In the past 2 years as a CS, I have been struggling with creating an efficient and simple onboarding process for our new clients.
SaaS B2B platforms can be very intimidating at first and look very complicated to use. Like all companies, we put a lot of effort to hook up new clients.
Our duty as CS managers is to help our new clients get the best from our products. We aim to deliver a fast and clear onboarding so they can benefit from our platform right away. That's how we can ensure better engagement with our product and higher satisfaction level from our end users.
I know this challenge is quite common for CS teams and therefore I was thinking maybe we can share some ideas and inspiration...This is how we do it - what do you think?
Hey Klil, Prior to creating Onboard.io, I spent a few years consulting with early stage SaaS companies creating and optimizing their onboarding journeys. Here are the most common challenges that came up: - Over-complicating the explanation of your onboarding process OR not explaining it at all. There's a happy place in the middle that will leave your customers feeling excited and prepared. Usually that looks like a 3 phase approach - for example, Configuration, Integration, Go Live. Rather than explaining in a complicated email or visual every step along the way (at the beginning), try pulling that back to a simple overview: here's an example. - Introduction to onboarding and aligning expectations. The customer introduction to onboarding should happen long before the actual introduction. Using something similar to the example above, the Sales team should be sharing what that onboarding process looks like before the deal is closed. This is going to help the customer align their expectations with yours. - Training too early leads to confusion. This might have been the most frequent mishap I saw. Many companies close an opportunity, pass the customer to onboarding, and out of the gate the Onboarding Manager starts training the customer on the product as the first step. The challenge with that is if your onboarding process typically takes 30 days and they're trained on day 1 (or day 5), by the end of onboarding all is lost. They aren't going to remember what they were trained on the first day. - Giving the customer visibility will give them accountability. If the customer doesn't have visibility into what they need to do next at any point in the process it will break. Even aside from that, if they have to reach out to you or sift through emails to figure out what they have to do next, it will break. That's actually why we created Onboard.io. At the end of the day you have to find a way to give the customers exact next steps and make it available to them whenever they want it. - Value, value, value. The value of your product can't solely be post launch. Time to first value is an important metric to follow. The first value doesn't even have to be product related, it can be knowledge that you're sharing with them. If your software legitimately doesn't provide a value until it's live and being used, I'd challenge you to think outside the box. I once told a customer where to get dinner in a city they had never been, the next day they told me that was the best dinner they had ever had. A goofy example, but I became "that guy who knows where to get dinner". The name of the game is constantly providing value. It could be a recommendation on another software they're looking at to solve a different problem, a different way of looking at a problem they're trying to solve, or even just going above and beyond to help them implement your software. Give them that first value, then give them additional value early and often. I wrote an ebook on The Definitive Guide to Customer Onboarding, there are a ton of tactics/strategies in there. Let me know how I can help. Happy to chat and give my feedback on your process (the link in your original post wasn't working for me).
------------------------------Will StevensonFounderhttp://onboard.io/Original Message:Sent: 11-24-2021 07:01From: Klil NevoSubject: New customer valuable Onboarding journey
Absolutely happy to expand. I view Implementation (in most cases) as the first part of Onboarding. Many companies blur the lines between the two and in the first (or second) meeting post sales they train the customer on the software. From my experience this almost never works.
At this point it's almost like the customer is coming off a high + a stressful situation. They've found a software that will help them solve a problem. They were really excited. They went through some sort of sales motion, where they had to prove internally that the juice is worth the squeeze, they had to negotiate in many cases, and then they signed their reputation away saying "this is going to work". It's an exciting, terrifying, stressful situation... Then in many cases we say "Welcome. Now I'm going to train you, remember all this, and then we're going to configure, integrate, and test the solution." We're never giving the customer a break in that situation.
I would even saying doing a full scale training in the first part of post implementation is too early. After they've configured, integrated, and tested, it's just the start of the journey to truly understanding the product. Personally, I like the break the training into micro education sessions. Maybe the first week post-implementation, you have a goal of getting them educated on this part of the product. After they see success there, the next weeks goal is to provide education on that part of the product. When they see success, we move on.
With really complex solutions, it's almost impossible to provide full training on the product at any one point. Think about it from a consumer brand standpoint. If you've ever driven a Tesla, there's no way you learned everything in one session. Session one is learning you don't need a traditional key, it brakes for you as soon as you take your foot off the gas, and charging 101. Session two might be how to connect your phone, moving to different driving modes, and finding nearest superchargers, etc.
Whether we want to admit it or not our B2B SaaS buyers are comparing our onboarding process to consumer brand onboarding processes. The question I'll ask is, how can your company's onboarding process be more like Tesla or Apple's onboarding process?