How to bring customers on board - Interview

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    You closed the sale, but the most important part is just about to start: onboarding your customer. The way you approach this process will impact your relationship with them and it has the potential to increase the customer lifetime value. More than that, if the onboarding process is successful you have the chance to transform new users into brand advocates.
    We discussed this topic in a previous article, giving a general structure and recommendations of how to handle onboarding. We are back with more insights on this matter: an interview with one of our partner agencies: The Bigger Boat. It is an award-winning integrated marketing agency and Storyblok Partner.

    For this interview we had a chat with Alison Lee, account director at The Bigger Boat, and we asked her about the company's onboarding process and strategy.

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    What is your general approach to customer onboarding?

    Customer onboarding is very important to us. Although we need to learn a lot about a client, their products and customers to be able to make recommendations that have the highest chance of meeting their business and marketing objectives, we still complete a fuller onboarding process with every client when they become a customer. Onboarding is our way of ensuring they feel The Bigger Boat is an extension of their own team.

    What steps do you go through when creating a customer onboarding journey?

    Where possible we like to visit our clients so we are able to really get under the skin of how their business operates. Likewise, we like to invite a client over to meet the full team. We follow the same process each time to ensure that all clients receive an SLA and key contact information so they know what they should expect when working with The Bigger Boat - and also what is expected of them as a client of The Bigger Boat.

    What type of roles and how many team-members do you allocate to this process?

    We are a close team made up of specialists. Our knowledge and experience spans design, development, content writing, social media, SEO and digital marketing. Each new client has the opportunity to meet every team member who will be working on their project. Every client is allocated a dedicated account manager as their day-to-day contact. The account manager is supported by an account director.

    How long does the onboarding typically last?

    The initial onboarding process takes one to two weeks. We set a milestone to ensure we have captured everything we need and that a client is fully up to speed with everything they need from us. When we hand over a completed and fully tested website project, we always include a further 30 days of ‘snagging’. In this period, we invite the client to log any bugs and questions they may have so that we can help them to ensure everything is as perfect as it can be.

    What type of learning content and methods do you offer?

    We find clients learn best by doing. Where possible we work with clients to show them, then to support them with any questions or advice they need. In the past, we have offered manuals and instruction videos and we find these to be very helpful for a client to refer back to at a later date but nothing beats hands-on learning. We are always at the end of the phone. I would rather log in with a client and guide them through a change than send instructions by email.

    Do you do a follow-up?

    The majority of our clients become ongoing retainer clients and we stay in regular contact with them while working on ongoing marketing activities.

    What other best practices can you recommend?

    Tidiness is key. We always hand over a finished project in a tidy and well-organised state and we encourage clients to maintain folder structures, file names and consistent tagging of content.

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