A plan for SaaS implementation can be meticulously designed to address every technical consideration, from software configuration to data migration. But even the best-laid plans can falter when they fail to effectively address the change management aspect of client onboarding.
Considering that people are at the heart of any organization, taking into account the human element of change is critical to getting SaaS implementation right. While employees can appreciate the value in new ways of working, introducing new technologies into the workplace — whether it be new HCM software or a new ERP system — is naturally disruptive. They alter the workflows and responsibilities that employees are used to and simultaneously demand that they integrate new tools and processes into their day-to-day operations.
When you consider the impact of ineffective change management — more resistance, lower adoption rates, a lack of enthusiasm among employees — there’s clear incentive to make change management a priority. This becomes all the more clear when you look at how clients are demanding more from their SaaS providers, starting with onboarding.
SaaS Change Management is Evolving — What You Measure Should Too
In today’s business landscape, employees are experiencing transformation at a rapid pace. In 2022, the average employee dealt with 10 planned enterprise changes, which can range from restructuring to enable greater efficiency to replacing legacy tech. That’s up from two changes in 2016.
Amid this rapid pace of change, employees expect and need more meaningful support from SaaS providers from a human perspective. For one, they expect providers to take a proactive approach to understanding their unique needs and what’s required of their new SaaS solution to meet these objectives. They want stakeholders to be involved early on to get their buy-in and make sure they have a clear understanding of the goals and objectives tied to the SaaS implementation. They also rely on SaaS providers to clearly communicate shared responsibilities upfront and set realistic timelines.
Once a SaaS implementation starts, employees expect transparency to continue. They want to know when project milestones have been completed and when there are challenges that need to be addressed. This visibility helps employees feel more included in the implementation process while building trust that increases acceptance of the change.
For more ideas on how to enable effective changement in client onboarding, check out this previous blog post.
Ways to Measure Change Management Effectiveness in Your Client Onboarding
In the past, we’ve discussed key metrics that matter in the SaaS customer onboarding experience. Some of those metrics resonate with change management; others are new.
Change Management Metric #1: Client Retention
One example is client retention. Research shows that 74% of potential customers will switch to other solutions if the onboarding process is complicated. These complications can be a product of mishandled change management. If the client feels a lack of support during the onboarding process or sees misalignment with their business goals, they are apt to feel frustrated by the change and see less value in the SaaS solution.
Change Management Metric #2: User Adoption
By that same token, SaaS providers can look at user adoption as a success metric for change management. Early adopters of a new technology have the potential to be change champions. But if they’re coming off a poor customer onboarding experience filled with friction and lacking support, their enthusiasm can quickly turn into frustration, doubt, and a lack of confidence. The less inclined these early adopters are to vouch for the technology, the more likely it is that user adoption rates will suffer as a result.
To be useful, user adoption must be measured in the right context. Who are the ultimate users of the software and what type of software is it? In the case of an ERP system, financial stakeholders are likely the focus. For HR software, the user base could be all employees.
Change Management Metric #3: Change Readiness
Before a customer onboarding process starts, SaaS providers can assess how ready employees are to integrate the technology into their workplace. While this qualitative metric can help SaaS providers tailor their onboarding process to client needs, it also serves as a benchmark to assess change readiness once the onboarding process is complete. It’s a way to gauge confidence and user acceptance levels and see if there are areas for improvement.
The most direct route to measuring change readiness is through questionnaires that assess employees’ openness to change and their willingness to participate in initiatives. Ask them questions like: on a scale of 1-10, how willing are you to embrace new tech in the workplace? Seeing how responses shift between the initial and follow-up questionnaires can help SaaS providers better understand how their client onboarding process is altering the mindsets of clients as it relates to change.
How Client Onboarding Software Supports Change Management
This post raises a new question. How do you measure change management success? Whatever your metrics may be, we’re confident that our client onboarding software and automation tools can help you move the needle in the right direction. While taking some pressure off onboarding teams in terms of staying in communication with clients and delivering transparency, SaaS providers can offer a guided experience that reduces friction in the transition and makes the experience more enjoyable for clients.
Start your journey to better client onboarding today. Request a Setuply demo.