, and move on with their lives. Whether you’re creating an app that you want to see regular use in your customers’ lives or providing a product that they’ll come back for repeatedly, you want customers who are part of the family, loyal to your business and ready to come back to see what you’re offering next. The value of repeat customers is incredible: they provide 25-40% of the profit for many businesses, but it’s more than that. Repeat customers are also more likely to be loyal to your company, which means they’ll share your company with friends and family members who are looking for similar products. Improve your onboarding processes to start your customer engagement off on the right foot, enhance your customer satisfaction, and turn customers into brand ambassadors.
Start From the Beginning
The first experience customers have with your website will help set the tone for all of their future interactions. This includes their membership setup or sign-in. Your goal is to convince customers to become part of your corporate “family.” Keeping that sign-up process customer oriented will make it a much smoother process that will draw in more customers.
Keep it simple. Obviously, there are some pieces of information you have to have: customer name, email address, and physical address, if you’re going to be shipping out products. Many companies, however, go overboard in asking for information. In trying to tailor their services specifically to a given customer, they overwhelm the customer with questions. That may lead to customers putting off the sign-up process for “later” or a “next time” that never arrives. Permitting sign-up through social media is a great way to streamline the process for many users.
Give them a reason to sign up. Make it clear what the advantage of signing up as part of your organization, app, or business will be. Don’t use clinical, generic descriptions or language out of keeping with your brand and your message. Instead, craft your sign-up information to fit the rest of your brand and display your unique style. Use language and imagery that will appeal to your customer. Don’t forget the value of pictures! Your image will help personalize your brand and make it more readily recognizable to your audience.
Follow up quickly. The time it takes you to contact a customer after they choose to sign up with your company or organization matters. Follow-up, in fact, is a strong predictor of customer satisfaction. If you tell customers that you’re going to push notifications, that you’re going to send emails, or that they can expect “badges” when they reach certain milestones, those features should appear as soon as possible.
Make the Most of Your Walk-Through
You don’t want to simply throw people into the middle of your app, especially if you’ve designed something unique or that runs differently than what your customers are used to. How you create your walk-through will help determine how satisfied your customers are during their early days with your product.
A video-style walk-through will catch the eye and draw in your customers. There are plenty of simple ways to create a video walk-through or tutorial, including Screencast-O-Matic, which was created to make video as simple as possible for users. The very visual process of a video walk-through will appeal to many users, but it will also reduce the wall of text often associated with issuing instructions, make it easier for users to access your instructions, and enhance the user experience.
Videos can be built specifically to direct people through the process. Make sure that you include plenty of opportunities for users to move on to their next question. Users who intuitively understand how your app works may not want to be bogged down by the time spent watching the videos, but may need to refer to your tutorial for more advanced information. You might also consider having a text option for individuals who prefer not to watch videos to acquire necessary knowledge.
This walk-through isn’t just a way to familiarize customers with your processes and how to use your app. It’s also the time when you’re able to draw in customers and explain how they’re going to depend on what your company is offering. Keep your language appropriate to your user base, whether you’re speaking primarily to college students or to parents of toddlers.
The Many Uses of Follow-Up Emails
Following the sign-up process, you’ll want to stay in contact with your users–and you don’t want to end up sent straight to the spam box after your first couple of contacts. Follow-up emails have a number of uses. Taking full advantage of them will help secure your repeat customers and give brand ambassadors the information they need to share information about your company.
Capture feedback. Your users aren’t nameless, faceless individuals who happen to use the app you’ve built so carefully. They’re members of your family. It’s your goal to help them feel like it! Let them know that their opinions matter. Offer incentives for successful survey completion, from a coupon for their next visit to new features or even a badge within the app. Be sure to issue it in a way that will appeal to users.
- Keep your request for feedback as simple as possible. The more time-consuming it is to fill out the survey, the lower the likelihood that your users will finish it.
- Include instances where you’ve used user feedback to improve your existing processes. Let customers know that their voice matters.
- Ask questions that customers want to answer. The more specific and less open-ended they are, the greater the likelihood that customers will offer the feedback you’re looking for.
Include an effective call to action. The call to action is the most important part of your email. It’s the point at which your customer interacts actively with your offer, whether that’s completing a survey, visiting your social media account, or making another purchase. An effective call to action often creates a sense of urgency, encouraging readers to act immediately instead of clicking on to their next email and forgetting all about it.
Create conversations, not just emails. Email marketing is an excellent tool, especially for repeat customers. Your emails, however, should be aimed at creating a reaction in your customers. Try encouraging them to visit your social media accounts, seeking out specific feedback, or creating opportunities for them to engage with your team.
Effective onboarding processes matter. From their first interaction with your company, users are forming an opinion that will help direct their future interactions with the company. When you make a good impression with a customer-oriented product that makes things as easy as possible for your users, you create satisfied customers who are willing to come back, to offer you the feedback you need to build your brand and make further decisions regarding your product, and to share information about your product with others who will find it useful. If you’re struggling to complete these processes in your onboarding process or want more information about how to fully engage users, contact us. We’ll work with you to create satisfactory processes that will help both you and your users get the experience you’re after.