Let’s step into the customer’s shoes for a minute: you’ve just completed a long (sometimes years-long!) sales process and are finally ready to get started with a new solution across your organization. And then, you hear the dreaded word onboarding. For some customers, it can seem as though the hard work is just starting. But for customer success professionals, it’s time to ask ourselves “Where did this negative stigma come from – and how can we change course?”
When it comes to onboarding, all it takes is one – literally a single – bad experience to sour a customer’s opinion of onboarding forever. So, it’s up to CSMs to put together an amazing product onboarding experience that both changes the customer’s mind about what onboarding can entail and get them excited and ready to use their new purchase. Seems easy, right? Actually, it can be – with the right process.
Here are a few tips to build the best product onboarding process for your customers:
1. Onboarding is an extension of the sales process
While the new product onboarding process might seem like an entirely separate workflow to customers, it’s actually an extension of the sales process, making the handoff between sales and customer success key. All information about the client (their goals, their team members, etc.) should be clearly communicated before the product onboarding process starts.
2. There needs to be clearly defined milestones
Onboarding can often be a lengthy and rather nebulous process, so it’s up to the CSM to break things up into more manageable chunks. By segmenting the product onboarding process into easily defined sections – each with its own key business objective – your customers will know exactly how well things are going (and if there are any issues).
3. Customer data and information should be housed in a single location
In the modern world of SaaS product onboarding, there is no excuse for confusion or uncertainty on the side of a customer success tea about what is going on with a customer. Every team member should have access to a single source of truth that allows everyone to see who is responsible for what during the product onboarding process.
4. Reporting and metrics are key to success
At the end of the day, customers want to be successfully using their new product as fast as possible, and this is the goal of your customer success team as well. With detailed reports and data for your customers and your leadership team, you can show exactly how you built and executed the new product onboarding process for every customer account.
The new product onboarding process may have unfairly garnered a negative reputation over the last few years, but thanks to modern CSM workflows and tools this stigma is steadily changing for the better. By adopting the above actionable tips, your team can establish a customer-first product onboarding process at your organization.