Should a Business “Onboard” their Customers?

People hear the word “onboarding” and then think about learning a new job. But, it’s really just referring to training. Once we know what exactly a particular customer is looking to achieve with our platform, we’ll be able to recommend and demonstrate the features that could revolutionize their work day.

— Kara Kizior, Onboarding Manager at CallTrackingMetrics

Welcome to our Ask an Expert series, where we share the knowledge and expertise of our talented team members here at CallTrackingMetrics. Before getting to this week’s interview, we’d like to mention that this edition of Ask an Expert was hosted by Tori Cronin, our intern from The Severn School! She has been working hard with our marketing department for the last few weeks, and we’ve really enjoyed having her here at our headquarters.

Last week we spoke to Jeremy Wingate, our director of Customer Success, about the mission of his department and their goals for the future. A large part of that evolution will be the way that Customer Success works together with Onboarding to ensure our customers feel continuously supported. Kara Kizior, one of our Onboarding Managers, is incredibly excited and optimistic about these developments in our company. She has been championing the success of our customers in Onboarding for some time now, so this week Tori sat down with her to discuss what she’s learned in this role, and what advice she might have for other businesses.

Kara, if a user feels confident about learning the system as they go, why should they consider going through an onboarding process? Doesn’t that just slow them down?

That’s a great question, and one that I hear pretty often. Honestly, if a new customer feels comfortable just surfing around the platform, that’s great! But CallTrackingMetrics has so many features that it’s really worth a client’s time if they at least engage us in a brief conversation after signing up. That way, we can take a few minutes to ensure they’re aware of all the elements of our software that could benefit their business or campaign.

For example, we can trigger a call to connect an agent with a new lead when a form is submitted. The connection to the agent can occur the instant that new lead submits the form on their website. Not all of our users are aware of that feature.

Now, if a business is currently checking a folder for their custom-form fills, and then assigning call backs, they’ve potentially wasted crucial time to connect with that lead while they were hot. By automating that process with CTM, and connecting with new leads the instant they reach out, that business has not only saved a lot of time and effort, but they’ve increased their chances of conversion by leaps and bounds. A new customer who doesn’t know we can do that will most likely not think to ask us about it, and they risk not taking advantage of the features they’re already paying for.

Here in Onboarding, we can consider all of our features for them, and will take pains to explain the ones that could be beneficial to that user.

Why should businesses dedicate a large portion of their resources towards engaging existing customers? How does that benefit the company?

At least in our business, the product we offer is constantly evolving. CallTrackingMetrics is always rolling out updates, and we need to ensure out customers understand the tools we have available to them; that’s where Customer Success and Marketing help out with communications.

Now, in regards to initial onboarding, one of ways that benefits us as a company is that it gives us a chance to document a new customer’s use case and account setup. After the Onboarding department concludes their work with a new customer, the Customer Success department can take over that account. And, it’s extremely helpful for them to start their relationship with a lot of constructive knowledge about that user.

Let’s say a new customer wants to use our software to manage his 500-person contact center. It may be a large company with hundreds of potential end users of our platform, but most likely only one or two of those users would have sat through the onboarding process. We’d hope that customer would have distilled all our information accurately to their employees, but there’s a chance they didn’t communicate everything.

Having a well-informed Customer Success Manager periodically check over the account to make sure everything is set up and running correctly can definitely save a ton of frustration for those 500 end users. Also, it might help us retain that customer by preventing the kind of frustrations generated by miscommunication or user error.

Ultimately, engaging our existing customers with both Onboarding and Customer Success really benefits all parties involved, because it helps ensure that the full value of our product is being realized.

In what ways does the job of an Onboarding Manager differ from that of a Customer Success Manager?

Generally, the Onboarding department wants to help our new customers get their accounts set up as quickly and efficiently as possible, so that they can start seeing results right away.

Customer Success wants to conduct an ongoing conversation with existing customers, to make sure they’re engaging all the tools we provide to ensure their business’s success.

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