Customer onboarding is one of the most critical stages of the customer relationship, when customers are most fully engaged, excited about the product, and ready to start implementation. Yet customer success teams are often bottlenecked in this critical phase, instead turning their attention to more immediate issues like renewals, complex questions, and fire-fighting issues with launched customers.
Even though the activities and knowledge needed for onboarding are already routine for the customer success team, for customers, the onboarding experience is their first real interaction with the product.
As a result, many customer success teams are looking for ways to scale the traditional sequence of 1-on-1 onboarding calls to a higher-quality, repeatable, and 1-to-many experience. While this may seem like a daunting task at first, there are easy ways to get started and take incremental steps to help scale this process. Read on for 3 tips you can implement immediately to begin scaling your customer onboarding process.
1. Hold multi-customer webinars
If you're doing 1-on-1 onboarding calls with each of your customers, consider a regularly scheduled standing webinar to handle various stages of the onboarding process. For example, a weekly kickoff call for all new customers signed during the previous week, or specialized calls for specific roles like administrators. This approach assumes that at least some parts of your onboarding process are repeatable and standardized.
The most incremental experiment would be to invite attendees from two customers to the same onboarding call. This would enable a highly personalized experience while potentially doubling CSM productivity at scale. Even if you ultimately choose to do this for only a subset of customers, multi-customer onboarding has the potential to dramatically scale your team.
2. Replace 1 live call with a self-paced version
Many companies have an onboarding sequence of several calls spaced over the course of several weeks and months. For example, if your standard onboarding lasts 4 weeks with 1 call each week, try replacing one of the middle calls with a self-paced training session. Choose a session that has repeatable information that is standard across most (if not all) of your customers.
Similar to above, the most incremental experiment would be to take a portion of 1 call and move it to self-paced. The scaling and productivity impacts are substantial, even if it is simply 20% of the onboarding process. That's an extra day per week per CSM.
3. Record generic training webinars
Finally, record some of your generic training webinars for re-use in self-paced onboarding. This is easily done with most webinar tools like GoToMeeting or WebEx. In this way, you don't even have to record special content for training. However, it is often advisable in order to improve sound quality and have a well-scripted session. You'll often find that a 60 minute webinar can be condensed into a 30 minute training, with little more than the time spent recording in a quiet room.
Advanced users will want to chop up the webinar into bite-sized pieces, typically 5 minutes or less in length, and deliver it using an LMS like Skilljar in order to track specific customer progress.
Scaling customer onboarding often seems like a daunting task for customer success teams who are accustomed to 1-on-1 calls. Fortunately, there are easy incremental steps to start experimenting with scaling onboarding while maintaining high levels of quality and customer satisfaction. In fact, many customers actually report higher levels of satisfaction and product adoption when they are able to self-service themselves. Try multi-customer webinars, replacing 1 live call, and recording your training sessions as quick tactical steps you can implement today!
For more information and tips, download our free eBook - How to Scale Customer Onboarding.