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How To Do Onboarding Right

#CSMimprovements, ##CSMstrategies, #CustomerOnboarding, ##CustomerSuccess, #CustomerSuccessManagers, ##OnboardingCustomers August 29, 2018

I want to share something I think is very important to customer success managers. It’s a very common mistake that CSMs make and it causes problems down the road. I want to help them avoid it. I’d like to write about How to do onboarding right.

 

 

Onboarding customers is probably the most important part of the customer success manager role because the seeds of success - and churn - are planted early. A common onboarding mistake CSMs make is overwhelming users with so much information and product features, they actually make the product seem complex and hard to use.

 

 

CSMs need to remember that customers adopt technology slowly. In stages, not bursts. The onboarding process needs to be tuned to each user’s capacity to absorb and process new information. You can kill a plant by neglecting to water it. But you can also kill a plant by drowning it.

 

 

CSMs are well intended. They want to help customers learn quickly and use more product and service features. But we need to remember that usage in itself isn’t the goal. Customer success is. If we push too hard, users get overwhelmed. They may even reconsider the entire purchase and start looking for a less demanding option.

 

 

As a CSM, you need to pace knowledge transfer to each user. Don’t set arbitrary time goals for onboarding. Use A/B testing and data to evaluate your product onboarding before you set a plan into motion. A/B testing your onboarding activities can reveal some surprises. For instance, when you work with power users, don’t assume a shorter learning curve. Quite often, the most resistance comes from seasoned users not new ones.

 

 

Keep in mind that for most users, usability trumps everything. If they find the product easy to use, they will keep using it. If there’s a missing feature, they can always file a feature or enhancement request. On the other hand, if they find the product complex or hard to use, especially in the early stages of adoption, they’ll drop it regardless of available functionality.

 

 

Don’t overwhelm users during onboarding.

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About the Author
Ahmed Azmi

Ahmed Azmi

Ahmed is an executive strategy advisor. He held senior leadership positions at Sybase, HP, Oracle, and SAP. He is a senior advisor for the minister of information technology and a member of the advisory board at the national telecommunication regulatory authority. Ahmed is a contributing member of the international executive association. A guest speaker at Dubai Gitex, Flat6labs, and DTEC.

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