Customer Onboarding Strategy

Lower Churn With Customer Onboarding Surveys

Post by
Will Stevenson
Lower Churn With Customer Onboarding Surveys

Lower Churn With Customer Onboarding Surveys

Want to identify churn indicators, before the customer actually churns? Send onboarding surveys at key points in the journey. We’re big fans of this two prong  approach.  After all, the earlier you can identify churn risk, the longer you have to save the account. 

Two Surveys: Post-Kickoff Call & Post-Onboarding

No matter how simple or complex the customer onboarding process, there are two truths no matter the company or customer. 1. Someone from your team, be it a customer success manager (CSM), account manager, or an Onboarding Specialist, is going to conduct a kickoff call with the customer. 2. Additionally, in the vast majority of cases, the customer will eventually “go live”. Both are key touchpoints that tend to reveal a lot about how the relationship is tracking. 

The Post-Kickoff Call Survey

We’ve seen a lot of success with customers who send a survey after the initial onboarding call. You’ve introduced stakeholders and decision makers on both sides. You’ve worked through the kickoff call checklist, discussed challenges and objectives, roles and responsibilities. You’ve laid out the next steps and (hopefully) assigned action items.  

With regard to the latter, how confident is your customer about what comes next? Do they feel they’ve been heard? Or is a little buyer’s remorse starting to creep in? A future churn risk might be rearing its head ever so subtly, which a post-kickoff call survey can help uncover.

Questions to Include:

  • Based on your expectations before the call, do those expectations align with the results of your first onboarding call?
  • What would you have liked to see during the call that you didn’t?
  • Do you feel like you clearly understand the next steps?
  • Do you have any additional feedback?

The post-kickoff survey will tell you if sales has set the right expectations. It will tell if your onboarding team has delivered on the customer’s expectations. If there’s a deficiency in how your team set expectations with the customer, or executed the onboarding process up to this point, your survey will let you know. We also recommend looking at your holistic post-kickoff survey data, too, to identify any trends that might indicate a more systemic blindspot.

The Post-Launch Survey

A lot of energy goes into launching a customer. Which is why much of a deployment’s long-term success and, in turn, customer retention, depends so heavily on this critical milestone. Only, status: launched doesn’t necessarily mean launch = successful. Flaws in your launch process might be creating the kind of friction and turbulence that put customers on a rocky path.

At the post-launch stage, your team needs to be tuned in, with one ear always to the ground. Send a survey the day after the launch date, so onboarding is fresh in the customers mind. 

Questions to include:

  • Based on the expectations set by your onboarding team, how did your onboarding process go?
  • How satisfied are you with your launch experience?
  • Do you feel your onboarding team did what they needed to set you up for long-term success?
  • What would have helped to make your onboarding/launch process better and/or more efficient?
  • Any additional feedback?

With your post-launch surveys, you’re looking to identify bad experiences and gauge confidence in your product or service. It might also make sense to send yet another survey, this time Net Promoter Score, 1-3 months after the launch date.

Your Survey Data Is What You Do With it

Implementing post-kickoff and post-launch surveys is only half the battle. What are you going to do with all of the quantitative and qualitative feedback you’re gathering? What tools and processes do you need to make sure any sticking points in your onboarding process—both acute and widespread—are promptly addressed? We’ve found that the companies who prioritize customer experience and retention are the ones that do more than just send surveys—they take action.