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If You Build It, They Will Come: A Guide to Customer Onboarding


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If You Build It, They Will Come: A Guide to Customer Onboarding

  1. 1. IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME: A GUIDE TO CUSTOMER ONBOARDING NOVEMBER 15, 2022, AT 12:30 PM PT, 3:30 PM ET, 8:30 PM BST Product Management Today PLG for Durable Growth
  2. 2. 03 As the leading Customer Success platform provider, Gainsight empowers hundreds of customer-focused businesses to deliver outcomes and exceptional experiences everyday. We (literally) wrote the book on Customer Success, but we refuse to let it stop there. We never stop looking for the “next best thing” and work with industry thought leaders to bring the latest best practices to our customers and community. Learn more about Gainsight at Gainsight.com
  3. 3. TO USE YOUR TELEPHONE: You must select "Use Telephone" after joining and call in using the numbers below. United States: +1 (914) 614-3221 Access Code: 968-927-1469 Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar TO USE YOUR COMPUTER'S AUDIO: When the webinar begins, you will be connected to audio using your computer's microphone and speakers (VoIP). A headset is recommended. Click on the Questions panel to interact with the presenters
  4. 4. IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME: A GUIDE TO CUSTOMER ONBOARDING Product Management Today Empowering you to Empower Them
  5. 5. 5 “If you build it, they will come.” A guide to customer onboarding
  6. 6. 6 Agenda Subject Timebox What is Customer Onboarding 5 mins What is *Good* Customer Onboarding 10 mins Pitfalls of Bad Customer Onboarding: Do This, Not That 15 mins Pivot Signals – When to Make a Change 15 mins Q&A
  7. 7. 7 The excitement of launching a new product is tangible…
  8. 8. 8 So, what exactly is a customer, what is onboarding, and why should you care?  A customer is anyone who pays for, uses, supports, or derives value from the product you create  Customer onboarding is the process we use to get new customers setup and using the product you have created.  You should care, because you likely have one shot and one shot only to get it right before those customers who did show up head to your competitor. Onboarding is a critical setup for retention.
  9. 9. 9 But will they stay?
  11. 11. 11 “A poor onboarding experience is hard to come back from and is the fastest way to lose a customer.” — Paul Philip, Founder and CEO of Amity
  12. 12. 12 Considerations based on who is using your product B2B, B2C…Who is your end user? The way you communicate should be fluid depending upon what your product is solving for your user base You have the job of finding and creating champions inside an organization More often than not, these people have no choice but to use your product that went through procurement The way you communicate should be broad enough to address a large swath of demographics. In short: be clear. You have the job of not running them off to find another pain reliever from your competition These users have as many choices are there are in the market that solves for the job they’re trying to do
  13. 13. 13 Setting YOUR expectations Good Customer Onboarding We will review 1. Elements of good customer onboarding 2. Opportunities to approach things differently with B2B customers 3. What it means to be a champion and how to create them
  14. 14. 14 Before Onboarding The Customer Strategy After Onboarding The Product Strategy Be clear about the value proposition – what promise are you making? Don’t oversell. Am I requiring a lot of work? If you ask for too much too soon, stop it. Are the claims you made in your pre- onboarding content realistic? Ensure the claims reflect reality. Are you seeing churn or drop-off after onboarding? Act on it! Customer Onboarding It’s not about getting customers, it’s about keeping them Look at the full picture of your onboarding.
  15. 15. 15 The Sign-Up Process KEEP. IT. SIMPLE. Integrate where it makes sense Minimum Necessary Rule The Welcome Email or Text Short. Drive them to First Use Feedback Give a way to let you know you messed up Actually look at it and measure it Act on it First Login / First Use No assumptions – hit the highlights Get them somewhere valuable, quickly Demo where it makes sense What are the key elements of customer onboarding?
  16. 16. 16 Good strategies for a sign-up process What Mural did well: 1. Three pieces of information, likely stored in your browser. 2. They made it clear that it’s free to sign up and the customer can continue to use the free version forever.
  17. 17. 17 Good strategies for a sign-up process What Etsy did well: 1. They allow you to integrate, but it’s optional. 2. It’s one-click if you do integrate; if you don’t, it’s 3 pieces of information.
  18. 18. 18 Thank and welcome them! Ok, they’ve signed up, now what? Make it clear you want to hear from them Send a welcome email or text Ask the customer how they want to communicate
  19. 19. 19 Keep it simple. Good strategies for a good welcome That’s it. That’s the advice.
  20. 20. 20 Give them direction! Make first use count. According to Pendo, approximately 80% of your features in your product are not used Pendo correlates this to roughly $29.5 Billion wasted on unused features You built it, and they came, but will they stay? Show them what to do and what aligns with your value proposition(s) Make it easy to find help First Use What happens after they’re in?
  21. 21. 21 Good examples of first use: What does Netflix do well: 1. You are immediately seeing popular TV shows and movies. 2. You can begin to give feedback immediately to teach them what to show you.
  22. 22. 22 Good examples of first use: What does Amazon do well: 1. They let me buy things instantly 2. They start to show me similar products that might interest me
  23. 23. 23 Turn your customers into champions Beginning the feedback cycle Release based on the customer first Make product trade-offs Provide a way to give feedback Let the customer know you’ve heard them Plan and generate excitement Consume and analyze metrics and customer feedback
  24. 24. 24 Customer Onboarding Recap 2. Welcome and Thank you Keep it simple Tell your customers thank you and welcome them to your product. Immediately illustrate value. 4. Capture Feedback Measure Capture qualitative and quantitative feedback 1. Sign up your customers Get your customers signed up Get the minimum necessary information to sign them up – no one cares about a sexy login process 3. First Login / First Use Make it clear Get your customers to realizing value immediately and demonstrate features when it makes sense 5. Repeat Introduce new features as needed Beginning at step 3, let your customers know what value they can get out of using your product and how they can get it. 6. Roadmap accordingly Adjust your plans Your roadmap is a plan that’s predicting the future. Adjust it based on the feedback you’re getting.
  25. 25. 25 “The customer’s perception is your reality.” — Kate Zabriskie, President of Business Training Work
  26. 26. 26 Sign-up Entirely Manual Reentry Everything, Everywhere, All At Once • Capturing too much customer detail up front • More than one or two steps • No save option • Customers can’t integrate with existing profiles • You have disabled the ability to copy and paste • Your captcha is too difficult • Customers can’t carry over the created profile to future interactions (particularly bad in healthcare) • You ask for the same detail multiple times Sign-up screw-ups
  27. 27. 27 Welcome  Way too much information, too many words, too many big words, too many things separated by commas  Vague and generic You’re not welcome  Relying on handouts and user guides without interacting with your business users being onboarded is a good way to lose steam
  28. 28. 28 Information Overload First Use Not focusing on the primary source of value for the customer Making a long list of things they can do without telling them what is important Providing demos that are far too long Things to Avoid
  29. 29. 29 We don’t need no steenking feedback Feedback You don’t act on it You don’t care You don’t provide a way for the customer to get hold of you
  30. 30. 30 But we have 20,000 more users today than we did last month… Metrics  You are measuring counts of things that do not indicate success. Vanity Metrics can kill.  You are only measuring lagging indicators that are revenue based and not considering how the customer is using your product during first use and beyond
  31. 31. 31 I’m sticking to the plan no matter what Roadmap Option 2 – Feedback driven change request Option 1 – Thing we had in the roadmap already Option 3 – Thing we had in the roadmap already Not Making Trade-off Decisions Ignoring metrics, feedback, and data in service of a plan is a good way to illustrate how little you value your customer
  32. 32. 32 ONBOARDING LITMUS TESTS Good onboarding outcomes drive: Bring customers back over and over Leads to referrals Converts to subscribers
  33. 33. 33 No regrets pivot signals:  Customers don’t complete the sign-up process  They go inactive almost immediately  Their company metrics are far below threshold  You aren’t meeting regularly with the person to whom you sold the suite/product  Your social media presence / analytics is not positive  Fast rate of unsubscribing to paid services  Your customer is complaining  Your champions are no longer championing Signals to consider that indicate a pivot
  34. 34. 34 Customer Onboarding Recap 2. Welcome and Thank you Keep it simple Tell your customers thank you and welcome them to your product. Immediately illustrate value. 4. Capture Feedback Measure Capture qualitative and quantitative feedback 1. Sign up your customers Get your customers signed up Get the minimum necessary information to sign them up – no one cares about a sexy login process 3. First Login / First Use Make it clear Get your customers to realizing value immediately and demonstrate features when it makes sense 5. Repeat Introduce new features as needed Beginning at step 3, let your customers know what value they can get out of using your product and how they can get it. 6. Roadmap accordingly Adjust your plans Your roadmap is a plan that’s predicting the future. Adjust it based on the feedback you’re getting.
  35. 35. 35 Thank you!
  36. 36. Senior Product Director and Product Management Practice Lead at Nexient, an NTT Data Company Jamie Bernard /in/jamiecbernard/ kuroshiotraining.thinkific.com /courses/practical-product-by-design Q&A Rayvonne Carter Webinar Coordinator, Product Management Today /in/rayvonnecarter/ @ProdMgmtToday productmanagement today.com

Notas do Editor

  • I’m going to share with you an anecdote from very early on in my career.
  • Tell the story:
    This is the moment. This is what you have been waiting for. You’ve built The Thing. It has hit MVP and you are ready to release your baby out into the wild.

    This feeling is universal. This doesn’t matter whether you are in a startup or a fortune 10 company: launch day/week/month is always both wildly stressful and profoundly exciting.

    Up to this point you have done research on product market fit, you’ve set your metrics strategy (please tell me you have a metrics strategy), your infrastructure and nonfunctionals are up to par. In short, you’re ready to rock and roll.
    Where we are going to pick up today is when those humans you are targeting begin to trickle – or rush – in.

    Why should we care about customer onboarding? How do we show value to the customer and to our business?
  • When we think about customers and who they are sometimes we over-rotate on the external person. As anyone in large enterprise knows: sometimes your toughest customers you have to get to adopt your product are internal customers! Some of your customers will not have a choice but to onboard, however the ease, speed, and fluidity of your onboarding process can make or break your product’s adoption rate. As a user myself I have abandoned products specifically because it had a cumbersome onboarding process. Internally, your biggest competitor seems to be pretty basic programs like excel. If you’ve made getting into and using your system so complex, time consuming, or cumbersome that it’s easier for your customers to use something else, then you probably should rethink your process.

    Also, I want to highlight the underlined text: set up and using. This is not about getting someone signed up so you can increase your number of users. That’s an easily inflated vanity metric. Instead, we go past that to get them using the product. I could grandstand on the uselessness of vanity metrics, but that’s not what this talk is about, so I’ll save you from that – you’re welcome. Whether it’s an internal or external customer, ensuring that the user can simply get in and use the system to do what it was designed to do is critical to achieving the outcomes you are targeting in your metrics strategy (please tell me you are targeting outcomes).

    How long does this one shot last? According to a BBC article by a guy named Michael Hall, you have roughly 3 seconds before you’ve lost someone on an ecommerce site. 3 seconds.
  • Once you’ve convinced someone to join you – or buy your product or service – you might think the hard part is done.

    It isn’t. You still have several steps to consider as it relates to onboarding, but getting them up and running is not where it ends, especially if you’re a saas company or b2b company with whom you’d like a long relationship.
  • First, let me start out with a blanket statement. You are not the customer. I know, Product People, that we are the voice of the customer, but sometimes we get so buried in delivery that we convince ourselves that our product is solving something for the customer because we find it useful and we didn’t necessarily check with the folks who are using our product to do a job. That is a huge pitfall and is often the root cause of why certain features don’t get used and can often be the source of lots of churn around over-investing in a feature no one is using, customer churn, or customer loss. A feature we will talk about later on is the simple act of signing up – make that too complicated and you’ve already lost. I won’t rabbit hole us inside the importance of customer discovery, but I’ll just say…it’s important.
  • As they say – first impressions matter. A Harvard study revealed that it typically takes eight subsequent positive encounters to overcome a bad first impression.
  • As we step into this conversation, I will be speaking back and forth about two main sets of users. I think a ton of time gets spent on the individual user, but I’d like to lean into that and see where we might approach onboarding with a larger group of people a bit differently to achieve the same results we seek with an individual user out in the wild.

    I’ll also assert that this will apply to home-grown software products, too. If you’re building a tool that a department in your company will use, these are humans who also need to be onboarded.
  • Before we start talking about the onboarding itself, I want to zoom out for a second and think about the full picture of onboarding. This is going to include some level of retention, but we have to think about how our story is being consumed by our customer and whether we are living up to our end of the deal that convinced them to sign up in the first place.

    How many of you might have gone through the process to sign up for a news source only to find out you’re being met with a paywall? You went through the process of attempting to curate your articles and then you can’t even access them unless you want to pay.

    As you start to onboard, you should have a strategy that you’re following that takes the customer and pulls them through the onboarding and begins to overlap becoming a consumer of your product. You have a value proposition – or promise of value – that you’ve made clear to the customer and they’re onboarding because of it. How are you going to test that those value propositions are clear and aligned with the customers’ expectations?

    Testing hypotheses with your target customers and incorporating feedback in your MVP and beyobnd is critical to your product’s success. If you don’t listen to your customers, you are leaving problems on the table for the competition to solve
  • These general elements apply to both types of users that we will be discussing today. One of the key components in your welcome process for your B2B customer is to ensure that you’re clear on understanding the problems you’re solving for the organization.

    Part of the welcome – if you’re getting a good amount of concierge service – is going to be a success setting session with a leader from a key user group so you can start to quantify what those success criteria are and how they will be measured so the first login/first use can be a curated experience if you’re onboarding a larger group of people. There might be a set of features that are nice to haves, but the company may want to focus on the key features at first. Right size that plan so that your first use generates excitement or even relief.
  • I won’t really focus on the sign up for b2b or internal apps because, frankly, this is largely either a sales conversation or a product pitch to executives and that’s not a value-add for this discussion.
  • It’s important for the customer to know that you want them there and – more importantly – that you want to hear from them if necessary. Make it easy for them to give feedback, should they desire. That, along with your metrics, will help you make informed trade-off decisions as you further refine your product

    I would also add to create champions at this point. There are going to be influential groups of people in your organization that can help ensure the adoption of the tool that you are implementing. I always like to have a mix of long-timers who have been there and know all of the workarounds who are also high performers and either new or low performing people. This will help you get a good impression on the spread of pains you might be dealing with (and your internal sponsor should be working with some level of OCM to alleviate any fear, etc. I always include low performers here because – assuming positive intent – they are likely the people who are in need of a better solution and giving them ownership and an opportunity to ask the questions they might have otherwise been afraid to ask is a good way to see where your processes might need some help or clarity.
  • People want to read long emails about as much as they want to talk on the phone these days. Think of a welcome email sort of like inviting an introvert to a party: they don’t really want to go, but they’d like to be invited. Same with the welcome email – we don’t really want to read it, but it’s nice to have it there especially if it’s useful.

    Keep it simple and make your primary motivation to get them to first use – in other words, get your users to value, quickly.
  • So why do I mention this about features that aren’t used – when you get someone into your product it needs to be very clear what value they are there to obtain.

    This is the time to ensure that you have a solid understanding of the customer’s pains, what processes are impacted by your tool, and how success will be measured. This can allow you to tailor and highlight the features that will relieve these pains for your new team(s) using your product you’ve sold.
  • Add verbal experience of the call center app that was rolled out and productboard.
  • While yes, this is the beginning, this should definitely continue. I would also assert that as you are creating new features it would we wise to revert to earlier steps in the onboarding process to ensure that your customers know about them, know why they should care, know how to use it, know how they can give you feedback on it.

    Set up touchpoints if you are onboarding your business customers. Make sure you’re measuring the things you need to measure and touch base with the champions and manager to review the metrics and see how they might improve or whether they need to stay the course.
  • This is where I will address the sales cycle…

    Overselling your low-code/no-code platform as “simple” when it isn’t is a good way to generate bad buzz.
    Overselling your product to be able to do things that hasn’t gone live yet is a good way to sour a relationship with your customer. Your sales should be the beginning of a relationship – not a hit-it-and-quit-it transaction.
  • To protect the guilty, I will not share logos.
  • From the relationship side, this is probably the worst thing you can screw up.
  • There are a ton of mistakes you can make as a part of onboarding – if you’re only counting how many users you are signing up and not comparing that to users who went inactive, deactivated, or didn’t complete sign up you are missing opportunities to add value to your customers and you’re leaving money on the table.

    The metrics that you are working with your business partners on as you’re onboarding a product into another business’s ecosystem should be a negotiation. One of the things I pride myself on is asking the hard question. Your customer might want to report the giant counts of widgets they are making. It’s your job to know the power of the metrics you capture and to help your users understand how to track and act on them. It’s also your job to question antipatterns.
  • This is the main source of angst between sales and your product teams. Sales might demand certain things because it sounds like a sexy thing to sell. This is where you should listen to the folks interfacing with your customers and your product people: trade-off decisions are key.

    I’ll go back to what I said in one of my first slides: YOU ARE NOT YOUR CUSTOMER. Listen to them and if you built it and they came, they will likely stay.
  • Metrics tell the tale. Metrics are a key element to successful onboarding and fixing it when you screw it up. These are some outcomes to measure as lagging indicators that your onboarding was successful.