Mary Poppen, the Chief Strategy and Customer Officer of Involve.ai, delivered an insightful session at Propel22 on leveraging customer intelligence for customer onboarding success.
Customer intelligence is leveraging everything you can.
The data-first growth economy is the new way of doing business. Mary began the session by emphasizing the need to discover what data is critical, peel back the onion, and understand what each of your customers needs at every stage of the customer journey is something everyone needs to work on. This new way of business does not just benefit customer success or support or onboarding teams. It's everybody who reaps the benefits! The strategy of the company, the product innovation, and the way you deliver are hugely impacted, and so are your customers and future customers. And that's why it's super important to think about how we can leverage data.
In the 1970s, all software was on-premise. Customers were left to build the house on their own. They didn't have a lot of onboarding help, so they purchased the solution. And that was kind of it. They had to run with it themselves.
In the 1990s, the rise of SaaS led to the ability to start and implement services for customers. And this meant you could leverage best practices and onboard them so that your solution would bring more value.
In the 2000s, there was more focus on measuring customers' experience to make it better.
And that leads us to the present, where technology has advanced to a point where one can now leverage customer intelligence, not just to deliver a seamless customer journey or experience; you can even opt for a more personalized one at scale.
Mary pointed out that companies focused on data are becoming very disruptive in the market. She explains that, with visibility being used to create unique offerings and opportunities for customers with personalized experiences, it is becoming popular in the market and is the disruptor right now. And companies that have been using a more data-driven approach by leveraging customer intelligence are seeing a much greater return on their net revenue retention too.
Your CFOs are thus justified in targeting specific data and data analysis, and working on leveraging the data you've been collecting on your customers for years. It creates a great customer experience, you can grow the business.
And finally, your customers become your growth engine, which is exciting. So when customers are onboarded effectively, they will want to stay with you, and that revenue will only expand and grow.
What's the common thread? In a bit of the old world, CSMs had difficulty knowing what account managers were doing. They didn't necessarily have visibility into all of the support issues for customers. We tended to be very reactive, and customer health was very gut-driven. Assumptions had to be made, and there was minimal opportunity to identify risk.
But today, with data, we can have that visibility across roles and functions. Therefore, the best place to start is by having greater visibility into how customers are resonating with the value proposition of your product or service.
How does value realization occur for customers?
Value realization allows you to be more proactive; it allows you to identify risks and opportunities for growth. To get ahead of it, you don't have to wait for the renewal to expand the relationship with the customer, for there may be far greater times to do that, where the customer could get greater value from you. And this is where data comes in handy. Data helps you uncover opportunities and jump in sooner to provide more value; either through additional products or services or to connect them with other customers to get you best practices guidance.
Data also helps you in being prescriptive. It allows you to look at the onboarding process and identify areas where we could be more effective, be more scaled internally, and create a seamless experience for customers to set them up on the right path faster.
Customers come in contact with many people during their onboarding journey. Sales, CSMs, onboarding specialists, consulting teams, and plenty others require the data and the visibility to avoid duplication of efforts and deliver a much more seamless experience to the customer.
Five key onboarding challenges might be common to every organization. But the analysis and outcomes of each issue are unique to every organization. It may or may not apply to your company. But the goal is to get you thinking about what kinds of data you could be looking at to improve your customers' onboarding experience.
Some of the analyses that you could take a look at are:
Ultimately, you will be able to look at ways to scale the delivery better across all customers.
Analyses to think about here are:
For this particular issue, the first time to value is super important. And we always think the faster the first time to value, the better. But it may not necessarily be the case. Some analyses to consider for this are:
Analyses that can be considered include:
Try and pinpoint where in the onboarding journey you could focus and help track post-implementation. And one interesting finding is that renewals become highly likely when a live handoff occurs from sales to CS. The first time to value is also six times longer when goals and success criteria are not reviewed during the kickoff. During the kickoff, you should be focused on the goals and align on what success criteria look like.
It makes it hard for the customers when they're siloed in the deployment process. Some of the analyses that can be considered here include:
Here’s a list of the metrics that you should think about foundationally as you're collecting information on your customers and data across the onboarding journey are:
a. Time to value. Have an agreed description of what first time to value and additional time to value means so that you can measure it appropriately. Also, ensure everyone's on the same page.
b. Training/enablement: Outline the training and enablement resources being leveraged during the onboarding process.
c. Adoption: Assess the quality through customer satisfaction and adoption of the materials, and be able to track that.
d. CSAT: Look at adoption post-launch in the 30/60/90 days and then add additional intervals. So, you can see the trends over time in which customers are more successful with adoption over time versus others. This can help you to really dig into the drivers and improve customer satisfaction as well.