A post work meet-up for Customer Success managers was designed to discuss and learn about some best-practices for “Onboarding” — the process of signing up and then ensuring a customer’s success in their earliest days and months with a company.

The meeting was held on the third floor of an office building in a metro downtown district.

The doors to the building were locked and there were no instructions at the door or in the meeting invitation about how to enter.
So much for onboarding.

[True story]

Contrast this with Tory Burch’s first store opening in 2004. She was a fashion entrepreneur/pioneer in her goal to go direct-to-consumer, and the day she opened her doors in NYC, on a frigid day in February, she literally had no doors. They had not arrived yet.

I think we know how that story ended.

Key take-aways

  • Observation skills and simply paying-attention: Don’t underestimate the power of the smallest most unsexy of details mattering to your customers. If you can dive into the customer’s experience from before they ever engage with you, that magical context few pay attention to, and then walk a mile in their shoes, you’ll uncover lots of those hidden unsexy, but user-meaningful moments of pain to be resolved.
  • No matter your title, smarts or expertise, you’ll miss something: Blindspots are real for all of us. Case in point, story above. Surround yourself with dissenters, misfits, people who question everything, but who care about the customer and second-order effects. They’ll fill in your blindspots when you ask “Are we missing something?”
  • No matter how sure you are, Test: Ask customers questions (did you get in the building with no problem?), go through the experience the various ways the customer will go through it, from end-to-end, and take copious notes and recordings, and anywhere you think it’s ‘not a big deal’ for v1.4, ask a dissenter, misfit or questioner. Then ask Customer Support — they’ll have a few insights about whether it is or not.


Tanya Maslach Written by: