User Adoption: Real Talk from the Experts with Ellie Wu

Ellie Wu, Senior Director of Customer Success at SAP Concur, shares her thoughts on UserIQ’s 2018 SaaS User Adoption & Onboarding Benchmarking Report.

Welcome to the User Adoption:Real Talk from the Experts series!

In this video series, we take a deep dive into UserIQ’s 2018 User Adoption and Onboarding Benchmarking Report, based on a survey taken earlier this year by over 450 SaaS leaders. We wanted to know — how are companies addressing user adoption challenges today? How are they measuring success, executing initiatives and maintaining momentum? To help us dig into these key findings, we’re featuring the customer success experts themselves.

Ellie Wu is the Senior Director of Customer Success at SAP Concur, and Founder and Chief Evangelist at PictureCS. Ellie’s secret to growing an established track record of growing million-dollar customer accounts is distilling complex challenges into executable elements. She counsels leaders and teams responsible for customer outcomes by designing stronger organizations and guide cross-functional teams to leverage mutually beneficial opportunities with an advanced understanding of the customer journey, sales, product marketing, and operations.

Find Ellie Wu:

LinkedIn: Ellie Wu
Twitter: @EllieWu_
Website: EllieWu.com (coming soon) and PictureCS.com

Want to read up on the Top Trends in SaaS User Adoption & Onboarding for 2018?

Download the 2018 SaaS User Adoption & Onboarding Benchmarking Report to see how more than 450 SaaS leaders handle these initiatives today and how your company stacks up. 

DOWNLOAD NOW

Video Transcription

Kelsey:

Alright. Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the User Adoption: Real Talk From the Experts series. This is a video series we are doing to talk about the key findings from UserIQ’s 2018 User Adoption and Onboarding Benchmarking Report. We created this report in hopes of discovering how top SaaS companies are taking on user adoption onboarding challenges today. So today we have Ellie Wu on here, who is probably a familiar face to all of you guys. She is definitely one of the experts when it comes to onboarding and user adoption, so we’re gonna ask her a couple of questions based on those key findings. Before we start, Ellie, if you just wanna introduce yourself a little bit, and then we’ll hop into the questions.

Ellie:

Sure. Thanks, Kelsey. Everyone has their own path to customer success, and that’s part of the interest as we get to know more folks in this space. So my fascination with CS started with a background in engineering, went through sales, and ended up in customer success. It gave me this really unique perspective at these different intersections companies have with our customers. Currently, I am at SAP Concur as a Senior Director of Customer Success, leading our strategy and execution on the global services operations team. That’s been extremely fun — 2018 has flown by. Recently, I racked up a series of speaking engagements and interviews and I’m super excited to go to TEDWomen later this month. But, 2019’s right around the corner, so everything will continue to center around that work that we do with our customers. How do we help them capture their most critical opportunities. So if that’s of interest to you and the audience, please feel free to check out my links on EllieWu.com, that will also be launching later this month.

Kelsey:

Awesome. Perfect. Isn’t it crazy it’s almost 2019? I really can’t imagine it. We just wrote our blog post about Top Customer Success and Customer Experience Events for 2019, and I still am trying to wrap my brain around that.

Ellie:

Absolutely. That’s also part of the reason, I think, we have to be very intentional with the work that we do, because it feels like every quarter just goes by more quickly.

Kelsey:

Yes, definitely agree, for sure. To start this off, one of the key findings that we had in this report was that 62% of the respondents are satisfied with their onboarding process, but they are kind of worried about how to provide that training at scale and want more self-guided type materials to assistance customers faster. That being said, what is maybe the first steps that companies should take when they’re thinking about scaling their onboarding program?

Ellie:

Yes. I love that it said 62% of the respondents were satisfied. But, I would also be very curious about what their customers would think about it. The first thing I would recommend organizations do is take an audit of what’s working and what’s not. That doesn’t mean we have to send out another survey to all of our customers. If we have the data, go in and look at the self-service options that you currently have, which sites or which pieces are actually getting used. If they’re not, clean it up for folks, so that way it’s less stuff for them to dig through.

Beyond that, I would also say to really take a step back and think about what’s the goal that you’re solving for. What’s the problem you’re solving for with the customers, and would they miss you if you weren’t there, because if the answer is that they don’t notice when you’re gone, or when your product or service is no longer there, then you have to set more aggressive goals, because that’s really what we’re there to help them with. Measuring success, not just for yourself, but also with your customers, and making sure that this whole onboarding experiment, or the programs that you’re setting up, that you’re not doing it in a silo, you’re also engaging your other team members to help understand.

Onboarding is an internal term that we use with our customers to figure out where they are. Our customers don’t like to feel onboarded. So to work with sales, or to work with product, or support team services across the board to really understand how do we get our customers up and running so that they’re self-sufficient? Right? Getting them past that Bambi leg stage. That’s what we need to start thinking about.

Kelsey:

Yes, definitely. Love that. That’s a great point. I know a lot of companies know that they need to provide training at scale, but they’re not necessarily sure when is the time to pull the trigger. That being said, when do you think, or do you know when it is the right time to provide training at scale? How do you know when the right time is to do that?

Ellie:

Yeah. When you think about providing training at scale, I think about it in really two ways. Number one is, do you even know what you’re scaling yet, because if you don’t, you probably shouldn’t try to scale something that’s still a question mark. Beyond that, providing training at scale is really also thinking about it from the customer’s lens. When our customers are picking up our product or service, and they’re trying to learn it, we’re probably not the only thing on their plate. More often than not, you’re competing with their other priorities at work, or even think about this time of year. You’re competing with their Thanksgiving plans, or the holidays. Training at scale doesn’t just mean for you internally, like, “How do I handle all these customers?” It’s also about, “How does my customer be more efficient with getting to know us and how we can bring them value faster?”

Kelsey:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s a great point. Have you seen any B2B companies that have done this pretty well?

Ellie:

I would say that there’s a few. When we think about B2B or B2C, it really is two levels. Right? We’ve got to get our admins up to speed, so that way they can help advocate with the users. But, ultimately, the users are the people who are often kind of that volume that will impact the scale, or the onboarding, or the success of our tools with the different companies. Some of the companies, I think, that do this quite well, I had a really great experience with Lucidchart, just trying to get up to speed on all the different options. At Smartsheet, I think that there’s also a lot of really great self help options. They’ve got a good portal. I also helped build out some of the training that was available there, so a little caveat that I may be biased on that. But, it is cool, and there’s just so much to learn. But, more importantly, to think about that continuous learning journey that we have with our customers, because onboarding gives an impression that once you’re done with this phase and you’re off and running, and as our products continue to evolve as we’re looking to grow with our customers, we need to make sure that we’re bringing them along with us on that journey.

Kelsey:

Yes, definitely. Well, this was all super great. This was a lot of great insight. I think it’s a lot of great actionable tips we can take from this. I will be providing some links in the description box to where you can find Ellie online. I’m sure if you have any more questions regarding onboarding, she would love to take those on. I will also in the description box be putting a link to download the full report. So again, thank you, Ellie. We really appreciate you being here.

Ellie:

Thank you, Kelsey. Thanks for touching on this very important topic. It’s the first impression, so we wanna make sure that we nail it.

Kelsey:

Of course. Thank you so much.

Ellie:

Thank you.