Kathy McAninch on BombBomb’s Prescriptive Approach to Product Adoption and Usage

On BombBomb's iterative approach to developing a mind-blowing onboarding experience for their customers
Usha Kalva
August 1, 2022
Implementation Stories
Main Illustration:
Sivaprakash

Kathy McAninch on BombBomb’s Prescriptive Approach to Product Adoption and Usage

On BombBomb's iterative approach to developing a mind-blowing onboarding experience for their customers
Usha Kalva
August 1, 2022
Implementation Stories
Main Illustration:
Sivaprakash

In This Post

For this session of Implementation Stories, we had Kathy McAninch, Enterprise Onboarding Manager at BombBomb, talk about their iterative approach to developing a mind-blowing onboarding experience for their customers.

BombBomb is a video platform that leverages the power of video to help users build better relationships. Kathy moved into a Customer Success role five years ago, after having worked in the K-12 education space, from where she carries a love for education and learning. 

In this session, Kathy spoke about

  1. The current onboarding process at BombBomb
  2. Implementing Bringing a prescriptive approach to onboarding 
  3. An iterative approach to improving onboarding
  4. Recommendations and best practices for tools and resources 

Here are our key takeaways from the session.

1. What makes onboarding at BombBomb unique

Onboarding at BombBomb is unique in that it doesn’t focus on conventional activities such as data migration, etc., but instead on the skill of making videos.  Creating and using videos effectively requires time, practice, and guidance.

And it’s this aspect of guidance that the onboarding team focuses on in their approach. Onboarding at BombBomb is designed to make users both comfortable, and proficient in using asynchronous videos for business.

A separate role for onboarding was carved out about five years ago as BombBomb moved into the mid-market enterprise space. This stemmed from the realization that a dedicated role was needed to effectively guide people through using their platform and making the most of asynchronous video as a business tool.

2. The Bowtie Sales funnel for ‘Cognitive Closure’ for customers

(Credit: Winning By Design)

In a traditional sales funnel, most things ended at the commit line. But as Donna Weber says in the book, Onboarding Matters, customers need cognitive closure at different phases of their journey. 

This means they need a frictionless handoff from Sales to Onboarding to Customer Success to feel supported and welcomed at every stage of their journey.

3. Onboarding for enterprise, mid-market, and SMB customers

It’s important to visually represent the customer’s journey ahead. This visual aspect is important because it sets clear expectations and allows the customer to share this plan with other stakeholders.

Here’s what BombBomb’s customer onboarding process looks like for enterprise and midmarket/SMB customers. 

A critical milestone in this journey is the Impact Review meeting (or video in case of SMB/MM), where the onboarding team

  1. Hands over the customer account to Customer Success
  2. Collects feedback from the customers (on the onboarding experience, unexpected challenges, etc. ). 

This meeting, conducted with the participation of key/executive level stakeholders, is an opportunity to learn and improve the onboarding process.

4. Tools and resources 

  1. Data and information tools: Tools for CRM, Customer Service & Support, Project management, product feedback. 
  2. Engagement: BombBomb, Slack, PowerPoint, Zoom, Calendly

Recommendations:

  1. If you use spreadsheets for multiple tasks, document how much time you spent using them. Use this data in conversations with the leadership to help inform decisions on purchasing the next set of tools.
  2. If possible, use your product as part of the onboarding process, like BombBomb’s onboarding team does – by using it to create and send videos as part of onboarding.

5. What a prescriptive approach to onboarding looks like

Part 1: Break down the onboarding journey 

Help the trainees/end users understand the different stages of the onboarding process as it applies to them. Establish clear focus areas for each stage. 

Part 2: Identify quick wins and double down on guiding users toward them 

Since a product like BombBomb can be plugged into multiple use cases and places, a prescriptive approach can help reduce time to value. The team does this by helping clients identify an initial use case and a primary send place, as described below:

  1. Initial use case: A single prescriptive use case that helps customers get to their aha moments and build habits quickly. 
  2. Primary send place: One place where the solution fits into the customer’s tool stack and end user’s workflow

Part 3: Use homework to create accountability

Create homework for end users, and package it as a requirement. This gives them a target to work towards and the required practice they need to develop confidence in the product and their usage of it. 

Collaborate with stakeholders/managers at the customer end to receive and evaluate the homework assigned to their team.

The final homework assignment Kathy’s onboarding team uses is to share a use-case with their manager. This way, the team gets end user inputs, leadership inputs, and visibility to guide the strategy to ensure ongoing success with the tool. 

6. Best practices for improved onboarding experiences

  1. Change management: After the initial call (the admin call in BombBomb’s case), ask the key executive leader at the customer end to make an internal announcement about your product. 
  2. Homework: Leverage the leaders/managers at the customer end, and ask end-users or training participants to send their homework to their managers. 
  3. Usage and accountability: Track usage and share this data with managers to highlight adoption issues, and nudge the manager in charge to reach out to their team (the BombBomb team encourages customer leaders to send their end users reminders or nudges using videos created on BombBomb.
  4. Recorded video and live demos: Use elements of pre-recorded content for consistency, but also retain a live-demo element to ensure engagement. 
  5. Internal learning and growth: Schedule weekly mini-mocks for the team: Learn from different team members’ training styles, talk tracks, and customer experiences using a weekly mini-mock – to cultivate and build skills within the team. Use this time to debrief training snippets of two-minute clips of areas of strength (or improvement), or even clips from recorded meeting calls.
  6. A-sync videos as an engagement resource: Use videos wherever a personal connection would help. For instance, an introduction video at the start of a project, or a thank you video are an important milestone, etc.

7. Create avenues for ongoing improvements and iterations 

The BombBomb team spent nearly six months brainstorming their current program and mapping out the elements that they needed to improve. 

Human-centered Communication, a bestseller written by BombBomb’s leadership team, served as the cornerstone of this revamp. 

They used a digital mural board (shown above) to collect ideas, inputs, and suggestions from everyone on the team. Over the six months, the team continued to asynchronously share their ideas and observations on this board. 

The key, Kathy shares, is to keep this process ongoing and iterative – the team took elements from it into their active training and fed observations/insights back to it, so the board was continually evolving.

Like what you read? Join Preflight, our private, invite-only Slack community and attend the next Implementation Stories session. You will also gain access to peers and share knowledge on customer onboarding, implementation, and customer success.

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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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