How to Retain Clients Before They Finish Onboarding:
When examining funnels, new clients move through different segments which outlines the users’ status within the client lifecycle. Popular statuses include, Lead, Registration, New User, User, Risk of Churn and Churn, of course many others exist, and their names will be organization dependent, however, what seems to be a trend is that organizations seem to put an emphasis on Customer Retention when the user reaches New User or Risk of Churn statuses. What many organizations fail to recognize is that Customer Retention efforts need to start from the point of Lead.
This article outlines my experience with a company and how they took me from enthusiastic brand evangelist to regretting my initial purchase in a 1-hour onboarding session.
ACME (not the real company name) has a platform which connects to users’ LinkedIn accounts to their platform to expand their users’ LinkedIn networks for the purpose of organic lead generation. This is done by setting various search criteria to reach potential connections thus refining search results to show the most relevant LinkedIn professionals. As part of the platform’s capabilities, automated messages are sent out to the targeted users enticing them to respond and ultimately turn them into qualified leads.
The below chart outlines the product and services included in a $1000 USD set-up fee and a $60 a month platform usage fee.
|ACME Services and Product||Reality|
|Optimize my LinkedIn profile inclusive of:
· Title Image design
· Content for automated messaging
· Optimization of profile keywords for LinkedIn search purposes
· New Content for my LinkedIn profile.
|What I got:
· A banner made in Canva that looks like it was taken from my LinkedIn business page.
· The ability to access prewritten answers.
· List of LinkedIn profile best practices.
|Lesson on the most efficient ways run searches on LinkedIn||2-minute overview of what a bullion search is and a single example of how to work with it.|
|Overview of how LinkedIn essentially works and various tips and tricks to help me attract more leads.||Was not yet included, but there is another on-boarding session.|
|Weekly Customer Success Call||Meeting where the client relays their progress to ACME|
Bool’s LinkedIn Page Header Image:
ACME’s Suggested Personal Profile Image
6 Things to Avoid When Onboarding New Clients if Customer Retention is Important to Your Company:
All relevant materials were sent ahead of time, which is great. The onboarding session was conducted on Zoom and required me to hand control of my computer over the to Success Representative. Additional issues with the session include:
- Upon initial login to my account, I was forced commit to a subscription model and provide credit card details before getting acquainted with the platform. The first monthly payment was charged before onboarding completion.
- The subscriptions advertised were more expensive than the $60 subscription that was sold to me and I was made to wait while the Success Representative investigated the matter. This ate away at my on-boarding time.
- The onboarding representative did not look at my LinkedIn profile beforehand and thus concentrated defining subject matter that I am more than well versed in – a matter which was pointed out on several occasions.
- The tone of the conversation was very condescending as I was asked, “does this make sense?” frequently and told by someone who appeared to be 15 years younger than me, and with far less experience, they were “proud” of me for understanding basic concepts.
- The Success Representative, without permission, attempted to create folders on my browser and assumed autonomy over my computer.
- I was assured that the feedback provided in the recorded Zoom call, was going to be brought to the attention of Success Representative’s superiors, however, my feedback was not addressed until I presented this article to the company.
5 Ways to Improve Your Top Funnel to Increase CRM With Little Effort:
1. Ensure Sales, Success, Product and Customer Support are aligned:
Sounds intuitive, and yet ACME is far from the only company who does not get it right. Customer Retention begins when the new client agrees to work with your company, but just because a client agrees once, does not mean they will continue to agree.
Ensuring relevant departments are aligned, services and product offerings meet the reality of what is provided, sales prices consistent with what was offered are part of the trust builders required to ensure continued client confidence, leading to effective Customer Retention.
2. Perceived Value for Money is a Major Contributing Factor for Returning Clients
Pricing is everything, and companies who charge additional setup fees must provide added value, otherwise, providing subpar service and subsequently assigning unexpected homework to the new client is an excellent way to antagonize them.
If your company is offering a setup fee and or is thinking about it, it is important to identify where the value is. It could be a wise move to lower the initial setup fee and increase the monthly cost of the product or service to keep your clients satisfied with the value they are receiving.
3. Ask for Money After the Customer is Satisfied:
When customers are satisfied, they are more inclined to pay. Demanding payment before the client has reached the point where they perceive they have received “good value for money,” puts Customer Success, Customer Service and Sales departments in companies like ACME on the defensive when trying to retain dissatisfied clients.
Monthly payments should only be charged upon completion of the onboarding process and not before. It may sound obvious, but retaining satisfied clients is far easier than their counterparts.
4. Respect for the Client is Paramount:
Whether your client is paying $1 or $1 000 000 for your product or service, clients who are shown respect from the beginning of the relationship are more likely to build a bond and keep paying.
Demanding weekly meetings with Success Representatives where clients report to them on their progress, taking over computers, funneling them to use knowledge bases rather than offering services and using asinine phrases like, “I’m proud of you,” are all disrespectful.
Instead approach each client as though you are lucky to have them because you are. Language is important and using phrases like, “if you don’t have any questions so I can move on,” or “was there anything you have to add?” goes a long way.
Markets are saturated with competitors offering products that are similar enough; service and approach is all that is separating clients from jumping from one company to the other.
5. Time is of the Essence – Assist Dissatisfied Clients in a Timely Manner:
When a client takes the time to outline the reasons for their dissatisfaction, they are giving your company a gift, for a few reasons:
- For every client that complains many more do not, and they leave taking their money with them
- The client can be saved and can perhaps become a brand evangelist
- Each retained client does not only mean more money in your company’s pocket, but also keeps moral high amongst your company employees and contributes to referral leads.
The longer it takes to get in touch with a dissatisfied client, the more time they have to spread the word to their friends and colleagues about your company’s failings and the less likely they are to be retained.
To learn about how Bool can assist retain your clients from the top of the funnel, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The company COO reached out to me by telling me they assumed that I don’t have a WhatsApp account, otherwise they would have called me at 9:00pm on my weekend to discuss the matter. When I explained that would be highly inappropriate and provided my working hours, I was told I could contact him during his.
In the end ACME decided the refund me the onboarding cost, but the monthly fee they kept.