At the beginning of March, we held Customer Onboarding roundtables with over 20 Customer Success experts to discuss three important elements of customer onboarding:

  1. Driving Customer Engagement
  2. Building a Customer Experience Strategy
  3. Perfecting Customer Handoffs

In this blog post, we’re sharing the key insights from the sessions on driving customer engagement.

As you begin your customer onboarding process, it’s important to articulate key success criteria, outline the roles and responsibilities of each team member, and set clear expectations. But, it’s equally important to make sure your customer is engaged throughout the onboarding process.

Here are four ways your organization can drive customer engagement:

#1: Make your customer onboarding program a paid service with a set timeframe for the onboarding process.

Making onboarding a paid service establishes onboarding as something of value. When a customer has some skin in the game, they are much more likely to do their part to make onboarding successful.

Putting a timeline in place allows your organization to manage onboarding when business conditions change or when a customer is slow to do their part. A best practice would be to set a certain amount of pauses (with time limits) into your onboarding contract. If a customer exceeds the set amount of pauses, they would be required to pay an additional fee or restart the onboarding process on a new contract. Again, it’s amazing what a little skin in the game can do.

#2: Take the lead on fostering change and ensuring alignment around a common set of business objectives.

During the mobilization phase of the project, a best practice would be to conduct a Success Planning Session. Critically, have your customer’s executive sponsor kick off the session and describe why they have chosen your solution or service and what this initiative means to the business before moving on to discuss objectives and milestones.

As with any new project, having a clear directive, objectives and milestones up front, along with an assigned team of dedicated resources, is critical to aligning both organizations to a common mission.

#3: Always choose quality time over quantity of time.

As you bring your customer into your onboarding process, be clear about what your program steps are, what they should expect from each session, and what pre-work is required of them.  When scheduling time together, make sure to:

  1. Review their submitted material ahead of time
  2. Be prepared to lead discussions and engage with your customer
  3. Customize your presentation to their business requirements

In a reciprocal manner, you should expect the same from your customer: thank them for coming prepared to your sessions and reschedule the session if they have not had a chance to complete the pre-work.

#4: Understand that onboarding success only comes with continuous improvement.

Every program we put in place at TaskRay gets better and better as we continue to evolve it. A best practice for your onboarding program would be to have a system in place to gather feedback, digest the results, and to continue to iterate on your onboarding process utilizing these valuable customer insights. By embracing a growth mindset and positive outlook, we can continuously improve our process, which will result in long term customer success.

Conclusion

Customer engagement is the ongoing interaction between your organization and your customer. When customers feel like they have just as much to gain from engaging with your brand as you do, you’ll foster a sense of reciprocity that keeps them emotionally connected to your brand—which will result in all the benefits of a strong, collaborative relationship.

Coming Next Week

In next week’s blog post, we’ll share best practices from our roundtable sessions about designing a strategy for when to use a high-touch vs. low-touch vs. tech-touch solution> Sign Up for Emails

As part of our Launch 2020 Speaker Series, we’re also offering a special (and timely!) virtual workshop on change management led by Coach Keren Eldad on April 15th at 10am MT. Keren is a TEDx Speaker, author, the founder of With Enthusiasm Coaching™ and Certified Personal and Executive Coach (ACC, CPC, CEC, CPBA, CPMA).  > Learn More & Register

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