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Life-cycle Support – On-boarding

Once someone has decided to buy your service or give your solution a try you’ve got to step into the support system boldly and strongly with four critical paths:

Messaging, interaction, low barriers to entry, and in-depth knowledge of the user.

The process of how people buy and why they buy a solution has been radically transformed. Automatic messages and communications that once felt impersonal are now so personalized one could mistake them for friendly, warm interactions. While these highly-designed, friendly, personal, branded messages and interactions aren’t to the level of being expected, they are becoming the norm quickly.

Smooth interactions – no one wants to have a hard time reaching out, no one wants to feel like they’ve interrupted or that they are being referred to somewhere or someone else. Keep interactions smooth, comfortable and warm. Make sure people can reach out to the right people and keep their communication with that same support professional. When in doubt over communicate and keep it human. Avoid canned, robotic interactions – they don’t serve you.

Low barriers to entry – if using your platform requires a lot of set up and learning – make it as easy as possible, offer add-on service or free guidance. Do everything to hold hands. The uber-user, the early adopters, might cut their teeth on your service without that but everyone else will indulge in differing levels of handholding – make sure you’ve run your numbers and cast your assumptions such that you can afford to fully and completely support the user to the degree that is needed.

Broad knowledge of the user – you should know your users. You should know what they are thinking and the approach they are likely to take. You should use that knowledge to build wizards and popups that streamline the most common actions. Let the user tell you what they are about and then make use of that information in supporting other users like them.

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