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Onboard Your New Education Customers for This Back-To-School Season

Create a Quality Experience That Instills Confidence, Builds Trust, and Creates a Lasting Relationship

Like me, I’m sure you have heard a million times, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” This comment spans the entire spectrum of both our personal and professional interactions. How we look, how we act, our nonverbal behaviors all factor into that initial reaction from those we interact with and how they form an opinion of us. After an impression is made, it’s difficult to change opinions.

In business, new deals are celebrated. There are usually many hurdles to overcome to get to this stage, and the celebration is warranted. We made it, let’s all breathe a sigh of relief. However, this celebration can be short-lived. Equally as hard or sometimes even harder is actually onboarding our new customers. The onboarding process is when the true customer relationship begins. You start to form a true partnership, and customers decide whether you were more interested in the sale, or their success.

Think about a great onboarding experience you have had. Was it with a recent mobile phone purchase? Maybe a new service you purchased for your home? An appliance outage or a billing problem? How does that compare to the experience you want for your clients? What does that unboxing or onboarding experience look like?

This article is one of the best that I have read outlining how to handle customer onboarding. Understanding your customer’s needs and meeting them where they are at is critical. Customer onboarding is difficult for many organizations to handle and manage. It can be viewed as a cost center and is often underestimated and understaffed, without the right resources to ensure a seamless transition. Funding and resources are allocated to the sales process and improvements to the product. How customers get access and set up the product is often an afterthought. However, this is where the relationship happens and a partnership begins. Ensuring a smooth onboarding process and the proper setup and configuration is valuable in the long term. If the setup is correct and the customer knows how to use the product, you will have created a long-term partnership and developed customer loyalty. If they are using the product correctly and getting value and a return on investment, you have a customer for life.

Customers who are already using the products and services you provide are invaluable in this process: they provide great intel for focus groups, product improvements, case studies, and webinars. They share with their professional network the products and services they are using. And of course, best of all, they provide repeat business and expansion into other products and services you might offer. Don’t fall into the trap of only focusing on the new wins. The existing customers are equally if not more important, and provide an ongoing revenue stream to support the business long-term.

With Fall right around the corner, education technology companies are striving to step up their onboarding experience. Unicon has been providing customer onboarding services for years, and our clients trust us because of our wealth of experience in this domain as well as many others. We have handled training, configuration, and last-mile integration efforts. If your company finds itself stretched too thin, we can help to design solutions that streamline your onboarding process and get you over the toughest hurdles you face.

Patty Wolfe

Patty Wolfe

Senior Director - Learner Applications and Experience
Patty Wolfe is the Senior Director, Learner Applications and Experience for Unicon Inc, a leading provider of education technology consulting and digital services. Patty has over 17 years of project management and consulting experience, managing all aspects of client relationships including strategic planning and implementation, project delivery, client satisfaction, and P&L. Since joining Unicon in 2001, she has worked with companies such as Scholastic, John Wiley and Sons, and Pearson Education to deliver a diverse portfolio of projects including sophisticated online learning applications, simulations, and progressive assessments that deliver an individualized learning experience. She holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), and a ScrumMaster® certification from the Scrum Alliance organization.