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Customer Onboarding

For any business mode which comes “as a service”, customer success is a journey to be nourished and nurtured. During this journey “Customer Onboarding” is one of the most important phases which rather sets the tone of the engagement in the long-term. 

Customer Onboarding is a journey, if you make it happen with a customer first approach, customers will always intend to stay with you.

What is Customer Onboarding?

Signing a subscription contract and expecting the assured value addition sets the customers at the level above as compared to other user groups.
 
Customer Onboarding is a continual journey of getting customers aware of the product features end-to-end to instill the sense that their business goals will be fulfilled by the product.

This needs to be treated as an ongoing journey and needs to be revisited after every milestone and implementation stage. 

Why Customer Onboarding?

If the customer already has paid for the product, you already have done the product onboarding and the customer knows the knowledge base which can be used to get most out of the product then why does customer onboarding even exist?

  • Customer first approach
  • Reduce the churn and improve the retention
  • Convert product trials to purchase
  • Plant the seeds of customer advocacy

How do we do it ? Best practices

Analyse the patterns of Product Trial

In most of the cases customers prefer to evaluate the products before they actually tend to buy it. 

  • Understanding of the trial utilization patterns helps in terms of gauging the customer’s interests and case based business needs. 
  • This can help to shape the strategy of product walkthroughs and tailor made demos.
KYC - Know your customer

Know your customer beforehand so this becomes easier for you to know who could be the right audience or stakeholder for agenda specific discussion or meetings. Try to understand who exactly from client playing these roles

  • Project sponsor
  • Project owner
  • Catalyst
  • Important stakeholders from technical and non-technical backgrounds
  • Implementation partners 
Welcome Email

Send an email with a welcome message with a short message. This email can contain

  • Welcome message
  • Links to important toolkits such as Documentation
  • Customer Success team member’s email ids in CC
Let your customer know your customer success team

Its very important customers know certain key people of the engagement. Get your CS team introduced to the team along with the responsibilities and capacities they can be of help. 

  • Account Manager
  • Customer Success Manager
  • Technical Account Manager
  • Management team for any kind escalation paths
Sign-in, Sign-up and respective provisions
Reaffirm if client has done certain mandatory and very basic steps. This will also need to have internal collaborations.
  • Ensure your customer representatives (and the team) have signed and can sign-in without any issues. 
  • Make your customers aware about required provisions of the product or services and access level to the same.
Engagement Model
Engagement model and meticulous delivery of the same is the key. Starting from welcome email to check-in emails to understand how the onboarding is going, just-in-time communication keeps the customers engaged.

Set the mutually cadence of the meetings - cadence of such meetings could be 

  • Every alternate day for the first week
  • Every week for the first month
  • Bi-weekly till the end of first quarter.
  • Post first quarter - revisite this cadence and set it up accordingly.
Sense of value proposition

Value proposition from the investment made is the high-priority outcome that any customer would like to see and it starts happening from the beginning of the engagement.

  • This further cements the bridges with trust and confidence. 
  • This also works as a sparking push toways getting customer advocacy which further be made stronger as and when engagement progresses.
Knowledgebase

Initial state of product introduction brings up many common questions, hence handy links to the knowledge base can be a big help for customers to be autonomous. You can ensure customer knows and have access to 

  • Product documentations
  • Community driven discussion forums
  • Any kind of broadcast channel
  • Links to the case studies
Product Walkthroughs

Visually rich functional product walkthroughs bring the magic to the engagement as this connects the product features with the business needs from the customers. 

  • This also helps in giving the impression of right decisions to customers as something happening in front of eyes brings business sense in the picture.
  • It gets easier for customers to relate their business needs with the features demonstrated.
Tailor made use case specific demos

Product demos cannot limit only to its core feature. 

  • Tailormade and use case specific demos attracts the customer attention
  • It helps in getting the confidence from customer stakeholders.
  • Sets the ground for utilizing the product features  in order to achieve the goals
  • It makes the customers feel special and brings those wow moments in the engagement cycle.
Unblock the blokers

Where there is a feature - blockers ought to get into picture. 

  • Meticulous attention to the blockers faced by customers and serious efforts to eliminate those makes the onboarding and product adoption smooth for customers. 
  • This triggers the more happening engagement and sense co-creation for customers.
Give quick wins and recognitions

As customer onboarding is the continuous journey should not hold us back from offering the cheers. 

  • Quick wins and recognition are always necessary to give the customers confidence that they are progressing in the right directions towards meeting their business goals.
  • These quick wins could be as simple as completing the proof-of-concept or advancing towards next learning objectives. Wins, recognition and appreciation set the mood of next day actions on the product for the clients.
Launchpad and Launch

Ensure customers have the best launchpad for their upcoming launches. Your assistance could be of a big value -

  • Check the implementation readiness
  • Help in designing the go-live scripts
  • Help in preparing the DACI / RACI matrix
  • Help in standardizing the deployment flow
  • Help in forming the roll-back process
  • Assistance in smooth launch
Treat it as a Journey and not an outcome

Journey makes us feel to go towards the desired aim but also lets us know the importance of every day progress. 

It’s the same way for Customer Onboarding too. Build Strategy, perform it, see the results, revise, improve, check with customers and repeat the flow.

Customer Onboarding is a journey, if you make it happen with a customer first approach, customers will always intend to stay with you.
 

5 minutes