Convert More Profitable Customers With This Checklist Approach To Onboarding

Take these extra steps to promote adoption, engagement, and success

Joe Procopio

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If you’re releasing a new product to a market, and you want it to be successful with it, one rule of product theory is more critical than the rest:

The more innovative the product, the more onboarding is necessary.

Onboarding is, to put it simply, the introduction of a product to a customer. But trouble begins where that simple definition ends. Proper onboarding should be happening both before and long after the sale.

Pre-sale onboarding begins before the customer even becomes a customer, promoting awareness and education. Pre-sale onboarding has to answer the question: How do we make a customer prospect aware of the benefits of the product, and educate them on why they need those benefits?

The tools associated with pre-sale onboarding are growing in prevalence and maturity — and these include free trials, self-driven demos, newsletter campaigns, and even webinars (still). I could write multiple deep-dive posts on the pre-sale phase of onboarding, and I have.

What I want to talk about here is what happens after the sale, because when that onboarding phase is skipped, and it often is, the problems that crop up tend to be more impactful and costly.

The Standard Onboarding Checklist

Onboarding doesn’t stop with a handshake and a quick introduction, it has to continue through adoption, engagement and eventually customer success. Post-sale onboarding must answer the question: Is the customer reaping the benefits of the product and, ultimately, do they need it?

You’d be surprised at how often the answer to that last question looks so much like a yes but winds up being a no. That head fake often leads to a lot of money being invested into false positives, resulting in an ever-rising CAC and ever-shrinking LTV.

The best way to reach those customer success goals is with an onboarding checklist — a predetermined list of tasks that need to be completed for each and every new customer. This list is something that should be compiled pre-launch, and…

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com