It’s that time of year again for your call center. You know it well. It’s the time when the number of incoming calls increases by 4X — it’s your busy season. You know the feelings surrounding your busiest season: supervisors are overworked from being pulled in a thousand directions, experienced agents are overwhelmed from covering complex calls, and new hires/seasonal workers are nervous (sometimes even making themselves physically ill from fear of answering calls).
Have you noticed that your virtual trainings haven't gone quite as well as your classroom trainings did? Reps quit out of the blue after the first week. No one's interacting (except for that ONE who always chimes in before anybody else can contribute). And when reps get on the call with an actual caller, they're either getting physically ill or going completely blank — like they haven't just spent 6 weeks in training?
When a manager sits down to "train" a new employee, the main focus is almost always on how to use the system. But that approach leaves everybody frustrated. The employee doesn't actually know the context of when she should be doing those actions, NOR can she remember everything the manager showed her. And the manager is frustrated because he notices that the employee seems to constantly interrupt him with questions. It's a lose-lose-lose (the system loses in this case, too) situation. Instead of only focusing on showing employees how a system works, I recommend focusing on all 3 of these elements:
What do new users experience when they first login to your SaaS? If you're not sure, you should sign up for a trial of your own product, and take a look. See if you're making one of the 3 most common onboarding mistakes. Why Bother? Why is onboarding important? Well, remember the time you went to a restaurant you hadn't ever been to before, and nobody was there to welcome you? You just kind of stood around, waiting for something to happen. That was uncomfortable, wasn't it? And even though you only waited around for five minutes, it felt like 30. And not knowing what to do during those five minutes (or having anything to help you out) was frustrating. A hostess greeting you when you walk in is a small thing--really, all she says is "Welcome," "The wait is about 10 minutes," "You can sit over there," "Your table is ready"--but she gives you assurance, and helps you feel more comfortable. Onboarding new users is kind of like having a hostess at a restaurant. It's a small thing. Maybe all your onboarding does is say, "Welcome," "Here are some options..." and "Here's how to do them..." But having something to tell your new users what's going on can give them assurance, and help them feel more comfortable.
1. Customer Onboarding Most enterprise software companies do one-on-one onboardings by either going onto the client site or by hosting a training via a web meeting. When I talk to our enterprise customers about using documentation in their onboarding they think that I am talking about replacing their current onboarding practices.
I'm not aware of any commandments, requirements, or laws for onboarding customers to a software platform - but I do have 3 rules that I try to live by: Find out what a user wants to do Motivate them to action Give them a map that shows them how to get wherever they want to be Why live by those rules? Well, during the onboarding phase, it's really important that your customers experience "wins" early on. If you know what they want to do, it's easy to motivate and provide a specific map. If you don't know what they want, you end up overwhelming customers with too much information.