Leveraging a Self-Service Implementation Strategy

By Peter Ord
Jan 3, 2019

When onboarding a new customer, a self-service implementation strategy can improve the experience for you and the client. It can reduce the resources you must invest in the process and help the customer start realizing the full benefit of your product or service faster.

Taking a self-serve approach also engages stakeholders and holds them accountable for their role in a successful implementation.

Challenges of Implementation & Onboarding

During the pitch and sales cycle, we sell the prospect on the benefits they will derive from our product or service. Beyond that vision, however, the customer-to-be likely has no idea what it takes to get to the benefits stage. The sales rep isn’t about to tell them, lest it scares them off – and that can lead to an unrealistic level of expectation.

When onboarding a new customer, it’s our job to guide them through the steps necessary for implementation. But, although we walk them through the process, the onus is truly on the customer to provide much of the information and take many of the steps necessary to implement the product or service on their side.

If you use a traditional, manual approach to onboarding, you’re calling, emailing and otherwise prodding the customer constantly to do what has to be done. You can gently or pointedly inform them of how their failure to respond will affect the implementation schedule and delay the time it takes for them to start reaping the promised benefits.

But, inevitably, they may blame your team for delays or get annoyed by your constant prompting.

What Is Self-Serve Implementation?

This term is a bit of a misnomer because the respective obligations for implementations don’t change. The customer doesn’t have to do anything more than they otherwise would but, with a self-service approach to onboarding, you won’t have to badger the customer to fulfill their obligations.

Automated communication to the customer reminds them of outstanding tasks and due dates, and updates them on the project’s progress. Providing multiple options for responses – email, app dashboard, or live links in communication – gives the customer options that best suit their needs.

Customers can respond and provide information on their schedule without having to worry about coordinating or interacting with your team (unless they want to, of course). And, with a functional digital interface, a quick glance tells everyone what’s outstanding and who’s responsible.

Benefits of Self-Service Strategies in Onboarding

The overarching benefit of a self-serve implementation strategy is that it provides a superior experience for both your company and your customer.

On a more practical level, it requires substantially less time and effort for your team – no constant back-and-forth calls or emails. And, because time is money, any tool that helps expedite the implementation process is likely to reduce your onboarding costs.

For the customer, having their team members’ obligations clearly spelled out provides the guidance they need, eliminating any potential confusion or ambiguity.

But perhaps the most important benefit of using a self-serve approach to onboarding is the level of accountability it places on the customer. With a clear visual representation of outstanding tasks and ball-in-court status, everyone involved in the process will see what remains to be done before the customer can begin deriving the promised benefits.

GuideCX offers everything you need to provide a self-serve implementation experience in one versatile and dynamic package. Use templates to automate and reproduce the onboarding process. Automated communication provides updates and maintains accountability. By improving the efficiency and transparency of the onboarding process, you can do more with less when you use GuideCX for self-service implementation.

Peter Ord

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