Customer Onboarding: AHA! or WTF?

You think the AHA! Moment during Customer Onboarding is a positive thing.

But it’s not.

AHA! moments are only a positive thing if you’re searching for something… perhaps aliens or a missing sock.

At the end of this journey you discover what you’re looking for and you say, “AHA!… I knew it was there all along.”

That’s a great feeling because it validates your scientific hypothesis or completes the pair of socks.

But as your new customer with an emotional connection to their goals who sees – or SAW – your product or service as the catalyst to reach those goals, the Aha! moment comes at the end of a discovery journey…. only it’s NOT AHA!

It’s WTF?!?!

“Why did you let me poke around for so long not knowing what to do only to discover this on my own and waste a bunch of time in the process?”

Your customer should NEVER have to ask, “why did you let me do that?“

Maybe you just want to make sure the customer sees all the cool stuff you have for them during Onboarding, or is able to find whatever they need without you restricting their exploration.

You’re just thinking of the customer, right?

No,… you’re not. Here’s how I know.

If you were thinking of the customer, you’d understand that you need to guide them to the things that will deliver value to THEM, both initially (and quickly), and as they grow and evolve over time.

This is about the customer and helping them receive value as quickly as possible so that you’re setting them up for continued and evolving success.

While you may think the AHA! moment is cool, it’s possible this is the first seed of churn (or at least non- or slowed-expansion) being planted. And that’s definitely not cool.

I hope you see that letting customers wander aimlessly until they discover what they NEED to get value from their relationship with you is a bad idea.

Some companies intentionally make their Onboarding process seem like a “discovery” adventure where the customer may have what appears to be an Aha! moment after “poking around” for a while.

But this only works if two things are true: 1) this is part of your customer’s Appropriate Experience (AX) and 2) it’s still completely orchestrated so nothing is actually left to chance.

Probably the coolest example of this for the longest time was Twilio (not sure if they still do this).

You’d sign-up and immediately get “dumped” into what looked like a command line interface, and given some examples to recreate (sending text messages, making a voice call, etc.) right there by writing some code.

The user was “poking around” and just trying stuff (perfect considering the person signing-up was almost 100% guaranteed to be an engineer), but it was actually a very controlled environment designed for them to quickly see how powerful this platform was.

And if they didn’t take the action Twilio wanted them to take in-app, all communication from the system or team was designed to get them to take that action.

They engineered the “AHA! moment” and the process to get the user there… but unless your business fits that model – and it probably DOES NOT – don’t play games like that with your new customers with whom you have a very fragile relationship.

About Lincoln Murphy

I am a world-renowned Growth Architect, Consultant, Author, and Keynote Speaker and have helped drive exponential growth across the entire customer lifecycle for more than 1000 companies worldwide I wrote the Customer Success book which you can buy at Amazon. If you need help growing your company or would like me to speak at your event, please contact me. Also, connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter or Facebook.