At Omneo, we fundamentally believe that customer data should be maintained and stored for the customer, and the people that serve them. When there is a focus on bringing utility to the customer; willingness, interaction and engagement follows, which means more complete customer views and mutually valuable relationships.
Of course, it’s essential to understand that not every customer wants to be “known” or to exchange information with your brand, and that is okay. Customer onboarding is for those that do. Our focus here is to serve our “best” customers as well as we possibly can, targeting quality over quantity.
From Omneo’s point of view, a “Known Customer” is a person who has created a profile with the brand, is known by name, is contactable.
Why Nail Customer Onboarding?
- The first step in the known customer journey, make first impressions count!
- Onboarding done well increases the likelihood of long-term customer loyalty (Harvard Business Review, 2015)
- Successful customer onboarding reduces churn, increases customer satisfaction and increases revenue (Huffpost, 2017)
- If onboarding includes an education piece, it increases feature utilisation and customer satisfaction, successfully articulating “what we value out of our mutual relationship.”
- Can improve employee satisfaction as it allows customers to interact with staff in a more effective and collaborative manner
Laying Strong Foundations
Get to know your customer - Identify customer needs, key pain points and knowledge gaps to answer the crucial first question “What problem are customers solving when they create an profile?”
Understand what benefit you’re providing - Benefits can come in many different forms, whether its acknowledgement, experiential, convenience-based or financial. It's essential to get clear on what value is provided and why it only works if/when they’re “known”. This information then informs what we’re asking and why. Ultimately it’s about being able to answer the question: “Now that I have an profile, what experiences are now possible?”
Consider all channels - The way we interact with one another face-to-face is different from on the phone and online. Customer onboarding needs to acknowledge and cater to this, as the process can happen in-store, online via email, or anywhere customers interact with a brand. Customer service, sales and marketing teams alike need to be aligned.
Privacy & Trust by design - Asking users for information without an apparent reason why, overwhelming them with form fields, using dark patterns or not providing privacy information erodes trust quickly, causing friction and deters people from the process altogether.
Test & Evolve - Like all relationships, the one between customer and brand is continuously evolving. Tweak and change as needed, below we look at which levers play a part in optimising the customer onboarding experience.
The Metrics That Matter
- Data Quality - Invest early in data validation, storage and reliability - its no use capturing customer information if there is a 50% bounce rate on your first email send due to poor quality data.
- Drop Off Rates - Identify trends for customers who began but did not complete the profile creation flow. Is there a page, section or question that needs work? Put simply: optimise, optimise, optimise!
- Heat Maps - Are customers getting distracted by different components throughout the flow? Can the UX be simplified? Heatmaps are a great indicator of what gets in the way for customers profile completion.
- Post Onboarding Behaviour - Are new “known” customers purchasing for a second time within their honeymoon period (typically the first 90 days in apparel and discretionary retail) or are they joining and then disappearing? Come up with a plan to nurture your newfound relationships.
- % of Complete Profiles - How many of our now “known” customers have given all the information asked? If this number is low, its time to deep dive into why. If it’s is high we might not have been curious enough!
- Annual Average Value (AAV) of known customers - This metric allows us to quantify how much a new “known” customer is worth to your brand and to understand the value of quality onboarding and cost of abandonment.
- Customer Satisfaction Metrics - Don’t forget, you can ask! Tools like Customer Satisfaction Score and net promotor scores provide insights and enable informed decision making on brand and process opportunities. (Read our guide to customer satisfaction metrics here)
When is the Right Time?
- Whenever they’re interacting with your brand
- When they have time to respond
- When they want to respond
- As they do things that require that information
- Providing information for a service
How does an Onboard Customer Look?
Typically someone who recognises the value in an ongoing relationship with your brand. Onboarding is not a one-and-done action, but rather a process of becoming better “known” overtime.
With that in mind, first impressions count! Once a customer has elected to be known, they typically enter honeymoon period - up to 90 days for discretionary retail - a crucial time to demonstrate value, build trust and positive foundation. (Newsroom, 2018)
An "onboard" customer looks different for every brand. Profile information may include:
- Style Preferences
- Comms Preferences
- Brand Preferences
- Size Preferences
- Store Preferences
- Email address
- Social Profiles
- Important Dates
- Payment Information
In this series, we'll explore how to keep the customer at the centre of the profiling process. Tackling the gender question and deep-diving into the age debate. To stay in the loop, subscribe to our newsletter.