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Best Practices: Setting up high-touch onboarding playbooks

Onboarding is the most crucial part of the customer journey. Customer usually churns in the first 90 days if the onboarding fails. So, it is very essential to have a playbook so that your Customer Success team never misses out any actions, the customer gets the value & you as a CS leader get the visibility of the onboarding.

When you are designing your onboarding playbook, you need to understand if it is :

  • Low touch onboarding which is mostly self-served

  • Medium touch onboarding which needs the involvement of CSMs/Customer Implementation Managers

  • High touch onboarding which needs heavy involvement of your team

Let’s discuss the sample onboarding framework for all these onboardings separately.

Best Practices: Setting up high-touch onboarding playbooks

Who is this for?

  • For B2B SaaS Customer Success teams whose Onboarding process is complex.

  • The onboarding process is carried out by Customer Success or Implementation Managers completely.

  • The usual onboarding time is between 1- 3 months.

While designing the onboarding playbook at CustomerSuccessBox you need to understand your existing onboarding process & divide it into various steps. Once steps are identified, you should put:

  1.  Tasks (that CSM has to perform).

  2.  Milestones (the product functionality that customer uses).

  3.  Overall business Outcome that you wanted to achieve in this step.

Things to consider while creating an onboarding playbook for high-touch customers.

  • For the high-touch customers, since the contract value is high, the customer will need customizations/professional services to complete the onboarding. Onboarding can be as long as 3 months.

  • Almost all the touchpoints are human driven. Since various stakeholders are involved, deployments have to be done, we need to keep a focus on how we can get the customer started & showcase the 1st value.

  • In fact for high-touch, we can create separate playbooks for 1st 30/60/90 days plan.

  • Introduce each module separately along with the best practices & help the customer set up each module. 

  • Set up weekly catch up meeting with the champion. In this meeting, you can share the progress from last week, set up a deliverables & dependencies, share the plan of activities for this week.

  • Since onboardings are usually very long, as a CSM you have to keep on re-iterating the value your product brings to the table and provide motivation to complete the tasks that customer has to perform at their end.

  • Make sure you do not delay the process from your end. Wherever possible keep your documentation, resources ready and provide regular updates to the customer on the progress.

  • The objective of a CSM should be to remove the road-blockers and work towards providing the 1st value to the customer.

Sample onboarding template for High-touch customers.


Step1: Sales handover

Step 2: Discovery Call & Requirement Gathering

Step 3: Integration

Step 4: Configuration

Step 5: Onboarding Users/Training

Step 6: Going live

Tasks for CSM

Fix a meeting with Sales team

1. Set up a discover call

2. Follow up on Discovery Call

3. Set up a meeting to gather requirements in detail

4. Share the Project Plan of onboarding

  1. Educate the customer on the Integration process 

  2. Note the requirements 

  3. Internally circulate the requirements to the respective teams

  1. Introduce each module separately

  2. Set up a call for helping the customers with the Best Practices

  3. Configure/deploy the system

1. Set up an onboarding call

2. Set up a training session for users

Milestones (product events)

Integrations Authorised

Customer login captured, Critical features captured

Users logging to the system, Using feature A and feature B

Users are logging X times in & days


Decision Maker Identified

Champion Identified

Integrations done

System Configured

Users Trained

onboarding done


1 day

1 week

2-3 weeks

1 week

1 week

2 weeks

This was one of the templates, you can refer to. You can completely customize this to create your own.

You can get in touch with your Customer Success Manager at CustomerSuccessBox to create such a playbook for your onboarding process.

Not a Customer? Request a CustomerSuccessBox Demo and learn how we can help you with the playbooks for your onboarding process

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  1. Anu Dudhat

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