As a Customer Success professional, I have spent a significant amount of time holding the hands of customers who have been burned by past…let’s just say, less-than-perfect experiences with onboarding new solutions. Interestingly, I have found that the barriers to a successful onboarding experience repeat themselves over and over, no matter the industry or size of the enterprise.
Today, as the Director of Customer Success at anecdotes, my job is to make sure that each one of our customers can onboard our Compliance automation solution quickly and easily so they can hit the ground running. Sure, everyone understands that having a Compliance automation solution in place will make life as a Compliance leader much easier. No more chasing people down for evidence, no more spreadsheets, no more cumbersome screenshots. However, that knowledge and confidence is not enough. Before all that pain can become a distant memory, you must ensure that the Compliance automation solution is onboarded properly. That means that it is fully adopted by all relevant parties, and that those people are using it correctly to get the maximum out of the new Compliance automation solution.
To help anyone contemplating onboarding a Compliance tool, I’ve compiled eight common mistakes to avoid in your onboarding process:
- Don’t blindside anyone. Even with the most intuitive plug-and-play solution (like anecdotes), you will need DevOps, IT, Security, and other stakeholders to help you get started. A big mistake people make is not letting these people know what is happening. Internal teams need time to plan and make sure they have the bandwidth to support your implementation needs. Set expectations as soon as possible (maybe even before the contract is signed) so that you have everything in place to begin onboarding and have a smooth process.
- Don’t keep the ‘why’ to yourself. As a Compliance leader, you understand how automation will save you time, resources, and money. Not to mention reducing your risk. But not everyone may think like you. Make sure you communicate with the relevant internal teams why you chose an automation solution, how the tool will benefit the organization as a whole, and why everyone should make the most of the onboarding period.
- Don’t onboard on your own. Make sure that anyone on your team who will be using the platform knows how to use it, including the different features and functionalities. Don’t forget to loop in control owners from across the organization. Yes, your Compliance automation solution (should) minimize your interactions with them, but they may also be required to use the tools where relevant. Don’t leave anyone out of the onboarding process.
- Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Recognize that there is no such thing as 100% automation. As you onboard, make sure that you understand exactly what the tool can do for you and what you will still need to do on your own. Another thing that is important to be realistic about is “time to audit.” Don’t wait until the last minute before an important Compliance audit to onboard. You can’t expect to onboard a tool and be ready for an audit the next day. Be proactive.
- Don’t lose focus. Clearly define success criteria. Different tools offer different features. Make sure you prioritize exactly which features and functionality you need to avoid becoming blinded by bright shiny objects. Set clear KPIs to measure the success of using the Compliance solution.
- Don’t pigeonhole yourself. Yes, a tool should help you better manage your current Compliance program, but it should also allow you to do more as your business matures. Check if the tool has features that can grow and scale along with your organization. Does it sound like this contradicts the “don’t lose focus” point? Well, it shouldn’t; once you’ve achieved your initial goals, make sure you’re not missing valuable features.
- Don’t drag it out. Assuming you have a good Customer Success Manager (😊), the onboarding pace is up to you. Avoid dragging out the onboarding process. Since you have already paid for the tool, it makes sense to utilize its value as quickly as possible. As we mentioned, you won't be ready for a Compliance audit the next day, so the sooner you start the onboarding process, the sooner you will have a green light for all-systems-go.
- Don’t forget to communicate the value. Your organization just invested in a solution (in a space where some stakeholders may feel they are spending too much money to begin with). Make sure that you share the value and ROI that you are receiving with leadership. Happy stakeholders are a good thing, right?.
There you have it, folks. The 8 “Don’ts” when onboarding your first Compliance automation tool from a professional who has seen it all from the trenches. To learn more about the “Do’s” when it comes to Compliance automation and to learn how you can get started, check out anecdotes’ helpful guides here.