If your goal is to keep your customers loving your product long term, you need to engage new users even after your customer spreads its wings and goes live.
Customer dynamics constantly change. Teams grow and employees come and go, which means your product users do too – for better or worse.
To avoid drop-offs in product adoption, you need to always be aware when new users join your customer’s team. Users who start with you during onboarding should be just as competent and confident in your product as users who join the team years later.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Why you should avoid letting new users form uneducated product opinions
- How to jumpstart a new user’s experience with targeted engagement
- How to maintain regular coaching touchpoints using a tech-touch approach
Don’t leave it up to new users to form uneducated opinions of your product
Learning a new software and embedding it into to your daily routine is an intimidating undertaking, even for the most tech-savvy users.
If you’re expected to become proficient in a new software without any training, chances are you’d automatically hate the system, resent it for being overly cumbersome, and write it off as a waste of time.
Regardless of whether it’s true that your product is hard to use, your users’ perception that it’s burdensome is all that matters.
Don’t leave your new users to their own devices to form an opinion of your product.
You need to shape your users’ internal narrative about how your product improves their work and makes their life easier. Engage new users early and often to walk them through your product’s use cases, benefits, and best practices.
Because once a user forms a negative first impression of your product or service, it’s tough to rebound or rewrite the story in a positive light.
Plus, you never want to discount a new user who may have the potential to become your next best power user with a little bit of guidance and encouragement.
Jumpstart a new user’s experience with targeted engagements
Users who learn your product after its initial launch within their organization miss out on the “new purchase” fanfare and the enthusiasm that follow in those early adoption days. You want to build just as much excitement around your product and make new users feel supported from the very beginning of their journey with you.
You can start by sending new users targeted engagements with welcome messages and training resources to kick off their product experience and build a strong foundation. For beginners, your materials should include:
- Product overview
- Basic set-up
- Getting started
- Simple best practices
Don’t forget, when and where you send new-user engagements is just as important as what you send. You should aim to welcome new users and share relevant resources as soon as they log into the system for the first time (if you have a Customer Success platform that tracks these events in real time) or within the first few days after.
With busy schedules, relying solely on email to reach your new users may mean your important communications accidentally get missed or pushed to the bottom of the inbox. You increase your odds of new users reading your messages by reaching them when they have your product top of mind and are most of engaged – and that’s when they’re using your application. In-app announcements and guided product tours offer a more organic way to communicate with users that doesn’t feel intrusive or out of place. In-app channels allow you to share highly contextual and relevant messaging that gets users to first value faster. If you’re having a difficult time connecting with a new user via email or phone, in-app tools can provide softer touches that reinforce your messages to make sure they get heard.
Just remember new users are likely preoccupied with their own internal employee onboarding and getting up to speed in their new role. You don’t want to bombard them with too many engagements right out of the gate. Drip material to them slowly and include only what’s essential to get them up and running (which likely does not include every single feature). You need to give your new user the time and headspace to digest and apply your tips and tricks. Focus on small, meaningful wins that build their momentum to keep going.
ChurnZero Tip: You can automate the entire process of sharing training resources using a “new user” Play in ChurnZero. For example, create a segment that tracks the first time a user has an event in your product. Use this to trigger a Play that sends resources to help a new user get started. You can create highly targeted Plays based on the type of event and feature used, so that your content is always timely and relevant.
You can also create segments to track if a new user doesn’t use a sticky feature their first few times in the product. Send a follow-up Play to remind the customer of the feature’s benefit and nudge them to try it out next time.
Maintain regular coaching touchpoints using a tech-touch approach
You want to keep your new users engaged and ensure their usage doesn’t dwindle off after learning the basics. Give your new users a few weeks to familiarize themselves with your product and dig into its features and functionality. Once they transition from poking around the system to regularly using it, you can begin to send targeted resources geared towards power users.
To strength your customer relationships and trust, you need to continuously teach your customers something new – whether that’s related to helping them use your product, grow in their profession, or better understand the industry.
Create an ongoing engagement strategy and share:
- Emails with best practices and training articles based on individual user usage
- Invitations to thought leadership webinars and product trainings
- Discussion threads from your customer community that answer a question or share a helpful use case
At ChurnZero, our best clients attend everything we do. They want to be involved because they trust us. We’ve built that trust by making it a point to only engage our customers when we have something of value to share. When we do share resources, they must be relevant and either have a practical application or present a new strategic framework or perspective. The more immediate action a customer can take using our insights, the better. It also creates the perfect opportunity to breed product champions.
ChurnZero Tip: New users can mean a fresh new perspective. You can use new users to drive further adoption of your product. Within ChurnZero, you can easily create segments around “power usage” metrics to quickly find contacts who have the potential to be power users for their teams.
Be part of the solution, not part of the problem
As you probably remember from your own onboarding experiences, learning a new role, system, and process is overwhelming. You wonder how you’ll ever remember all the steps, details, and nuances of even the smallest task.
So, while it’s essential to engage your new users early on, you must remain cognizant of the emotions, workload, and capacity of new users in their early days.
Be careful to not over inundate your new users. Space out your outreach over a few weeks to give them time to digest and apply the advice and tips from your engagements.
You want to be part of the solution that makes your new user look like a superstar in their new role – not the nuisance or distraction that gets in their way.
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Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero