Onboarding is a customer’s first experience with your product – a single negative experience at this early juncture can have a very negative impact for your brand. Getting it right is vital to your customer retention.
With B2B digital services, often the first person to onboard is the super user, they will want to get a feel for all the features before they start adding other users. You want to make it easy for them to login and absorb everything your product has to offer. The real win is getting them to be surprised by how easy it all is to understand and manage – a great experience like this means that they can really easily pass on their knowledge to their team, without having to spend large amount of time and resource on it.
Here’s 5 simple areas that need your focus as you develop your digital service.
This sounds obvious but how is it done? In reality, simple registration means not taking more data from your customer than you need, being clear about why you are taking certain data and providing options that appear as the user starts typing to make form fills easier.
Barriers to form entry can be a pain. For example, if you require users to enter phone numbers with the language code but you don’t tell them about it in the form, they’ll find out when they enter it wrong and receive an error message.
Other things to test and consider are the colours and fonts. Of course, your registration page should be easily filled in from any device and any screen size but it should also be accessible to people with reading difficulties.
This example from Etsy shows the registration process for a new seller. The progress bar at the top shows what can be expected of the process and how long it might be. In addition, each area has a provided explainer on the right hand column with additional helpful text and explanations as to why Etsy is collecting this data.
Identity and access management not only ensures your product is keeping data protected, but it can help your client too. If they have staff that need access to your service, give them multiple role options to choose from and let them customise these roles. Make sure they have access to only what they need.
Oktopost is a good example of a brand who does this well, with assigned permissions already existing and the ability to customise them further available in the settings.
Allowing new users to register to the product and create passwords is also an important feature. Every one of those roles will need to be onboarded too. And your service will need to ensure that new sign ups are who they say they are. You can use a number of features to verify their identity, such as email verification or giving users the right to represent with LEI verification.
Right to Represent is a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) based service that makes it easy for individuals to assert their rights to represent their organisation. Using the same concept as “Sign in with Apple” or “Log in with Facebook”, Right to Represent uses LEI based accounts to authenticate organisation affiliation and rights.
Another point to make about identity and access management is auditing. Make sure that employee accounts can be deleted easily and customers can download a log of access to the service to comply with local data protection regulation and be alert of a potential cyber-attack. Other security features you should include are Single Sign On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
The next step is creating tutorials and training materials to help users understand and use your service. The best platforms make it so easy for customers to learn how to use the service, they look forward to their next login.
You can do this by pointing to important features, similar to what Slack does:
You can create customer welcome videos to appear when a user registers. Give users different options to learn your product. For example, if they don’t want to watch a video, they should be able to close it and visit your resources page. Make sure that all the training documentation is kept up to date and includes any new releases.
Stay in touch with your new customers. You don’t have to email everyone who uses the tool but it would be good to email the super users after a few weeks and ask them how their experience has been. Listen to their feedback and adapt your tool based on what your customers say.
Schedule one to one training sessions and make sure that you can see what features your customers are using and which ones they’re missing out on so you can let them know about anything desirable they may have missed.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, always measure and adapt your product or service. Never settle because you’re never done. Your product can always be better, accept user feedback and implement it into new releases. When you communicate your new upgrades to customers, they will be delighted to learn you have listened and are adapting the tool to meet their needs.
Don’t rush new releases but if you are noticing a lot of requests then make sure you have a development team that can keep up to date with the requests, customers don’t want to wait five years to finally get the product upgrades they need, they’ll move to a competitor beforehand.
Ultimately, a great B2B digital product is adaptable and highly customisable, for the industry, for the type of employee using it and for the regulations that your customers have to comply with. The onboarding experience, in particular, must not be too invasive, be a great experience, collect only what is needed and keep personal data secure and safe.
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