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The Easiest Way to Improve Customer Onboarding: Measure Customer Effort

Putting off changes to your onboarding process is too tempting. Where do you find the time to overhaul the entire process and where do you even begin? It feels like a monumental task that will take ages to do properly.

While it may seem daunting, there is a simple, quick step you can take to prioritize incremental improvements immediately: start gathering Customer Effort Score feedback after onboarding completion.

What does “Onboarded” mean?

Onboarding is a term often used in SaaS businesses and there are many ways people will define what “onboarded” means. It can vary depending on the type and level of complexity of your product or service.

As an event in the Customer Success journey, “onboarded” can mean the first point where customers start to achieve their goals. In terms of product training, it is the point where hand-holding is no longer necessary and customers are confident enough to navigate on their own.

Once you have a better idea of what “onboarded” means to your company, you can reverse engineer the process to get there.

The Easiest Way to Improve Onboarding

There are plenty of specific actions you can take when it comes to improving the onboarding process, but how do you know which actions to prioritize? You could write up a playbook for all of your CSMs, but how do you know what methods are the most successful, or what the most frequently asked questions during onboarding are?

Gathering Customer Effort Score feedback after your customers soon after they finish the onboarding process helps you prioritize initiatives when it comes to improving the onboarding customer experience.  Address the most frequent, most fundamental complaints first to incrementally change your onboarding process instead of trying to do a complete overhaul in one go.

What is Customer Effort Score (CES)?

The Customer Effort Score survey asks customers on a scale from 1 to 7 how easy it is to deal with a companies products and services. The CES survey is a transactional survey, gauging the experiences customers have after a specific touch point in the customer journey.

Why Customer Effort Score (CES)?

Why focus on effort here? Why is it a better choice than, say, NPS? Because effortless onboarding correlates with retention. According to the Harvard Business Review, “companies create loyal customers primarily by helping them solve their problems quickly and easily.”

When you ask your customers directly – “How hard was it for you to get started with us?” you will quickly identify whatever obstacles your customers faced during onboarding. Address them immediately for quick wins with big impact.

Implementing a CES micro-survey means receiving open-ended feedback from customers that speak to the issues that are at the top of their minds. You’ll hear what customers struggle with specifically so that you can prioritize the changes and additions that will have the greatest impact on customer experience.

In the long term, CES can get you answers to the questions that shape your overall process such as:

  • What do customers need to be able to do or know to accomplish their goal?
  • What information do they need in order to do this?
  • Which content formats are best to convey different information?
  • What do your customers perceive to be the first value delivered point/ first value achieved point?
  • How long does it take customers to get to the first value delivered point/ first value achieved point and what can be changed to reduce that amount of time?
  • Is there information being lost in the handoff from Sales to Success? If so, what is being lost?

Focusing on minimizing friction and achieving your customers’ desired outcome encourages them to form a longer, deeper relationship with your company. This means more opportunities for upsell and cross-sell. It also means higher advocacy, which is instrumental to growth.

Iterate & Adjust as Your Company Evolves

By gathering CES feedback after onboarding completion, your company can improve retention and build a loyal customer base. You’ll demonstrate customer-centricity from the very beginning of your relationships.

Creating a customer-centric onboarding process kicks off a customer experience that will make you stand out among your competition. Even as your company and product evolve to accommodate new needs, customer feedback will guide you to the most effective onboarding process, helping you win customers for life.

Start getting in-app CES feedback for free with Wootric.

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