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Segmenting your Client Onboarding Process

Sai Arora

When building out a Productized Onboarding Experience for your customers, it’s important to take your customer segment into account. Think carefully about the tools and technologies you’re going to use with each customer. Each customer segment has its own unique challenges that need to be addressed within the onboarding process. While some strategies may work across segments, you will quickly find the unique edge cases that need to be addressed for each segment. Below, we’ll run through the three most popular customer segments, their unique onboarding challenges, and some possible solutions.

SMB

To onboard SMB customers, you need to build a system that can serve a high volume of customers. The SMB onboarding experience should be able to help shuttle a customer through the process without them needing to speak with someone on your side. Ideally, your team is only reaching out to these customers after they’ve completed key milestones in the onboarding process. Due to the high volume nature of serving SMB businesses, it’s almost impossible to scale this experience just by hiring more people. Automations are key to delivering an onboarding experience to this segment that helps drive customers to first value in the shortest time possible. Examples of these types of automations include account configuration, provisioning and firing off templated emails and API calls to 3rd parties.

Most SMB engagements involve one external stakeholder who is highly motivated to get up and running with your service as quickly as possible. This means you don’t need to coordinate between multiple stakeholders and keep folks aligned.

Summary:

  • Build a system to handle high volumes of customers
  • Invest in automating as much of the process as possible
  • Scaling by hiring is not economically viable

Midmarket

To onboard Mid market organizations, you need to build a system that can align multiple stakeholders within a single engagement. Midmarket onboarding tends to involve multiple stakeholders, each with their own unique responsibilities pertaining to the onboarding process. Assets shared with the customer should be branded with their logos and brand identity to present a more personalized process. Automations and tasks need to be tailored to each persona to ensure there is no opportunity for misalignment. Along with this, a strategic cadence needs to be put in place with regards to calls and meetings that serve as checkpoints through the onboarding process. A Mid Market onboarding experience should be able to drive all customer stakeholders to these checkpoints in lockstep with your team. It should allow your team to stay a few steps ahead of your customers and ensure they’re providing a proactive onboarding experience.

Summary:

  • Build a system that can align all stakeholders (internal and external)
  • Invest in Branding and Personalizing the process for each customer
  • Use automations to help drive stakeholders towards strategic checkpoints in the onboarding process

Enterprise

To onboard Enterprise customers, both your system and process needs to be highly customizable and flexible to the needs of your customer. Enterprise onboarding generally tends to run more bespoke than Midmarket or SMB onboarding. The number of stakeholders can vary heavily along with their responsibilities. Because of how bespoke Enterprise onboardings are, your system needs to be able to support an extremely high-touch process with a heavy emphasis on documentation and collaboration to get your customers through the process. Your team and system need to be adaptable enough to deliver a white-glove experience that is unique to each customer. Another thing to keep in mind is that stakeholders may end up changing as the engagement progresses. Due to the lengthy nature of enterprise onboardings, this shakeup is more common than you think.

Summary:

  • Build a system that is highly adaptable and flexible for each unique customer
  • Focus on delivering a white-glove experience
  • Plan for unexpected changes like stakeholders leaving or priorities changing

For most organizations, it’s generally easiest to start with building out a productized onboarding experience for the SMB segment first. This usually results in more freed up resources that can then be shifted and applied to building out the Midmarket and Enterprise onboarding experiences.

At Simplemnt, we recognized the nuances of onboarding different customer segments early on and built out the ability to create Onboarding Playbooks that can be customized to each segment. Using Simplemnt, our users can create a variety of different onboarding experiences from fully automated processes designed to onboard a high volume of SMB customers to high-touch and bespoke onboarding experiences for the largest enterprise. Simplemnt gives you the ability to provide every customer with the best customer onboarding experience without needing to invest in multiple tools and processes.

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