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How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process

In this guide, we’ll show you how to automate your customer onboarding process with Uncanny Automator so that you can keep the customers you have and welcome new ones with ease.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process Feature Image

Well, shiver me timbers! Congratulations on landing a new customer! Take a second to drop anchor and enjoy the high-selling seas—but only a second. The real work is about to begin. Or is it?

According to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, onboarding new clients takes an average of 100 days. In fact, customer onboarding is so time-consuming that 74% of the largest companies have a crew dedicated just to rolling out the welcome wagon. The other 26%, we imagine, are saving themselves thousands of hours (and dollars) by using Uncanny Automator.

Whether you’re running a one-person operation out of a small rowboat or a multi-site behemoth to put any cruiseliner to shame, you can offer your customers a first-class onboarding experience with Automator. Connect your CRM mailing lists to your e-commerce store, automate pop-ups to deliver informational greeting messages and use filters and conditions to personalize the onboarding experience.

Weigh anchor and drop the main sail! It’s time to get your customers onboarded.

The Best Customer Onboarding Practices

Every captain will chart his own course—just like every company will have its own onboarding roadmap for its customers to follow. Generally speaking, however, a solid onboarding process will have these ports of call along the way:

  • Welcome Email: Apart from their receipt, this is likely the first email that a new customer will receive. Welcome emails are an opportunity to show customer appreciation, establish brand voice and begin the onboarding process.
  • Greeting Message: Separate from welcome emails, greeting messages instruct new customers on how they can get started. These messages can be standard dashboard greetings, pop-ups or some combination of the two.

Automator Mascot with Scope

  • Onboarding Content: Onboarding content is where customers can find the bulk of product/service information. It can include video tutorials, a knowledge base or a blog, interactive walkthroughs or even a simple FAQ.
  • Review: Nothing beats a fresh perspective—and that’s what new customers offer. After customers have had time to try out a product/service, collect their feedback while their memory is still fresh.
  • Check-In & Upsell: New customers aren’t new forever—but that doesn’t mean the onboarding process has ended. Periodically check-in with customers to gather information on satisfaction, product performance, etc. And each point of contact is an opportunity to cross-sell or upsell and make old customers feel new again.

In the examples below, we’ll show you how to automate each stage of the customer onboarding process.

1. Automate Your Welcome Emails

Automator connects your CRM to your e-commerce store so that you can build and manage your contacts and customer profiles. While some CRMs—such as FluentCRM and HubSpot—have a native WooCommerce integration, Automator can more seamlessly incorporate your CRM into your broader onboarding workflows.

Let’s take a look.

Step 1: Create a New Recipe

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New. In the pop-up window that appears, select Everyone and click Confirm.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 1 — Recipe type selector Everyone

Step 2: Name Your Recipe

Give your recipe a name that makes it easy to recognize at a glance. For example, we’ve named this recipe Studiocart—HubSpot: Welcome Email List.

Step 3: Configure Your Trigger(s)

In the Triggers panel, click Studiocart or your preferred e-commerce plugin.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 2 — Trigger Integration Menu Studiocart

From the drop-down list that appears, select A guest completes an order for a product.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 3 — Studiocart Trigger A guest completes an order for a product

Automator will prompt you to select a product. For simplicity, we’ve chosen Any product. When you’re finished, click Save. Your trigger should look like this:

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 4 — Studiocart Trigger A guest completes an order for a product Live

Step 4: Configure Your Action(s)

In the Actions panel, click Add action. From the menu of available integrations, click HubSpot or your preferred CRM. (p.s. If you aren’t using a CRM, we highly recommend setting up a FREE account with HubSpot or FluentCRM, or trying out ActiveCampaign FREE for 14 days. Did we mention… FREE?!)

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 5 — Action Integration Menu HubSpot

From the drop-down list that appears, select Create/Update a contact in HubSpot.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 6 — Hubspot Action Create:Update a contact in HubSpot

Automator will then prompt you to fill out the new contact’s details. We’ll do this using tokens (i.e., dynamic pieces of data pulled from your website). In the Email field, click the Asterisk, the token symbol, and select Purchaser email.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 7 — HubSpot Contact Email Address Field

Automator allows you to store additional information about your new HubSpot contact so you can create more detailed customer profiles. Simply fill in the Custom fields using tokens.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 8 — HubSpot Contact Custom Fields

Make sure to select the checkbox below Custom fields to prevent duplication and ensure that your contacts remain up-to-date. When you’re finished, click Save. The finished action should look like this:

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 9 — HubSpot Action Create:Update a contact in HubSpot Live

Step 5: Add New Contacts to Lists

With the trigger and action that we’ve set up, Automator will add your new contacts to HubSpot. Now, it’s time to get those contacts onto the right lists.

Beneath the first action, click Add action and select HubSpot once again. From the drop-down list that appears, select Add a HubSpot contact to a static list.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 10 — HubSpot Action Add a HubSpot contact to a static list

In the Email field, click the Asterisk to see the token drop-down list. Underneath Actions, select the email token from the previous action.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 11 — HubSpot Email Address Action Token

Automator will then prompt you to select the static list to which you would like to add your new contact. For example, we’ve chosen our Welcome Email list. When you’re finished, click Save.

Next, we’ll add a delay to this secondary action to ensure that Automator has enough time to create the new HubSpot contact before it begins sorting it into lists. Hover over the action and click the Delay button in the upper right-hand corner.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 12 — HubSpot Action Add a HubSpot contact to a static list Delay

A window will appear. Set your desired delay—for example, we’ve set a one (1) minute delay which is more than enough time for Automator to complete the first action. When you’re finished, click Set delay.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 13 — HubSpot Action Delay Window

Your Actions panel should now look something like this:

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 14 — HubSpot Actions

Step 6: Go Live and Set Sail!

You’re just about ready to start onboarding your new customers. The only thing left to do—apart from pulling up the anchor—is to toggle your recipe from Draft to Live.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 15 — Studiocart—HubSpot Recipe Live

Step 7: Add Filters & Conditions

With additional actions, filters and conditions, you can start to perform some very impressive onboarding maneuvers. In this step, for example, we’ll show you how to create separate onboarding streams for customers who spend different amounts of money.

Hover over the HubSpot action labeled Add a HubSpot contact to… and click Filter.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 16 — HubSpot Action Add a contact to a static list Filter

A pop-up window labeled Condition will appear. Select A token meets a condition.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 17 — HubSpot Action Filter Window

A second window labeled Configure the rule will appear. In the Token field, click the Asterisk and select Order amount from the drop-down list.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 18 — A token meets a condition Order Amount

You can finish defining the filter conditions by completing the Criteria and Value fields. For example, we only want to add customers to this specific welcome email list who have spent less than $5,000.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 19 — HubSpot Action Filter Configure the rule

When you’re finished configuring the conditions, click Save filter. With both the delay and the filter set, your action should look something like this:

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 20 — HubSpot Action Add a contact to a static list Delay and Filter Live

We have a special welcome email for our customers who spend $5,000 or more. As such, we’ve added another action with its own filter and delay.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 21 — HubSpot Action Add HubSpot contact to a static list $5000 or more

With all three actions, the Actions panel should look something like this:

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 22 — HubSpot 3 Actions with Filters and Delays

Using filters to create onboarding streams based on the amount a new customer spends is just skimming the surface of the Automator + CRM ocean.

Tokens such as Billing country allow you to create separate onboarding streams based on geographic location so you can “parley” with your new customers in their native tongue.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 23 — HubSpot Actions Panel Filter and Delay by Country

Now, that’s smooth sailing.

2. Automate Your Greeting Message & Onboarding Content

A friendly, “Ahoy, matey!” goes a long way in making your customers feel welcome aboard. While a greeting message isn’t exactly a full tour of the ship, it is an open invitation to your customers to take the tour at their leisure.

In the recipe below, we’ll show you how to create dynamic and responsive greeting messages to get your customers started on their journey.

Step 1: Design Your Greeting Message

The typical greeting message is a simple “Ahoy, Blackbeard” somewhere on your website—usually a user’s profile page. But, with Automator and a popup plugin like Popup Maker or Elementor, you can incorporate your onboarding content right into your greeting messages (without hiring an expensive developer).

For example, we’ve created an Elementor popup with an embedded video tutorial to help steer our customers in the right direction as they get started.

How to Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process 24 — Elementor Greeting Popup with Video Tutorial Embed

Even more targeted greeting messages can direct your new customers to change their password, fill in additional information or complete transactions (event registration, for example).

Step 2: Create a New Recipe

From your WordPress Admin Sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New. In the pop-up window that appears, select Logged-in users and click Confirm.

Automator Recipe type selector Logged-in users

Step 3: Name Your Recipe

We’ve named this recipe Elementor Greeting Message Popup.

Step 4: Configure Your Trigger(s)

In the Triggers panel, click WordPress. From the drop-down list that appears, select A user logs in to the site. Alternatively, you can select A user views a page then select the user’s profile page, or whichever landing page they are redirected to after signing in.

WordPress Trigger A user logs in to the site

Step 5: Configure Your Action(s)

In the Actions panel, click Add action. From the menu of available integrations, click Elementor or your preferred popup builder.

Select Show a popup then, from the drop-down list, select the greeting message popup that you designed in Step 1.

Automator Elementor Action Show a popup Greeting Message

Step 6: Edit the Recipe Run Times

After your new customer’s first sign-in, it’s fair to consider them to be an old deckhand. As such, we only want to show them this greeting message the first time that they log in.

In the Recipe box in the upper right-hand corner, click Edit next to Times per user and set the value to “1”. Click Save.

Automator Recipe Run Times per User

Step 7: Go Live and Haul Wind!

Toggle your recipe from Draft to Live. Now, every time a new customer logs in, they’ll get a friendly greeting message with some helpful onboarding content to get them started.

Automator Elementor Greeting Message Popup Recipe

Step 8 (Optional): Add a Little Magic… Button

With the recipe above, our greeting message will only appear the first time that a customer logs in or visits a page. But the last thing we want to do is to maroon our customers.

With Automator’s magic button, you can give your customers the opportunity to see the greeting message again if they ever need to retrieve or review that information.

Automator Recipe Magic Button Greeting Message Popup

You can even add magic buttons to take your customers to your FAQ section or to take them to a form where they can ask a question of their own.

Step 9 (Optional): Test Your Customers’ Knowledge

Want to know whether or not your customers have found their sea legs? Test their knowledge of your product or service with a quiz. Reward customers who have taken the quiz with a coupon and make the other ones walk the plank! Or you could just send them a quick email, making sure that they have everything they need.

Automator WooCommerce Membership Quiz Recipe

3. Automate Your Reviews, Check-ins & Upsells

Using all of the features that you’ve learned about Automator so far, you can finish automating your onboarding process with just a few more recipes.

How to Automate Product Reviews

Happy sailors make for happy “sale-ing”! Create automated messages to gather reviews, incentivize favorable reviews with automatically generated coupons and share positive reviews with potential future customers. Click the link below to learn how to incorporate your product reviews into an automated onboarding process.

How to Automate Your Check-ins & Upsells

With so many new customers hopping onboard, it’s easy to forget about the ones who were with you from your port of origin. With the right automations, however, you can make sure that your customers never feel like they’ve sunken down to the bottom of Davy Jones’ Locker (or your email list).

Include the actions below to periodically create WooCommerce orders for your customers (to facilitate membership renewals for example), complete with their billing information and a payment gateway. Then send them an email with the order URL so they can complete the transaction themselves!

Automator WooCommerce Action Create an order with a payment gateway

Onboard & Onward

With Automator recipes like these, there’s no telling how many customers you can get aboard your WordPress website! Continue creating automations that fit your workflows and you’ll never have to swab the deck again.

How do you get your new customers onboarded? What are some of the automations that would make for smoother sailing? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Brendan Da Costa is a WordPress content writer with a Shakespearean-level gift of gab (his words, not ours). He left a successful career in economics to pursue his passion for writing and discovered the wonderful world of WordPress while building his own website to showcase his work. As a self-taught enthusiast who spends more time tinkering with plugins and themes than he would care to admit, Brendan writes equally for WordPress beginners and veteran developers alike. With his unique blend of expertise and creativity, he continues to elevate the digital landscape one WordPress article at a time.

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