Self-Service Onboarding Results in Positive CX and Customer Retention
No one is a stranger to this moment:
Morale is high, and everyone in the office is on cloud nine. A visible lightness surrounds the atmosphere. Tasks somehow seem much easier than before.
It’s like the stars have aligned.
You’ve just landed that BIG customer.
It’s an unforgettable moment of shared success to be savored by the entire team. Everyone has worked hard to achieve this, and it deserves to be celebrated.
For many companies, however, this also could be the last moment of satisfaction and happiness they’ll experience with that particular customer. And it’s certainly not because they had a bad product or service to offer to customers. It’s because of slow and labor-intensive digital onboarding they provide business customers.
It’s unfortunate that though plenty of companies are aware of the euphoric feeling of capitalizing on sales and growth opportunities, far fewer can ensure a smooth, faster customer data integration.
According to Thompson Reuters, a whopping 89 percent of customers experience friction and delays during their onboarding. As a result, 13 percent of those customers decide to switch to a competitor.
Despite its importance, some companies haven’t figured out the customer onboarding process. Why?
It’s because onboarding entails much more than delivering less frustrating customer experiences in terms of long-term business viability. As a matter of fact, customer onboarding is regarded as one of the most critical functions of a company’s business operations., and one that doesn’t end after the initial data integration has taken place.
Let’s begin by understanding why customer onboarding is such a game changer for business success. Then, we’ll explore the consequences of onboarding that doesn’t meet the needs of customers, as well as the role of self-service and automation in detail.
How Does Onboarding Impact Customer Retention?
At its purest level, your customer onboarding (as part of your overarching customer success strategy) makes a direct impact on your customer retention rate. And a poor customer retention rate will not only limit revenue streams but will also put you out of business in the long run.
A slow and complicated onboarding process leaves customers feeling frustrated and unsatisfied, meaning they’re less likely to purchase additional services from your company. And, when it comes time to renew their contract with your company, they may be less likely to remain a customer.
But that’s only the beginning. What happens after a customer’s data is integrated is just as important, and can have just as big an impact on customer retention. For example, during the ongoing management of data exchange between you and your customers, it’s important to have a central location where you can monitor and manage those data exchanges, whatever form they may take (APIs, EDI, FTP, spreadsheets, email attachments, etc.). It’s important that your customers have visibility to that central location as well. What if there are processing errors that happen during the handling of that data? If you can’t deal with such exceptions quickly, and if your customers don’t have visibility when an issue arises, they are not going to be satisfied with the service you’re providing.
And that’s still not all. If changes are needed at any time–if data fields need to be added to support new services and offerings, for example–the cost and effort involved in adding making those changes can be considerable. Those new data fields, for example, are specific to the integration maps, validations, exception management code, and scripts, and it could take your company months to add those fields into the data exchanges between you and all of your business customers, again slowing the data integration process along with the delivery of value you’ve promised. Your customers will not be pleased.
What Are the Consequences of a Slow Onboarding Process?
When a company takes weeks or months to onboard its customers, and when complications and difficulties continue to arise even after the initial onboarding process, that company struggles greatly to address the needs and requirements of those customers and deliver the value they’ve been promised. That creates customer frustration and dissatisfaction. Many such unhappy customers refrain from buying more products or services from the company while some leave entirely. At the end of the day, the company misses revenue opportunities.
Along with that, slow or complicated customer data onboarding can trigger a series of damages and costs that the company will suffer from in the medium- and long-term:
- Customers are less likely to refer to the product or services, stunting the referral growth rate.
- The IT teams engrossed in the onboarding process fail to focus on more high-value business priorities.
- Customers feel misled by the company, so brand reputation takes a huge hit.
In total, the missed revenue opportunity along with the stunted referral growth, IT bottlenecks, and tarnished brand image paints a completely dismal picture of what life looks like on the side of slow onboarding.
How Can Self-Service Be the Game-Changer?
Adopting an automated, self-service-powered approach can improve customer onboarding and save companies from suffering the consequences mentioned above.
With the help of automation and self-service, companies can empower their non-technical business users to onboard customers up to 80 percent faster. That way, they can make a positive impression on their customers and meet their needs quickly. Additional value is created when self-service extends to customers themselves; they can self-onboard and better monitor and manage their ongoing digital interaction.
A self-service solution also offers that central location for monitoring and managing data exchanges, with visibility to your customers and the ability to manage exceptions. Self-service data integration doesn’t just ensure a fast, secure, streamlined onboarding process. It ensures a positive customer experience throughout, meaning your customers are more likely to stay.
And if changes needed to be made at anytime, a self-service approach ensures they are easily made. New fields, for example, can be added quickly, which ensures your customers remain delighted with your service — and remain with you.
Through the use of self-service data integration, customer retention rates and lifetime values experience an upswing, and companies gain additional paths to revenue growth. As a result, the brand reputation and customer referral rate increase. And, because non-techies are involved, IT teams become free to focus on more high-value tasks. That benefits you — and your customers.
How Does Customer Retention Grow Revenue?
Now that we’ve shown how self-service onboarding can improve the customer experience and customer retention, let’s shift our attention to what good customer retention has to contribute to your value generation and revenue growth.
- 67 percent of business customers invest more in their third year buying products or services from a company than in the first six months.
- An increase of just 5 percent can increase profits by 25 percent to 95 percent.
- Retaining existing customers is far less costly than acquiring new ones.
In short, the self-service-powered customer onboarding approach yields three wins for customer success:
- An 80 percent faster onboarding customer onboarding process.
- Improved customer retention and lifetime value for the business.
- Accelerated revenue growth and less operational grunt work for IT.
Surely, a good customer onboarding process doesn’t come easily. But with the right approach and technology, you’ll see improvements faster than you might think.
And, perhaps, you can ensure that even that big customer remains with your company.
For more information about how Adeptia’s self-service business customer data integration software can help you increase customer retention, click here.