Any alternatives to a big and ugly Excel file during onboarding and setup of your solution?

victor jousseaume
victor jousseaume Member Posts: 1 Navigator
First Anniversary

Hello brilliant minds of the CS community!

I'm currently working on improving our onboarding process for our enterprise segment and I'm currently focusing on finding an alternative to the current way we collect the customer needs for the setup of our solution.

Our solution is highly customizable to fit regulatory specifications, thus we need to collect these specifications from our customers. TYo do so we use a big ol' excel speadsheet with maybe 200 columns that I find very un-user-friendy. I'm thinking of switching to a typeform sort of configuration for an MVP, but if anyone has any advice or best practice to share I'd be more than happy to discuss the topic further.

Have a nice day and greetings from France !


  • Rich Rans
    Rich Rans Member Posts: 29 Contributor
    First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls First Comment 5 Likes

    Hi Victor,

    Possibly take a look at

    Great in pre-sales setting up action plans, and then carrying on through onboarding. I successfully used it for pre-sales through initial onboarding.

  • Michelle Wideman
    Michelle Wideman Member Posts: 54 Navigator
    First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes First Comment

    @victor jousseaume, there are probably multiple things you could use here depending on budget and how sophisticated you want to get. I've heard EverAfter can assist with the use case you outlined: If you wanted just to build a typeform, you could even look at low code/workflow solutions like a Boomi Flow: I would even think some of the customer portals that come with some of the CSM platforms or Community platforms(Insided) could help collect this info.

  • Brian O'Keeffe
    Brian O'Keeffe Member Posts: 209 Expert
    First Anniversary Photogenic 5 Insightfuls First Comment

    Are you looking long-term or short-term? What's your budget? I like which will solve this for you. If that's not possible a Google form? Anything but a spreadsheet, worse if it lives on a local drive.

  • ShawnRiedel
    ShawnRiedel Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    First Comment Photogenic

    So much to unpack here.

    1. What is the sophistication level of your audience? Access to IT tools and data? Or, one-person-shop and they have to squeeze in deploying your solution with their day job.
    2. Is any of this data gathered during the sales cycle? It would seem that with 200 pieces of information necessary for customer setup, you would hate to find out that the customer doesn't have 10 of them, and therefore bottlenecks onboarding. Maybe splitting up the data collection into multiple stages might make the spreadsheet not seem so ominous.
    3. When you collect this data, are you using it to configure the customer's software for them...or are you just gathering the data for them and they have to configure their own software? You see where I'm going with this...replication is effort and effort erodes benefits. Making this as effortless as possible for the customer is key to avoiding self-inflicted bruises during onboarding that establish a below the line experience which biases all other experiences.
    4. Where does the customer have to get this data from? Is it different at every customer? Is it tribal? Do they have to go find it (aka Effort). Too bad you can't just ask ChatGPT (I'm only half kidding). Too early to deploy this kind of technology for data gathering inside your customer?
    5. The spreadsheet aside, niche Onboarding apps might be a possible API into your app might be overkill if this data is only collected once. So, the best solution, if you can figure out how to spec out the data set you need, is an Import function. Wouldn't a ChatGPT routine on the customer side, and then an import feature on your side make this as effortless as possible?