Inefficiency within your organization can cost your business as much as 20–30 percent of your yearly revenue. That’s a lot of income left on the table due to inefficiency—and in today’s economy, who can afford that?
For most organizations, efficiency means how effectively products and services can be produced in relation to the amount of time and money required to produce them. Efficient businesses take full advantage of the resources available to them and eliminate unnecessary waste of those resources—such as time, money, labor, and materials—in the process of generating their products and services.
No matter your industry, efficiency matters. But what will make the greatest impact and differentiate you from your competitors? Ultimately, it will be your customer service—particularly regarding customer onboarding. To illustrate, let’s look at eight ways customer onboarding strategies can improve efficiency in your organization.
8 Ways Customer Onboarding Strategies Are the
Keys to Efficiency
1. Create Memorable First Impressions to Increase Retention
Today’s customers aren’t content to stay with a business that doesn’t put their success first. Thirty-two percent of all customers will leave a company after just one negative experience. To retain your customers, efficient customer onboarding strategies that deliver great first impressions will be increasingly important.
You only get one opportunity to make a good first impression. One way to improve retention through customer onboarding is to be prescriptive in diagnosing the customer’s pain points rather than try to sell them on your product or service right out of the gate. Do your homework to truly understand your customer’s industry, their organizational goals, and the challenges they may be facing. Listen well and then tell them how you will help them overcome that issue. Your first customer interaction should leave the customer feel understood, listened to, and ready to make transformative changes because you’ve created an environment of trust.
2. Shorten Onboarding Time to Create Faster TTFV (Time to First Value)
TTFV is a straightforward measurement:
For the customer and the organization alike, the faster you can get to value, the better for all parties. Imagine cutting your average onboarding timeline by 60 days like Epion Health was able to accomplish. That means they achieved value 60 days earlier than before they implemented GUIDEcx. Certainly, a faster turnaround time delivers a much higher ROI for the organization.
The right customer onboarding experience can lead to a quicker TTFV in several ways. One is to work with a customer onboarding team familiar with various verticals. Experienced professionals can help you quickly identify common process issues and make valuable suggestions to transform your approach.
Choose a team that can suggest ways you can eliminate repetitive or unproductive tasks. Use a platform that allows you to track how long tasks take to understand roadblocks that need to be fixed. The right platform can provide real-time forecasting to help you understand where a project is on hold and where to add resources. Features like this are invaluable when working on getting value more quickly.
When you accelerate customer onboarding and promote a quicker time to value, you build trust with your customers and help them free up time for additional projects, which leads to the next benefit of customer onboarding efficiency: increased capacity.
3. Expand Capacity to Work with More Clients
What could you achieve if you had a little more time and a few more resources? Kount increased capacity by 40 percent after improving their onboarding efficiency, allowing customer success managers to reach and interact with more clients.
With a cumbersome and outdated onboarding workflow, your labor, time, and financial resources are likely spread too thin. In today’s economy, managing your resources efficiently becomes ever more important. Implementing a GANTT chart will help you understand task dependencies and help you streamline your process. If your onboarding platform includes a resource management function, you can better track which team members are over or under-utilized, helping you spread out work more evenly. The ability to track who is doing what and when and forecast how long it will take them to complete their tasks can provide powerful insights on how and where to spend your resources.
With an optimized and efficient workflow, team members can pursue meaningful tasks more. By recovering wasted resources, you can invest in new projects, hires, and customers.
4. Reduce Overhead to Recover Lost Revenue
Improved efficiency within customer onboarding reduces overhead. This was one of the reasons that Epion Health initially came to GUIDEcx for help. Epion, a provider of patient engagement solutions, recognized that delayed onboarding and go-lives naturally cost them and their clients money. If they wanted to cut down on overhead, they would have to reduce onboarding time.
“If a client takes two months longer to go live, that’s 60 days’ worth of patients they missed getting quality measures on,” says Ann Mooney, head of implementation at Epion Health. “This affects their reimbursements from the payers/insurance, leaving revenue on the table the longer it takes.” Not only did working with GUIDEcx allow Epion to cut their average onboarding time by 60 days successfully, but it also meant they could reduce overhead and recover lost revenue.
Using limited systems like spreadsheets makes managing resources, forecasting project completion, improving workflow management, and so much more difficult. Most importantly, you lack insight into the true cost of implementation without the ability to track these elements in real-time. What kind of ROI will you see without the ability to accurately quote project timelines because you’re busy chasing information from various sources?
Reduce your labor overhead by investing in a platform that eliminates confusing systems by bringing all your processes under one unified dashboard. Committing to digitally transforming your onboarding will lead to an overall improvement in your ROI and an increase in your bottom line.
5. Maintain Transparent Communication
Instant, consistent, and easy access to communication between teams about onboarding tasks is a hallmark of an efficient onboarding process. How can you drive efficiency in your communication channels? Bring all communication together under one unified customer dashboard. Hosting tasks, project status, and updates all in one place gives your customers a transparent view of the project’s progress.
Transparency is essential in two ways:
- Time Tracking: Know exactly where your team spends and how much time. Doing so gives a clear view of team bandwidth, allowing you to (1) quickly pivot or reallocate resources when needed without disrupting workflow and (2) uncover unrealized billable hours.
- Status Change Reasons: This gives your team a clear look into why a project is delayed and not just the fact that it is delayed. This information can help you identify trends and get to the root of the problem in real time, making adjustments as needed.
You can drive efficiency in your customer onboarding through a platform that allows you to track communication, automates messaging, and delivers a centralized repository for all of your project documents and files. With such features, you can easily manage customer questions, track project emails, and access frequently-used information in one easy-to-find location.
6. Enlist Automation to Save More Time
There’s no better way to reduce time spent on routine tasks than with automation. If your current customer onboarding process features onboarding templates or spreadsheets, you’re only one step away from onboarding efficiency. You need to take the additional step to work with a platform that can effectively automate your systems.
Why make the change from a manual system to an automated process? Rather than relying on a Google document of step-by-step instructions, you could upgrade to automated dependency logic already built into the customer onboarding platform, ensuring the proper steps are completed correctly. Rather than manually tracking each time a client completes a task, you could rely on a platform that records their progress along the onboarding track for you. And rather than setting a reminder on your phone to email the client about the next steps, the system could automatically send it to you. The right customer onboarding platform is designed to do the legwork for you, eliminating exhausting workflow headaches and challenges.
Groupize, a provider of meeting and management tools, recognized the need for automation when it came to GUIDEcx. Their time savings translate to 10 days of saved time a month. How much time could you save if you automated your process?
7. Eliminate Integration Roadblocks
If you’re nervous about the challenge of implementing a customer onboarding service with your current CSM platforms, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Gainsight, you needn’t be. A customer onboarding team with extensive experience working with small to enterprise-level clients understands these tools inside and out and recognizes the importance of seamless integration.
To eliminate hiccups in communication and compatibility issues between platforms, look for an onboarding service that provides an expansive offering of integration tools and professional team members who can help you connect the systems easily. A smooth implementation ensures you can get up and running more quickly, eliminating any roadblocks you may encounter.
8. Access Diagnostic Analytics
After implementing these approaches, it is important to understand how well your efficiency strategies are working. A powerful customer onboarding tool will help you set goals based on KPIs (key performance indicators) such as TTFV, churn, ROI, and more. Using these goals, the system can track analytics on how many onboarding projects you completed this month, how many days the average project takes to complete, how much revenue those projects delivered, and more. Sharing these reports with key organizational stakeholders will help them understand your strategies and help you identify where to make adjustments, where to pivot, and how to measure success.
Performance measurements are critical for adjusting your customer onboarding process and becoming more efficient. As you identify imbalances in your resources, task and project completion time frames, and customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), you can improve your onboarding process.
GUIDEcx Can Help
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Discover how GUIDEcx can help you improve efficiency by reducing your customer onboarding timeline and increasing the capacity of your project managers. Our unparalleled professional resources and unwavering commitment to excellence support our industry-leading customer onboarding solution.