Do you send an onboarding survey?

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Caitlin Boucher
Caitlin Boucher Member Posts: 2 Navigator

Hello, 

I am currently working on improving our onboarding process and playbooks and one thing we are considering adding is an onboarding survey at the completion of onboarding before a customer moves to value. 

Does anyone else send an onboarding survey? If so, are there any questions you've found work well? 

This is my first time posting in this community and I look forward to interacting with everyone!


Thanks,

Caitlin Boucher

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  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 133 Expert
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Comment
    edited August 2020
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    Great question! And welcome to GGR, Caitlin! Onboarding is often the first "moment of truth" for a vendor/provider, and asking the stakeholder team for their assessment of the experience and outcome is extremely important. Giving the CSM an ability to course-correct for the specific accounts it critical if the customer feels it fell short, as is aggregating to identify those patterns of recurring issues to stomp them out at the root cause. So here's some guidance on the process:

    1. Take a programmatic approach: Make sure to set it up as a tracking program, and put process in place to drive customer participation in providing the feedback. Starting with onboarding, how does the sentiment of those contacts and accounts trend over time? Are they truly moving in the right direction? Are you acquiring trustworthy/representative customer feedback (i.e. coverage from all of the Stakeholders that matter)?

      Similarly, a sales-to-CS hand-off process will be key. Here's a great article from Paul Piazza, a solid industry luminary with deep expertise in this area, providing more detail on this point:  https://waypointgroup.org/nailing-the-handoff-part-one-onboarding/

     

    1. Overall sentiment of the experience: "Satisfaction" is a wimpy measure. Customers don't "want" to be onboarded, they just want to do their job but recognize the "necessary evil" of an effective onboarding process. So what are the expected outcomes from onboarding? Ask your customers the extent to which they realized those expected outcomes. Do they feel ready to acquire value? Do they know exactly how to get started? Do they know what the purpose/objective is? Etc... You might also ask how the experiencing impacted their ability to recommend your company to colleagues seeking to implement something similar... are they "happier" with you following the experience?

    2. Going forward, how does the account want to work with you – merely as a "vendor" of products/services (don't call me, I'll call you), as a solutions provider (give me your best practices and I'll implement them), or as a business partner (let's collaborate to get the outcome)?  You'll want to track this change over time as well, and where customers want a "relationship upgrade" you'll see great expansion opportunities!

    3. The experience itself: Did we make good use of the customer's time? Did they perceive/gain-from the expertise? Was it done on time to their expectations? Etc... gain high-level view of what the customer says worked-well in onboarding vs. what didn't so you can do some key-driver analysis with the data and determine which structural improvements will drive the biggest-bang-for-buck.

    4. Do they have open concerns and/or want to speak with someone? Asking this not only demonstrates that someone is truly reading the response (and you can automate the workflow with clear CTAs) to strengthen the customer participation, but also gives you a great avenue for following-up. Note that you're asking "may we contact you" because if they say no then you can never follow-up on the feedback to resolve and acquire root-cause!

     

    How does this help? With guidance I can provide more detail...

    /Steve

     

     



    -------------------------------------------
    Original Message:
    Sent: 8/27/2020 3:59:00 PM
    From: Caitlin Boucher
    Subject: Do you send an onboarding survey?

    Hello, 

    I am currently working on improving our onboarding process and playbooks and one thing we are considering adding is an onboarding survey at the completion of onboarding before a customer moves to value. 

    Does anyone else send an onboarding survey? If so, are there any questions you've found work well? 

    This is my first time posting in this community and I look forward to interacting with everyone!


    Thanks,

    Caitlin Boucher

  • Caitlin Boucher
    Caitlin Boucher Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited August 2020
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    Hi @Steve Bernstein,

    Thank you for providing such a detailed answer it is extremely helpful. I really like how you mentioned how "satisfaction" is a bit of a wimpy indicator of onboarding and customers don't really want to be onboarded they just want to get to do their job. I will take your advice and see if I have any follow up questions around the matter. This points me in a great direction so far!

    Thanks,

    Caitlin
  • Jarren Pinchuck
    Jarren Pinchuck Member Posts: 38 Expert
    edited August 2020
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    Hi @Caitlin Boucher,

    My teams have what we call a "Getting to Know You" doc, which is basically a short questionnaire they run through with the customer. Generally, this is done shortly after the handover from sales and has a few goals. Below is just a sentence explaining each one and a few example questions. I've listed these because it's important to understand why you want to give customers a survey because that should dictate what's in it.

    Manage customer expectations - Almost every CSM knows that managing the expectations that were set by sales is vital. Sales often over-promise so in order for CSMs to refrain from chasing their tails, this is a good point to reset training and onboarding (as well as product expectations). 

    • Did you have a specific "go-live" date in mine?
    • How much time can you or your team commit to onboarding?
    Understanding the customer's business and outcomes - asking about their business goals as well as why they signed up for the product are obvious starting points but many don't bother, they just take it from sales. Understanding your customers' desired outcome/s or their interpretations of their company's desired outcomes lets you know what is important to them.
    • What does a successful day/week look like?
    • What does your company hope to achieve by implementing product XYZ
    Outline some goals and early milestones - the key to good implementation and onboarding is moving the customer through small milestones in order to achieve their desired outcome. It can be overwhelming taking on a new product, so smaller milestones and in turn, the wins that go along with those will keep the customers on track and engaged.

    Form the relationship - At the end of the day when CSMs are onboarding new customers, they are onboarding people, just like themselves. Building the relationship and trust with their champion/s can be the difference between successful adoption and potential churn.
    • What is your (champion) role within Company XYZ?
    • What was communicated to you about implementing this product?
    • What is the most challenging part of your role?
    Joint accountability - we found that early on (and sometimes sales set this up) that many customers thought the CSMs would just do everything. Customers often don't realise the commitment it takes onboarding a new product. To help them with the adoption and to set expectations we always tried to emphasise the joint accountability. Let the customer know what they'll need to do and what the CSMs will be doing to achieve the desired outcome.
    After completing the questionnaire we'd share it back with the customer so we're all on the same page.

    Over the years we did attempt to automate this as a survey once the customer had signed the contract. However, we discovered that got much better answers and increased engagement when it was done via a call/VC/ f2f meeting with their CSM.

    A little longer than I'd planned but I hope it helps, feel free to ask any follow-ups.


    Jarren
  • Brian Hartley
    Brian Hartley Member Posts: 185 Expert
    First Comment First Anniversary
    edited August 2020
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    Ours is pretty vanilla, short and simple.
    image

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  • Meghan Price
    Meghan Price Member Posts: 7 Seeker
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Caitlin! we do send an onboard survey. The company I work for is service based, not SaaS, and our onboard process is very high touch. The main focus questions for me, and the biggest indicator that something needs to be adjusted, is how easy it was to get through the process for the customer and specific onboard deliverable feedback (avoid result-focused questions and save those for later in the lifecycle). Hope that helps!