The Difference Between Client-Centric and Feature-Centric

By Todd White
Oct 14, 2020

One of the biggest mistakes SaaS onboarding teams make is spending too much time focusing on the features available in the product. The onboarding interaction is important to set the tone for how well your clients are able to use the product, so it might seem like a good idea to spend a lot of time showing new clients everything that is available in the software.

But this ignores a critical fact: the reason your clients purchased your software wasn’t the features. Certainly, those features might have played a role in choosing your product over a competitor, but the reality is that your client signed a contract with your SaaS company because they believe your product is a solution to a problem. For that reason, the most effective onboarding processes are the ones that focus on the customers and their needs, not on the product and its features.


Functional Onboarding: A Feature-Centric Approach

The “feature-centric” or “functional” onboarding process is unfortunately common. It involves a series of checklists that begin with a username and password, proceed through a training that shows the various menu and navigation features, and covers how to perform specific tasks. You deem the onboarding “complete” once you have reviewed all the various features, and pass the client along to a customer success team.

This functional approach is certainly functional, but it completely ignores the concept of value. In the end, your client knows how to use the software, but not how it can specifically solve their unique needs and challenges. Your best hope is that they can translate features into solutions, but in most cases, it’s more likely to end with disappointment when they struggle to show a return on investment. When it comes time to renew, they’re already looking for other options.


Success-Driven Onboarding: A Client-Centric Approach

Pivoting from a feature-centric to a client-centric onboarding process is not easy. It requires more work initially from your team and a more customized approach to the onboarding process. The key is figuring out exactly what problem the client hopes your software can solve, and how they will measure success. From there, your onboarding is customized to help them achieve initial success and see the potential in achieving future milestones.

Success will look a little different for everyone, so your client onboarding software needs to have the capability to customize each onboarding experience without starting from scratch every time. GuideCX® starts with a basic onboarding template that includes all the feature-specific trainings and tasks. From there you can customize the client-centric pieces of the onboarding puzzle for a more tailored final process.


Find Out Why GuideCX is Different

Client-centric onboarding isn’t about the specific tasks a person can perform in your software, but how the software can help them reach a solution to their problem. Take a test drive with our 14-day free trial to learn how GuideCX software can help you make this critical pivot for better onboarding.

Todd White

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