March 29, 2021

Keeping them Onboard—Five Ways to Connect with Customers from the Start

By Katie Ripa

Onboarding new customers is not unlike a ship setting sail. From port to starboard to stern, no matter how you look at it, there’s one goal—to keep everyone on board. It’s not as easy as it looks, but mastering the art of rigging up the perfect onboarding process starts with a great connection.

Customer onboarding couldn’t be more important. The process of helping new customers learn how to maximize use of your product or service can have incredible benefits. The more a customer engages, the more connected they’ll be to stay on, utilize more of your products, take advantage of your services, and to upgrade. The more connected they are, the more they’ll fall in love with your brand and the more likely they are to shout its praises to friends and family.

On the flipside, there’s no amount of damage control that can rewind the clock of a bad onboarding experience. If your customer feels abandoned or remorseful, lifesavers that you throw may be in vain. Worse case—your customer jumps ship. Worser case—they voice your downfalls to friends and family.

Those early days are critical. So let’s get it right from the get-go.

1. Proactive Touchpoints

We LOVE buttoning things up and onboarding should be no exception. A clear process should include proactive touchpoints with open communication between your team and your customers. What tools could help automate that process? What strategies would make things seamless for your team? Your biggest fans and even the ship jumpers can provide valuable lessons in how to best chart these touchpoints.

2. Useful Marketing Tools

More than pretty pictures, well-crafted marketing materials work to elevate the onboarding process. How-to videos can expertly explain features. Digital pop-ups help guide users through the experience. Even more traditional items like brochures, guides and postcards can help your new customers connect more fully with your brand and your product. And remember, customers who connect are customers who stay.

3. Personalize

Who doesn’t love a little personalization? Being known and feeling known is customer service 101 and it’s central to the onboarding process. This might mean keeping your salespeople on a little bit longer to continue that relationship building. It might involve a cuter-than-cute, delivered package. It might be as simple as the classic handwritten thank you. Big or small, personalization can be the change tack you need to steer your onboarding to success.

4. Social Connection

Social media has changed just about every aspect of business and can help keep your onboarding efforts out of deep water. At its heart, your social media account helps keep customers (from prospects to lifers) connected with your brand. For onboarding, social media provides the perfect platform for new customers to learn about features or watch tutorials. And a new customer exclusive Facebook group is the perfect place to start a forum, field questions and more.

5. Incentivize

Make some waves by strategically incentivizing new customers. This is where the creativity shines way beyond “refer a friend” discounts. One of our favorite examples is when we lent a hand to Farmers & Merchants Bank’s Star Saver program. The program helps area kids get excited about saving. When kids use the program, they get fun treats and care packages, delivered right to their door. From contests to care packages, incentives are a great way to keep customers excited and connected.


With a little strategy and a heavy pour of creativity, you can make waves with customer onboarding. Let us help! Our KidGlovers can keep their steady hands on the tiller so you can begin connecting with customers from the get-go. Learn more at

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