CUSTOMER ONBOARDING CHECKLIST
You’ve just won a new customer - Great!
They’re ready for a seamless transition from the Sales to Services team - Exciting!
We all know what it’s like doing the grocery run without a list (savages!) - the chaos, the doubt, the 'detour' to the forbidden aisle(s) of "I might need this later". Ending with that extra bag of goodies that pushed you over budget without you knowing. In the same way, onboarding without a set list of actions that delivers success, puts your team and the customer at the check-out with an ad-hoc filled trolley of items that aren’t aligned with outcomes with a bill longer than lines for toilet roll in lockdown.
The best companies obsess over driving value for customers and recognize that Customer Onboarding (CO) plays a critical role beyond simply getting your customers started. Having an efficient onboarding process in place enables your team to build a strong relationship with the customer.
CHECKLIST TO SET UP THE CUSTOMER FOR SUCCESS
Seat at the table Having senior stakeholders responsible for the onboarding process involved in the process from the start contributes massively to the overall customer success. According to our latest Customer Onboarding Benchmark Report, more than 50% of companies across all segments surveyed have VP representation now. This rise in seniority of CO leadership shows the increasing importance of this function. Including team members experienced in capacity planning and resource management, and assigning the right person to the right task should be at the crux of efficient Customer Onboarding.
Seamless Transition The word ‘handover’ sounds too rough, it's not a throw over the fence from Sales to Services, but a consistent alignment between the internal teams where the customer is communicated with each step of the way. The customer’s outcomes need to be clearly outlined by the teams and actionable deliverables set in place. The aim is to drive more value for customers, faster. Traditional services delivery is evolving with new onboarding services that are capable of quick deployment.
Milestones The CO, Customer Success and Services team need to set up onboarding milestones together to ensure the customer is achieving their outcomes by using your product. The value driven by these should be captured to dictate wider digital transformation over time. This is imperative to keeping happy customers and avoiding escalated costs. Currently, the milestones seen to dictate ‘success’ for completion include Customer Acceptance, Deployment Completion and Adoption. These are very vendor-centric milestones, showing little to no value for the customer. Find out the metric you should be tracking in our latest webinar.
Repeatable process As mentioned above, a seamless transition is vital to customer satisfaction and retention. Setting up repeatable processes is a sure way to consistently achieve the objectives. This decrease in time-to-value, creates a bigger impact as a key to growth for SaaS business models. Furthermore, our report also shows companies across all segments surveyed that have an established repeatable process for Customer Onboarding have higher levels of customer satisfaction. One way to do this is with playbooks, a process that works with the ability to customize to the particular company's needs.
Automate to be Human Use technology to automate admin tasks that generally take up the team’s valuable time, and reinvest that time to collaborate with the customer. Capture data and use the insight in repeatable processes to improve time-to-value and increase customer satisfaction. In our post ‘From Customer Onboarding to Professional Services’, we cover how to set up the customer on your platform and optimize it to meet their requirements.
IMPACT OF POOR ONBOARDING
Customer Onboarding directly influences the customer journey with customer retention and health is seen to be the biggest areas of impact. By not ticking off items in the checklist, your team risks incomplete deployment with disparate communication and processes leading to churn. There are many factors that can lead to churn (ie wrong product fit, lack of engagement) and the best way to avoid this is to keep on top of that which is within your control - Onboarding. By way of continuous iteration and optimization of the process, it will only improve and make the team more efficient, which in turn makes the customer happy and more successful.
We have some great success stories with customers who have increased their usage of GoCardless once they have been onboarded because they are so happy with the product and the way it fits the business.
Katie Gouyette, Head of Global Customer Onboarding /GoCardless