Why The Best Customer Onboarding is Prescriptive

Stuart Balcombe

February 3, 2023

3 minutes

Overheard from a top SaaS exec…

“The best way to run a cloud deployment is prescriptive. Do this, by then, we're all good.”

But why? And how do you do it?

Let’s start with why:

1. Customers don’t need to get hung up in your processes and tactics; they need to know exactly what to do next to make progress.

2. The same flexibility you want to handle complex internal projects, doesn't provide any guardrails to focus customers on the next action they need to take toward their goals.

3. The more flexibility you allow in your process, the more variables you introduce and the additional scope you need resources to handle.

An unstructured project feels like "work", customers want "progress".

Here’s how to define a prescriptive process using pipelines in HubSpot and a customer-facing Arrows plan:

1/ Define the data you have to collect from customers - make each data point a property in HubSpot.

2/ List all of the actions your customers and your team will need to take - organize them into groups and make the group names the stages in your HubSpot onboarding pipeline.

3/ Add required properties to enter each stage that ensures any data dependencies are met before moving to the next step.

4/ Create a customer-facing onboarding plan using Arrows that enables customers to provide any required information in each step using forms and file uploads. Turn on “Sequential Phases” to hide the next stage of the customer journey until all dependent tasks are completed.

5/ Add an automated workflow in HubSpot to move a customer through your onboarding pipeline as they complete tasks and provide the required information via their onboarding plan.

Your customers signed up to solve a problem that you have solved for customers before. You know the best path to take to help them be successful.

→ Do the work upfront to understand your customer, so you aren't guessing about the right route to take.

→ Create a linear path to success. Pull from your past experience with similar customers to build the plan that provides the clearest route to the outcome customers want.

→ Keep your customers in flow by connecting tasks and keeps them accountable to the targets you’ve agreed together.

The more momentum you build with customers, the faster they see value, the faster they go live, and the less likely they are to be thrown off track and get stuck.

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