Customer Onboarding Process 101

How to make a customer onboarding flow for your business

If you’re running a business, you are facing two major challenges: getting new customers and keeping existing ones.

How to make a customer onboarding flow for your business

My lead generation videos will help you with the first problem. Today is all about keeping your existing customers happy. Which is the main goal of onboarding. I will be showing you a step-by-step tutorial on how to make an onboarding survey that you can follow with no technical skills.

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding is a process that helps you explain what your business is all about to new customers.

The majority of the onboarding process is done through personalized emails. You know the welcome emails you get everytime you make an account somewhere? That’s the most basic form of customer onboarding.

More advanced customer onboarding would be a sequence of emails that have content specific to your needs. These kinds of emails can also react to your behavior - when did you last log in, do you have any items in your cart or what parts of the website you visited.

So for example if you looked at a particular product, you will get an email about that particular product. No two customers have the same onboarding journey, if your onboarding flow is set up in a smart way.

“But Bobbie, me no smart!” Me no smart either, young padawan, me really no smart. Smart enough to use tools though! All you need to create a personalized customer onboarding flow is a survey.

You heard right: a survey is the base of a great customer onboarding flow.

There are CRMs that can track every movement on your website, and email tools with advanced behavioral triggers, but that’s ✨expensive ✨ and takes forever to figure out. Like, actually forever. The more complex your onboarding triggers are, the more you need to keep testing and optimizing - the job is never done.

We’re not here for that today. Today I’m here to outline the easiest and most efficient way to onboard customers that you can set up yourself in one day.

You don’t need an expensive tool stack zapped together and a murder mystery board to keep it organized.

via GIPHY

Just one survey to rule them all.

Today I’m going to build a customer onboarding flow from start to finish. But before I start, let me tell you why I think it’s important in the first place.

Rock-solid customer onboarding will help you do 3 things:

1. Prevent customers from sending the product back or canceling their subscription

According to a study by Wyzowl (pronounce “wise owl”), 55% of people have returned a product because they didn't understand how to use it.

8 in 10 said they’ve deleted an app because they didn’t know how to use it.

Customer onboarding exists to prevent this exact issue. Once you know specifically what each customer needs, you can recommend the best product and help them understand why you chose it. Which brings me to my next point:

2. Matching specific customers with specific solutions

An onboarding survey is basically a series of questions. These questions help you learn about your customers. The more you learn, the more specific and helpful you can be for each customer.

For example, if you’re a nutrition company, you onboard customers by asking about their diet - what foods do they avoid, are they allergic to something, what are they expecting from you?

The sooner you know what the expectations are, the sooner and better you can match those expectations. The way you match the expectations is by sending specific content to specific people based on what they told you.

3. Active customers = more sales

According to a Rosetta study, highly-engaged customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction, and have 3x the annual value compared to other customers.

But what does “highly-engaged customers” mean? These are customers who interact with your brand - they open your emails, comment on your social media posts, reach out to customer support, leave reviews.

These are customers who care about you. You create these customers by caring about them. A customer onboarding survey helps you send personalized content to each customer. They are more likely to engage with the content you send them, if it’s something you know they’re interested in. Because they told you “hey, I like vegan diet tips, send me more of that, none of that keto mess, I’m not clicking on that, why is it in my inbox”.

How To Make A Customer Onboarding Survey

Now that you know why I love making onboarding surveys, get cozy because I’m going to make one from start to finish right now.

Step 1: Grab a free onboarding survey template

Did I mention this is free? Because it is. I’m going to involve.me and picking this one from their template gallery.

Once you select a template you like, you have a big decision to make. Well, not that big, because you can change this setting at any point. You need to decide if you want every customer to land on the same page in the end or if you want to send different customers to different parts of your website after the survey.

If you want them to go to the same place, pick “Thank you page”, if multiple different places based on their answers, pick “Answer based”.

I’m going to pick “Answer based” so I can show you how to make different emails for each “persona” as well.

Step 2: Customize the design

First, let’s make this survey match my brand. It’s going to be shown as the first thing people see when they sign up, so I want it to match my website. I can make this template match my brand completely. I can add my logo like this, I can change the background, button roundness, font… I can even upload my own font.

Step 3: Customize the functionality

Once I’m happy with the design, I can move on to setting up how everything works. This is going to seem weird, but I’m going to start at the end of my survey. It will make sense - let me explain:

Making the final pages of my survey helps you think of “personas” or customer types. What types of people am I going to identify with this survey?

This is for a cook box company, so I’m definitely going to find vegans, families looking for kid friendly meals, gym bros looking for 💪 gains 💪 …

I don’t want these groups to mix, I don’t want families to end up with kids that can bench press them off the couch.

So I’m going to create separate buckets for each groups. I’m going to click this plus sign down here and that’s my first bucket. I’ll name it “vegan”

When I’m naming it, you can see that I have the option to send the vegans to a specific place on my website - I can just copy paste the link here. I recommend that you do that - you want people to jump right back into your website.

Once you have all your persona pages named and linked, you can proceed to ask questions.

You can ask questions with images, which is my favorite way, because they’re fun to click. And yes, this even works with gifs.

There is also nothing wrong with keeping it simple with just text questions.

Remember to connect each question to your personas - click the question and connect a persona to each answer. See, this is why I told you to name them! So you can see what you’re connecting to what.

Step 3: Preview & Test

To make sure your survey is working, fill it in yourself a couple of times. If something’s not connected right, you want to know about it before your customers do.

Click “design preview” to check out your design on desktop and mobile. Click “try it” to actually take the survey. “Try it” mode shows you the survey the same way your customers will see it.

Step 4: Publish

Once you’ve tested your survey, you’re ready to hit the “publish” button. You’ll get a chance to tweak the URL, set up automated emails, social sharing text and image and add tracking on Facebook and Google.

Don’t worry, you can come back to this page later and change the settings even after your survey is live.

What you should do before you go live is set up the emails though - remember? Everyone gets a custom email based on what they tell you in the survey. The way you do that is by ticking “Send custom emails” and then “Send different emails for each outcome”.

Now you can select the outcomes - again, this is why I told you to name them - and you can drag and drop images or gifs here.

To personalize the text, type @ and you’ll see all the questions you asked in your survey - you can include the answers in the text of the email.

Step 5: Share it with the world

Hitting “publish” one last time will put your survey live. Yay! You will get a link, a short link, a QR code to use it in print and an embed code to use it on your website.

If you’ve never embedded anything in your website, this is the perfect thing to start with. Here is the embed code and here’s is where I can edit how the embed behaves. See how these are 2 separate places? That’s so I can’t mess up the code.

I can make the embed narrow or make it cover the whole screen.

That’s up to you.

And that’s it!