Seeking input on using CSAT to evaluate onboarding team as part of bonus

Laurie Barlev
Laurie Barlev Member Posts: 17 Thought Leader
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edited August 10 in CS Org Conversations
Hello. We are looking to include the post-onboarding CSAT score as part of the onboarding team's bonus calculation. I want to make sure that the questions we ask give us an read on the onboarding manager's performance as well as the company's overall performance with onboarding new clients. 

Given this, what (quantitative) questions do you think should include to evaluate individual and company performance? Why? Which ones would you think would not be good? Why? How do the questions you suggest apply to individual vs overall performance?  

Thank you!

Best,
Laurie

#onboarding #performance #csat #survey

Laurie Barlev

Founder, Barlev Success

www.linkedin.com/in/lauriebarlev

[email protected]

Comments

  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 132 Expert
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    edited March 2022
    Hi @Laurie Barlev -- My first reaction is, Yikes!  Are you sure you want to do that?  Have you ever been on in a contact center queue for ages only to be disconnected when the music stops and the agent is about tom come online?  That's not an accident... it's because those agents have been given an Average Handle Time metric and that agent that was about to take your call had a few long calls so they needed to reduce their average. We all know this behavior as "gaming" but when it happens inside your own org we often overlook unintended consequences. Comp'ing based on CSAT is going to present challenges:

    1. Contacts that are unhappy would be unlikely to be included in the process. It's important to get feedback from everyone involved in the onboarding experience. If certain individuals are "accidentally" left out or accidentally have a misspelled email address in the system you'll not be including those contacts.  Maybe "coverage is good metric here to make sure you are getting the right people included?

    2. Many people are reluctant to fill out such assessments (I'm allergic to the word "survey" in this context because it's about 1:1 and action, not just creating a number, no?) and instead just won't respond.  Are there a clear lines to ensure follow-up, and including the commitment to address their candid feedback?  If a key customer contact is not happy, is it the job of the onboarding team to go back and resolve, or better to have someone else involved?  We find that response rates are the key to driving customer health, and we all know that a "bad" implementation is extremely difficult to recover from. More to the point, response rate is an excellent measure of the strength of the relationship because the customer is willing to share something that they ordinarily wouldn't want to do (even McKinsey & Co has some content on this topic so don't just take my word!).... maybe you want to think about the customers' participation in the program (response rates) as part of that bonus calculation?

    3. You may know Paul Piazza, an amazing CS leader, who penned this article https://waypointgroup.org/nailing-the-handoff-part-one-onboarding/
    A key point he discusses is don't just do this as a one-off... it's so insightful to capture sentiment at the beginning of the relationship and then ask again at key moments during the customer journey (adoption, initial value realization, pre-renewal, etc) so the CSM can appropriately follow up. Is there a program behind your effort?

    4.  Many times the customer will have expectations that are established during their purchase cycle. That is, the expectations are upstream to the onboarding team with little ability to control those expectations during the implementation without upsetting the apple cart.

    5. And finally, are you sure that CSAT is even the right metric? I mean, NO ONE really wants to go through onboarding. I guess I'm exaggerating a bit but it feels like asking, "Were you satisfied with your surgery?"  The right question in this analogy is probably something like, "Following your surgery are you feeling better and perceive a road to recovery?"  In the onboarding equivalent, I think the question you might consider is, "To what extent do you feel ready to start acquiring value from [solution]?" or something similar.

    Sorry to be long-winded but this is a very important topic.  With all said it may feel like too much, but not only is this easy when you have templates and guidance (I'm *always* available to assist, even outside Waypoint's TopBox SaaS or in a consulting engagement... just ask and I'll help).  What do you think? 

    /Steve
  • Laurie Barlev
    Laurie Barlev Member Posts: 17 Thought Leader
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    edited March 2022
    Thanks, @Steve Bernstein

    You bring up some very good points. So, let me provide a bit of context. Our onboarding process takes several weeks and is led by a specific individual. It should be pretty clear whose feedback we are seeking. Secondly, we need feedback on this onboarding process -- both to make improvements more generally as well as specifically to the person who led it. 

    RE: CSAT -- I am not sure if there is a specific question and calculation for CSAT. I was thinking more along the lines of a question or two to gauge the onboarding manager's performance ranked from some sort of ranking from not good (did not meet expectations) to great (exceeded expectations). 

    As for point 4. Completely agree. We were just talking about that this morning. Will need to word the question carefully to focus the response on what the onboarding manager has within their control.

    Thanks!

    Laurie Barlev

    Founder, Barlev Success

    www.linkedin.com/in/lauriebarlev

    [email protected]

  • Steve Bernstein
    Steve Bernstein Member Posts: 132 Expert
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    edited March 2022
    Hi Laurie -- Yes I concur that it *should* be clear who needs to provide feedback and I only caution around single-threading (i.e. forming a relationship with only one person and expecting that person to liaise with the others... that doesn't work the way "you" o the vendor side want it to work, and it's better to drive relationships directly. Demonstrated Listening, i.e. addressing feedback, is an excellent way to create differentiated and strong relationships). Defining coverage and response rate expectations would be the key -- you want the feedback, i.e. the good, the bad, the ugly. If you're comp'ing on the score I guarantee you will get high scores. If you're comp'ing on the acquisition of trustworthy and representative feedback, then you'll get that (and then perhaps add a component for the CSM for the trend of sentiment over time).

    And Satisfaction is a very low bar IMHO. Do you want "satisfied" response to the onboarding, or value / readiness for future / usefulness, etc?  I prefer the latter because they are customer-outcome oriented (that is, I don't think customers want to be "satisfied" -- they instead want value out of the time they spent, feeling confident that they are now equipped to move forward and start obtaining value).

    My $.02... appreciate the dialog and collaboration,
    /Steve
  • Jordan Silverman
    Jordan Silverman Member, Success Network Members Posts: 103 Expert
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    edited March 2022
    I tend to agree with @Steve Bernstein that CSAT is not a great metric to bonus an onboarding team.

    We use CSAT (1-5 how satisfied are you with onboarding) to expose unhappy customers who need some extra TLC. So I think there is absolutely value to onboarding CSAT but not necessarily as a core KPI.

    Few ideas on what you could use instead:
    - What % of customers get onboarded within your time frame of several weeks
    - How many days does the average customer take to get onboarded (As Steve said, nobody really wants to do this so quicker is usually better)
    - What % of customers get activated post onboarding

    These are more quantitative but still get at the heart of - is the onboarding specialist setting their clients up for success.
  • Jeffrey Kushmerek
    Jeffrey Kushmerek Member Posts: 93 Expert
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    The main problem with measuring CSAT here is that it is 1 number. You could have the following scenarios:


    • they love the Onboarding person and hate the product
    • Love product but had bad onboarding experience

    So you need to ask more questions to get the metrics that you need