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I had earlier posted a two part article ( Part 1, Part 2) on the importance of a successful onboarding program for customer. Something that comes to mind next, is the obvious question – but How? How to create a successful onboarding program. Well, it would be difficult to guarantee success, as that would be dependent on a lot of things you do or don’t. Nevertheless, here is my attempt to define a simple framework for onboarding customers. Like I mentioned, the success would really depend on how you go about establishing a process that works best for your organisation. This is in no way absolute, but a guide which could be used in pretty much every scenarios.
Let us first see what constitute a successful customer onboarding program and then come up with the framework from the requirements themselves.
- First off, as a CSM you need to prepare yourself with the necessary details. Collate the inputs from sales hand off/hand shake process. Review contract details, like the products or modules licensed, number of users and so on. The details about the customer – the POC(s), their designation, the role within the program et.al. Once you are prepared with the details, you are ready to set up the introductory meeting with the customer points of contact. Let us call this step PREPARE
- Well, now that you have set up the introductory meeting, the next step would be to ensure the product showcase. If you have administrative capabilities, end user training requirements for your products, ready the same in accordance with the contract for the customer. As part of this, depending on the product complexity, hold the training of the product. While training, it is a good chance to also demonstrate the desired outcome and value from the product usage – Let us call this important step, DEMONSTRATE
- Now that the product training is carried out, provide the customer with necessary support items. Including the ways to contact your technical support teams, in case of any issue, other resources they may rely up on when any issue occurs. Let us call this step SUPPORT. In this step, in addition to the support materials, you could help customers with collaborative exercises like a customer forums where they interact with your other customers.
- In the next step you highlight your CS processes. How you as a CSM will help drive the customer towards success. You discuss about goal setting through success planning, the recurring reviews – QBR, EBR, communication charter, value assessment, and value delivery. Including the update process of your product would be a good practice as well, let the customer know what to expect from your product and your commitment towards continuous product improvement. Let us call this step DRIVE.
There, a simple 4 step framework to develop an onboarding program.
I hope this simple frame allows you to develop your own successful onboarding program. In the next installment, I will include what each steps could entail. Watch this space for more!