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.

Avoid These Common Pitfalls in the Transition from Sales to Implementation to Onboarding

There’s a lot of satisfaction (and often much fanfare) when your company completes a sale. It’s a time when there are a lot of expectations and a lot of hope. Your new client is excited about the opportunity to get software that will meet their needs and hopefully improve their own ability to do business or deliver a service. Your team is hoping it will be the start of a long-term relationship with a new client. 

What happens next is actually one of the most critical steps in your new relationship with a client, and it can set the stage for whether they become a loyal client or they lose interest, become disillusioned and frustrated, and eventually decide not to renew their contract. It’s the sales-to-onboarding handoff, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong. The good news is that knowing some of the most common pitfalls can help you avoid them.

 

1: The Black Hole of Communication

One of the most common mistakes people make in the transition from a sales team to onboarding is to leave the client hanging with no communication for an extended period of time. The client, who is likely excited about the new software they just purchased, will quickly get frustrated if they don’t hear from anyone about what the next steps are in the onboarding process. It’s critical that your onboarding team reaches out as soon as the sale is finalized to provide: 

  • A timeline for the onboarding process
  • Contact information for the onboarding team lead
  • Clear expectations for what will happen next

 

2: Overwhelming Your New Client

On the opposite end of a lack of communication is the communication overload, providing too much information to your clients all at once. You might think you are being helpful by sending an email to kick off the onboarding process that includes links to 30 training videos and 245 articles in your knowledge base, but most likely you’re just overwhelming your clients. Instead, create a customer journey through the onboarding process and build a series of well-timed, automated emails that walk your client through the appropriate training and information to help them succeed when using your software. It is also important to ensure the right customers get added on the customer side to implement and launch.

 

3: Making Promises You Can’t (Or Won’t) Keep

Overpromising and underdelivering is a common issue during onboarding. For many companies, it’s the result of not having a clear onboarding process, so any dates you provide or actions you promise can quickly get overlooked or missed entirely. The best way to avoid this is with client onboarding software that clearly outlines every step of the process provides deadlines and task assignments so people know who is responsible, and gives a clear completion date that is both reasonable and reliable as long as everyone does their job. 

If you are falling into some of these onboarding pitfalls, find out how GuideCX client onboarding software can help you improve the implementation process for everyone. Schedule a demo today to learn more, or start your free 14-day trial!

Three Onboarding Keys to Reduce Churn (Webinar)

The #1 cause of churn? A bad implementation.

The last thing a new customer wants to do is leave your company before they even get to use what they bought! So where’s the breakdown?

If our implementations are confusing, elongated, and unpredictable, our customers will leave.

The Solution

We partnered with Ethan White, co-founder of Wayland Partners, to share with you three keys for improving your implementation and reducing churn right away.

You’ll walk away with strategies for:

    1. How to get specific and actionable with metrics
    2. Finding processes worth automating
    3. Using predictors to track customer loyalty

You can also check out our slide deck or jump over to our Webinar FAQ for any questions you have. We’d love to talk more with you!

Todd White

How to Shorten Your TTV for New Clients

Remember the last time you bought a piece of furniture from a retailer that you had to assemble yourself? Putting aside the aching back from all that time spent bending over, the process is usually a pretty simple one. You pull out all the pieces, follow the instructions, and in the end, you have a functional piece of furniture to use for its intended purpose.

The first time you use it—sleeping on a bed, or sitting on a chair, for example—you realize why you made the purchase and, if it’s a quality piece of furniture, you’ve reached the ‘aha!’ moment when the cost of the furniture and the effort to put it together was worthwhile. In customer onboarding lingo, the time it took for you to assemble and use the furniture would be your “time to value”, or TTV.

However, if it took a month to put the furniture together, or you got partway through assembly and realized you were missing some critical pieces, you may get frustrated and decide to take it back to the store for a refund. You never got a return on your investment, and eventually gave up because the process was too cumbersome.

 

Why TTV Matters

No matter what product or service you are selling, validating customers’ reason for purchasing it, and helping them achieve a return on their investment is critical to satisfaction and retention. The harder it is for a client to reach the TTV and ROI stages, the higher the chance they are already looking for alternatives and planning to leave as soon as their contract is up (or sooner, if they can). Some products and services naturally take longer to get to see TTV, but the key for any company is making the time as short as possible.

 

How You Can Shorten TTV

The best way to ensure clients can reach their TTV is to have a deep understanding of what creates value for clients and remove all the obstacles that could get in the way.

  • Understand your customer’s journey through onboarding, and their reasons for purchasing the software or service
  • Don’t assume you know – collect data on successful client onboarding and customer retention to identify what makes clients more likely to stay
  • Automate as much of the process as possible to avoid delays caused by manual tasks
  • Create helpful training tools and step-by-step guides for the entire onboarding
  • Customize information so clients don’t get a bunch of stuff they don’t need, or that creates confusion
  • Stay in constant communication about where you are in the onboarding process, your deadlines, and what clients can expect as next steps
  • Examine your product or service from the customer viewpoint so you can see firsthand where the friction points exist, then remove them

Finally, it’s important to personalize the customer onboarding experience as much as possible. While data can show you common points where customers become loyal users, it cannot replace the value of a good relationship between your onboarding and/or client success teams and your customers.

To learn more about how GuideCX is changing the way companies onboard their clients and creating a better user onboarding experience, schedule a demo today.

Following Up Your Onboarding: Best Practices to Gather Post-Onboarding Feedback

The customer experience survey has become a ubiquitous part of our world, with companies everywhere trying to gather information and feedback about their interactions with clients and customers in an effort to improve. In that world of constant survey requests, it might seem like a bad idea to send out your own survey, but post-onboarding feedback can provide your company with valuable information about how to improve your process to create better, longer-lasting relationships with new clients in the future.

Here are some strategies to help you gather good information in an unobtrusive way.

 

Timing is Everything

Sending a survey out soon after the onboarding process is complete will usually provide you with better information than one several weeks or months later. The more recent the experience, the more likely you will get accurate feedback. However, it’s also important to recognize that the client’s time is valuable, and if you ask for feedback within a very short timeframe that isn’t convenient, they are unlikely to respond. Give them enough leeway to get it done on their own time, without letting too much time go by after the onboarding is finished.

 

Narrow it Down

Obviously the more questions you ask in a follow-up survey, the more feedback you can get about specific parts of your onboarding process, but the desire for more data should be balanced with keeping it simple for your client.

 

Provide an Incentive

If possible, try to provide an incentive for filling out the survey. In some industries, regulations may prevent you from doing that, but even a simple reward (like a $10 Amazon gift card) can increase response rates. Some of your clients will be willing to fill out the survey without a reward with the hope that their feedback can improve onboarding for future clients, but when there’s a tangible benefit attached, more people are likely to fill it out.

 

Use the Results to Improve the Customer Experience

Most companies plan to use the results of post-onboarding feedback to improve future onboarding with new clients. However, you should also take a look at the survey results to determine if there is actionable insight you can use to also improve your relationship with the client who filled it out. Gleaning information about how you can improve future interactions with that specific client that you can pass along to the account manager or client relationship manager can help them provide a better ongoing experience for your new client, increasing the chance that they stick with you.

Implementing some simple best practices in your post-onboarding feedback helps you avoid surveys that are poorly timed, only look backward, and don’t offer any benefit to your respondents. If you’re looking for more ways to improve your onboarding experience, or you want better feedback on those surveys, talk to GuideCX today about our industry-leading project management platform.

Your Current Customers Will Help You Push Past the Pause (Webinar)

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.