Onboarding Survey Questions

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Tiffany Morin
Tiffany Morin Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
edited October 2020 in Metrics & Analytics
I posted on linkedin recently my POV towards onboarding surveys, more specifically the use of NPS during this stage (too soon to ask in my opinion).  Obviously, the types of questions would depend on the software and customer base - I'd love to hear from the community about questions they've asked during this stage. 
  • What made you buy the product/service?
  • How easy was it for you to get started? 
    • What is the most important improvement we could make to improve your onboarding experience?

    Comments

    • Craig Jackson
      Craig Jackson Member Posts: 23 Thought Leader
      edited October 2020
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      Morning Tiffany 

      I think you've asked some great questions there. 

      Interesting point around NPS scoring as there is so much divided opinion around this at the onboarding stage. Personally I do agree with you, it is a little early. I would say however you can derive a score from using both quantitive and qualitative questions in your survey. 

      You could consider a question around how happy the customer is with their onboarding experience with a 1-5 answer. Then follow up with what is the most important improvement you would like to see, the previous scoring will help frame the value of the improvement. 

      As a side note I've recently added a little extra for the customer, bit of fun and goodwill - "We love to celebrate our customers, tell us whats new in your world and we can share it with our community" - we've had some excellent responses from this, its really helped us foster relationships at an early stage and drive engagement. 

      I hope this helps a little. 

      Craig

    • Anita Toth
      Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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      edited October 2020
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      Totally agree with you @Tiffany Morin and @Craig Jackson about NPS during onboarding. It's too early an ask.

      The questions should all depend on the goal of the survey:
      • ease of use?
      • challenges to highlight areas of improvement?
      • time to value?
      • UI?
      The questions should relate to the goals of the survey.

      For instance if the goal is to highlight areas of improvement, a question could be around one thing they found challenging while starting to use the product. (Asking around challenges will yield more detailed responses than asking around improvements. Frustration/challenges are strong emotions and are more likely to remain in their minds.)

      Asking questions during onboarding is critical to reducing churn.




    • Kmoertle
      Kmoertle Member Posts: 8 Contributor
      First Anniversary Photogenic
      edited October 2020
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      A few thoughts to add. I would imagine an onboarding survey would tie back to the objectives of the onboarding process.

      Before and after scaling questions can offer a lot of insight into where gaps might exist after onboarding.

      For instance, you can ask "on a scale of 1 to 10, what was your knowledge level/comfort level with XYZ prior to onboarding"   And then follow it up with "on a scale of 1 to 10, what is your knowledge level/comfort level of XYZ after the onboarding process". You can center the question around any aspect of the process.  This can help you measure the progress you're making with onboarding while also identifying where there may still be gaps. For instance if someone was a 1 before onboarding and they are now a 5 (out of ten) what does this information tell you?  it certainly shows progress but also indicates there is still a ways to go. Asking the right questions can help you identify where the gaps might be.

      It might also be interesting to include a (scaling?) question around how onboarding is helping them understand how their use of your product will help them achieve their business outcomes. High or low scores around this can help you identify red flags early in the process.

    • Walter Zepeda
      Walter Zepeda Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
      edited October 2020
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      Our onboarding survey includes:
      1. From 1 to 5, how would you rate your Actimo training? Why?
      2. From 1 to 5, how would you rate the quality of the resources available to learn how to use Actimo? Why?
      3. From 1 to 5, how well did the Actimo team communicate deadlines, pending items and tasks during the onboarding process? Why?
      4. From 1 to 5, how would you rate you overall satisfaction with Actimo's onboarding process? Why?
      All the "Whys" are optional



      ------------------------------
      Walter Zepeda
      Head of Customer Success at Actimo America
      ------------------------------
      -------------------------------------------
      Original Message:
      Sent: 10-18-2020 18:57
      From: Tiffany Morin
      Subject: Onboarding Survey Questions

      I posted on linkedin recently my POV towards onboarding surveys, more specifically the use of NPS during this stage (too soon to ask in my opinion).  Obviously, the types of questions would depend on the software and customer base - I'd love to hear from the community about questions they've asked during this stage. 
      • What made you buy the product/service?
      • How easy was it for you to get started? 
        • What is the most important improvement we could make to improve your onboarding experience?



        ------------------------------
        Tiffany Morin
        ------------------------------
      • Anita Toth
        Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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        edited October 2020
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        Love that Actimo is asking onboarding questions @Walter Zepeda. I'm curious as to how often people fill out the "Why?" question when they're completing the survey? Is it fairly common or do they mostly just give a numerical answer and then complete the survey?
      • Walter Zepeda
        Walter Zepeda Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
        edited October 2020
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        @Anita Toth great question. Since this survey is sent in a very personalized fashion, most do fill out the Whys. When we send out an NPS and it has a follow-up question, we don't always get a response but it's expected since the process is more automated.
      • Anita Toth
        Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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        edited October 2020
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        @Walter Zepeda. I don't think I've seen a better response than yours at showing the difference between the great results of a personalized survey versus the poor response of an automated survey (NPS or any other). Even in something like a survey, what a difference in perception from the customer in terms of a personalized survey truly connecting with who they are.
      • Walter Zepeda
        Walter Zepeda Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
        edited October 2020
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        Thanks @Anita Toth. I think it's the trade-off when you start automating things. Of course, platforms have options to personalize your surveys and you can even have avatars and pictures with real people, simulating a more human approach (we use Ask Nicely) but you have to find the right balance and go with whatever works for you in terms on response rate, response quality and cost.
      • Ed Powers
        Ed Powers Member Posts: 186 Expert
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        edited October 2020
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        Your sense that the NPS question is inappropriate at the end of onboarding is supported by brain science, @Tiffany Morin. The mind isn't wired to make a global appraisal accurately after a recent event. Instead, it substitutes the memory of the event itself as a proxy, meaning NPS winds up measuring the wrong thing. This is true when NPS is used after service transactions, too. The NPS question is best used in context of a relationship survey.

        And any assertions about NPS prediction validity is suspect. The science shows we humans are terrible at predicting how we'll feel or what we'll do in the future, which is one big reason why NPS is such a poor predictor of actual behavior. Another major reason is statistics--unless you have a very large sample size (such as in B2C environments), any variation you see is most likely due to chance. A 2016 study by the University of Cambridge showed how just bad NPS performed predicting customer loyalty. Over a 3-year period, between 72% and 82% of the time NPS ratings did not match actual customer buying behaviors at a large UK B2B company. 

        I always tell my clients that NPS is better than nothing, but not much. It's one way to obtain verbatim comments from which one can ask more specific questions in a CSAT survey that more accurately diagnoses problems and measures the results of process improvement. And ultimately, that's the goal. Best to use the right tools for the job.
      • Anita Toth
        Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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        edited November 2020
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        @Ed Powers My fav quote so far in this few weeks  has to be from you:

        I always tell my clients that NPS is better than nothing, but not much. " ?
      • Pam Micznik
        Pam Micznik Member Posts: 50 Expert
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        edited November 2020
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        And...from a Customer Education perspective...do you have an easier time getting customers to fill out a survey or to consume training?

        @Walter Zepeda... my guess is you have great insight here.
      • Walter Zepeda
        Walter Zepeda Member Posts: 20 Thought Leader
        edited November 2020
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        It's an important topic @Pam Micznik. Our onboarding survey includes questions on how the admins found the training in terms of ease of learning, how engaging it was, how accessible, etc. 

        As for training incentives, we found that certifying users as Actimo Experts was successful. Many of them even add their certification on their LinkedIn profiles.
      • Brian Hartley
        Brian Hartley Member Posts: 184 Expert
        First Comment First Anniversary
        edited November 2020
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        • The overall on-boarding process
        • Your on-boarding team
        • The administrative training
        • The end-user training
        • The amount of training documents and videos available to me during the on-boarding
        • The platform met the expectations set in the sales process
        • The time it took to implement your application
        • My onboarding resource clearly communicated key milestones
        • My on-boarding team was responsive
        • My on-boarding team clearly communicated risks within the timeline
      • Pam Micznik
        Pam Micznik Member Posts: 50 Expert
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        edited November 2020
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        Thanks @Walter Zepeda. Proof that Certifications are a great benefit and function for #CustomerEducation. That is a different discussion.
      • Jenni Washington
        Jenni Washington Member Posts: 4 Seeker
        edited November 2020
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        I've gained some good insights from everyone. We do include NPS in our onboarding and to help make the case for rethinking that, it would be useful to hear - 1) how long is your onboarding process on average, 2) at what point in onboarding (milestone reached, transition to CSM) is your survey sent, 3) if instead CSAT is used during onboarding, around what events?

        Thanks
        #forumnewby
        • What made you buy the product/service?
        • How easy was it for you to get started? 
          • What is the most important improvement we could make to improve your onboarding experience?
        • Alex Thebert
          Alex Thebert Member Posts: 9 Contributor
          GGR Blogger 2020
          edited November 2020
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          Hi Tiffany, 

          This is such a great question! One of my favorite onboarding survey questions asks if their implementation was "easier than expected." This has been a helpful check-in to make sure we're setting good expectations. The vast majority of the time, customers find that onboarding was easier than they thought - music to my ears!

          Best,

          Alex

        • Carl Hoffmann
          Carl Hoffmann Member Posts: 16 Thought Leader
          First Comment First Anniversary
          edited November 2020
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          We have not had a surveys at my companies during the onboarding phase, but based on the VoC surveys we did set up (support transactional, PS engagements, training, annual relationship survey), here are my thoughts:

          I agree that NPS may be too early to use, but may have some value in gauging how successful the onboarding is (i.e. did onboarding make the customer feel better or worse about starting their new relationship with you?  First impressions on the actual product vs. what was promised leading up to the sale.

          I would be careful about adding too many questions during this phase of the relationship, as it could set up a case of survey fatigue.  This probably depends on each organization's survey strategy, so your mileage may vary.  3 sounds like a good number for just about anyone, though.

          I especially love the third question because if goes directly to the experience and even if it was a positive one, it can lead to feedback that can make it better.