Sruti Satish July 4th, 2022

What Role does an Onboarding Specialist Play in Preventing Drop-Offs During Onboarding?

So you already know it's the most crucial and initial stage to drive a successful customer success journey ahead for your clients. Don't take a chance to risk losing them while you have to be impressive. Let's see how an onboarding specialist can help and why isn't a customer success manager always the right fit for this role!

Who is an onboarding specialist? 

An onboarding specialist is the one who knows how to get the early value in the least possible time. Starting from the signup till the first value, they are specialized to do it just the right way! Although a customer success manager can do this as well, it's hard for them to micro-manage hundreds of accounts. And hence you need a dedicated onboarding specialist to get a smooth onboarding experience!

When does onboarding drop-off happen? 

Let's assume, you are so interested to move your growing database from Google sheets to CRM and you purchase one. After a week, you find it overwhelming and are lost in the sea of features. You decide to go back to good old google sheets. That's exactly called an onboarding drop-off. It just takes one week to lose your customers from your platform. 

But as a business, you don't want your clients to drop off but rather continue using your platform for the benefit you offer. Even though clients get busy, you can't be easy at it and it's you who should retain them back! So, the question lies as to, what can an onboarding specialist do? How do you prevent onboarding drop-off? 

What does an onboarding specialist do?  

  1. Aid clients in the implementation

Every platform is new to a first-time user and they need help in understanding the working of a specific use case correctly, that is why onboarding specialists help them in getting acquainted with the platform.

  1. Solve the queries

Where there is an innovation, there is curiosity and there as well lies queries or doubts. There must be one expert to answer all their questions, and that's why an onboarding specialist! 

  1. Remove the blockages coming their way

Apart from self queries, there can be blockages, blocking our way. It can be a technical issue on the platform or stuck at some error that needs a quick fix and there must be someone to help them move ahead of it.

  1. Improve product adoption rate! 

Since an onboarding specialist is responsible for Onboarding. s/he strictly monitors the product adoption. In case of any milestone missed, s/he helps the client to come back on track and thus driving product adoption on the way.

  1. Strengthen the relationship with the stakeholders

The Onboarding specialist communicates with all the stakeholders to ensure all on track to achieving the business outcome thereby strengthening the relationship with stakeholders.

  1. Prevent onboarding drop-off! 

For the complexity of the problem a product is solving, the solution may be complex too! Sometimes, a client may drop off in the middle because they got busy with their normal work. Although it is still an onboarding specialist's responsibility to get them back to the platform! 

  1. Act on the feedback

There is improvisation only when we reflect on the feedback! Because there isn't any perfect system, there is continuous learning and that keeps the process going efficiently over time. This is important for an onboarding specialist.  You can learn more about Onboarding from this curated guide- The essential guide to Onboarding

Steps to prevent onboarding drop-off

  1. Setting the right expectations

Of course, it takes some effort from the clients to achieve something that your product promises. It doesn't happen on its own because they have your product.  So the foremost thing is to set the expectations, your clients must work on to achieve the result! 

  1. Putting it on the plan! 

It isn't clear unless it's on the paper. So the set expectations must be put forth on the paper, such that your client comprehends the amount of effort they need to put into the process. 

  1. Get the sign-off

With expectations set and put on the paper, if clients agree and they know what it is all about, now they are ready to sign off from that step. So get the sign-off from the clients at this stage. 

  1. Set the timelines

The important thing while making a timetable is to write down the timeline to accomplish the given task. Otherwise, you wouldn't be motivated to finish something. It's the same here! Explicitly mention the set timelines to achieve the key milestones. It shouldn't be general but rather with specific dates! 

For illustration, there's a lot of difference to make in the impact of the working of a process, in two scenarios. 

  1. Mentioning two weeks 

Here, you may generally hear the client saying, can we do it a week later? 

  1. Mentioning specific dates 

In this scenario, they just know they have to do it and will make time to put effort into initiating or cooperating with the process on time. 

  1. Whom to reach out to? 

The clients must have a point of contact to reach out to. It can be a Data ops SPOC, technical SPOC, or admin SPOC who are meant to turn out as essential champions over time, who would take care to not let the clients drop off! 

  1. Getting an agreement! 

All this discussed above is put in the agreement and the clients agree to it! These things should be taken care of before to never lose the clients at any point in time during the onboarding. So getting this agreement right before the onboarding kickoff just sets everything right! 

Summing it up 

An onboarding specialist plays a significant role during the onboarding process and now you know about the responsibilities they take and how an onboarding specialist prevents the onboarding drop off!  So what do you choose, onboarding specialist or customer success manager?

Sruti Satish

Content marketer at CustomerSuccessBox | An avid reader, a passionate writer, and a lifelong learner | Writer @ Hacker Noon | B2B SaaS & Customer Success enthusiast |

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