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Is Faster Customer Onboarding Always the Answer?

In the world of customer success, the idea of speed has somehow taken root and become an overarching goal for many teams. We have to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible, and this renewal process is taking too long – how can we speed it up are just two examples of conversations that have probably happened in every single customer success department meeting. But when it comes to onboarding, how important is speed to success?

The customer onboarding and implementation process happens right after the sales deal closes and is often the first impression a new customer has of their customer support contacts and group. For this reason – and to deliver the highest level of service possible – many CSMs push for the fastest onboarding possible. But is a fast customer onboarding stage always the answer? Let’s take a look at the two sides:

Pro: Speed up that onboarding process!

Customer onboarding should be a well-oiled machine, and a fast onboarding process proves the readiness, eagerness, and overall competency of a CSM and their implementation team. In today’s modern SaaS environment, customers expect a top-tier customer experience, and a speedy onboarding helps set the stage for what’s to come in the customer relationship. Plus, getting the customer onboarded and using the platform faster allows them to see value as soon as possible – and CSMs can go in and fix all the issues later.

A faster onboarding process:

  • Gets new customers using a platform faster and allows them to see the value right out of the gate
  • Shows the readiness and dexterity of a customer support team and sets the stage for other ‘quick implementation’ projects down the road
  • Acts as a quick win not only for the customer success team but for the entire project team looking to deliver a great customer experience

Con: Slow it down for the sake of the customer

After going through a drawn-out sales process and making a significant business decision that will impact multiple aspects of an organization over the next few years, the last thing a customer team wants to do is go through a copy-paste onboarding experience that is trying to get the customer in and out as soon as possible. Slowing things down, planning out milestones, and taking time to deliver exactly what the customer is looking for during the onboarding process can help ensure a customer success team is delivering precisely what the customer is looking for – every single time.

A slower onboarding process:

  • Allows CSMs to tailor and customize onboarding processes, milestones, and plans specifically to the customers’ resources and needs
  • Highlights the attention to detail and consultative nature of a customer success team
  • Sets the right expectations for issues and questions in the future that while resolutions may take time, they will always have the correct QA and background support attached

Which one is right for your team?

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this age-old customer success question, one recommendation is to approach each customer onboarding as its own unique situation. A faster onboarding process may make more sense for customers who are more familiar with your product or offering, have a strong internal team working on the project, and are equipped to hit the ground running. On the other hand, customers who need more training, implementation help, or need to move slower, in general, could benefit from a more tailored, drawn-out, and focused onboarding process.

You can learn more about customizing onboarding for your customers with these additional resources from ClientSuccess:

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