Breaking it Down – Why Simplicity Wins in Client Onboarding – Part 1

By Mark Mitchell
May 14, 2020
scattered shapes to organized shapes

The onboarding process for many companies is not a simple one—it involves a lot of team members taking a new client from 0 to 100 so they can effectively use your software or service. Project management, especially for onboarding with complex software or services, can be a difficult and messy process. It would be wise for companies to think about onboarding from the perspective of Albert Einstein:

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

There are actually two sides to each onboarding process—the client-side and your internal onboarding—and each should be as simple as possible to maximize time-to-value and set the stage for a long and beneficial relationship.

 

Simplifying the Client Side

During the onboarding process, clients basically have three questions:

  • What product did we purchase?
  • Where are we at with onboarding?
  • Who has the ball (who needs to take the next step)?

The problem with most project management software is that it doesn’t have any visibility for the clients. Your team may be diligently working on getting all the pieces in place, but the client has no idea what’s going on.

 

What product did we purchase?

Does it surprise you to hear that clients have this question during onboarding? Many people assume that when your sales team hands off a client they already know what they are getting and how they will use it. But in many companies, the decision-maker who signs the contract with sales is a completely different person from the one who will actually implement and use the software or product each day.

Your onboarding process should be treated like a second sales process to:

  • Reinforce key features
  • Showcase simplicity and ease of use
  • Focus on the things that the client needs or wants
  • Answer any questions that come up from the people who will use the product

 

Where are we at with onboarding?

Most project management has internal communication tools but fails to keep the clients looped into everything that is happening. That leaves clients completely in the dark wondering if anything is going on, or creates a string of endless “reply all” emails that are impossible to follow for everyone involved.

 

Who has the ball?

Without good communication, clients also have no idea who needs to take the next step. When there is little visibility and no accountability, your team may be waiting for a client to take the next step, and the client has no idea they are holding up the project. Once you all figure it out, everyone is frustrated by the delays.

GUIDEcx is the first onboarding software that actually allows clients to see an overview of the project, timelines, and assignments so they know exactly what is going on and who is responsible. That keeps everyone accountable, and virtually eliminates calls and emails from your client asking for status updates.

In part two of this blog, we’ll talk about simplifying things on the internal side for your team. In the meantime, contact us to schedule a demo and see how our software can improve your onboarding.

 

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