What is High Touch Onboarding?
There are two ways to deliver onboarding in B2B SaaS, low-touch onboarding and high-touch onboarding.
Low touch onboarding is as it sounds - a low number of interactions with the customer, there might be a CSM/CEM in charge of the account but their input won’t be more than sending a few links/recordings here and there, and probably answering a few emails/questions as this type of onboarding is intended to mainly be self-serve and will apply to lowered tier/longtail accounts and also to PLG products.
Whereas high touch customer onboarding for SaaS, the CSM is highly involved in the process and the main goal of such onboarding is not only to onboard the customer and train them how to use the product, but also to customize it as much as possible to the customer’s needs and expectations in order to reduce the Time to Value and ensure they achieve their Desired Outcome.
Why is High Touch Onboarding essential?
High touch SaaS onboarding is essential for companies that have a “Service Led Growth” product since a customer wouldn’t be able to achieve (the same type of) success on their own or even with a low-touch approach.
With a high touch customer experience, the CSM can ensure the onboarding is as customized as possible to what the customer needs and reduce the time-to-value, while also developing a strong relationship with the customer in order to build trust and minimize any kind of frustrations if the product/feature doesn’t work as expected.
What are the risks of not having High Touch Onboarding?
If your product requires proper high-touch onboarding and you don’t have something defined, it is the equivalent of giving a rocket ship to a pilot without a manual and training on how to fly it properly - so we can imagine how severe the risks are.
From a customer’s perspective, without proper CSM guidance and strategy, it would be almost impossible to get any value out of the product let alone, make sure that you have integrated the product properly and that you are maximizing its usage.
How should you define High Touch Onboarding?
Before understanding how we should define high-touch onboarding, we need to understand the following points.
- How hard is it to integrate the product properly?
- How much and what type of training is needed in order to maximize its usage and value?
Product’s Value Propositions
- What challenges and pain points does the product solve?
- How can it add value to your customer?
- Does it fit with what your customer is looking for?
- How can the CSM customize the onboarding process?
- What is the quickest way the CSM can show value to the customer?
- What should be included in the onboarding?
- What goals should be achieved in the onboarding?
Once you understand and have clear answers to the points mentioned above, the CSM can then develop the proper onboarding flow, share it with the customer, and ensure the main onboarding goals are achieved through a high-touch interaction with the customer during the whole onboarding process - continuous meetings and calls, open lines of communication (email, DM, phone), and alignment of expected results.
In a few words, the main goal of a high touch onboarding is to reduce the friction of integrating and learning how to use your product as much as possible, while enabling the customer to achieve their Desired Outcomes thus building a strong relationship between the CSM and the customer based on trust and human interaction.