The typical lifetime curve of a manufactured product – like a light bulb – is often a reversed bell curve. With a lot of failures up front and then very few until the expected lifetime end.
That’s because with a light bulb, they tend to blow on first use. Or they last a long time. And now with LED bulbs that’s 7+ years.
It’s why part of the quality assurance of manufactured products is to do a smoke test. Either of each product or a sample. Better to have them blow in the factory than with the customer. It’s also why warrantees tend to run out just before the expected end. But that’s another story.
It’s not so easy to do this type of individual test if the product you are providing is a digital product rather than a manufactured product.
So, we encounter churn.
Churn is about losing a new customer early in the customer lifetime. Though depending on what you offer, early can vary. It’s typically somewhere between 1 day and 3 months.
Churn is something you can measure. And something you can work on reducing.
Yet, sometimes it’s not about the digital product, it’s about them.
Buyer’s remorse. Or a bad product-market fit. The product really isn’t a fit for their needs and they didn’t know that until they try it out. In these cases, we might want to go back and look at our acquisition process. Possibly re-think our buyer personas. Possibly consider trials – though then our trials might just churn instead!
On the other hand, sometimes it is a fail of the initial customer experience. Sometimes it is about you.
The customer isn’t seeing the value fast enough. Or it’s too steep a learning curve to see value early. They start to rethink the decision. They give up.
So how do you make sure that your customer realizes quick wins early on?
A great tool is your onboarding experience. And personalizing it to what the customer sees as a quick win. Which could be unique to the customer and their expectations.
Which is why it is so critical in the beginning stages to connect with the customer better.
Depending on your business, this could be done in a variety of ways. A survey. An assessment. A conversation with an onboarding specialist in customer success.
Some customers will need more hand holding than others. Some customers want to be left to kick the tires themselves.
Providing options for a personalized onboarding path is important. But you won’t know what’s the best path unless you first listen to what they need. Often you aren’t able to listen until you first ask.
What’s your experience with onboarding like? As a provider or as a customer?
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