Sending out an onboarding questionnaire to clients is a common practice among B2B companies. They can provide great feedback and valuable insight; however, that’s if you do it right. If you don’t follow best practices, it can actually hurt your initial customer experience more than it can help.
Here are some tips to make sure your onboarding-specific questionnaire gets you valuable information without hurting the customers’ experience.
1. Timing is key
Don’t send out an onboarding questionnaire before the kickoff meeting takes place or is even scheduled. The kickoff is your time to shine, and if you’re afraid of your customers’ responses after the meeting, then you should reevaluate your kickoff strategy.
2. Is it going to the right person?
In addition to the tip above, in many cases, the kickoff is with the implementation overseer. This isn’t always the same person who signed the contract with the sales team. If this happens, you can send the questionnaire to both parties, but it’s best to send it to the one who will be more involved with the day-to-day onboarding tasks.
3. Keep it simple
If you send your customer a 27-page document that takes an entire day to fill out, you could sour the relationship before you even have a chance to get it started. Ask the questions that are necessary and unbiased to get the most accurate responses, but don’t overwhelm them with a big assignment right off the bat.
4. Get specific when necessary
While you do want to keep the questionnaire simple, you still need to gather information that is as specific as possible about the client’s goals, competitors, target audience, budgets, and deadlines. Depending on your process, ask about these items, or leave a space for them to say more if they wish to.
5. Don’t make clients repeat themselves
There is a good chance that your sales team has been working with the client and building a relationship for a while. During that time, the sales rep may have gathered quite a bit of useful information about the clients’ goals, past solutions they’ve tried that didn’t work, and reasons for choosing your software right now. Make it part of your sales-to-implementation handoff to transfer this internal knowledge to your onboarding team. You want to avoid asking questions in your onboarding questionnaire that were answered during the sales process. Clients will feel listened to and it will make your company’s operations seamless for a new client.
6. Don’t combine onboarding with a satisfaction survey
Now isn’t the time to include questions about how they heard about you, why they selected your company, or how satisfied they were with the sales process. That can come in the form of a satisfaction survey once the onboarding process is complete. Your goal for an onboarding survey is to make sure the onboarding process meets your clients’ expectations. A satisfaction survey can see how well those expectations were met.
Onboarding is your chance to set the stage for your entire client relationship. Make sure every step moves you in the right direction with new clients.
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