Working with your clients closely is a key driver to achieving success and positive return from the platform.
Each company will have its own process with regards to managing customer relationships and onboarding. In this document, we outline a basic process that we've developed and refined over the many years.
What is onboarding?
Customer Onboarding is a term used to describe the entire journey/process that users go through when they start as a customer of your product.
The onboarding process is critical and defines the success your customer has with your business and product. In other words: It is very important.
The goal is to help new users get setup and become engaged with the platform. We want to make the utilisation of the product a part of their work routine and it needs to be as easy as possible.
Successfully onboarding customers will result in:
- Your customers utilising the platform and all its functionality to meet their marketing & data requirements.
- Less day-to-day support from your team.
- A lower churn rate.
The onboarding period will last as long as it takes for the user to become confident with using the product.
The Onboarding Process
To get the customer setup and using the platform as soon as possible, it is important that the database, templates and sign up forms are all migrated.
Each customer is different; some will onboard themselves while others will require a lot of initial hand holding.
Migrating All Database.
This generally involves exporting spreadsheets from their previous provider and uploading into the platform. If customers also store data in other third-party platforms, it is also important to gain access and migrate that data. During the migration process, it is important to note:
- The contact subscription status is maintained (ie: if a contact has previously unsubscribed, they will need to remain unsubscribed when migrated).
- Date Formats are maintained (eg: some platforms store dates as dd/mm/yyyy while others use mm/dd/yyyy).
- Work with the customer to understand what data they will need and use for marketing purposes; ensure only that data is captured within the platform.
Setting Up Data Captures
Building a constantly growing mailing list is very important. The platform offers functionality to create, manage and add sign up forms directly to the customer's website.
Along with third-party integrations, forms are the best way to capture data about users and build a profile. The fields on the form should be customised to meet your customer's needs.
If the customer's goal is to increase the number of functions & birthday bookings then, it is important to capture DOB with each sign up to allow for birthday automations to be setup.
For customers to begin using the platform and sending out campaigns, they will need to build a template. During the onboarding process, it is a good idea to work with the customer and identify the templates that have been mostly used with their previous provider so that they can be migrated for immediate use.
Customers may not want to continue using existing email templates and thus can build new templates based on existing layouts or start completely from scratch. It is important to ensure that templates match the customer's brand and are consistent in theme and layout across all sends.
When setup correctly, automations are the best way to maximise marketing ROI. Better yet, they are set-and-forget (well, not completely forget...we still need to track their performance).
Creating automations that execute when certain things happen allows users to be targeted at the decision stage or after they have completed an action. Some examples:
- Details about functions and birthday packages sent 10 days before a user's birthday.
- Thank-You email with a survey sent 1 day after a user dine's at the venue.
- Sending a "We-Miss-You" offer to a user that hasn't visited in 3+ months.
- Providing a loyalty reward to a user that has been to the venue 5+ times within the last few months.
- Sending a "What did you think?" survey to users that have just purchased the newest addition to the menu.
The platform allows for the creation of automations around any data that is captured within the platform. It is important to understand the customer's needs to then ensure that the required data is being captured. This data can be populated via sign up forms, integrations with third parties (eg: Wifi providers, reservation systems, EPOS etc...), surveys and many other ways.
Tracking the performance of automations is key to their success. We generally recommend a review every quarter. It is important to understand the conversion rate of each automation to allow you to make changes (eg: changing the offer or even the wording) and comparing to the previous settings to ensure that conversions are increasing.
Most customers will typically use a number of different platforms to manage their businesses. These platforms will all collect data about users.
The core functionality of the platform is to be the main source-of-truth for all of the customer's data. In order to do this, it is important to integrate with as many of the customer's platforms as possible. We have a growing list of integrations available via the Apps section of the platform.
However, the API can also be used to create new integrations. Data that is imported via integrations can also be used for campaigns, reporting and automations.
What's after onboarding?
Once onboarding has been completed, it is a good idea to provide an overview of the setup to the customer. During this step, a quick walkthrough/training session is also a good idea.
Following on from this, the customer should now be able to take over and begin correctly utilising the platform. It is important to stay in touch and communicate proactively with the customer in the initial period until they have a comfortable understanding of how the platform works.
The onboarding process we've discussed is very general. Each customer will have their own needs and requirements and thus, the process will constantly evolve and be tweaked to ensure each unique customer is onboarded correctly.