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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.
Silvia Veronese, VP of Global Customer Success at Guavus is responsible for the successful adoption of Guavus technologies – from delivery to services to support – driving innovation and transformation in the largest Big Data environments in the world.
Silvia has extensive experience in Big Data, analytics, algorithmic modeling, security, information management and governance in both enterprise and service providers markets. Prior to Guavus, Silvia pioneered the function of customer success at HP and HPE for a market of over 40,000 customers and partners. At IBM, she worked in the team that designed the first parallel-shared-memory computer. Silvia spent the first half of her career in academia as a professor of mathematics at the University of Utah teaching and doing research in high-performance computing and non-linear dynamical modeling.
Interviewed by Aishani Majumdar
/ / What are the technologies/trends driving customer onboarding today?
Two-way, easy communications access for our customers is key. Dedicated customer success managers, automated onboarding tools, webinars and personalized training all help facilitate this on an ongoing basis. They enable us to capture each customer’s needs and customize the onboarding process to meet those needs. This is particularly important for companies that are selling products and solutions in the Big Data space, as the complexity of the technology and the success criteria are not always defined.
/ / 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?
Guavus’ approach to onboarding is offered through our Adoption Services organization, which is part of Customer Success. We have a dedicated leader who designs and executes the onboarding strategy as well the entire lifecycle of successful adoption of our technologies. Guavus strongly believes in the power of continuous adoption, and onboarding is the first part of this journey.
/ / Do you provide onboarding services to all your customers or only to select customers? If the latter, how do you select these customers?
We provide onboarding services to all our customers to establish robust relationships and communications paths for a successful engagement. We have customized programs for our Tier-1 partners and customers. These initiatives include a lot of hands-on training at the customer site as well as the involvement of customer success managers, field CTOs and customer architects who understand well the synergy of the product and the customer environment.
/ / What are the channels of communication you use for onboarding customers (video call, phone call, email, chat or on-premise)?
We focus on personalized channels such as video calls and in-person communications (e.g., on-premise meetings) that meet our customers’ requirements.
/ / What types of content assets does your organization use for customer onboarding?
We have moved away from the old-style, traditional one-way communication with massive manuals, long training sessions and presentations. Our deliveries are tokenized in bite-sized components which are recorded, easy to deliver and available at any time. We also integrate onboarding into the product itself, using step-by-step walkthroughs that expose all the necessary features and capabilities that the customer cares about.
/ / What are the top challenges you face in onboarding your customers?
/ / What are the top benefits that you derive out of your customer onboarding program (increased CSAT, increased loyalty, positive publicity or higher renewals)?
A satisfied customer becomes a point of reference for many other sales. 80% of repeat sales are with customers that have had a previous positive experience. Upselling is much easier than selling to a new customer. Customers with high CSAT scores become references, as they can talk with confidence about the solution and their relationship with us.
Our goal is to make our customers look good by smoothly implementing a solution that meets the needs of their business. They want to know they made a good decision by selecting Guavus as a partner and will be recognized by their peers and managers as someone who sets a strategic vision and executes that vision. Successful onboarding is key to achieving this.
/ / On average, how long does your company spend on onboarding each customer?
It varies, but the length of the onboarding process is driven by customer empowerment. Only once the customer is empowered to interact with our systems, processes and people, does the onboarding process end.
/ / Do you customize onboarding programs for different customers?
We provide a similar foundation of onboarding to all our customers. To meet customer-specific needs, the program is further personalized where necessary.
/ / How is resource allocation for onboarding programs done in your organization? Are there dedicated account managers for each program?
Yes, we provide a dedicated team of resources to ensure customer success throughout onboarding from inception to long-term use of our products.
/ / What are the tools you use for customer onboarding?
We use training and documentation, a customer discovery questionnaire, portal walkthroughs and product demos among other tools.
/ / Have you invested in advanced analytics to track the performance of your onboarding programs?
Yes, we’ve invested in WalkMe, which is a powerful adoption tool. It has analytics capabilities that we use frequently to evaluate engagement and success.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive customer onboarding in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
At Guavus, we strongly believe that integrating artificial intelligence concepts into the onboarding process can help us reach a broader set of customers. It will also help us increase revenue and differentiate ourselves from the competition. The automation of information preparation such as customer needs, access needs and training needs will drive the onboarding process in the future. This automation must be carefully balanced with person-to-person guidance, training and education to ensure overall success.
/ / In which areas of customer onboarding does your organization plan to invest over the coming years (scaling team, technology or any other)?
We’ll continue to focus on scaling our team and technology, leveraging advanced analytics, and delivering a great user experience within our products and access points.
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
Align content assets to each step in the onboarding journey
David Karp, Executive Vice President, Customer Success, Numerator
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