Onboarding customers remotely: how the pandemic helped us learn & innovate processes
Aligned with our deeply ingrained objectives of delivering anchanting experiences to our customers & ensuring that our platforms help them achieve desired outcomes, hand-holding and onboarding have always been integral elements of our offerings at Anchanto. And we have always been receiving amazing testimonies from our clients for our seamless on-site implementation & training processes.
Rayson Mahindran | Head of Implementation and Consulting
All this went quite smoothly, up until we were taken in the rude surprise of the pandemic outbreak. Importantly, at the time we were about to kick-off the onsite implementation for one of the largest retail companies in the Philippines. The onboarding was to involve our system implementation for more than 60 stores, multiple warehouses, and training for their entire operations team.
In my experience of over 15 years in this domain, it was the first situation that put us in such a tricky dilemma. With multiple travel bans across the globe, going to the customer’s location was out of the question. After a few internal discussions, we decided to rethink our processes to deliver our promise of a top-notch onboarding experience, but this time remotely & virtually.
Developing the Strategy for Remote Implementation
But before proceeding with our new decision, we wanted to make sure that our customers felt as confident about this shift. We did in-depth research and worked with them closely to understand their precise expectations and requirements, and prepared a strategy for virtual implementation.
The first step towards remote implementation, for me, was to prepare a check-list covering all clients’ expectations. The next step was to prepare a detailed implementation aligned with the check-list. The strategy also took into account factors like the setup requirements, resources available, the mentality of the resources, etc. The aim was to analyze the feasibility of conducting online implementations and training for the respective teams.
We concluded that our virtual implementation would require:
Conducting trial sessions with internal team members
Designing shorter training sessions with frequent breaks
Increasing the days allotted for training, with shorter training hours
Preparing and sharing training material in advance
Providing virtual support through all stages of the training
Overseeing hands-on operations conducted by the customers
The idea was to keep things organized, flexible, interactive, and engaging. We wanted our customers to know that even though the onboarding was happening remotely, we were there for them, throughout the process. We also covered multiple scenarios that they would face while using the platforms every single day and provided the solutions for the same.
Executing the remote implementation process – One step at a time
As a firm believer in the power of ‘details’, the success of our Remote Implementation Process for me was hidden in the well-planned, structured procedure, that was our backbone. And we followed all the steps religiously in order to deliver a smooth virtual onboarding experience.
Kick-off Call: As the first step, we gathered all the necessary information; all marketplaces & sales channels they were selling on, the infrastructure they had, proper connectivity to the internet, amongst similar other aspects.
Clarification Call: Once we had all the information, we organized a clarification call with the client, where we discussed if anything else was required from their end.
Product Walk Through: Templates were shared with the clients. Based on their requirements, we guided the clients to fill up these templates and share the same with us.
Training Sessions: Once we had everything in place, we began with remote training for all the concerned users of the platforms. These sessions were short, interactive, and spaced out over a couple of days.
Hands-On Experience: During this crucial stage, we supervised as their users took up the hands-on experience of the platforms. Here, we encouraged them to make mistakes and provided them with further clarity.
Independent Execution: The clients were then encouraged to run all operations independently. Through a video call (Zoom, WhatsApp Video Call, Skype, etc), we would oversee this execution and help out if necessary.
Assessment: Once all the above-mentioned steps were done, our team assessed the entire implementation process. Feedback was given to them and all doubts were solved, if any. A recording of the sessions was provided to the customers as well.
Follow-up Calls: Over the next few days, we conducted follow-up calls with them to ensure that they were in sync with the platforms and were not facing any problems.
The results & the road ahead
The result of this well-planned process was there for everyone to see – we managed to deliver a smooth onboarding experience virtually that our customers loved!.
As the Program Manager at Anchanto, I have always been well aware of what was at stake when something new was about to be tried. With a well-organized, systematic, and linear remote implementation strategy, we were able to achieve what initially seemed a daunting task. After that, there was no looking back, and we onboarded several other enterprises across our markets. And thus, we continue to help businesses in the region to adopt cutting edge technology and empower themselves to emerge stronger from the crisis.