Onboarding is vital in the way it shapes customer and employee perceptions. Onboarding is a process that has the potential to shape the way people see your company for the better. So what does it mean, what are the benefits of a good onboarding process, and what are some tips for making yours more effective?
What does onboarding mean?
In general, onboarding is the process of introducing someone to your company along with its services and products. More specifically, onboarding can apply to both employees and customers/clients.
What does onboarding mean for employees?
With employee onboarding, the focus is on introducing new employees to job responsibilities, company culture, and relevant employee policies. Other times, it’s about introducing existing employees to a new campaign, product, or service. Generally, the process for employees lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 or more days and is meant to be highly detailed to ensure your employees future success.
What does onboarding mean for customers?
Customer onboarding, on the other hand, is about introducing clients or customers to your products and services. It often begins after the point of sale, and it involves proactively sharing the most critical how-tos to get started right away, answering specific customer questions and concerns, and delivering on all of the promises made before the point of sale. It’s a way to show your clients you are who you say you are and secure long-term brand loyalty. Customer onboarding is generally best when condensed and focused answering specific, targeted consumer issues.
Whether onboarding involves employees or customers, it should always do the following for your audience:
- Introduce and familiarize them with your products, services, and company
- Reinforce their decision to interact with your brand
- Motivate them towards passion and enthusiasm
Time dedicated to onboarding
One quality of successful employee onboarding is an adequate time. When companies invest in a thorough processes for new hires that span their first few months, the results are staggering. First impressions are powerful for employees, and positive ones lead to higher job satisfaction as well as retention rates. And because talent replacement can be costly, onboarding is something that’s worth getting right the first time.
Tips for a better onboarding process
Here are a few tips for crafting a top-notch process:
1. Start with a thorough understanding of your audience
Your employees and customers might feel new or unknown to you, but you have an existing employee and customer-base to learn from that can help you shape a better onboarding process. Learn as much as you possibly can about the people being onboarded, including their knowledge level, experience, values, and attitudes—this way, the content and structure of your process is tailored to set them up for success.
2. Structure the process around company goals
When structuring the process, it’s vital to have an understanding of company goals and objectives. For employees, what are the technical and people skills your employee needs to do a good job? Which policies are essential to avoid future conflict? What are the values you need every employee to share in order to collaborate well and represent your company well?
For customers, what do your clients need to know in order to be literate in your product or service? What are the actions you want them to take as a result of being onboarded? Get specific with your picture of success and make sure every element of your process pushes the audience towards that goal.
3. Simplify and modernize with technology
With today’s technology, companies have the opportunity like never before to customize learning to the user. Consider investing in a learning experience platform (LXP) to take your customers and employees through the onboarding process at their own pace while providing personalized learning suggestions based on their interests. LXPs also boost the interactivity of your process, allowing for motion graphics, interactive learning, and more.