September 13, 2022

CSMs: Why Customer Onboarding Speed Matters

Customer Success Managers are a crucial part of ensuring new customers are properly onboarded. In this post, we will cover the importance of speed and why it matters.

CSMs: Why Customer Onboarding Speed Matters

New mobile apps to keep an eye on

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What new social media mobile apps are available in 2022?

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Use new social media apps as marketing funnels

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Modern CSMs are no strangers to multitasking. From juggling multiple customer accounts to keeping a myriad of plates spinning, CSMs rely heavily on metrics and data to ensure they are trending in the right direction. While NPS, customer sentiment, and adoption or usage rates are a great place to start, there are a ton of other more niche metrics – such as customer onboarding speed – that CSMs are also tracking to ensure success.

Understanding customer onboarding speed

So, what is customer onboarding speed? This metric measures the time it takes for a new customer to complete the onboarding process. The onboarding process typically includes platform implementation, configuration, and new user training. CSMs can track these milestones individually or combine them for a complete picture of customer onboarding speed.

Customer onboarding speed includes the amount of time it takes to:

  • Schedule first onboarding/implementation kick-off call
  • Ensure the platform is customized and configured to the level of the customer's expectations
  • Successfully train and educate key user contacts on the platform and ensure other users can easily log in and get started
  • Slip into an ongoing 'maintenance' mode after the initial onboarding and implementation period

Customer success teams can track the data points above by monitoring Start and End dates for onboarding, configuration, implementation, and training. In addition, it's a good idea to set benchmarks for onboarding speed to understand better if your team is excelling or falling behind on timelines.

Why does customer onboarding speed matter?

Depending on how your team manages customer onboarding workflows, onboarding can kick off before a deal is officially signed. Regardless of 'when' onboarding starts, these processes and workflows are often the first genuine partnership the customer user team (aka not the procurement team) has with your organization. This is the time to make the perfect first impression and start your partnership on the right foot.

Customer onboarding speed also matters to CSMs because, as any CSM knows, implementation and configuration can often be the most complex part of any customer relationship. Getting a platform to where a customer is happy with and ready to use is no small feat. If your customer can see value and success in this small win right out of the gate, they are likely to be more excited and optimistic about your partnership in the long term.

It's also a good idea to revisit your previously established onboarding speed benchmarks to ensure your team performs at the right level. You might miss critical information if you sail through the onboarding process too quickly. But if you take too long to get a customer up and running, you could set off right out of the gate on the wrong foot. Set onboarding time expectations with your customers and stick to them.

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