When you have a technical product that requires a lot of setup and communication across teams, a clear, helpful onboarding process is critical for ensuring the customer’s success. Polytomic uses Accord to collaborate with their customers to set clear next steps during onboarding, leading to better internal processes and customer relationships.
Polytomic enables customers to sync data between systems without writing any code. “The goal is to make internal data accessible,” says Ghalib Suleiman, CEO and Co-Founder of Polytomic.
The Challenge: Guiding Customers to Success with Polytomic
The Polytomic team follows three main steps when onboarding customers:
- Set up connections to the customer’s systems
- Build the “universe of data” or data models that the customer wants to see
- Create the first data sync
“Activating the first data sync across platforms is the key metric for onboarding success,” says Ghalib. After that, the customer has a process they can repeat for other data syncs going forward.
Although Polytomic’s onboarding process is straightforward, the variation in the number of systems and people involved (and the technical knowledge of each person) adds challenges.
When Ghalib was onboarding Polytomic’s second customer, who needed to get data from their product engineering database into HubSpot, he realized that the technical steps that seemed natural to him would need to be explained clearly and walked-through with the customer in order for them to be successful. Ghalib ended up writing out each step in a Google doc to ensure he wouldn’t forget anything during onboarding and so he could figure out how to best guide the customer through the process.
While writing out the onboarding steps, Ghalib realized that he was actually creating a repeatable process his team could follow for future customers. Ideally, the process would include the ability to share links and documentation with customers, check off onboarding tasks, and set milestones for success. This need for a simple, flexible onboarding tool led Ghalib to Accord.
The Solution: A Clear, Collaborative Onboarding Journey with Accord
For Ghalib, one of the main benefits of using Accord is the clarity it provides internally. Accord standardized the team’s onboarding process so that everyone is guiding customers down the best path to success, enabling them to keep track of tasks and move through the process faster.
Improved Internal Processes and Clarity
The ability to see what’s happening with each customer, where they are in the onboarding process, who the stakeholders are, what comes next, and what has already been completed all in one place means that Ghalib doesn’t need to constantly ask his team, “Is this done?” All the onboarding information lives in Accord, cutting down on confusion and clutter.
Better Customer Relationships and Support
While Ghalib initially wanted to use Accord to help himself stay organized and manage his onboarding pipeline, its helpfulness expanded beyond the Polytomic team. By using Accord to share all the steps in the onboarding process so both parties have a clear view of the path to success, it has become equally as helpful to their customers.
The onboarding journey laid out in Accord describes what needs to be done and when, who is involved, what things mean, etc. — so that all customers, no matter their technical knowledge, have the resources and support they need to get to the final step: activating their first data sync. This clarity also helps set expectations between Polytomic and the customer about the overall timeline and important milestones to meet, driving mutual accountability.
Another benefit of using Accord as a collaborative onboarding guide is that it reduces the often one-way nature of buyer-seller relationships and makes it easier for customers to engage with the onboarding process, says Ghalib. By being a “neutral space” where both teams can clearly see what the steps are, have conversations, and make changes to the process together, Accord helps foster a friendlier, more transparent relationship between Polytomic and its customers.
Since each customer is unique, the steps and guides in Accord are customized specifically for each customer’s journey. And an unexpected bonus has been how the customers have responded.
“The goal was to make it easy for us to guide the customer to a successful onboarding,” says Ghalib. “But what surprised me was our customers’ reactions. When one of them saw what we were doing with Accord, he commented: ‘You guys are really rolling out the red carpet for me. I wish our other vendors did this.’”