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It’s no secret that product adoption is one of the most challenging aspects of the customer journey for customer success teams. In yesterday’s webinar, Skilljar’s Product Marketing Manager, Linda Schwaber Cohen, and Checkr’s Head of Customer Education & Training, Adam Avramescu, dove into the need for companies to be thoughtful and strategic in their customer onboarding and education programs and explained why the key to product adoption is establishing value for customers early and often.

While an emphasis on onboarding is not new, Adam and Linda identified several common mistakes, many of which stem from the belief in onboarding as a single activity, rather than as an ongoing strategy. Among these common mistakes:

  • The belief that there is only one correct way of doing things
  • Equating user onboarding with account onboarding
  • Assuming that onboarding should be owned by only one team

To realign the thinking around customer onboarding, Linda and Adam introduced the Risk Scale Matrix, a new formula that aligns the major use cases or user roles of a company or product, with an onboarding model that best addresses those specific needs. These onboarding archetypes are all based on two factors: risk and scale.

  • Risk is defined as “What could go wrong for the customer if your users and accounts aren’t properly educated?”
  • Scale examines how broadly a product is adopted and the range of adoption behaviors that exist among the user base

With these factors in consideration, Linda and Adam identified four onboarding archetypes:

  • High Scale & High Risk: These are business-critical systems where errors can result in injury, legal risk or other catastrophes
  • High Scale & Low Risk: These are tools that users cannot live without out, but if there is an error, no one is going to die or go bankrupt
  • Low Scale & High Risk: In this category, highly specialized users are in a situation where error also brings high risk
  • Low Scale & Low Risk: In this category,  both the users and the product are highly specialized, but an error will not halt the overall business.

At the end of the day, the three key variables (level of risk, frequency of usage, and reach) are the factors that determine which archetype is the best fit for a given situation.

Interested in learning more about these archetypes as well as onboarding activities that support each of these models? Click here to access the full recording!

You can also access the slide deck used by Linda and Adam here.