Customer Onboarding and the Customer Success Equation

Good Customer Success isn’t about what it is, but what it does.
September 28, 2021
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In June this year, we officially launched Rocketlane and were voted Product of the Day on Product Hunt. We were joined for the launch by Aaron Thompson, CRO at SuccessHACKER, a Customer Success Enablement and Education organization. 

SuccessHACKER helps companies grow, or accelerate their growth from a Customer Success standpoint, by bridging the gap between theory and execution through consulting, talent management, industry training, and nurturing an open community for Customer Success professionals, teams, and leaders. Aaron has been a keynote speaker and educator in the Customer Success domain for over 20 years. 

For our launch event, we had  Aaron conduct a masterclass for our attendees on the Customer Success Equation. In the rest of this post, we share with you our notes from the masterclass and a preview of Rocketlane’s features that enable consistently delightful customer onboarding experiences. 

The Customer Success Equation

Aaron began by summarizing the essence of Customer Success with a simple equation: 

Customer Success (CS) = Customer Outcomes (CO) + Customer Experience (CX)

It’s really that simple: customer success is achieved when customers achieve their desired outcomes through a desirable customer experience. 

Good Customer Success isn’t about what it is, but what it does. 

Customer onboarding has the most critical role to play on the CX side—it’s when the rubber hits the road. Since it is often difficult to accomplish much in terms of the CO during onboarding, there is a lot on the CX front that you can do to ensure continued customer success. 

As the first major transition from pre-sale to post-sale or activation, the onboarding phase provides an opportunity to focus on the 3 Ds of good CX: Define, Demonstrate, Deliver. 

There are multiple reasons why this phase is so important:

  1. Maximum impact: This is the portion of the funnel (between decision and activation) where you can have the most impact on the customer. Statistics show that if customers churn at the first available opportunity, there is a 90% chance that they wanted to leave in the very first month, i.e. during customer onboarding.
  2. Maximum effort: When you look at effort vs time in the customer journey, onboarding is the phase that takes the highest effort for both you and the customer. 
  3. Vulnerability and leverage: Customers are the most vulnerable at the onboarding stage. This provides you the most leverage—if used the right way. 
  4. Qualified leads: Onboarding, when done right, can help you create advocates who will then bring in CS-qualified leads that cost one-thirteenth of a new customer acquisition cost. 
  5. A one-time chance to impress: What makes onboarding all the more critical is that it happens only once for each customer. This means that you’ve got one chance to get it right and set customers up on a trajectory where they will rarely mess up. Or, you could get it wrong and you set them on a trajectory where you will rarely be able to salvage or save it later.

And, this is exactly why when we set out to build Rocketlane. We wanted it to be a purpose-built solution for customer onboarding that drew from interactions, insights, and inputs from onboarding professionals, implementation experts, project managers, CS experts, and CS leaders.

Here is how Rocketlane can help you elevate your customer onboarding experience, and ultimately nail the Customer Success Equation.

More resources

  1. Implementation Stories
  2. Preflight Conversations
  3. The Launch Station - a podcast for all things customer onboarding
  4. Customer onboarding resources from Rocketlane

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Kirthika Soundararajan
Head - Content Marketing @ Rocketlane

All things content at Rocketlane. I run on coffee and cat videos. Follow me on Twitter @kirthikasrajan

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