The onboarding phase of a new software purchase is where customers make their first impressions and assess the time-to-value ratio of adoption, correlating the product’s best features with direct business value along the way.
When it comes to customer onboarding, there are three main approaches that can help you become familiar with the product you’ve started using and give you the tools to find success. The most hands off is the the self-serve experience, which is standard for simple products and B2C solutions. The mid tier is the low-touch onboarding experience, which is useful for slightly more complex products that require a gentle nudge in the right direction. Finally, there is white glove onboarding for highly customizable products like accounting automation software that take time to fully integrate with your existing systems and use to your advantage.
The onboarding experience gives providers insight into how real customers use their products—and help guide future product development. But most importantly, it helps customers (and free trial users) learn the ins and outs of a product and determine how it will contribute to their success.
White Glove Onboarding At A Glance
White glove onboarding is the most involved process of the three approaches: Each account has dedicated customer success consultants, personalized training, and fully accessible resources for after-hours assistance.
Also called “high-touch” or “concierge” onboarding, this has a few requirements on the provider’s side:
As an online seller, you know the following to be true: You’re better equipped to help your customers when you’re familiar with them and their needs. This means your customer success consultant is prepared to spend ample time learning about your business so as to provide the best service.
Customer Success Team
True white-glove onboarding takes a lot of coordination amongst customer success teams. They need to consider team location, size, and number of accounts to develop an onboarding process that’s efficient and lets them still be fully dedicated to each customer.
Full Understanding Of Product
Customer success consultants need to know the product inside and out in order to provide the best onboarding experience. Essentially, take assurance in the fact that your account manager has been through onboarding—many times, probably—to become as knowledgeable as they are.
On the customer side, white glove onboarding should give you the tools and help you need at the beginning of using a product, and it will set you on a path to your own version of success.
Defining Customer Success
One of the most important pieces of the white glove onboarding experience is often the first step. You have to be open and honest with your customer success consultant about what success means to you and how you hope the product can facilitate it. Your consultant will likely ask you some form of the following questions:
- What is you desired outcome?
- How do you measure success yourself?
- How are you measured by your boss (if applicable)?
- What are you trying to achieve with this product?
This helps you and your consultant build a framework and establish some goals before setting and working toward milestones.
Maintaining Your Momentum
When you sign up for access to a product, you might start experimenting with the features before hearing from your customer success consultant. But some products, such as a CRM solution, Amazon FBA accounting software, or marketing automation tool, are intimidating even from the get go. This is why the initial contact with your consultant is so important and typically happens within 24 hours of signup. They will likely give you “homework” to complete before your first call, which can help with defining success.
You might be tempted to quit if this homework is confusing due to unfamiliarity with the product, but keep up the momentum. Your consultant will be on hand for any questions, and you’ll maintain regular conversation with them throughout the onboarding process.
Maximizing The Time-To-Quality Ratio
There is also accountability on your part to own your success. Prior to one-on-one virtual “meetings” with your consultant, study up on the product. Watch the training videos, read the how-to articles, and take note of any complex questions and topics to bring to your sessions.
The priority for you and your consultant is to move you through onboarding and toward adoption quickly with a thorough understanding of the product and high-quality results. Even post-onboarding, it’s wise to gauge effectiveness on a regular basis so you can circle back with your consultant if needed.
Take a look at where you stand 30, 60, and 90 days after implementation and set milestone goals for adoption and proficiency. This will help you stay committed to your learning and focused on your overall business goals.
Don’t Settle For Less
Now that you understand the intricacies of a white glove onboarding process, you know that you’re in the best hands when adopting a highly complex product. Your dedicated customer success consultant will be highly familiar with you and your business, and you’ll have regularly scheduled meetings to first learn the product and later revisit your measures of success.
Ready to take your ecommerce business to the next level? Webgility is a multichannel retail management solution with white glove onboarding that empowers businesses to thrive in ecommerce by integrating their systems, automating their operations, and delivering powerful insights—so they can move faster, make better decisions, and win. Schedule a demo to learn more.