How can good (and bad) support experiences impact the onboarding experience
Before we start talking about how much your customer support team can impact the onboarding experience, let’s define what is customer onboarding (and why it’s important):
What defines customer onboarding the best is: all activities involved in introducing a new customer to your company product or service. It’s about teaching the new client how to get the most out of your product/service. Onboarding new customers involve listening to their questions and concerns and guiding them. It’s about making their experience as smooth as possible."
From that, you can begin to see how important those initial days are to define the future of a customer with your company.
Think about all the effort you go through to win a customer. Lead qualification, calls from your SDRs, demo scheduling, presentation, negotiation, etc. That can all easily go down the drain if, after you close the sale, you abandon the customer and leave them to fend for themselves.
The first 90 (or less) days
Once a person purchases a product - or hires a service - you can’t automatically assume they’ll know how to get started without assistance.
Some customers are more self-sufficient than others, but not all of them will know what to do and it is our role as customer service professionals to steer them towards the information they need.
That’s exactly where an educated, proactive customer support team can make all the difference. They’re “the face” of your company as far as your customers are concerned and they play a very important role in taking your customers from “uncertainty” to “loyalty”.
After the acquisition stage or, in layman's terms, after a customer purchases what you sell, a whole new journey begins. The first important milestone is taking them from where they start to their first success.
Even if you offer dedicated implementation services when a customer needs help they’re very likely to reach out to your company through the easiest, fastest channel - and that’s normally a support channel.
In an ideal world, all products would be intuitive enough and wouldn’t need any help during their journey. Anyone with any customer service experience (especially when it comes to Saas) knows that it’s a nice but very unrealistic fantasy.
Even though your customer support team can and most likely will have an impact in all the stages of your customer's journey, their role during these first steps can bridge the “make it or break it” gap.
An investment, not an expense
Investing in hiring, training, and retaining your customer support team can definitely help your customer onboarding efforts drastically.
Not only are they able to shorten the path from acquisition to first success, but they also make your company more human giving it “a face”. They are the people that bring positivity, reinforcement, knowledge, and empathy to your new customers.
We’ll even take it a step further and say that the quality of your customer support has the power to impact the overall happiness of your customers which will, in turn, impact your retention, expansion, and churn rates.
Real case: how we manage CS at Pipefy
Here at Pipefy, we measure how satisfied our customers are (CSAT, which is our main support KPI) by asking them to rate our support at the end of each interaction.
Our customer support tool (Intercom) offers that as a native feature - users can choose from a range of emojis going from angry to super happy (starry-eyed).
I’m very happy to announce that we have a steady CSAT average of 95-97%. We hope not only to keep those high marks but also to focus on making sure each and every customer rates us as the highest possible option.