Owning the Customer Journey, How to transition the conversation from one milestone to the next

Kaliah Loney
Kaliah Loney Member Posts: 2 Navigator
Hi everyone!!

This is my first post so feedback and insight would be super helpful :). I recently started a new job at this amazing new company and my responsibilities as a CSM are quite different from my previous role. Within this role I am owning the entire customer journey, from onboarding to success to renewal. In my previous role I was solely responsible for for ensuring success through success planning and change management to driving adoption. I had a clear understanding of my role and my onboarding team did a great job in transitioning clients over to me, this transition let the customer know they achieved a milestone and were moving on to the next level, and we celebrated those milestones, but in this new role I do not have that onboarding transition as I am responsible for that. So I wanted to get some feedback and insight on what I can do to ensure customers have a clear understanding of  the transition from onboarding to success management, how do I draw those lines to ensure we are always pushing forward and so that they do not feel like they just need to reach out to me for training but can reach out to be to discuss best practices, next steps and recommendations. 

My current company does not have resources or templates for this and was hoping if someone had something to share that could help, i would greatly appreciate it



  • Andrew Marks
    Andrew Marks Member Posts: 54 Expert
    Second Anniversary 5 Comments Office Hours Host 2022 5 Likes
    edited March 2021

    Hi Kaliah and welcome.

    How do you determine when onboarding is complete for your offering?

  • Kaliah Loney
    Kaliah Loney Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited March 2021
    Hi Andrew!!!

    In my previous role customers where required to purchase a training package and once those trainings were complete they would be handed off to me (whether they were ready or not). But in my current role I would need to determine when onboarding is over but I am not sure how to determine when it's over or how to transition the conversation from training to success- I don't want then to mesh I want my customer to know when they have achieved a stage and are moving up

    any tips?
  • Andrew Marks
    Andrew Marks Member Posts: 54 Expert
    Second Anniversary 5 Comments Office Hours Host 2022 5 Likes
    edited March 2021

    Well, right out of the gate you need to determine when onboarding is complete. Put a stake in the ground. You've got to figure out a way to define it. It's more than just completing a training program. Is it when they've performed a set of tasks? Is it when they've hit some sort of value marker (that they will acknowledge)? Have they bedded in the new habits that indicate they're adopting the solution? It's impossible for me to give you specifics because I know nothing about your product, your company, or the customers you serve. 

    Once you have that point defined, and you can quantify it, then you have something to message to the customer at the beginning of the relationship. It's a milestone in your success plan-which should be a collaborative document between you and your customer, clearly articulating where they are at, where they are going, what both they and you need to do to get there, and what "there" looks like. 

    Then, once you've moved past that point, what are the tactical proactive tasks you are going to perform, where you will deliver value with every touchpoint, and ensure that they are not only getting value from their investment, but they KNOW they are getting that value. You need to approach this piece of the customer journey, not in a passive reactive manner, but in a proactive and prescriptive manner. Take a step back and ask yourself: "What are the things I can be doing, proactively, to help this customer get $1.05, $1.10, $1.25 in return for every $1 they are investing in our solution?" along with "What is the cadence for these types of activities?". Also "What should I know about my customers and how will I ascertain the information I need in order to provide them with the right guidance for them to be successful?"
  • Benedict Fritz
    Benedict Fritz Member Posts: 30 Expert
    edited March 2021
    I'd echo a lot of what Andrew mentioned.

    Another thing that might be helpful is seeing if the product team has an opinion on when onboarding ends. In an ideal world the product itself would enable, highlight, and push towards the moment of onboarding being "done".

    You asked for some resources, and I made a couple that might help: a success plan template, and a post walking through some of the ideas behind it.

    Those resources unfortunately don't focus as much on figuring out the moment that onboarding is "done", but might point in a helpful direction.

    Training is never over the same way onboarding is never really over. But highlighting a moment when the customer gets what they're looking for for the first time, and starts the loop of repeatedly getting that value, might be a good place to start.
  • Sana Farooq
    Sana Farooq Member Posts: 28 Expert
    First Anniversary
    edited March 2021
    Hi Kaliah,

    Echo everything Andrew mentioned in his reply- those are some great guidelines as a starting point. 

    I would also suggest that once you've set a stake in the ground on when onboarding is complete, that "transition" period is the most critical step to ensuring there is a clear deliniation for roles and responsibilities between Implementation and value driven CS. 

    We call ours the Optimization Call, but naming aside, it helps the customer understand that this next stage for them in the journey is now going to be focused on driving value and getting the return on investment. That's the best time to set expectations on how the CSM will be working with them, a clear action plan with milestones on how they will achieve their goals, and then set the cadence for future QBR's.

    Hope that helps and happy to discuss over a call if you'd like to dive deeper!