Common customer onboarding challenges and how to overcome them

CS and onboarding leaders discuss customer onboarding challenges and strategies to overcome them
Usha Kalva
October 28, 2022
Preflight Conversations
Main Illustration:
Aswinchandar M

Common customer onboarding challenges and how to overcome them

CS and onboarding leaders discuss customer onboarding challenges and strategies to overcome them
Usha Kalva
October 28, 2022
Preflight Conversations
Main Illustration:
Aswinchandar M

In This Post

During our Preflight in-person event in Boston, we had Dana Alvarenga, VP of Customer Experience at Slapfive, moderate a panel of leaders to discuss onboarding success stories, advice on how leaders on the panel improved onboarding in their respective organizations, and mistakes they would avoid along the way.

We hosted a panel of leaders in the space, including Monica Trivedi, Shari McGrath, Mark Holland, and Meg Lovell, and Jeff Kushmerek. 

Here are the top takeaways from the panel discussion at the Boston Preflight Huddle:

1. Help your customers understand how your post-sales teams function

It helps when the customer starts their post-sales journey knowing who owns what part of their journey. Tell them when the implementation specialist will take charge, the scope of your CSM's work, etc. Building confidence in your pre-sales org to help you get on the same page as the use cases they’re selling helps the customer success teams. Your sales team must build a rapport with your CS team, especially if you are a lean team in a smaller start-up. It could be a meeting, a call every month, or any other type of exercise every quarter to make sure they get along, to be able to look at the larger picture and work in tandem. 

2. It's the humans behind the solution that matter to your customer

Set milestones for your customer and acknowledge their progress towards these milestones. When they hit an onboarding milestone or an adoption milestone, reward them! The rewards could be small and broken down into multiple parts in the customer onboarding journey. As long as everyone feels a sense of accomplishment, you can be sure you have the right system in place. 

3. Keep it simple!

Whether you have a complex product that takes time for your customer or you are able to get through the entire onboarding process in a few weeks, it is possible to keep the customer journey mapping simple. 

Simplicity in communication comes with setting a cadence, sticking with your timelines, and being diligent with the timelines. Simplicity in asking for requirements comes from not using complicated jargon. Most of your customers might be confused by what it actually means unless they use it in the same context.

4. Aid customers' value realization process

All the essential information each team has acquired from onboarding and implementation to CS cannot be lost in translation. When you branch out all these functions within your company, ensure this valuable information is also passed on! Value realization improves retention.

Checklists can be a starting point to set repeatable and scalable processes for cross-functional teams to coordinate with each other. Small and simple steps like this will help you recognize gaps or pitfalls in your project plan.

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Usha Kalva
Community & Partnerships @ Rocketlane

Usha is a Community Manager at Preflight. She's been an EIR, runs a successful restaurant, and is inclined toward the social sciences. In a parallel universe, she'd have been a wildlife photographer.

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