Onboarding customers is the most important part of the entire customer journey. While specific facets of the onboarding process may vary from company to company, there is no question about the vital need to get it right — to make it effective, repeatable, and stable. To assist CS teams, an effective Customer Onboarding Checklist has been added to the Customer Success Library for CSA members.
The Customer Onboarding Process
There are six main phases to the process: Embark, Handoff, Kickoff, Adopt, Review, and Expand. In each of these, there are specific tasks to be done and goals to be accomplished.
In the Embark phase, all of the participants are identified and appropriate (measurable and manageable) goals and objectives are defined. Expectations are properly set.
Handoff is when Sales turns over all of the knowledge that they have gained about the customer to the Customer Success team. It is also when the individual Customer Success plan is defined and gets approval from the Customer.
The Kickoff meeting marks the beginning of the working partnership between the customer and the Customer Success team members. Each have their assigned tasks and responsibilities, documented in the onboarding and implementation project plans.
In the Adopt phase, the technical implementation of the product is done, and the customers’ personnel are trained and coached in how to make full use of the product. This phase may take several months to complete.
The Customer Success plan and the implementation and onboarding plans are assessed for completion and satisfaction during the Review phase.
The Expand phase never stops. There are always new users to bring up to speed, and new options for increasing productivity and profitability to present and to explore.
The Customer Onboarding Checklist
A checklist of the appropriate questions to be asked during each of the 6 phases is available at the link below. (You’ll need to be logged in as at least an Associate/free member of the Customer Success Association to access the file. If you do not see the link at the bottom of the page, please log in.)
Customer onboarding expert, Donna Weber is a recognized Customer Success thought leader and strategist. Her consulting firm, Donna Weber helps high growth companies create customers for life with scalable customer onboarding, enablement, and engagement frameworks. The results are scaled Customer Success organizations, decreased time to first customer value, increased customer lifetime value, and accelerated product usage & adoption.
Donna is an author, speaker, and consultant who gets to the heart of the matter. She is passionate about making your customers successful, which means you are successful.
Her clients range from start ups to well-established enterprise companies. Colleagues know Donna as a leader who makes a difference. When she’s not springboarding customers to success, you might find her white water kayaking the rivers of California and beyond.