In Part 3 of our Customer Onboarding blog series, we look at how your internal team members (people) can be involved with customer onboarding. For many businesses, a human touch is necessary for the customer onboarding process. Contrast this with Part 2, which focused on automated strategies, and Part 1, which focused on a dedicated training team.
Customer success is a very cross-functional discipline, incorporating aspects of sales, marketing, product management, and support. The strategies below might be owned by different functional teams than the formal customer success organization. Yet it’s important for the customer success team to be involved with all aspects of the customer journey
In this blog post we dive deeper into onboarding managers, community, live chat, and support tickets.
1. Onboarding Manager
An increasing number of customer success teams are creating dedicated onboarding specialists. We see this especially in products with higher price points, or that have complex implementation needs. This can be helpful for your new customers to have a single point of contact who is quarterbacking the project and prioritizing the drive towards successful launch. This also frees up your other customer success managers to focus on account health, renewals, and upsells.
In theory, community discussions and forums are an effective way for customers to learn from each other. In practice, building and engaging the community is a challenging (but ultimately rewarding) initiative that takes dedicated moderators and thoughtful implementation strategies. The “90-9-1” rule of thumb is that 90% of members will lurk, 9% will edit content, and only 1% will create content. So, plan for your moderators to be very active in asking questions, encouraging your evangelists to participate, and responding to comments in a timely manner.
3. Live chat
With most products, there is inevitably a learning curve the first few times you use it. Live chat is a powerful tool for getting questions answered exactly when customers are experiencing the pain. At Skilljar, our live chat software will even proactively ask users whether they need help. Live chat does require team members to be staffed with good written communication skills.
4. Support tickets
When all else fails, make it easy for new customers to get support. Personally, I really like the support experience in Hubspot, our marketing automation software. I can choose how I’d like to be contacted, type an email directly from any page in the product, and I usually get a response within 24 hours. I can reply to the ticket within my own email without logging back into Hubspot. We recently onboarded onto Hubspot’s CRM product, and I found this support process invaluable in ironing out questions that seemed too minor to bring to our customer success manager.
Onboarding managers, community, live chat, and support tickets are important touchpoints for customer onboarding, even though they do require people staffing, may not be organized under “customer success,” and are not fully automated. Yet these strategies are part of your customer’s journey, and should be incorporated into a multi-channel customer onboarding program.
Stay tuned for the final post of this blog series, where we’ll be summarizing what we’ve learned.