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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
David Karp is a seasoned Customer Success executive and client advocate who leads the Executive Vice President, Customer Success for Numerator, a leading market research firm (previously MarketTrack and InfoScout). David has leveraged his proven expertise in managing strategic accounts and a deep understanding of customer requirements to create organizations that drive customer value, improve customer satisfaction and increase retention. Prior to joining Numerator, David led client initiatives at LRN Corporation, Mintel, and IBM.
Interviewed by Aishani Majumdar
/ / What are the technologies/trends driving customer onboarding today?
The Numerator brand stands for modern and easy human interaction with leading marketing insights. That carries a high bar when it comes to onboarding – but fortunately, technology is increasingly able to support that standard. The most significant trend in enterprise onboarding is that the experience needs to replicate the ease users have come to expect through their saturated experience of consumer apps. Enterprises can no longer expect to have a more complex experience because of the kind of business environment they operate in. Our customers compare their onboarding experience with ours and talk about how they onboard when they leverage other technologies for the first time, ranging from voice-activated technology at home to collaboration tools at work. The second key trend is that customers expect - new tools to integrate seamlessly with other technology they already have. Thus increasing the need for onboarding to learn and base configuration on other existing tools.
/ / Do you have a standalone customer onboarding team? If yes, under which vertical (sales, marketing or customer success) does it function? If no, is the onboarding function outsourced?
The customer onboarding experience is foundational to everything that comes after, so, yes, we have a dedicated team. We consider this as a core part of our Customer Success function.
/ / Do you provide onboarding services to all your customers or only to select customers? If the latter, how do you select these customers?
Every Numerator customer has a curated onboarding experience. The scope of their onboarding service is tailored based on the product purchased, as well as aligned with our customer segmentation. For example, our SMB (Small and Medium Business) customers receive a lower-touch onboarding experience that includes learning modules. Larger enterprise customers may have an on-site and more comprehensive onboarding.
/ / What are the channels of communication you use for onboarding customers (video call, phone call, email, chat or on-premise)?
We recognize that people learn differently and that initial orientation requires different training channels than reinforcement training. Because of this, Numerator customers have access to training through a variety of channels based on the stage of onboarding and customer segment. Those channels include on-premise, web conference, video call/chat, and phone/conference calls. Email is used to confirm stages and progress and share pre-read or follow-up materials.
/ / What types of content assets does your organization use for customer onboarding?
Content assets align to each step in the onboarding journey. We share use-case snapshots and ROI stories specific to the customer’s industry to help frame program objectives; a library of web-based “How To” learning videos with information on how our capabilities solve problems, and CSAT and NPS surveys to monitor progress.
/ / What are the top challenges you face in onboarding your customers?
The top challenges we manage include timing expectation set during the customer acquisition process, confirming a clear set of customer use cases and measurable success criteria, and bandwidth and available technical skills given our broad solution portfolio.
/ / What are the top benefits that you derive out of your customer onboarding program (increased CSAT, increased loyalty, positive publicity, or higher renewals)?
Our first priority is enabling a deep customer understanding of how our solutions solve real problems. We also have a strong focus on leveraging our onboarding programs to capture quick win stories, increase NPS, drive higher renewal rates/decreased churn and greater growth through upsells/cross-sells. In short, successful onboarding is the foundation for all downstream commercial success with customers
/ / On average, how long does your company spend on onboarding each customer?
We have different onboarding cycles based on our solution portfolio, but across our portfolio, we are managing the onboarding experience over a 60- and a 90-day period on average.
/ / Do you customize onboarding programs for different customers?
We believe that the more relatable the material, the better the learning. Because of that, we take the time to create onboarding materials specific to the customer segment and the solution to which they’ve subscribed. The customization includes the channels through which we deliver onboarding and the extent to which shelf - modular or custom content (for the customer or use case) - is used.
/ / How is resource allocation for onboarding programs done in your organization? Are there dedicated account managers for each program?
Numerator has dedicated onboarding managers for each solution to ensure customers get the deep expertise they need. We also cross-train Customer Success team members so we are able to balance the speed with which training is done by the dedicated team.
/ / What are the tools you use for customer onboarding?
We use Gainsight to provide onboarding scorecards and to create CTAs (Calls to Action) to guide the process. We do use a Digital Adoption Platform called Pendo for some steps of our onboarding process but have not yet scaled that technology across all solutions. We also leverage video recordings of tutorials to support less customized programs.
/ / Have you invested in advanced analytics to track the performance of your onboarding programs?
Most of the technology platforms we’ve invested in to manage onboarding have some analytics with them.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive customer onboarding in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
The proliferation of ML (machine learning), personalization, and voice-activated technology are changing customer expectations for simplicity, speed, and customization throughout the onboarding process. Through ML, customers expect their onboarding experience to adjust based on their time to proficiency, suggesting ways to resolve gaps or issues with onboarding and providing next steps to gain more value once onboarding is complete.
/ / In which areas of customer onboarding does your organization plan to invest over the coming years (scaling team, technology or any other)?
Because of the increasing demand for our solutions, Numerator will continue to invest in growing our onboarding team. We will augment that with LMS technology to help guide learners in independent study and create an initial and ongoing learning path. We will also expand our use of the Digital Adoption Platform. On the horizon, we are exploring the expansion of a baseline customer community to address basic user interactions and potential customer advocacy tools that support the onboarding experience.
Onboarding as a customer journey
Customer onboarding is one area where improvements made could tangibly affect business metrics positively.
A good onboarding experience leads to trust and high satisfaction
Narsi Subramanian, SVP of Customer Success & Support, MapR Technologies
Customer onboarding is key to delivering high-quality experience to customers
Aaron Hudson, Division Vice President, Implementation & Amar Sidhu, Senior Vice President, Service Delivery & Production, ADP
Avoid the cookie-cutter approach in customer onboarding
Silvia Veronese, VP of Global Customer Success, Guavus
Connecting customers with each other is crucial for onboarding
Mathew Sweezey, Principal of Marketing Insights, Salesforce
Let’s not forget the value of the human connection in customer onboarding
Nancy Porte, Vice President of Global Customer Experience, Verint
Locking in your onboarding plan to address scope-creep
Dave Ragals, SVP Customer Success, IgnitionOne