If customers cannot use your product, then they may learn that they can do without it. Worse, they may find a competing product that they CAN use successfully. Both of these outcomes pose risks to Customer Success and recurring revenue—risks that effective customer onboarding practices can avert.
A successful customer onboarding process is the vital first stage of any productive, long-term customer relationships. It demonstrates your company’s commitment to setting up customers to use and adopt their new product as needed to achieve their desired outcomes — of setting them up for Success!
Customer onboarding can occur via automated or guided processes. In either case, the core goals are:
- helping customers engage with your products by eliminating barriers to use
- introducing them to necessary self-help, assisted support, and training resources that can help assure continued Customer Success
To accelerate customer time-to-value, sustain long-term relationships, and advance recurring revenue goals, implement these eight proven customer onboarding practices:
- Communicate with all new customers. Use automated (e-mail, recorded videos) and guided (phone, video conference, on-site, in-program) methods to initiate contact.
- For customers with named or assigned account resources (TAMs, CSMs, etc.), introduce the customer to the account team and share contact information.
- Assess the customer’s ability to access and apply products.
- Identify and remove barriers that may inhibit initial use of the product with setup assistance, training, support, and recommendations for self-help or self-guided resources.
- Introduce customers to the services they are entitled to through a welcome kit that describes service program entitlements, including steps for getting help, and how to submit new support cases.
- Communicate expectations, responsibilities, and timeline for major onboarding milestones to ensure the best possible time to value.
- Establish outcomes and milestones and monitor customer adoption progress to ensure successful initial onboarding.
- Assess customer expected outcomes and begin development of adoption and success plans.