FROM CUSTOMER ONBOARDING TO PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
DELIVERING A GREAT SERVICES EXPERIENCE
For complex SaaS products, there are usually three well-defined stages in the customer lifecycle: Onboarding, Professional Services & Customer Success*.
Effectively you set your customer up on your platform, you optimize your platform for their particular requirements and then you make sure to stay in touch with regular cadences and retain them as a customer. In this post, we are going to consider the challenges inherent to the transition from stage one, Onboarding, to stage two, Professional Services (PS) and how to turn this into one seamless services experience for your customer.
PatSnap operates an IP analytics platform. Their clients are paying to access their vast dataset, offering real-time insight into global IP Innovation.
Every new customer will be taken through a robust onboarding phase. They have a number of templated processes that they will work through with the customer to get them up and running in the shortest time possible. This process is honed to get the right information at the right time, and following this carefully orchestrated playbook has a huge impact on that all important metric, time-to-value.
That’s just the beginning of the PatSnap’s customer journey. At the point they are considered onboarded, that’s when the professional services team will step in to enable the clients to access even greater value from the platform and unlock the full ROI. This is no longer about templated processes. This is about the PS team applying their huge knowledge, experience and expertise of the Patsnap platform to optimize the product for their client’s exact use case.
So let’s recap..
- Two different stages in the customer lifecycle
- (Often) two different teams
- Two different set of challenges
- Two different solutions
- One customer
Let’s take a moment to break this down a little further:
The question is, how do you transition from stage one to stage two seamlessly while delivering a great Services experience to your customer throughout?
Answer: all on one Salesforce-native platform.
Fundamentally, PatSnap recognize that onboarding and professional services represent different stages in the customer lifecycle and consequently there are different challenges inherent to a profitable and efficient delivery operation. However, what is common across the two is that process automation and insight via data are the key to powering their operation. And that is why, quite simply, putting all of this information together in Salesforce makes the most sense of all.
From the first interaction with the Sales team, through to handover to the Customer Onboarding team, and onwards to Professional Services, every member of the team is working with exactly the same view of the customer. Every conversation, transaction, rate, discussion, project history, feedback data is recorded or related to the Contact and Account records.
Anything less than a shared data platform, and immediately you are working between multiple systems and that means you are building inefficiencies. Bring your full customer lifecycle into one Salesforce-native customer platform and it’s an entirely different story.
In the words of PatSnap’s UK Team Leader, Professional Service, Hayden Munt
Salesforce and Precursive are great platforms for Professional Services. Via the shared dashboards, you can immediately see the rate, how long the project took etc. It’s all the key information in one place. No more emailing the Account Manager for this information - that's just inefficient. With just one place to get your Customer Success and your project data, there’s no back and forth.
ONBOARDING IS JUST THE BEGINNING
For businesses with a complex offering like PatSnap (read their case study here), onboarding your client is just the beginning of your relationship. While the way you deliver value to your client will change significantly throughout the course of their lifecycle, in terms of process (and quite possibly people) what should be consistent throughout is that their experience of working with you is excellent.
Your choice of tools, technology and platform will play a very significant role in how well you are able to deliver that excellence.
*Check in soon for our second post in this two-part series which we take a detailed look at delivering stage three, Customer Success.