If you think the sales job is done when the customer places an order you’re missing an important opportunity to build profit and customer loyalty.
The most common name for this process is onboarding and it should start as soon as the sale is made.
Onboarding is the process of building customer awareness of your range of goods and services and encouraging the customer to make further purchases. It consists of building a relationship with the new customer so at the very least the customer is aware of what you offer and is inclined to purchase from you again.
The results can be astonishing. Companies have found that as little as a five percent increase in active customer retention can result in as much as a twenty-five percent increase in profits.
Clearly then, a well-crafted onboarding campaign can pay big dividends.
The first rule in a successful onboarding campaign is to strike while the iron is hot. Your onboarding efforts should start as soon as the customer makes the first purchase.
Follow up that purchase with emails and other contact methods to make the customer feel welcome and as though he or she is part of a community.
This effort should be informational in nature, aimed at acquainting the customer with your full range of relevant goods and services. It is less about selling to the customer immediately than gaining mindshare that will play in future decisions.
Try to mention related products and services to the ones the customer purchased. By making the customer aware of related goods and services you not only increase the likelihood that the customer will purchase them but you also help to create a positive image of your company.
Onboarding efforts take work and planning but they shouldn’t be complicated. The messaging should be straightforward and the scheduling should likewise be straightforward. At its base, you want to send a simple message.
Be alert to any customer questions or complaints and move quickly to resolve them. Your onboarding effort should include feedback channels so you can know what the customer is thinking. Remember onboarding is about building loyalty and that is enhanced when the customer feels listened to and issues are addressed.
Successful onboarding requires coordinating the efforts of sales, service, and marketing to take a holistic view of the customer and the customer journey. Appoint someone to be in charge of the onboarding effort to make sure things are properly coordinated. This is important because you must speak with one voice to the customer.
Onboarding isn’t always easy but it is an important effort for every company. A successful onboarding effort will improve customer loyalty and result in increased profits.