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How to Increase Team Efficiency & Drive Retention in a Downturn By Optimizing Your Onboarding Plan

It’s no secret the economy is slowing down, and today more than ever companies are looking to improve team efficiency while at the same time increasing retention. The good news, the fastest way to improve retention likely isn’t to increase headcount but instead, to be more intentional about your plan for onboarding customers.

Stuart Balcombe

December 8, 2022

5 minutes

It’s no secret the economy is slowing down, and today more than ever companies are looking to improve team efficiency while at the same time increasing retention.

The good news, the fastest way to improve retention likely isn’t to increase headcount but instead, to be more intentional about your plan for onboarding customers.

Because the truth is…while retention starts on day 1 that doesn’t have to mean:

  • More time on calls
  • More tasteless automation
  • More burned-out CSMs

Instead, a few tweaks to your onboarding plan can result in:

  • Less manual follow-ups to ghosting accounts
  • Prepared, enthusiastic customers
  • Empowered CSMs

Use this simple exercise to unlock opportunities to enable customers to make progress toward their goals themselves, without removing your team’s ability to act as trusted advisors when needed:

1. Review your current onboarding plan and highlight tasks that are:

  • completed by the customer in green
  • completed by your team in red
  • tasks that are completed live with your team and the customer (calls) in a combination of green and red

2. Identify tasks which:

  • are blocking progress being made on other tasks
  • require strategic input to complete vs being configuration or data entry

3. Update your plan to:

  • group tasks that can be completed without a dependency together to encourage flow
  • focus shared time between your team and your customer on creating alignment and removing strategic blockers
  • shift data entry and account configuration to be completed asynchronously whenever possible either by your customer or your team.

In short…

  1. Identify the dependencies.
  2. Intentionally remove dependencies by putting your team in the loop.
  3. Enable flow for non-dependent steps.

Designed effectively:

  • your customers can make more progress faster while requiring less of your team's time.
  • your team can reallocate their time to high-leverage strategic work.

Improved onboarding means greater retention without a linear increase in headcount as you grow.

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