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Selling your team on digital onboarding

  • 29 November 2023
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We’re just starting to look at formalizing our onboarding process. One full-time CS manager manages active accounts, renewals, training, and sometimes new trials/opportunities. They will be helping with onboarding as well. Can you share your tips for digital/automated onboarding and also how to sell other team members on the importance of it? Thank you in advance!

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Best answer by willpatterson 30 November 2023, 19:56

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This is a great question @LaurenSiteCapture! Can you help me understand what active accounts means? Are they new clients being onboarded for the first time?

I’m also curious to see how far you’ve gotten with creating your templates (aka playbooks for renewals, trainings, etc). I like to follow these steps for when implementing a digital/automated onboarding experience. 

  1. Start with the end in mind. By the end of the playbook what is the expected outcome? You’d be surprised how many companies build processes without an end in mind and wonder why customers are getting lost along the way.
  2. Identify the steps that must be taken for 80% of onboardings, renewals, trainings, or trials. You can’t plan for every situation, but it’s important to think along the lines of “For every new account I need to set up the kickoff call, then create their account, etc.
  3. Identify who owns what. This means that you need to figure out which internal departments are responsible for what. Don’t forget to think about which members on the customer side need to be involved.
  4. Set Expectations. It’s important that when it’s someone’s turn to complete a task that they know how to do something and when it’s due.

In a nutshell, it’s important to identify What needs to be done, Who needs to do it, How to do it, and When it’s due by. That will give you a solid starting point to standardizing your processes. 


@willpatterson @rondeaul @Casey Wilt @harrisclarke @Mark Mitchell  @Matthew Davidson In your experiences what would you add/take away here? Also any thoughts on selling other team members on the importance?

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@JeffKush I bet you have some nuggets of wisdom for this as well! Could you help our friend out?

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Great question @LaurenSiteCapture a number of benefits come to mind:

 

  1. Onboarding for your team” - instead of having a new hire shadow an IM for 6 months before they can do it themselves, you can spin up a test project day 1 and get them learning your process. Additionally, it’ll make your one-on-ones way more productive and focused on mastering your playbooks
  2. Tribal Knowledge” - one huge risk many companies have is if certain members of their team leave their organization. Often, if your process isn’t captured then it’s difficult to know how things are done or how to improve or have consistency among your IMs. 
  3. Consistency is Key” - without having a similar playbook or best practice each member of your team will be managing the onboarding differently. This can lead to major miscommunications, improper expectation setting and an incredible amount of work to actually understand what is going on in a project. A consistent playbook will create a space for true collaboration and consolidation. 

Hope these help!

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We’re just starting to look at formalizing our onboarding process. One full-time CS manager manages active accounts, renewals, training, and sometimes new trials/opportunities. They will be helping with onboarding as well. Can you share your tips for digital/automated onboarding and also how to sell other team members on the importance of it? Thank you in advance!

 

Boy, that’s quite a lot for one CSM to be responsible for! Sounds like they’re an absolute rock star.

 

My first thought while reading this was, “okay, how do we scale that CSM” and you’re already thinking of the way you do that, which is through digital/automated methods. 

Some of the ways that have worked best for me have been the following:

  • Webinars.
    • Record your CSM doing everything. Build a library of their best content. This can be used in so many ways, like enhancing existing KB’s, embedded within Project tasks, included in emails throughout the onboarding journey to nudge folks to adopt sticky parts of your platform. 
    • Depending on how many onboarding projects they’re responsible for at any one time or if your projects are similar enough, webinars are also a great place a cohort of customers in the same stage of onboarding can come together for things like Office Hours (where the CSM has a standing webinar each week to discuss common questions).
    • Training sessions should be short, specific, and RECORDED. Customers can take these on their own time and reference them as needed.  
      • And customers who prefer live training - well that could be an additional SKU you could sell.  There’s SO MUCH value in good training and people will pay for it. 
      • Depending on your tech stack, you can also tie in attendance back to tasks in your GuideCX project. It’s also a great way of determining risk - because if customers fail to attend - that’s a CTA for your seller or PM to reengage with the customer. 
  • In-App Tools.
    • Tools like Pendo, WalkMe, Gainsight PX, Chameleon, etc allow you to build product lead growth initiatives.
    • Guides that can walk folks through common configuration scenarios are gold - because they’re always available and can work in conjunction with your onboarding team to keep momentum going.
    • In-app announcements/dialog messages are fun ways to help celebrate tiny wins - like triggering a message celebrating the user on completing their first campaign or setting up their first user.  Gamifying their experience encourages continued adoption.

If you’d like to chat sometime let me know! I’d be happy to share the good/bad/ugly haha.

 

Selling it to other team mates is the best part because the whole point of a lot of this work is to SAVE THEM TIME. Who wants to be leading the same training session every single week?! There just simply isn't’ enough time in the day to be so high touch anymore, especially if a lot of this is being done by one person. Let’s help that person scale so they can spend their time being more strategic!

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  1. Tribal Knowledge” - one huge risk many companies have is if certain members of their team leave their organization. Often, if your process isn’t captured then it’s difficult to know how things are done or how to improve or have consistency among your IMs. 

This was the SINGLE biggest selling point on moving our team to a platform like GuideCX - it’s less about “automating” you out of your natural creativity and ingenuity, and more about ensuring that you know, at a minimum, the expectations at each step along the way. Having that “what now” stress out of your life feels like you’ve gained an extra day in your week…. without actually staying at work until 9!!

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Wow!! I am beyond grateful for the insightful responses here. Going to take some time to process all of this

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