3 Ways to Make Onboarding More Self-Service

3 Ways to Make Onboarding More Self-Service

Ross Blog (2)  Ross Palley

We invited three B2B tech startups in the Venture Lane community to participate in our Product Adoption Lab. Participants worked directly with a Mentor Committee of seasoned customer success leaders in Boston tech to triage product features that were lacking in adoption.

On the Committee, we had Lindsey Serafin (Head of Customer Success @ Snyk), Shari McGrath (VP of Customer Success @ Hi Marley), and Kim Rose (SVP of Customer Success @ Notarize). Check out their key takeaways below!

Provide incentives for completing onboarding tasks…

  • Reward users with certifications. Design your onboarding processes to educate users on industry or domain specific best practices in addition to educating them on your product. You can then reward users with a professional certification, and use this badge as a carrot throughout the onboarding process.
  • Set ROI goals before implementation. Work with new customers to cowrite goals they have for deriving value from your product. If they then fall behind in onboarding, communicate that the goals they set for themselves and their company are at risk of not being met.

  • Make progress visible. Keep updating new customers on how much onboarding they've completed versus how much is left. Everyone likes to drive progress bars to 100%.

Invest in a learning management system (LMS)…

  • Pull patterns from your support tickets. Building a comprehensive library of resources to help customers onboard themselves is daunting. Start by scrubbing your customer support tickets and turning FAQs into knowledge articles. 

  • Learn from the best. Set up discovery calls with existing customers and end users who have been the most self sufficient in getting up to speed on your product. These conversations should also inform LMS content.

  • Always funnel users back to the LMS.  Bake quick start guides into the product to get users adopting key features. These guides should also direct users back to the main knowledge hub, so they can continue to learn about your product.

If you must offer high touch onboarding…

  • Give it to those who need it. By the end of your sales process, you know whether customers are capable of onboarding themselves or need 1:1 support. It's okay to put the former on a self service plan for onboarding and the latter on a higher touch plan.

  • Charge for high touch. Startups shy away from charging onboarding fees, because they don't want to risk losing deals. In reality, customers who pay for onboarding get through it much faster and become better adopters of your product. If they don't pay, they won't be invested.
  • At least make it time bound. If you still aren't convinced that you should charge for high touch service, at least make it time bound - e.g. only offer high touch for the first 2 weeks. This cliff will motivate new customers to complete their onboarding tasks on schedule.  

    Want to take part in one of our upcoming Labs and get 1:1 time with Boston's best operators? Check out our Labs and other member benefits below!