DEBUNK: You Don’t Have to Choose Between Tech-Touch and White-Glove Onboarding
It’s been a while since you last updated your client onboarding program, and now you’re ready to revamp it, right? Or maybe you’re just getting started? Considering whether it’s best to go full-blown tech or opt for a more concierge approach? Well, with a little finagling, you just might be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Tech-Touch Onboarding 101
From a bird’s-eye view, tech-touch onboarding can seem like the most streamlined, straightforward way to bring new buyers into your circle of influence. Creating an automated digital sequence of events can certainly help users get value from your platform, and every customer has the same experience.
When we talk about tech-touch onboarding, we typically discuss solutions like bespoke in-app or third-party portal walk-through processes for clients. Clients follow messages and triggers to help them move quickly through onboarding. If they have questions, they can get fast answers through articles, videos, or other content that is prepopulated in an “academy” or knowledge base.
Slack’s guided Slackbot that eases users onto the platform with little human intervention is a terrific example of tech-touch onboarding in action. Ultimately, the goal is to construct a self-supported journey that requires few touchpoints with your customer service or support staff.
White-Glove Onboarding 101
In contrast to tech-touch onboarding, white-glove customer onboarding takes a decidedly consultative approach. Salespeople or entire sales teams gain deep, intimate knowledge of customers to serve up experiences that are most likely to lead to trusting long-term relationships.
Think about real estate agents who work with high-net-worth homebuyers. Often, an agent “owns” the account and takes point, provides triage, and works tirelessly to meet the buyer’s specific needs. Depending on the scenario, this type of white-glove treatment could involve countless key players who use technologies like emails, texting, and electronic signatures. The overarching system, however, is built around hyperpersonalization.
Marrying Tech-Touch With White-Glove Client Onboarding
At first glance, tech-centric and highly personalized onboarding approaches might appear mutually exclusive. After all, one involves an assigned human, and the other operates as “humanless” as it can. But it is possible to bring these approaches together and enjoy the greatest benefits of each.
Advantages of the Tech-Touch Approach
Tech-touch onboarding is a scalable process. Investing in tech is far cheaper than hiring more workers, so you can continue adding customers into your onboarding pipeline without bumping up payroll costs.
Tech-touch also enables you to measure customer usage. After determining which metrics matter most to your company, you can run analyses to decide where to make tweaks and changes.
Advantages of the White-Glove Approach
With more personalized onboarding, you can learn so much more about your customers than just how they’re using (or struggling to use) a platform. When you routinely work with someone, you have the chance to tease out insights and inform your future strategies.
Even though you’re spending extra time with customers, you’re not necessarily wasting time. Sometimes, gathering people in a room for an hour-long meeting is more efficient and effective than trying to get them all to read 10 pages of documentation.
Occasionally, it also makes sense just to do the onboarding work on clients’ behalf, especially if your resources are better served by building new features than optimizing every single crumb of onboarding.
Onboarding Best Practices and Steps for Merging White-Glove With Tech-Touch
At the end of the day, you don’t have to put all your eggs in the white-glove or the tech-touch basket. You can wow customers with onboarding that includes all the forward-thinking tech without losing the critical personal touch that so many customers prefer. The trick is to develop a balanced, nuanced hybrid approach that enables you to automate what you can and individualize other key elements.
Below are some steps to help you freshen up your client onboarding process:
1. Use an adaptable onboarding tool, like OnRamp.
Tools like OnRamp make flexibility between the tech-touch and white-glove spectrum possible. For example, OnRamp allows you to embed guided workflows and self-service training materials into the platform. At the same time, it gives you a way to coordinate meetings and log follow-ups to share with important customer points of contact. You can also track goals and next steps and capture the key personnel necessary for ensuring success.
With OnRamp, your onboarding team will look professional and help you forge stronger bonds with clients. You can monitor progress from afar and step in when customers need your help.
2. Prerecord all your events and training sessions.
In some cases, you may want to host live gatherings (such as kickoff meetings) but don’t feel like every event needs to be done “in the moment.” Prerecorded trainings are useful if you need to onboard a lot of people and want to ensure they all hear the same message. Even if you need to tailor a training to a specific customer, you could always record your first session.
3. Build a robust, user-friendly knowledge base.
You don’t want users pinging their implementation managers every time they have questions, so ensure that your knowledge base platform includes all the materials new customers might need.
Wondering what topics to start with? Go through your last 50 support tickets. You’ll find enough subject matter there to build posts, guides, and other content.
If your customer service team leverages only so much tech (using only email, phone, and spreadsheets, for example), you run the risk of being seen as slow to adapt and possibly even a little naive. But by only using tech, you risk never going deeper in gathering valuable insights and forging strong relationships. You’ve spent plenty of time and effort turning your leads into customers. Make sure that their onboarding experience is nothing short of amazing by leveraging the power of tech-touch with the individualization of white-glove treatment.