The Basics of Customer Onboarding

Onboarding is perhaps the most critical phase in the customer journey – if nothing else, it sets the tone for the relationship – and is too important to just slap together and hope it works.

Please ensure you’re giving the Onboarding process – and your new customers with whom you currently have a very fragile relationship – the attention they deserve.

So let’s start here.

If you can’t answer these questions with confidence, that’s a problem:

  • What does “onboarded” mean in the context of your customers?
  • Is it the same for each customer segment?
  • At what point is your customer onboard?

Let me help you answer those questions…

I’ve covered the process of Customer Onboarding before in great detail, but let’s get back to basics here.

To design an effective onboarding process you must know what “onboarded” means or at what point a customer would be considered “onboard.”

“Onboarding Complete” is the first Success Milestone in the customer lifecycle, the time it takes to get there is TTFV (Time to First Value), and Onboarded is the customer’s new status as they move into the next phase of the lifecycle.

Your customers are considered “onboard” once they get actual value from OR (in more complex scenarios) see the real value potential in – outside of the promises made by marketing and sales – their relationship with you.

What those things actually look like will be 100% dependent on your unique relationship with your customers, but just from that simple definition, it should be clear that “getting value” or “seeing the real value potential” won’t be the same for each logical customer segment.

What “onboarded” is, the steps required to get there, everything involved in moving through those steps, etc. will most likely be at least a little different across segments, as well.

Oh, and  TTFV is a really interesting KPI to track (as part of Success Vector), but – like so much of this stuff – is often misunderstood and misapplied.

TTFV is a goal you can use to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of your Onboarding process, help determine appropriate interventions if that goal is or isn’t being met, and will also likely be different for different segments.

Oh, and TTFV can even be used as a metric for Sales, but that’s for another post on another day.

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.