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Data exchange

Data onboarding essentials for customer success executives

As a Customer Success (CS) leader, the last thing you want to do is implement an onboarding process that your customers hate. 

Successfully navigating the data onboarding process is an important part of ensuring a positive first impression. The challenge of taking in user data from external sources — data onboarding — is a critical first step in the overall customer experience, and by improving the data onboarding process, you can reduce costs, accelerate revenue and increase customer satisfaction.

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Find out how CS leaders can address data onboarding challenges and help new customers become customers for life.

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What is data onboarding, and how does it affect your company?

Data onboarding, sometimes referred to as "data import," "data collection," "data migration," or "data exchange," is the process of uploading your customer's required data to your product. The process must be complete for your customer to use the product and begin to experience its benefits. 

If you already know what data onboarding is, you’re probably also familiar with at least a few of the things that can go wrong when onboarding data…

If you have customers, prospects, employees, partners or vendors that need to supply data before they can effectively use and derive value from your product or service, you’ve probably encountered time delays, errors and complaints. Unfortunately, customers who encounter roadblocks and a lot of run-arounds in getting their software or service up and running will probably leave and not return.

That required data could come from a previous software vendor or a legacy database or it might reside in spreadsheets or a whole range of other applications or files. Getting that data in shape for your product almost certainly requires complicated data mapping, review, cleanup and validation, and might even need human oversight before it can be imported into your new target system. 

When it isn't handled correctly, onboarding data can become a long and painful process.

Why is data onboarding such an important topic for customer success leaders?

The data onboarding process has become more important as data has become a frequently exchanged currency. Companies in nearly every industry require data onboarding, from healthcare to manufacturing.

  • HR solutions require comprehensive data on employees, benefits and payroll before the can be effectively used for automating HR processes

  • Ecommerce providers need product and pricing details from their merchants and suppliers before they can include these products in their offering

  • Service providers like cleaning or maintenance services need facilities information and other service requirements before they can send out crews and start billing their clients

  • CRM platforms need customer data like contact information or customer history before they can be used by a sales team

Not only do many companies have products and services that require data as a starting point, but that required data can be incredibly complex. While CS leaders frequently need to migrate data into a product, the scale, scope and timing of the data onboarding process can vary greatly. For some companies, it might encompass the first two weeks of the customer relationship. For others, the process of collecting, mapping, transforming, reviewing and cleaning data can go on for months.

How CS leaders can improve the data onboarding process

One of the simplest and most effective ways of improving the onboarding process is by taking advantage of a data file exchange platform like Flatfile, which is designed to help you build the ideal data onboarding experience. It's a collaborative, secure platform that helps companies speed up every part of data collection and onboarding.

Its comprehensive data onboarding solution is based on a developer-friendly platform that supports highly customizable automation and advanced data collection, mapping, transformation and validation capabilities, as well as AI-powered features that will speed up your customer onboarding process. Even if your customer’s files look different from customer to customer, arrive in a wide variety of formats and need manual mapping, review, cleanup and validation before they’re imported, Flatfile can help CS leaders deal efficiently with all of the real-world data onboarding challenges that customers have. 

If you want to dig deeper into how CS leaders can improve their data onboarding processes, download your free copy of our in-depth guide, The CS leader’s guide to successful data onboarding.

You spent the time, energy, and resources to acquire a new customer. If you can help them find value quickly and easily, your team will have a much easier time of keeping that customer for life, and you’ll have a customer onboarding experience that will set your software apart from the competition.

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