Guest: Donna Weber – Creating High-Impact Customer Onboarding Programs
Join us with guest Donna Weber, a leading expert in customer onboarding. Donna has recently launched her new book called “Onboarding Matters. How Successful Companies Transform New Customers into Loyal Champions.”
Donna shares her insights and experience around customer onboarding and how to create high-impact onboarding programs. Onboarding is one of the most critical phases in the customer journey and many organizations struggle to get it right.
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Meet Our Guest
Customer Onboarding Expert
Donna Weber is the world’s leading expert in customer onboarding. For more than two decades, she’s
helped high-growth startups and established enterprises create customers for life.
Donna is a recognized Customer Success thought leader, influencer, strategist, advisor, author, and speaker
who gets to the heart of the matter. She is passionate about helping customers reach their goals, because
when customers win, you win. It’s that simple.
High growth companies hire Donna to increase customer retention, decrease time to customer first value,
increase customer lifetime value, reduce implementation time and costs, increase product usage and
adoption, and scale Customer Success organizations
Donna Weber's Book and Articles!
Donna is the author of “Onboarding Matters: How Successful Companies Transform New Customers Into Loyal Champions“
Onboarding is the most important part of the customer journey, yet many B2B companies fail to act proactively at the start of the relationship. Instead, Customer Success teams are stuck making heroic efforts to save accounts and fighting fires when customers inevitably run into problems or get stuck. The reactive approach is a problem for your Customer Success teams, your revenues, and your customers.
Customer onboarding matters. More than you may think. A successful customer onboarding program results in more satisfied customer and employees, higher solution adoption, and increased customer lifetime value.
In Onboarding Matters, Donna Weber shares the Orchestrated Onboarding™ framework that she implements with leading B2B companies to turn onboarding from a missed opportunity into a competitive advantage.
Read these great articles from Donna Weber:
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We share a weekly digest of the latest articles, publications, and events of interest to the customer success community.
Don’t miss out – subscriber today!
Jason Whitehead: [00:00:00] Hi everyone. And thanks for joining us today for another episode of the Jason’s take on I’m here with my cohost, Jason Noble over in London, say hello, Jason OJ,
Jason Noble: [00:00:08] sir. Hello everybody.
Jason Whitehead: [00:00:09] Good to be here again.
And we’re very excited today to have a special guest here, Donald Weber. And Donna is a leading expert in customer onboarding. And for more than two decades, she’s helped high growth startup stablish enterprises create customers for life. And Donna is widely recognized in the customer success community as a thought leader, influencer, a strategist and advisor and speaker.
And what I’m really sad about too is Don has recently launched her new book called onboarding matters. How successful companies transform new customers into loyal champions and I’ve downloaded the book. I’ve started to read it. I’m not quite through yet, but it’s really great. And I highly recommend it to everyone.
And today Donna’s going to share her insights and experience around customer onboarding and how to create high-impact onboarding programs. And this is just such a huge topic. So Donna, thank you so much for being here and welcome to the show.
Donna Weber: [00:00:56] Jason and Jason, thank you so much for having me. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to be here.
Jason Whitehead: [00:01:01] Fantastic. To kick us off for those who don’t know you, which are probably very few why don’t you go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and how you came to be an expert in customer onboarding.
Donna Weber: [00:01:11] Sure. Thank you for asking. I I’m based in Palo Alto, California.
I’m in the heart of Silicon valley right near Stanford university. And I grew up not far from here. And I’ve been in the customer facing space for quite some time. I got into customer education training enablement. And so really out there on the front line, helping customers adopt and use software products, worked out a lot of startups which I have always found a lot of fun.
And and then probably about 10 plus years ago maybe 12 years ago started hearing more about customer success and realizing. That it wasn’t just about, butts and seats and how many classes we delivered, but it was really as everything moved into the subscription and the cloud, it wasn’t just about, the classes I developed and delivered, it was about, are we retaining our customers?
Are they using our product? Are they buying more? And and then I started to get involved in the whole customer success scene. And I worked at companies where, you know, even though we called ourselves customer centric, we weren’t, we were really focused on internally. How can we make the sales and marketing engine better?
What do we need to do with the product? And I kept going what about our customers? I didn’t hear it. Anyone, even though we had like renewal reps and even customer success managers who were so reactive just jumping in, they were parachuted into resolve a journey and customer, but like no one was really engaging.
Customers. And so I saw that as a big gap, and even as customer success started to become more and more established. I saw that customer success teams that were so focused on compensations and how many accounts they should own and who should own the renewal. And, those are all really important, but still no one was talking about the customer.
And so that’s where where I dove in, I saw a gap there or saw a need. And with my expertise and and it needs in the space. I seized the opportunity for onboarding because there’s, we all know when we front load re relationships, then we don’t have to chase down the renewal pretty much.
Jason Whitehead: [00:03:12] That’s great. Yeah. And what you just described about teams being, customer success, in name only, and for lack of a better phrase, but it’s widespread and hopefully getting better. So it’s great to have you here. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of stuff.
Jason Noble: [00:03:25] Thank you. The other thing you said that donors just, you see a lot of businesses where they do, they start like that.
Customer success is just this reactive thing that’s been started to create, to fix one specific problem. And it’s how do we extend it from that? And then the area of onboarding, as you said, is so super, super critical. And I’ve seen businesses before where they’re not sure about onboarding. Is it something different?
Should it be something different? And it can cause a lot of confusion. If you can’t start the relationships off with your customers. Properly to start with. You’re not setting yourself up for success or the customers.
Donna Weber: [00:03:57] Exactly. And during onboarding is a fascinating period to me because there’s actually many players involved.
So there’s this, you’re transitioning from a buyer journey into a customer journey. Sales teams might still be involved. You’ve got maybe, onboarding specialists. Professional services, consultants, implementation, analysts, support teams, education, maybe change management support customer success.
If I have this, have I said onboarding specialist yet? So there’s, it’s really, there’s a, and traditionally, a lot of those customer facing teams have been around for a long time, but they’ve operated in silos. And so I see this opportunity and I call my framework that I use orchestrated onboarding, because it’s all about all those teams working together in harmony for the customer.
So that’s one of the reasons I’m in this space, because it is fascinating. It’s very vulnerable time. There’s huge challenges, huge opportunities and a lot of different players. And so there’s a lot that needs to be orchestrated.
Jason Whitehead: [00:04:57] Absolutely. And I think instinctively know many people quote unquote know that onboarding’s important.
But yeah, we skipped over some important discussions about really what is it and why is it so important and things like that. So I guess, just to create some context here, what is your definition of onboarding? What’s included in it. What’s not, and when does it start and when does it end?
And I guess if there’s any insights you can share about what makes it so critical that that people typically don’t think about that,
Jason Noble: [00:05:22] stop start taking notes as well. This is the one that people
Donna Weber: [00:05:25] want to listen. And I’m referring I in my book, I define it, it, that I have an efficacy.
Jason Noble: [00:05:30] I should know it off by heart. I shouldn’t, you
Donna Weber: [00:05:34] is the action or process of familiarizing new customers with your products and services. So that’s how I define it. And what I do see is many companies defy it, defined it as the implementation. And I actually have an article I wrote called onboarding does not equal implementation. So most companies call it onboarding.
They’re th they’re really thinking implementations. They have an onboarding specialist, but they’re really the implementation person. And so what happens there, I’m going to tell you like what not to do, and then my, what to do to really have that impact. So what happens is they closed the deal and they jumped right into the the implementation, the technical weeds requirements, data migrations, customizations, and, the stuff is all really critical, but it’s complicated.
And, some companies I work with their implementations might take weeks, months, even up to a year, one company, it might be 18 to 24 months to implement. So if you immediately jump into this long. Complex implementation. What happens? You go from excitement. Hey, we bought this new product to frustration delays.
And Gartner has a trough of disillusionment which I talk about in my book and also have some articles on that and I can share in the show notes And so what happens is people get frustrated. They they go from getting excited. Customers are never more excited to be successful with your product than at the beginning.
And then they just go into these long, wait, waiting technical challenges, frustrations. That’s no way to start a relationship. What I like to remind folks is that even though you’ve got to quote, closing the account, you got a new customer, or you got a new logo companies think about, Their customers in that kind of company framework, you’re really dealing with people.
And people have brains and our brains have neural wirings that aren’t always logical to us. And so what happens is we have things like buyer’s remorse. Do you, have you ever got, had experienced buyer’s remorse, Jason or Jason? Yeah. Billions and billions of dollars are spent a year and peoples have people have buyer’s remorse, whether it’s for buying a house or a car or at an ice cream cone.
I, plenty of times, gone for dinner and I wish like what somebody else ordered looks better, buyer’s remorse. So I spend some harder money and now I regret what my choice now, sometimes if your products are expensive And, a stakeholder, the buyer might be staking their reputation on the line because they chose your product.
And if all they hear are complications and difficulties and delays, they’re not going to be, they’re going to be dwelling in fear and doubt and remorse. They’re going to be ruminating on all the problems. And we don’t want people to be in that head space when we start a new relationship.
Jason Whitehead: [00:08:30] So it sounds like through proper onboarding, you’re able to help get them in a better head space and maintain them there and to set those expectations, and I like what you talked about the depths in there with one client we’ve worked with in particular, it was going to be, a two to three-year project.
And we knew that was coming. So we spent time on, but here’s the valley of despair. Here’s this is going to happen.
Donna Weber: [00:08:52] And then
Jason Whitehead: [00:08:53] you’re going to lose space at some point and curious how we have to support each other through that. And it was fascinating because. They kept clinging onto that curve in that valley of despair in the emotions.
And when they were in the throws of really bad stuff, they actually in team knew and say, look, I’m writing a loop in the valley of despair right now. I can use the lifeline here and they were actually very supportive themselves, but because we did that upfront, they have the language tools to help navigate.
The emotions of that situation.
Donna Weber: [00:09:19] And also according to drive customers to value quickly. So for example, if I download a new app on my phone, I need to see value in probably. 90 seconds. Yeah. Otherwise I deleted or I never look at it again. And then with we’ve talked about companies who have longer computations, maybe they’re 30 days, 60 days eight weeks, 12 weeks.
I like to talk with companies I work with to see what are ways we can drive value quickly? So for example, one company I’m working with, they have a marketing platform and services for real estate agents. And so they have all of this and main. So they have this amazing software and platform. But they also provide these, domain expertise and helping real estate agents with how to do marketing, how to do sales.
And, but the sales reps, all the sales reps are selling. Was this the website. And so then there was this pressure, like you have to get the website live, like the website equal value. And when the website wasn’t live within 30 days, the, all these new clients are canceling and pausing. And so what we’re driving is a CSM coaching.
In that first week, second week, start to drive value, get them connected to community, get them, leveraging all the thought leadership giving them challenges, starting email campaigns. So they’re getting a ton of value. While this website is being tailored, designed, implemented. So they’re not sitting around waiting.
And then what does that mean? Now we’ve got to change. What’s being sold. We’ve got to change the expectations. We need to focus on setting new expectations and how we sell and market this value. So it really touches everything in the organization.
Jason Noble: [00:10:59] I think that’s such a key thing is you’ve got the, there’s a lot of kind of time to go live in time to launch.
And that’s where you see a lot of. Probably more than the world of professional services. And historically that’s what people are focused on, but it’s this time to value. And I love the idea of starting that conversation about value up front and starting that like goal to get the value out as soon as you can.
And that, as you said, Jace, that, that investment upfront to say that this is what the expected journey is going to be. Like, there are going to be points where you’re in this valley of despair. It’s so important to get that right. Cause we know we’re going to run into these challenges, but pre-warning people.
And then talking through about how, what the outcomes are, how do we solve these problems is super
Donna Weber: [00:11:41] critical. Yeah. So you’re partnering and being transparent and you’re you have accountability, your customers have accountability.
Jason Whitehead: [00:11:48] also think when you do that upfront too, I think Donna, to your point of whoever’s the buyer, they may have were more Slater.
The more, you can set accurate expectations about what the process is and what they can expect in each step. It enables them to go and set expectations in their own organization. And you can give themselves some areas where we are. It’s not just for them, it enables their reputation. Yeah. But don’t take a step back.
One is I really liked what you just said was, changing the, that onboarding process for the front of the customer in that example, and then how it. How it, that means you had to go back and change how you’re selling it as well. I think a lot of people, when they think about, oh, we’re going to change the onboarding process, so we’ll start there and then we have to change everything going downstream from that they forget to look back, oh, are we selling the right way?
Now that we have an improved
Donna Weber: [00:12:31] onboarding process? Exactly. So when companies tell me they have problems with implementations and onboarding. Generally, we have to go upstream. And that means what’s being sold. Like one company I worked with, they told me was like two different companies, the pre-sales and the post-sales.
And so oftentimes we need to start onboarding earlier so that we’re setting those right expectations and getting the customers on board and aligned. So then all that onboarding challenges, resets. They get resolved because you go upstream. And I want to tell you about another company I’m working with.
So they have a CRM platform. And and so they, we started talking about value and quick wins and they’re they highlighted oh, our CRM platform is infinitely customizable. So they, in their sales cycles are about three weeks. So very transactional. And then they’d spend six months tailoring, Hey customer, what do you want?
We’ll do anything you want. And six months later, they’re just, the customers are like, so checked out. They’d been in that valley of despair. So long, so the implementation teams have spent months and months doing all this work and then. The customers aren’t even engaged. So when we started looking a lot what is first value?
It transformed their whole business because they realized we needed to really identify what are the jobs to be done. What are the roles who are doing those jobs? And rather than selling this in infinitely customizable platform, they. They’ve changed how they develop their product, how they market it, how they sell it, how they roll it out.
So now it’s distinct products. So they’ll have a sales product and marketing product at nature, our product to services, product, and they selling distinct products to distinct roles. Now you can roll it out very quickly. Very, just minor type tailoring. And you get to value quickly, but now you have this ongoing upsell opportunities because now they might start in one product Mo or a module, and now you could keep expanding them to other sections of the product.
So it does touch everything when you do it.
Jason Noble: [00:14:34] What do you think some of the key things are that customers really expect from one onboarding experience? What are they really looking for? And we’ve talked about time to value, but what are some of the other things that people look for and what are.
Perhaps some of the misconceptions that people have when they go into a new project like this.
Donna Weber: [00:14:49] Yeah most companies think that value equals going live with their product. And so woo, what I’ve checked the box and we’re done, we’re out. And so companies, what do they want?
They don’t just want a new product. And. My, my friend, Adam miscue, he says, customers don’t care about your product. They, they buy your product to be better at their jobs. They buy it to be compliant. They save money to make more money, to save time. They have got their goals and outcomes.
So it’s really critical that all that information that they tell the sales rep during the sales cycle gets translated. And transitioned to the post-sales teams, the implementation teams, the customer success teams, so that they’re helping them meet their goals. And if you can meet at least part of that quickly with some initial time to value.
That’s awesome. So really then it’s important for those customer success teams to be driving them to their goals, demonstrating that they’re able to do those things better, faster, easier, and and. And then keep continuing that conversation to get them to their next set of goals. And, I like to think that customer success is not just about, getting you to go live or driving product usage, but it’s really about business transformation.
That’s what we really want is business transformation. If customer success teams can help customers see around corners. Be like true partners. That’s, what we’re really looking to do is help them transform their businesses. And that’s exciting, I love
Jason Whitehead: [00:16:16] that. See around corners, what a great way to put that, and I love what you’re saying too about shifting the perception. Like when I ask people, what is success for you? They’re like, oh, on time and on budget. And then when I asked them, what does success look like three or five years down the road? That’s when they start talking about all those business transformation, things that you’re talking about, increased sales and client satisfaction, lower cost, all those other things and opening up the way to great.
Let’s talk about the discussion you need to have to get that transformation beyond just getting the system live. What are all the other moving parts that.
Donna Weber: [00:16:48] Yeah. And if a customers are going to share those things with you, you need to have that relationship upfront. They need to be able to trust you.
And that’s why you need to build these, ways where you have like internal handoffs, because more handoffs. And I go into detail in my book because that helps to build trust. So what to, what erodes trust is having the customer. I have to tell every new person they talked to the exact same thing.
I’ve been meaning I haven’t left yet, but because I’ve been so busy, but I w you know, I’m planning on the, leave my bank because I did it a call. They transitioned me eight times and an hour and a half. And I had to say the same exact thing. To every person I talked to and if they had just transitioned who I was, my social security number, my why I was calling like, then that then I feels oh, good.
They’re transitioning me to the next level of expert. But I was,
Jason Noble: [00:17:45] you feel like you’ve been listened to don’t you? Cause that’s the problem. And you think, I think a lot of organizations particularly. Due to the pandemic that they’re still using it as an excuse, we’re a year and a half down or a year and three months into it and you still get, or we can’t respond cause of delays.
You can’t respond because of delays but it’s an excuse, but how what’s interesting you say to it, but you’re still with your bank. You haven’t left it
Donna Weber: [00:18:09] and you’ve noted my trust,
Jason Noble: [00:18:10] changed yet. And it’s a fascinating thing because it’s, this is what a lot of them rely on is that the trust might’ve been eroded, but it’s actually difficult to leave.
It’s a hassle to me and you don’t want that. And if you’re as good as the onboarding experience might be, unless you’re continually getting value, they’ll continue to road that trust. And at some point you will have time to say. Forget it I’m actually now leaving and we’ve all been there. Lots of these suppliers, particularly as consumers they come across, like they don’t care.
You’ve really not sat through this onboarding experience yourself, but I think they push everybody in at a point it does come too much and people say that’s it. And there’s a risk in the B2B space where. We don’t have that much patience. I think as consumers we’ve got far too much patients quite often be space-based
Donna Weber: [00:18:56] also though, so maybe I haven’t left yet, but they’re not getting any referrals from anywhere.
With every sale, there’s an upsell and there’s a referral sale. They’re not getting referral sales and they’re like getting sales.
Jason Whitehead: [00:19:07] Yeah. I think if you have to count on the laziness of your customer to actually leave it’s not the best smile.
Jason Noble: [00:19:15] Yeah. You look at car insurance, they’re all very similar to this, but the B2B space is very different.
Hence why we’ve got customer success and onboarding. Okay. The question I’d ask for your donors, have you seen over the last couple of years while you’ve been, looking at your book, you’ll be working with these customers. How have you seen. The onboarding experience change and what customers and companies are doing with it.
Have you seen any evolutions and big shifts?
Donna Weber: [00:19:38] Oh, I think people are way more aware of the importance, instead what I’m seeing, I was a big crop of onboarding software vendors have appeared and they all reach out to me and want me to have a look at their products. To be honest, a few years ago when I started talking onboarding, I was.
I got a little worried. I was said, in a black hole because I wasn’t getting much people weren’t. Really resonating. But now I think people are really seeing, and I, like we’re saying customer success companies would check the box. We have customer success, but they’re running around really reactive and in firefighting mode.
And I think, now the customer success has been around a while. Teams realize they can’t sustain that and that the front loading the relationship is when so much of this stuff gets, really cemented in. And they, if you don’t onboard a customer service source says, if you don’t get those customers to value in the first 90 days, you’re only 10% likely to renew.
And, if you don’t get ahead of the curve, then you’re behind the curve and you’re forever chasing these accounts. And that takes a lot of time and efforts and in customer success teams and companies can’t scale with that. And I think they’ve seen a lot of the pain. So by really handling, onboarding very prescriptively and proactively, and, Jason Whitehead, what you were saying about showing them here’s the journey we’re on.
Not just okay, we’re going to implement your product. But I, I talk a lot about providing visuals. Here’s the journey and helping customers understand that journey. Here’s where we are. Here’s where we’re going. Here’s where we’re been. Having all that you’re partnering and, when I’ve injured, viewed customers of companies, I work with those customers tell me they want to be held accountable.
So really it’s really about that. Partnering is so key.
Jason Whitehead: [00:21:15] Absolutely. It’s interesting that you’d say about want to be held accountable because I hear that a lot too, but also when I’m, when we’re coaching and training CSMs and CS teams, many CSMs are very hesitant to hold accountable, all customer accountable, or have a difficult conversation.
It’s you’re not doing this. So the customer is asking for help and they desperately want this. And the CSMs are afraid or uncomfortable doing it for flood reason.
Donna Weber: [00:21:40] I see that too. I miss working with a customer success team in the UK and they, they thought like their job was to go to customers.
What do you want? And I said no, it’s you’re the experts. Your job is to tell them, here’s what we do together. Here’s the best practices. Here’s the journey. And they didn’t really get that there. That was, it took him like the light bulb went on oh I think too many customer success managers are letting the The tail wag, the dog, and and then, they’re afraid that, customer success managers have an opportunity to really step up as peers and be like, this is what I expect of you, our most successful customers do this, it, these are the best practices that really drive the like we need this data from you.
Immediately, otherwise nothing else happens. Not just oh we look forward to your data and waiting. And then the customers are frustrated and internal teams are frustrated. Like you need to drive that be very proactive and prescription. Exactly.
Jason Whitehead: [00:22:36] So actually alum, one of those lifestyle and you, and I’ve had a couple of conversations as well, too and around the need to be proactive and do better listening with your customers.
What are some things that you’d like to see people see as professionals doing differently to be proactive or to be better listeners, and to really use that, to get a better result?
Donna Weber: [00:22:52] I think it’s so important because w we’re maturing as a field customer success, and there’s still a lot of this is what other people do for customer success and onboarding.
So I’m going to do that. But really it’s unique for every company and product and the customers. And so the first step is listening and I have a chapter on this in the book about design thinking principles and, empathy and listening is the first step to innovation. Understanding what your customers want and need.
So for example, I worked with a company where internally. Everyone felt that every customer was a special snowflake and they needed these technical experts to do anything. And so that’s very expensive. Yeah. Can’t scale if you need all these technical experts. But when I called up customers, what I heard over and over was we don’t need technical experts.
We need someone like our quarterback to guide the journey they use. Like those exact words. And so we created this more of a generalist advisor, customer success manager role, and then a customer success engineer, who is that technical expert who can be brought into accounts as needed. And that’s much more scalable.
So even though internal teams think they have the answers. Our products and our services are for our customers. So we listened to them and we use open-ended questions and it’s just amazing. I’m just I do. I often interview the customers of my clients and it’s so fascinating when I learned, one company we’re building out a self service journey.
For their onboarding. And it’s a very technical, big data platform. And we kept hearing from internal stakeholders and for, from customers, we need to be able to ask questions. We need to get answers and interviewing customers. One of them, I told, I asked them like, tell me about a great onboarding experience you’ve had with other vendors.
And they said with this one vendor, they have in-app chat, which is really helpful. And that was like a light bulb went on. I didn’t come up with the idea. Because we’re you build out this self-serving, self-service a tech touch, but if you have any to have chats or to have this high touch, just at the right moments where people can ask questions and get answers on this very technical platform, most of these folks are developers and they are data scientists and they like to do the probing of self-service.
But when they need to ask a question, they need to get an answer. And so that’s, I think is transformational. And that was from a client, from a customer.
Jason Noble: [00:25:19] It’s incredible. When you get that feedback from your customers as well, it’s really encouraging that they’re listening. They’re going through that journey.
One more question. I’d like to ask you in your book, you talk about this orchestrated onboarding framework. That you implement with big B2B companies. Can you talk about that a bit more explained to the list is what that is? How does it work? How does
Donna Weber: [00:25:37] it help? Yeah. And it’s not just big B2B, I’m working with a company that’s 10, a team of 10, the whole company.
The key is, are six stages of best practices. And then we modify them and tailor them for every company. So I don’t just stick them on every company and say, this is what you do, but there’s best practices in every stage. The first stage is embark and that’s where you start to establish those trusted relationships.
And there’s handoff. There’s kickoff adopt and and then there’s review and expand. So those are the six stages, but the main thing is that there’s best practices in each stages. To start off with a strategic approach gather all the success outcomes get alignment. Internally and with the customer then you get to the kickoff where you start diving into the tactics and the tech tactical weeds really driving, not just a product goes live, but adoption, you might be change management ongoing reviews.
And then the expand is does onboarding really ever end, sure. You go live and there’s a point and an adoption, but then there’s new products. There’s new features. There’s new users. Some companies I work with have huge turnover in their users. So you cannot have this high touch CSM coming in and training every new user.
You need to have scalable ways to do that, which I go into detail on the book. And the book is very, I’ve heard people say this is the most practical business book they’ve ever read. I’m a very practical person. I’m not just let’s just talk ideas. So there’s resources, templates it goes into real specifics, so you can just deploy this stuff quickly.
Jason Whitehead: [00:27:09] Wow. That’s great. That sounds really powerful. And having that structured, what I really love is how you say you don’t just throw it at everyone and you adjusted for what organizations need. Not everyone does that. And I think that’s very important. I just one last question here is we’re rolling out of time.
One of the things that we see is a lot of companies trying to evolve from high touch customer success, to more scalable approaches, medium and low touch and things like that. What recommendations do you have for customers that are trying to change our onboarding approach to go from really high touch, to also have a medium or low touch or to transition to just one of the other
Donna Weber: [00:27:39] ones as well?
Yeah there’s so many things to think about generally. There’s opportunities to start with high touch. It’s really good to see what works and and that’s a great way to, to really understand that, that journey. But let’s see some low hanging fruit is to move any training out of customer success and a bill.
You don’t have a customer education group or that the customer education offerings are. Repeatable one to many scalable by nature. So I would move all of that out of that group. And to, are there certain segments that might be lower touch or tech touch? So really getting clear on what different segments need this company of 10, then I’m working with just today.
We’re talking about maybe onboarding is high touch, but then. We really decreased the touch after that because we want to drive that initial value, but they can’t afford to continue all high touch with every of their customers after that. So there might be certain phases that are very high touch, and then you go to a lower touch or tech touch are there opportunities to, we start weaving in, this company with the marketing platform, we’re starting with some email campaigns.
So there’s tech touch going on. As well as coaching from the CSMs. So you can weave all that together. But there’s no kind of hard and fast rules about, about that, but you need to do it well. And it’s really helpful when you have that marketing customer marketing focus within customer success, that’s going to really help.
Jason Noble: [00:29:02] W what would you done? And we always like to give our listeners this idea of a bold challenge question for you. Boarding is such a key area and I’m so excited to stuff that we’ve gone through here. It’s so relevant. I don’t think there’s a single organization where this doesn’t come in and I’d like to, there’s so much more, we can talk about it.
We’d like to think about maybe a part two in some couple of weeks, months, time with you but our frog bowl challenge question, what are some of the key actions that people can take to improve their onboarding experience?
Donna Weber: [00:29:30] Yeah, here’s your bold challenge is to select five customers in the next week.
To call it 20 to 30 minute meeting. It’s not a big, long thing. And listen, Hey, you don’t have a few open-ended questions about yet. I’d love to learn from you what worked from how you were onboarded, maybe someone, maybe a counselor or recently onboarded, what worked, what would you improve?
And tell me about a great onboarding experience you had with another vendor. And listen, you’re not trying to sell them anything. You’re not trying to tell them anything. You’re listening, take copious notes. I always like to ask them if you have, if you had a magic wand, what’s the one thing you would change today?
People seem to come up with things out of the box at listen to five people, okay. Maybe not all next week, but maybe in the next month, call one customer a week. 20 minutes, 30 minutes out of your schedule, start to see what trends are revealed. So you’re not going to change a whole onboarding from what one person says, but see what trends are revealed.
And if everyone’s saying the same thing, what did we, one company, we, we found out that they really do need high touch. Great. Now you need to make sure you’re charging for your customer success services so that you can scale that because if everyone needs high touch, Then you got to have some premium offerings.
So it’s not always that you’re going to lower attach or that fun, really understanding what turns the needle for them.
Jason Whitehead: [00:30:55] That’s great advice. I’m really, I like that. And would like to see a lot of organizations go and do that. So for everyone out there listening, you know what you have to do. I felt the customer phone calls in the next month, if not the next week and just listen.
Fantastic, Donna, thank you so much. We’d love to have you come back again. As Jason said before we go though, Please go ahead and do a shameless plug for your book, your services, let people know how they can reach you. Anything else? Cause I know you’ve got a lot of value.
Donna Weber: [00:31:18] My new book onboarding manners is available and get it’s getting great feedback.
I’d love. And as I said, it’s really practical. There’s a lot of pictures in it. So it’s a quick read. So I get, get your copy today and there’s opportunities for bulk purchases on my website. If you’re looking. To get a copy for everyone on the team. And I’m just rolling out some bonuses for bulk purchases and yeah, if you’re looking to drive customers to value quickly and scale your customer facing teams and and reduce implementation time and costs reach out.
Jason Whitehead: [00:31:52] Fantastic.
Jason Noble: [00:31:53] Thank you so much, man. This is a really insightful conversation. I love it so much to learn.
Jason Whitehead: [00:31:58] Yes. Thank you so much for me as well too. And we’ll include links to all that below. So go and check it out and paint. Thanks Don. Thanks Donna.