We believe that customer onboarding never ends, but it does have to start somewhere.
At its core, Arrows is intended to give you and your customers a shared understanding of everything that needs to happen to set you both up for success.
A good onboarding plan covers all the steps that need to happen to get started with a product or service. A great onboarding plan covers all the steps, ensures they get completed, and highlights opportunities along the way.
Arrows templates are designed to give you a chance at creating that great version of an onboarding plan so that you waste less time showing your customers the full value of your product or service.
To get started, navigate to your Templates Tab and click “Create new template”
Let’s look at some tips and best practices to get you going…
1. Name your first template… When the time comes to add a customer, you’ll be prompted to attach a plan for them. Having clearly named templates allows you to quickly choose the right plan to get that customer going. Starting simple is great, something like “customer onboarding” works just fine since this is just for your internal organization of templates.
However, as you add more template types for different parts of your customer journey, you’ll want to make sure your template names are clear - you don’t want to share the wrong plan with a customer, leaving them confused as to their part in the process.
2. Name your plan… This is the part your customer will see. Be clear. “Onboarding plan for [name]” is a great starting point. When it comes time to attach that template as a plan for an actual customer, you can edit that title to read “Onboarding plan for Arrows.” This name will appear in the invite you send to your customers to access the plan, in the email reminders, and in the plan itself, adding a personal touch along each step of the way.
Right below this title, add a description to help your customers prepare for how to use this plan. If you know that customer’s goals, GREAT, add them to this description. Or start with something general, and fill this out in real-time when you have your kick-off call. Reminding someone of their goals with your product or service will serve as a constant reminder as to why they should care about finishing the steps you outline in your plan.
3. For your first phase… The 2 main components of an Arrows plan are the phases and the tasks. The phases are the over-arching steps in your onboarding flow, the tasks are the items that need to be completed in each phase.
If your process is already documented, great, start copying those steps into your template. If not, start listing out everything you need your customer to do (these are your tasks) and group them according to their relation to each other (these are your phases).
You can add as many or as few phases or tasks as you find fitting, and you’ll likely edit them over time as you learn what is or isn’t working.
You can look at our Example Template built into your plan for inspiration or start with a general onboarding template that includes the following phases: Kickoff → Account Setup → Go-Live → Usage Review → Next Steps
Add a short description to each phase clearly communicate what you need your customers to do. Here’s an example:
4. For your first task… Building on the Kickoff phase above, we know the goal is to get them scheduled for a call. So what has to happen for that call to take place? These are the tasks. You want your customer to take action on these tasks, so phrase them that way.
For example, you might have 3 tasks for the Kickoff phase, something like this: Find a time that works → Invite your teammates → prepare questions
Be sure to add a description to each task if you need to clarify anything, the easier it is for your customer to know what to do, the less likely they are to miss that step. Here’s an example:
5. Add your due-dates and assign your tasks… Once you attach a template as an actual plan for a customer, you can add due-dates and assign individual tasks to your plan participants by clicking into any task you’ve created.
Due dates keep everyone on track, can emphasize the importance of a specific task needing to be completed AND trigger auto-reminders when missed!
Task assignments allow you to hold yourself or your customers accountable for their parts. Remember, your goal is to help your customers achieve THEIR goals so this accountability is a GOOD THING. That’s also why we recommend adding their goals to the plan name section to serve as that grounding reminder.
Now for some pro-tips…
- Use the “plan preview” option to come out of editing mode and see what your customers will see. This might help you realize certain phases or tasks are too long, too short, or just right.
- You can re-order phases and tasks as you go. In time, you might learn you don’t need a certain phase or you’ve added so many tasks that it warrants creating a whole new template. Yes, you can have multiple plans per customer so add those you find fitting.
- You can add new phases or tasks in real-time after a plan has been shared with a customer. If that customer has a special step you need them to take, add it to their individual plan. If you find yourself doing that often, maybe it’s worth adding that phase or task to your main onboarding template.
- If you notice multiple customers keep getting stuck on the same phase or task, take a second look. Are your directions unclear? Is your product’s UI not intuitive for that part of the task? Did you cram too many steps into one task? Learning where your customers are getting stuck will help you move them to seeing your product’s value faster.
- Adding a final “next steps” phase can ensure your customers know what to expect while setting the rest of your internal team up for an easier hand-off too.
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