My Approach to Customer Onboarding & Nurturing: Hospitality

approach to customer onboardingMany of us have had the great pleasure of entertaining guests in our home. And we have various methods of engaging our guests during their visit. But regardless of your rituals or processes, there is one overall goal, and that is always to ensure guests feel welcome, involved, appreciated and leave with the desire to come again. And so it is, too, with the process of onboarding and hosting our clients.

At IdeaScale, I think about the onboarding process as welcoming clients to my home. I think about what refreshments they’ll want upon arrival, who I should introduce them to, how to best engage them so they have a memorable experience. As Bobby Stuckey says in The Difference Between Hospitality and Service “Hospitality is the experience one gives another that changes the way they feel.”

Here are four things I do at IdeaScale to make the client onboarding experience a pleasant one:

The Welcome

Do you respond to your client’s questions promptly? This concept is similar to when guests visit your home. Do you answer the door right away?  I am proud to say that our 24X7 LiveChat Support Team does a fantastic job in engaging and responding to our customers. From basic to complicated questions our support team is ready to handle it!  And our talented group of Innovation Advisors are always ready to respond to questions about crowdsourcing and innovation management.

Listening Well and Anticipating needs:

Do you ask your guests about allergies, or anticipate their needs before or during their visit? At IdeaScale, I’ve set up a Google alert to stay abreast with our clients’ industries. What are the key factors that may be affecting their business? During meetings, I listen to what they are saying but also try to anticipate their needs based on trends that may be unfolding in their sector. Remember your most important role is to help your customer increase revenue by helping them improve their product or service.

Introduce them to others:

We used to host events for newlywed couples in our home in California. Most couples were transplants like us who had no family in the area and were seeking to engage and build long lasting friendships as they navigated this new joy called marriage. Did you know that IdeaScale offers an opportunity for you to connect with others? IdeaScale’s Open Nation is a live, invite-only event that allows IdeaScale member companies to connect, build a sense of community, share practical ideas on improving engagement strategies, and build innovation leadership skills. This year’s Open Nation will be held on November 2-3, 2017 and registration is currently open.

Appreciate and Thank Customers:

Finally (and maybe this goes without saying) but I always try to remember and appreciate our customers. This means checking in regularly, sometimes sending a gift, if appropriate. Even if customers don’t renew you can still offer to make a referral (if appropriate) or say thank you for being a customer by sending them a parting gift. Remember that behind company logos, your clients are people first and good relationships drive revenue.

 I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

~Maya Angelou

This blog post is part of a series authored by IdeaScale employees. It showcases how they’re thinking about crowdsourcing and innovation as part of their daily routine. Feel free to ask questions or make comments.

This post is by Sonja Sulcer, Innovation Strategist at IdeaScale


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