Your sales team has closed the deal and landed a new customer. Congratulations! Now it’s time for you and your customer success team to shine. But just delivering the product or service your new client bought isn’t enough.
Even if your customers get what they paid for, a poor onboarding experience could keep them from coming back. And if they share that unpleasant experience with their friends and peers, it could cost you future business, too.
To keep the customers you have—and attract new ones—you need to deliver a superior product and an exceptional new client experience. Here are three things customer success managers can change to create positive onboarding experiences and nurture long-term customer relationships.
1. Get Everyone on the Same Page and Keep Them There
The only thing worse than not understanding what’s going on with an implementation is feeling like you’re the only one being left out of what’s happening. Visibility and transparency are key to getting everyone on the same page and making sure they are comfortable with what’s going on.
Your first step is inviting all the key points of contact to the project. Projects with more people—and the right people—involved have a better chance of completing on time and with fewer glitches. Besides your customer success team, consider adding your sales team to the project. They have a vested interest in making sure what they sold is delivered successfully. They can also provide valuable insight into your new customer and what they are looking for. Including a technical expert will help you respond faster to issues that might come up during software or service implementation.
On the customer side, you can include not just the onboarding team and end users, but the people responsible for purchasing it and even any third-party vendors that have a role in the implementation.
If adding all those people sounds expensive, don’t worry. With GuideCX®, you only pay for project manager and administrator seats. You can invite as many guests to a project as you want at no additional cost.
Now that you have all the right people at the table, the next step is transparent communication so no one gets left out. With GuideCX, everyone on your project can check the status and get updates whenever and however they want—through the portal, via email, or through the mobile app. You can track an entire onboarding process without logging into the system once.
That kind of transparent communication means no one is accidentally left off a meeting invite, deleted from an email chain, or kept out of an important conversation. When the right people know what’s going on, work gets done faster and better, confusion and miscommunications are eliminated, and overall customer satisfaction with your process and your product increases.
2. Explain Dependencies and Identify Risks
Your clients might not understand exactly how tasks impact each other. Take the time to outline your project timeline and milestones and identify what tasks can’t be started until the previous tasks are completed. Using GuideCX, you can build these dependencies into your project template so the system will automatically send out task assignment emails at the right time.
You can also create dependencies for project milestones. This is especially useful for larger projects with multiple steps in different buckets. Once you complete a milestone, GuideCX will move you to the next phase of your onboarding process.
You should also work together with your customer to identify risks, like key team members going on vacation, and set realistic expectations about how that might change the delivery timeline. If something does change the anticipated completion date of a certain task, GuideCX will automatically update the dependent timelines and delivery dates for you.
3. Automate Repeatable Tasks
Manual processes like drafting emails, updating spreadsheets, and making endless follow-up phone calls create unnecessary work and slow you down. A long implementation process means customers wait longer before they can use your product or service. And if they wait too long, they might just leave and never come back.
Manual onboarding processes also make it harder for you to take on more customers and tackle more complex implementations with more steps. Let’s say you have a team of five people who can each onboard 10 clients a month. That’s all fine and good until your sales team has a banner month and suddenly you have 100 clients to onboard instead of 50. If you are relying on manual processes to get the job done, it’s going to be hard to get the job done.
GuideCX helps you automate repeatable processes like welcome emails and status updates, so you can shorten your onboarding and increase your capacity. You can also turn your implementation plan into a template, making it the ultimate repeatable process. This saves a lot of time while still giving you the flexibility you need to customize the plan for each client.
If you can cut 10 days off your onboarding timeline, each customer success team member can onboard more clients each month. And they’re getting your customers to value faster too. Sounds like a win-win to us.
Onboard New Clients like a Pro with GuideCX
GuideCX is a purpose-built project management tool designed to transform the onboarding experience for your customers and your internal teams. You’ll keep customers in the loop and help them get value from your product or service faster. On average, GuideCX clients reduce time to value by 30%. And with increased capability to take on more projects—and succeed at them—you’ll look like the world-class implementation professional we know you are.
Get started today with a free 14-day trial of GuideCX.
- Want to Reduce Client Onboarding Time by 30%? Here’s How - February 24, 2021
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- 3 Ways Customer Success Teams Can Improve Client Onboarding - January 29, 2021