The Top 5 Customer Onboarding Metrics and How to Leverage Them

Onboarding isn’t just about introductions; it’s about acceleration. Customers expect to see value from your product as soon as possible, so customer success teams should focus on accelerating the customer journey in order to deliver returns on the investment.

Customer onboarding is the period after purchase when your customer is getting to know your product. It’s a critical first step—but it is only the first step. Ideally, you want customers to get through the onboarding phase as fast as possible so they can enter the value-driven adoption phase. Generally, you should aim to complete onboarding within 30 days.

So, how do you create an onboarding process that quickly links promises with actual ROI? By tracking the right customer onboarding metrics and then using that information to guide customer engagements.

Creating and Tracking Customer Onboarding Metrics

All your customer onboarding metrics should be created and tracked within a customer success platform. Every customer touchpoint offers insight into the customer journey, and every piece of data should be stored in your customer success platform. By centralizing and combining all your customer data, you can create a customer health score that reflects the customer’s current status. This score provides an instant, hierarchical view across accounts to highlight those in need of proactive attention.

While you can use a customer success platform to generate and track any metric that best fits your enterprise, we recommend beginning with the following measurements:

  1. Time to complete onboarding
  2. Customer progression
  3. Customer response rate
  4. Escalation response time
  5. Product adoption rates

By keeping an eye on these metrics, you can gain helpful insights into how to make the onboarding process go as smoothly as possible.

#1: Time to Complete Onboarding

The onboarding phase should be focused on demonstrating and achieving results—fast. A customer is in the onboarding phase until they can independently incorporate your product into their workflow. The faster customers become independent, the faster they begin to experience value.

How it is Measured

The onboarding phase begins with the first experience of the product and ends when the customer can use it independently. It’s helpful to measure how many days it takes to complete that process in order to get an overview of your performance.

Why it Matters

Striving for a quick onboarding process means assessing the success of previous campaigns and establishing realistic goals for the completion of each stage within the onboarding phase. The goal is to effectively communicate how the product works and how the customer can use it to realize value.

#2: Customer Progression

Customer progression is a granular version of the overall “time to complete” metric. Here, the onboarding phase is broken down into its component parts.

How it is Measured

This is an easily quantifiable measure of the time taken to complete individual training components. By noting when each component was started and completed, you can see how well you are explaining each relevant piece of your product.

Why it Matters

If the goal is to get the customer working with your product faster, this metric will alert you to any potential bottlenecks or pain points within the onboarding phase. Working to alleviate these snags will increase customer satisfaction.

#3: Customer Response Rate

Your customers will likely have a lot of questions and run into some obstacles. Provide regular surveys and feedback forums, and log common queries and pain points in your customer success platform.

How it is Measured

You should be able to effectively track the number of surveys, direct questionnaires, and customer forums against the frequency of customer responses. Balancing these response rates against benchmarked norms can let you know how effectively you are listening to your customers.

Why it Matters

Customers want personalized experiences, so it is crucial that you allow customers to talk to you.  Measuring customer response rate is the best way to decide if your current practices facilitate that conversation.

#4: Escalation Response Time

How you deal with customer complaints can have a dramatic effect on customer loyalty and growth. Delays in escalation response time during onboarding causes delays in customer education. You should prioritize escalation responses during the onboarding phase and seek satisfactory outcomes within days rather than weeks.

How it is Measured

Escalation response time is simply a measure of the time between the logging of a complaint and its resolution. Tracking such responses in your customer success platform will identify escalation trends and alert you to any systemic problems.

Why it Matters

Onboarding is about getting customers comfortable with your product as quickly as possible. When you quickly resolve a customer complaint or provide a satisfactory answer to a question, you build trust and loyalty.

#5: Product Adoption Rates

Adoption rate measures how often and how effectively the customer is using your product. You want every customer to become dependent on the product so that they equate it with business success.

How it is Measured

There are several metrics to effectively measure adoption rate. Essentially, you want to define the usage rates of individuals and accounts by measuring how often they access your product, which features they leverage, and how long they use the product. You should measure early adoption rates up to 90 days after the completion of onboarding.

Why it Matters

Early adoption rates will give you insight into the effectiveness of your onboarding process. Successful early adoption forces us to consider how each aspect of onboarding contributes directly to product use and the realization of business goals.

Customer Onboarding Metrics That Work

The onboarding phase is a transition. It is the period when you teach customers how to use the product to achieve their own business goals. The quicker you can pass on that knowledge, the quicker your customers can start experiencing value.

With that in mind, onboarding metrics should prioritize a rapid onboarding process that allows customers the space to ask questions and address their pain points before they put the product into action. These metrics should represent goals that inform all our onboarding customer engagements so that you can set your customers up for success.

Totango understands the importance of the onboarding process. That’s why our comprehensive customer success platform, Spark, helps you on every step of the customer journey. Request a demo or explore Spark to find out more about making the most of the onboarding phase.

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