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  • Writer's pictureTamara McKenzie

A Comprehensive Customer Onboarding Checklist for Consistent and Delightful Experiences

Providing a consistent onboarding experience for customers is crucial to the success of any business. To achieve this, it is important to have a comprehensive checklist that guides all teams to deliver well-executed, consistent, and delightful experiences.

Let's unpack how each aspect of the checklist can act as a template for your team to deliver each part of the onboarding process.

1. Streamline sales-customer success workflow

One of the biggest challenges in large enterprise businesses is the lack of a handoff between sales and customer success teams. This can result in a canned response to customer questions from the customer success team, which can negatively affect the customer experience. To overcome this issue, it is essential to share notes about the client seamlessly across the sales process at the CRM level with your account and customer success teams. This way, your teams welcoming the client into your product have clear expectations set from the start on what pain areas to guide the client to create a great first impression.

2. Create a client profile summary

Understanding the client's pain points is one piece of the grand client onboarding puzzle. Another helpful strategy is to compile information to know how your client is positioned in the market, with insights into how your product can enable new opportunities for your client. To achieve this, have the onboarding team create a questionnaire to understand their customers' pain points in detail. These insights should be accessible to the key stakeholders on the client end, complete with the customer's roles, key personality traits, contact information, and social media handles. This client summary can help your team personalize their conversations in the onboarding process, thus creating a great rapport from the beginning of the client onboarding relationship.

3. Organize all paperwork and contacts

It's incredible how much you can impact the customer experience simply by getting organized. When onboarding assets are living piecemeal between someone's inbox, shared folders, and the CRM, important things are bound to get missed. To avoid this, organize all customer-facing collateral, including the legal paperwork, training materials, knowledge base articles, and product walkthrough videos, in a single location for your onboarding team to access. Ensure that the right teams have editing rights to this collateral, and provide them with the means to edit it if multiple updates on your product or service can make these documents outdated.


4. Create a client welcome kit

A welcome kit doesn't have to be a big undertaking. Even a basic, automated send of useful materials creates a welcoming, orienting experience for new users. To ensure that you have welcome email and follow-up sequences across multiple channels (like Slack) created and personalized for your client with their logos and preferences in mind. These welcome sequences could also include kickoff meetings with the clients with a dedicated set of contacts within your team to hand-hold them through your business and product.

5. Automate access provisioning for your client

Automating access to your customer support channels within the first week can enable your customer onboarding team to create a frictionless experience for their initial "teething problems" with the product. For example, they might encounter account issues or configuration problems in the first week. Solve these problems proactively with automation, coupled with easy access to customer support channels. This can help them get unstuck during the adoption period and make their initial product experience memorable.

6. Provide a structured training path

Your platform might be compelling and capable of solving complex problems with an intuitive approach, but your customers may not be fully aware of the capabilities of your product. To ensure that your team is fully aware of the customer's pain points, help them create a personalized training experience that introduces the product features best suited to encourage product adoption. These training sessions could be a mix of live interaction webinars or recorded self-paced content, which lets the client stakeholders get up to speed on the product's capabilities based on their own pace and learning style.

7. Organize progress meetups for the first 90 days

Experiencing a drastic drop in product adoption and usage within the first 30 days is standard in the industry. However, that doesn't mean you can't do something about it! Closely track customer progress milestones across every communication channel. Your team can use a mix of software and communication channels to track and monitor key success metrics for your customer onboarding process across the first seven, thirty, sixty, and ninety-day roadmap. You can try one of the tools on this list of excellent customer onboarding platforms to help your team observe and then use these insights to organize weekly check-ins with your client team to nudge them in the right direction.

8. Keep your team informed on customer progress

The first 30 days of your customer onboarding lifecycle can be crucial in understanding if your client team has been able to experience all their use cases and pain points addressed in your product. However, this is also a time when crucial customer insights are prone to falling through the cracks, and if that happens, the customer's business is easy to lose. Make sure that all customer communications and insights are documented in a centralized location that is easy to search and filter. Why is this important? Let's suppose your customer has been running into several issues and voicing their concerns across multiple channels. Some of these concerns might be logged in customer support, and others might have been expressed over an online product walkthrough. In cases like these, your team needs to understand the customer's history holistically so that you know how to efficiently identify friction, solve issues, and prevent erosion of trust.

9. Iterate and improve customer support

Client stakeholders can vary in their preferences to seek help using your product effectively. For example, some might be happy to get access to a product knowledge base of articles. On the other hand, client leadership might desire a more high-touch experience in providing feedback, so an in-person listening session with your customer success team could assure them that their needs are being addressed. Once your team understands the issues your customer brings forward, tweak your support channels to address them by creating collateral (whether that be help articles, webinars, or training modules) to solve these problems. Chances are that this newly built collateral and documentation would benefit not just your present client, but also other clients going through the same onboarding process, making it reusable at scale.

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