Todd White

Todd has built multiple sales teams from the ground up and bases his sales philosophy on customer experience. After analyzing the #1 cause of SaaS churn–rough and lengthy installs–he and a co-worker set out to solve that problem. They built GuideCX, where Todd is hyper-focused on creating the best new customer experience there is on the market.

Your Current Customers Will Help You Push Past the Pause

What if your current customers are your only customers for the rest of this year?

With COVID-19 affecting all of us, we’re having to ask some very real questions. Businesses large and small are facing some major obstacles: mass layoffs, frozen budgets, increased remote work and more. It’s easy to tell ourselves things are just “on pause” in these unprecedented times.

The Solution

The good news is there’s a very powerful avenue for pushing ahead in this, or any, time of crisis: focusing on your current customers. It’s likely there are multiple ways to better-leverage the experience you’re providing them, even expanding your relationship with them.

In this webinar, Todd White welcomes Donna Weber to share how you can take your finger off the pause button by focusing on your existing customers.  Donna is one of the world’s foremost experts on customer onboarding and has built multiple Customer Success and Customer Education programs from scratch.

You’ll walk away with best practices and tactical tips for engaging customers and driving results immediately:

  • How to utilize “ongoing onboarding” to expand your offering
  • How to get back to 100% productivity
  • How to make your experience more modern and offer more value

Don’t feel like watching? You can also check out our slide deck: https://bit.ly/2WRZybZ

Todd White

4 Keys to Prepare for Successful Client Onboarding

Before you even start the onboarding process with your clients, it’s important that you have your own internal processes worked out. The more prepared you are before you start onboarding, the less likely you will run into challenges that slow you down, leave clients frustrated, and make it more likely that they will leave your company for a competitor in the future.

 

1: Build the Right Team

A lot of companies focus on building successful sales teams, which is very important for new client acquisition. But you should put just as many resources into your onboarding and client success teams so that once sales closes a deal you can turn them into long-term, loyal customers instead of always needing to generate new leads just to stay afloat.

 

2: Measure and Understand Time-to-Value

Onboarding doesn’t stop after you provide login credentials and a link to your knowledgebase, although some companies unfortunately believe that it does. The client onboarding process is a chance for you to show them why they purchased your product and how it can solve a problem for them, so your focus should be on getting them to that “first win” as quickly as possible. That’s the moment when they see true value and want to continue using the product. In order to design an effective onboarding process to get your clients to that point, you need to know what those “first wins” are, and how long it takes an average client to get there (the time-to-value, or TTV). Then remove barriers and get them to that point as quickly as possible.

 

3: Automate What You Can

It’s important to automate what you can to take some of the workload off your team. Things you can automate with the right client onboarding software include:

  • Welcome emails
  • Initial questionnaires or surveys
  • Task assignments (with templates)
  • Task reminders
  • Progress reports (for your team and your clients)

 

4: Organize Your Resources

Every client will need something a little different during onboarding, so rather than sending them a link to see every how-to video and article about the features of your software, organize your knowledgebase, case studies, best practices, and other resources according to customers’ needs. This can help you tailor the resources to each client and provide them with manageable (and useful) information rather than leave them feeling overwhelmed or disillusioned because they can’t find what they’re looking for in your training.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes, so onboarding is the time to create a lasting impression with clients that your software can and will meet their needs. The GuideCX client onboarding platform can help you create a streamlined and successful onboarding for every client. Find out more today by scheduling a demo.

3 Ways to Make a Great First Impression with Onboarding

The deal is signed, the client and your sales team are both excited about the potential for your product to improve their business, and now it’s time for your client onboarding team to take over. Client onboarding is one of those make-or-break functions within a company because it’s the time that you can make a good first impression. Unfortunately, too many companies spend a lot of time and money on customer acquisition (which is still important) but fail to invest as much effort in the onboarding, and all that effort to land a new client is wasted when they decide to go with a competitor as soon as their contract expires.

Instead, structure your onboarding so it wows the client as much as your product demos did during the sales process, and set them up for success in the long term.

 

Have a Plan (and a Schedule)

The first step in a successful onboarding process is to have a process, and not just one that someone from your team has in their head. An actual written-down process that you can follow every time gives you something you can show the client so they know what to expect. To impress them even more, show them the schedule of when you will complete each part of the onboarding process so they know when they will be ready to go live with your product. Both of these things are critically important if your onboarding process is particularly long or complex, because you need to keep clients engaged through the entire thing.

 

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

One of the primary reasons that companies cite for being unhappy with onboarding (and potentially for leaving your company to go to a competitor later) is a lack of communication during the process. That can feel frustrating on your end if you know your team is working really hard to deliver, but if you’re not communicating well with the client, they cannot see all the hard work.

The challenge for companies without the right client onboarding software is that extra communication takes extra work. Someone from your team has to compile status reports and send them via email to the client at regular intervals. If you need something from the client, you request that via email and hope they respond in a timely manner so your process isn’t delayed. A better option is to have an onboarding software platform that allows your clients to see the schedule, tasks, and progress in real-time.

 

Deliver on Time

One of the best ways to impress your clients during onboarding is to deliver on time (or early) according to the schedule you gave. That means you and your team need to be ready to go when the client signs a contract, and everyone needs to stay on top of tasks throughout the process. Clients who use the GuideCX platform are able to reduce total onboarding time by 30% with the templates, tools, reporting, and transparency in the platform.

Find out more about how our software can help your team impress new customers during onboarding today, and build long-term happy clients.

3 Ways GuideCX is Proven to Reduce Time-to-Value

Everyone who has ever been through an onboarding process knows the importance of time-to-value (TTV). At its most basic, TTV is the amount of time between when a client purchases your products and when they see value from that purchase. The exact time-to-value for each company will vary depending on the types of products you sell and your clients’ needs, but what’s important is to keep TTV as short as possible. That means measuring it and taking steps to shorten it.

 

Measuring TTV

To accurately measure time-to-value you need to understand the moment when your clients see the ROI from your product. It could be a specific action they take, such as running an efficient payroll for the first time and seeing how much easier it was than the old software, or a time of the year, such as tax season, when your software demonstrates value. Figure out that moment, then measure how long it takes on average for clients to get there after the close of the sale.

 

How GuideCX is Reducing Time-to-Value

The software you use to onboard your clients can play a huge role in reducing TTV, which translates to happier customers who see value sooner. That makes them more likely to stick around, and more likely to become better partners in the long run. Here’s how we do it.

 

1: Better Client Engagement

Engagement is critical, but most teams only have tools that allow them to talk internally with each other. Client interactions happen over the phone or by email, or maybe through manually compiled reports that someone on your team has to send over at regular intervals. For longer onboarding projects, that can create a client perception that nothing is happening, which leaves them feeling frustrated. GuideCX allows everyone on the team—including clients—to see the entire onboarding schedule and progress every step of the way.

 

2: Accountability for Everyone on the Team

Everyone on your team, and on the client-side, needs to know what they are responsible for in the onboarding process. Project management software makes it easy to assign tasks to people, but when team members are accountable to only a single person (like a manager or supervisor), they complete tasks on deadline about 60% of the time. When those tasks are visible to five or more people, on-time completion jumps to over 90%.

GuideCX also allows you to assign tasks to clients for the onboarding steps they need to complete. It sends regular automated reports and updates on what is due and when, as well as what’s overdue. This helps keep your clients accountable so they don’t hold up onboarding.

 

3: Standardization and Automation

Finally, GuideCX can standardize and automate many of your processes through customizable templates, email automation, reporting, and more. These features allow you to quickly scale up your onboarding process and make sure you never miss a step, even when you have new people join your onboarding team.

Schedule a demo to learn more about these and other GuideCX features that are setting the new standard for client onboarding.

Streamlining Your Post-Sales Timeline Increases Time-to-Value

There is a lot of information out there about how to close a sale, which is an important part of any business’ success, but for many companies what happens after the sale is actually more important than getting your clients to sign that contract. Client onboarding is the next step, and the speed with which you can move someone from signing on the dotted line to using your product efficiently and effectively can make the difference between long-term or customers that jump ship as soon as possible.

It’s essential to streamline the post-sales process to reduce the time it takes for your clients to realize that “first win” or “aha moment”. That provides value and reinforces why they purchased your product in the first place.

 

Welcome and Goals

The first step once a sale is closed is to welcome your new clients, and identify their needs and goals so you can provide the right training and information to allow them to use your products in the way that meets their goals. Automated welcome emails are the easiest way to get that first piece of information out, but make sure your emails are effective. They should provide:

  • A personalized welcome to the new client
  • Information for logging in to your software (usernames, passwords, etc.)
  • Information about the onboarding process and schedule
  • Contact information for who they will work with on the onboarding team
  • A short questionnaire to provide information about how they plan to use the software and what challenges they have faced in the past to prepare your team for the kickoff meeting

 

Communication is Key

One of the biggest challenges for most companies during the onboarding process is just having the right level of communication among all the players. That includes:

  • The sales team who has been working with the client and is now handing them off to onboarding or customer success teams
  • The onboarding team, which may include multiple members working to get the client ready to go on the platform
  • The client, who is excited about their new product and wants to get started as soon as possible

Streamlining communications between all these groups and teams is essential to keep the onboarding project on track, but sending 3,000 emails where everyone is copied on everything is not the best way to do it.

Instead, you need a software platform that will automate some communications, like schedules and reporting, and allow everyone to communicate, leave notes, collaborate, and check the status of where you are in the onboarding process.

 

Templated Workflows

Another important way to streamline the post-sales process is through templated workflows. The more defined your onboarding process, the easier it is for everyone on the team to follow it, which cuts down on wasted time and effort, and eliminates the possibility of missed tasks, missed deadlines, and things falling through the cracks (even in extreme situations when an important member of your onboarding team leaves or moves to a new position).

Find out how GuideCX can help you create a more streamlined workflow to move from the sales process to onboarding and make the best first impression with your clients. Schedule a demo today.

What Should (and Shouldn’t) Be Included in a Client Welcome Email

The “welcome email” sent to new clients in the onboarding process is about as close to a common denominator as you can get when it comes to client onboarding. Virtually everyone sends out welcome emails now, primarily because it’s an easy way to communicate with clients right away.

The challenge with welcome emails is trying to strike the right balance in what you should and should not include. For some companies, a welcome email is the first and last communication they send to new clients (which we don’t recommend), so they try to cram everything into that email and hope for the best when the client begins using your software or services. For others, the email includes little more than a short welcome message, which makes it seem like a waste of time for a client who opens it and gets very little or nothing from the message.

If you think your welcome emails might fall into one of those categories, here are some best practices for what should and shouldn’t be in there to start your new client relationships off on the right foot.

 

What to Include

Since welcome emails receive some of the highest levels of engagement, it’s important to capitalize on your clients’ excitement.

 

Greeting

Welcome your clients with a friendly thank you. You can decide if this comes from your CEO or someone on the onboarding or client success team who they will be working with personally.

 

Onboarding Timeline

The onboarding process will make or break your relationship with a client, so clearly spell out exactly how the process will go. Too many onboarding processes lack clear timelines or deadlines. Winging it when you assign dates to your onboarding is a recipe for your team’s failure and your client’s disappointment.

 

Helpful Links and Contact Information

You can also include a few helpful links to get your clients started in the process, such as a welcome video or login credentials.

 

What to Avoid

Approaching welcome emails in the wrong way can actually be detrimental to your new client relationships. Here are a few things to avoid in your initial contact after someone signs a contract for your product:

  • Generic messaging that is clearly a “copy and paste” approach for everyone.
  • Links to your entire library of knowledge base and training articles in a single email.
  • A “data dump” with all the information they might need to use the system for the next several months, without any clear direction or customization.
  • A bare-bones email with no next steps or onboarding timeline to guide them toward the quickest possible time-to-value.

 

Onboarding Software that Makes it Easier

The right onboarding software from GuideCX can help you in crafting the perfect welcome email. Not only will it automate the process to send those emails, but it helps you create the exact timeline for onboarding new clients from start to finish so you can communicate clearly on what will happen, and when. Plus the intuitive tools and accountability in the platform make it easy to follow through on those promises. Schedule a demo to learn more today.

Defining “Success” in Client Onboarding

Most companies have an onboarding process, whether it consists of a single welcome email or several months of hands-on communication and coordination by your team. Onboarding is a critical part of getting your clients up to speed once they start working with your company, so you definitely need to have something in place.

The problem for many companies is that they check all the boxes, but fail to take a step back and determine how they should define “success” in the onboarding process. Without a roadmap for what you hope to accomplish, and measurable goals to determine when you succeed, you can never optimize your client onboarding process.

 

Decide What You Want to Accomplish

Before you set up an onboarding process, sit down with your team and determine what makes a client successful in the long term. If you have a complex business technology platform, for example, measuring onboarding success has to go beyond getting clients a login and checking a box when they first access your platform.

It’s also important that you don’t jump to conclusions about what you think comprises a successful onboarding. Instead, look at the data you have from past clients to determine what factors are in common for clients that stay with you a long time, and create a process to get them on track to achieve those things. For newer companies without a lot of historical data, sit down at least once a month to look at the data you do have and tweak your onboarding accordingly.

 

Program- or Product-Optimization Metrics

One way you can measure successful onboarding is by measuring the actions your clients take during and after the onboarding process. For example, during onboarding, that might include:

  • Consecutive days they log in to the platform
  • Online training courses completed
  • Online course completion rates, or drop off rates

These metrics will vary based on what you offer your clients and should be focused on specific tasks or actions they take during and after onboarding.

 

Business Impact Metrics

The next metric you can use to measure success is the impact your platform has on the client’s business. To properly measure this, you need to understand the client’s goals and set up tracking mechanisms to see improvement. For example, if your platform is geared toward driving people to a website, measure a baseline for daily new website traffic before and after the implementation to demonstrate that the platform is having a positive impact.

 

Measuring and Reporting

If you can measure it, you can manage it,” is a variation on a quote from management guru Peter Drucker. The same is true with onboarding—what you measure and track will improve over time. Having specific metrics and regular reports on what’s working in your onboarding process will make that process better, which is good for you and your clients.

 

Track and Improve Your Onboarding

The first step toward more successful onboarding is a platform that streamlines all your processes and helps you report on what’s working and tweak what’s not. Schedule a demo to see how GuideCX can help with these things.

How Well Are You Communicating with Your New Clients?

Ask any business about one of their biggest challenges when it comes to client relations and chances are they will tell you communications. We have dozens of ways to communicate with our customers today, but somehow it’s still difficult to know if you’re getting it right. Good client communication is a balance between too little information, which makes it hard for your clients to see value from your products or services, and too much information, which is overwhelming and unnecessary. This is especially true for brand new clients who are just starting out with your company.

Here are a few best practices for new client communications.

Stay Focused on the Client

This might seem obvious, but many onboarding processes (if companies have them at all) are automated. That forces every client into a single approach that may not be right for them. If you’re not tailoring your client experience to match their needs, resources, team size, and other variables, then you are probably setting them up to fail.

Know What the Client Expects

There was a reason that a client decided to purchase your product or work with your company. During the sales process your team was able to convince them that you can help them achieve whatever outcome they need. Knowing what their expectations are, and keeping that front and center during the onboarding process, can shorten the time-to-value (TTV) so every client sees the ROI in their decision sooner.

Be as Transparent as Possible

Transparency is a difficult thing for many companies to achieve in onboarding because most have two separate systems for two separate audiences:

  • Internal communications, where you and your team collaborate on sales, onboarding, client retention, and other activities
  • External communications, where you send information to your clients about products, services, training, and more

Since these two systems were designed to be separate, it’s hard to let your clients know what’s going on with their onboarding process. It requires someone to manually compile reports and information, send those out, then answer questions and try to keep everyone in the loop. When you finally deliver your project, you may even find out that work doesn’t match the client’s expectations, leading to more frustration and wasted time.

Find a Better Way

There is a better way to communicate with new clients during the onboarding process. GuideCX is designed to streamline your onboarding activities, keep team members accountable, avoid missing steps or deadlines, and provide communication channels to keep everyone up to speed from start to finish. Schedule a demo today to find out how it can improve your client onboarding.