Customer Success | 9 MIN READ

Customer Onboarding Specialist: Everything You Need to Know

Hiring a customer onboarding specialist is a necessary step to make sure customers get the value signed up for faster and seamlessly.

Niyathi Rao
Mar 4, 2021

Customer-Onboarding-Specialist

Customer Onboarding Specialist

Customer onboarding is necessary to keep customers from churning. It is the first interaction between customers and the product after sale. Post the sale handoff, this is the first attachment with the company. Good onboarding is the gap between customer log in and churn. If a customer does not like the onboarding, the chances of them churning are high. A great onboarding experience will ensure that customers have a long-term, healthy loyal life with the company. An onboarding specialist is one who makes sure the customer has the first moment of success with the product or service. A specialist who will take the customer from the signup to the ‘first success’ is an onboarding specialist.

Need for a Customer Onboarding Specialist

A client onboarding specialist has some responsibilities. These stem from the need for an effective onboarding. A customer onboarding specialist allows customers to meet success by ensuring account implementation begins on a happy note. With customer onboarding specialists, customers will be educated on the ways to use products or services in a smooth, hassle-free manner.

Customers abandon products when they feel there is-

  • Zero value
  • A feeling of loss
  • Lack of understanding
  • Lack of interest

A good onboarding process makes it easier for CSMs to handle customer accounts. They do not face serious problems with customers if the onboarding is done well. Also, the onboarding process of any company is different and can be quite complex. Someone specialised in this role can help configure things in an easy manner. This is where a good onboarding specialist can make effective difference.

Important Skills Required for a Customer Onboarding Specialist

Onboarding is when customers get the value from the product. To make sure customers get the value early, the focus should be on reducing customer effort and ensuring a smooth experience.

Empathy

Empathy is single-handedly the most important customer service skill. Empathy will ensure customers are happy and understand success. Empathy is a core skill one need to develop to be successful in the field of customer success.

Product Knowledge

Another skill a client onboarding specialist needs to have is product knowledge. They need to grasp the product knowledge, have good communication skills, understand the customer, and carry a positive outlook.

Patience

Customer onboarding does not stop in a certain time frame. Sometimes customers can get angry and may need extra attention and help to understand facets. One thing that helps is cultivating patience that goes a long way in offering the best customer service.

Continuous betterment

To be an onboarding specialist, one needs to deliver good support to customers. They need to measure customer experience through metrics and understand their own impact. This will help develop better service and knowledge.

Communication

A primary skill required is good communication. This is necessary to convey the right information and stop or avoid a barrage of questions. This is the base for any interaction and should be clear and reasonable. If a customer is receiving over 10 mails a day for a simple thing, it is not right. The information process has to be simple, clear, and correct.

Customer Onboarding Specialist Job Description

For the role of a customer onboarding specialist, there are some requisite responsibilities to be taken care of. A customer onboarding specialist is one who makes sure customers reach their immediate success value by-

  • Educating them
  • Solving technical problems
  • Minimising roadblocks
  • Improving adoption of services or products
  • Creating a loyal base

The ideal candidate for customer onboarding specialist is one who has experience with web-based technologies, high energy, passionate about solving customer needs, good communication, and the ability to learn new features.

Responsibilities of a Customer Onboarding Specialist

Give customer detailed account directions

A customer onboarding specialist needs to guide users with using their account in an optimum manner. That is, they need to give a detailed demo on how to proceed with the account.

Assist customers with implementation

Customer onboarding specialists also need to help users with implementation. For example: Some users may not be familiar with the technical lingo and jargon. This may lead to confusion and frustration. A customer onboarding specialist needs to reduce that by helping them with implementation.

Enhance communication between stakeholders

Customer onboarding specialists need to be great communicators. They need to enhance and improve communication between stakeholders. The key to this is by making all concerned parties on the same page.

Set up customer expectations

By setting customer expectations, a customer onboarding specialist helps set the mood for customer retention. If during customer onboarding, false promises are made it becomes tough to achieve those expectations and keep the customer happy.

Record and solve customer queries, problems, and requests

Keeping track of customer problems, queries and requests is another responsibility of customer onboarding managers. They need to know the past history of the customer while looking for solutions in the future. This will help understand where the customer is coming from and move accordingly.

Educate customers and ensure best practices are in place to enhance expectations

A customer onboarding specialist needs to educate customers as much as possible. Since it is a new beginning, they need to ensure customers are well versed with the company products.

Act as a bridge between customer’s expectations and company’s objectives

Specialists in customer onboarding also need to act a bridge between what customers want and what the company can offer. This means, they need to set the line and game straight with customer and company equilibrium.

Take customer feedback seriously and ensure proper tool usage

If a customer faces a problem, they will talk about it. Take that seriously. It can be useful in product betterment and improving customer relations.

Solving minor technical glitches during implementation

If a customer has minor technical difficulties, a customer onboarding specialist must be able to address them. This will create conviction in customers about the knowledge levels of customer facing teams.

Ensuring the transition of the customer to CSMs is smooth

The most important responsibility is ensuring that the transition of the customer to a CSM is smooth. The customer goes armed with enough information and product usage details to use the product as effectively as possible. This is the foundation of product-led growth.

Managing customer timelines and accounts

Customer success managers need to manage accounts and timelines of customers. Customers need to maintain a specific trajectory to get the best results.

Encouraging innovation through best practices

Customer onboarding specialists need to encourage innovation in customers. They need to help customers feel more comfortable around the product.

Being voice of customer in this period to convey either experience

Customer onboarding specialists need to convey the right opinion of the product to the company. This will help improve customer experience around the product.

Salary of a Customer Onboarding Specialist

The salary of a customer onboarding specialist varies based on industry, type of company, experience level and more. The average salary for an onboarding specialist is $52354. In UK, the salaries of a customer onboarding specialist range between £20,000 – £50,000, In Australia, the salary for a customer onboarding specialist is between A$58,500 – A$1,55,000.

The salary increases with level of experience and work performance. The critical thing to look for is handling customer issues and communication.

Customer Onboarding Specialist Interview Questions

A customer onboarding specialist role is one that is defined by customer experiences. Instead of technical faculties, mental and psychological abilities should be checked. Having role-play scenarios will help gauge the way they answer and what separates them from others. Framing questions based on what you need to assess is the best way to get the right fit.

Template questions will only give expected answers. Testing the grit of the candidate through touch situations is the best way to know how they would react. Check to see if they deal with these cases in an empathetic manner. If yes, you have your fit.

Some of the frequently asked questions in a customer onboarding specialist interview are below.

  • How will you manage different customers at the same time?
  • How will you handle customer complaints?
  • When enrolling new customers, what details should you have or ask for?
  • How do your methods of onboarding a customer differ from others?
  • Will you be frustrated if a customer does not understand a solution?
  • Consider a hypothetical situation where you have one critical customer requirement which is a road blocker. disturbance for them to go live. Assuming this point was not identified during sales or later evaluation period, please provide key pointers to handle this situation.
  • What if the customer asks for a feature that is not a part of your product? How will you handle this situation?

Customer Onboarding Checklist

Now every customer onboarding specialist needs to have a checklist. This needs to be looked at to improve chances of better onboarding.

  • Surveying customers to know more about their needs, jobs, and requirements
  • Measure activation rates of customers during onboarding
  • Creating and re-thinking the onboarding flow based on customer activation rates
  • Plugging gaps with communication via phone or email
  • Continuously educate, empower customers till they reach the aha moment.

Customer Onboarding Specialist Resume

A good customer onboarding specialist resume must correspond to the role. A customer onboarding specialist resume needs to include-

  • Contact information
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Skills

The necessary set of skills include-

  • Experience in customer onboarding, support, implementation, and more
  • Proven complex problem-solving capabilities
  • Good at facilitating meetings and virtual workshops
  • Simple and effective communication skills
  • Project management experience is a must

Bottom Line

Hiring customer onboarding specialists is a big and necessary step for your business. This role ensures that your customers get the value they sign up for always. This will ensure that customers achieve their goals. This is the first point of entry and will help in upselling, reselling, and renewal of contracts. To make sure these targets are met, customer onboarding specialists need to be trained well and hired based on their existing skills. Meeting the first milestone of ‘onboarding complete’ is possible through a good customer onboarding specialist.

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Niyathi Rao

Niyathi is an experienced content marketer with a love for SaaS tech products. She reads a lot (mostly fiction) and is a huge news junkie. Niyathi loves exploring different forms of inbound marketing and taking on challenges.

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