Customer Onboarding - Your Comprehensive HubSpot CRM Guide


Customer onboarding is a crucial step in forming a long-term relationship with your users and clients. Employees need to go through an orientation in order to hit the ground running. So customers need to go through this onboarding process in order to benefit fully from the product or service that you're offering.

If you use HubSpot as your customer relationship management (CRM) platform, then you have all the tools you need (including email, contact management, and live chat tools) to make your customer onboarding process smooth, pleasant, and effective. Let's dive into the ins and outs of a typical onboarding process. Join us as we discuss some best practices to keep in mind.

Business owners shaking hands with a client during their company's customer onboarding.

An Example of the Customer Onboarding Process

No two businesses are exactly alike in how they approach customer onboarding. But here is a breakdown of what a typical process may look like:

Step 1: Send the Welcome Email

You want to start your relationship with the customer on the right foot. So sending a positive, congratulatory email after their initial purchase is always a good idea. Of course, you'll want to sincerely thank them for doing business with you. You should also take this opportunity to remind them of the benefits they'll receive from your product/service. Express how excited you are to help them reach their goals.

Step 2: Send the In-App Greeting Message

This is the message customers will see when they first log into their new account with your company (either on a traditional website or an app). You'll likely want to encourage the customer to perform a specific action (e.g., verify their account via a code sent to their phone or email address). However, don't overwhelm the customer with too much information.

Step 3: Guide the Customer Through the Setup Process

Do your customers need to take multiple steps in order to set up their accounts? Or customize your software program according to their needs? Then you should make sure they can follow an easy step-by-step tutorial to help them accomplish that goal.

Step 4: Describe Any Empty States/Features

When a customer first logs into the app or program, there's not going to be any historical data that populates within its fields. With that in mind, you want to fill these "empty states" with descriptions of the function each one plays, and how the customer can use them.

Step 5: Call Out Key Features

It can be daunting for a customer to try to navigate around an app for the first time. Make it easier for them by calling out features of your product that will be especially helpful to them. You can use tip banners, "mouseover" events, and other methods to point out the main functions and benefits of each feature.

Businessman having a meeting with a female client regarding their company's customer onboarding process.

Step 6: Guide Your Customers via an Interactive Tutorial/Walk-Through

The feature callouts are like an appetizer. However, your interactive walk-through should be the main course in terms of customer onboarding. You want your customers to begin using your product for themselves. But you also want to help speed up their learning curve as much as possible. An interactive walk-through should allow users to navigate your product freely while providing contextual suggestions that will help them to accomplish the desired action.

Step 7: Make Sure Your Customers Have Access to a Comprehensive Knowledge Base

This should include a list of frequently asked questions that empower your customers to solve any issues that arise quickly and conveniently.

Step 8: Regularly Check in with Your Customers

This should be a key component of any customer onboarding process. You want your customers to know that you're committed to their success. In fact, regularly checking on their progress is one of the best ways to demonstrate your interest.

Step 9: Celebrate the Little Wins

Every time your customer reaches a milestone on their post-purchase journey with your brand, make sure that you celebrate the accomplishment with them via a notification, email, or even a call. They will feel that you're truly invested in them personally and in their continued success. It's a great way to win over a brand advocate for life!

Best Practices for Customer Onboarding

We've already outlined a typical onboarding process. It's now time to mention some best practices that will take your onboarding game to the next level. Here are some suggestions that you should consider implementing:

Make sure your onboarding process is aligned with your buyer's persona. 

For example, a customer who's uncomfortable with technology may need a simplified tutorial to help them navigate the product.

Manage Customer Expectations

You want your customers to have clear expectations about your product before they buy it. And then, of course, you need to deliver on those expectations. You'll need to demonstrate your product's value before and during the onboarding process. But you also need to alert the customer to any potential friction points they may encounter.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open. 

Use regular emails to supplement your in-app tutorials. You want to communicate with the customer in the way that they're most comfortable with, at least until they get familiar with your product.

Help your customer to create goals and track progress for themselves. 

Allow the customer to take control of their own metrics. This way, you'll help them to actively track their progress towards their goals, and feel a sense of accomplishment with each benchmark they achieve in the process.

Seek Feedback. 

The onboarding process is such an important part of the overall customer experience. So you want to make sure that you're doing all you can to make it successful. One of the best ways to gauge the effectiveness of your current process is to simply ask customers who've gone through it for their feedback. Their insights may help you make future versions of your onboarding program even better!

Granted, you'll have to adapt your onboarding process to the specific needs of your target audience. So follow the guidelines and best practices discussed above and you'll be in a position to unleash the full potential of HubSpot's CRM like never before! Reach out to our team at OverGo Studio today to learn more about how you can make customer onboarding a smashing success.

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