Onboarding Software: The Secret Ingredient to Welcoming New Hires on a Customer Service Team


I recently asked three of my pals at work to share what comes to mind when they think about starting a new job. No filters. Just candid responses. Their words: 

Excitement. Nerves and pressure. Have to be perfect. Overwhelming. Wear something nice. Exhausting. Mentally “on” all day. Listen well. Try to remember names. Call someone you love on your way into work.

What they said is relatable, right? We’ve all been there.

First days should make us fire on all cylinders and leave us excited to come back the next day. A healthy amount of pressure makes us hit the ground running. If we’re exhausted at the end of the day, it probably means we focused and listened well. New jobs are outside of our comfort zones because we’ve never done them before. So, how do we focus on equipping new hires, specifically new customer service reps, with what they need in order to do great work? 



Well in 2016, the Human Capital Institute took a deep dive into what onboarding model and strategies are most common. They studied 446 companies of varying sizes around the globe. Here’s what they found:

  • Companies that are great at onboarding typically assign new hires small tasks on day one to begin a work-feedback rhythm immediately. 
  • 58% of new hire time in onboarding is spent filling out paperwork and learning company processes. This number could be so much lower.
  • Onboarding shouldn’t be just one day or one week; it’s a continuous process.
  • The main problems organizations run into with onboarding, training, and talent management are inconsistency in training, lack of manager attention, and difficulty measuring whether or not the training is working.
  • The best onboarding is framed as a partnership between a new hire, her manager, and an HR onboarding expert.
  • As of right now, only 47% of onboarding practices actually reduce the time it takes for a new hire to be proficient in their role.

The overarching theme is this—some traditional onboarding methods are working and some aren’t. If only 47% of time spent onboarding reps is actually helping them do their jobs, something has to change. We’re missing out on efficiency when we onboard the same way we have for the past ten years. What does this mean for customer service managers and reps? It’s time to adjust our onboarding tools and methods, and invest in onboarding software. It’s the secret ingredient to successfully and quickly onboarding reps. The three reasons we stand by onboarding software are:


1.   Reps are engaged earlier.

There’s no need to wait for a rep’s first day to hand over an employee onboarding checklist. With onboarding software, engagement starts the moment a rep is hired. Preboarding a rep allows CS managers to spend day one teaching new reps how to do their job, not explaining complicated compliance policies or how to set up direct deposit. The software can handle these things, and if they need more clarification, then they can ask questions. Reps get to prepare for their jobs in the weeks prior to their start date and practice their jobs on the first day. Day one gets to be about showing a rep the ropes, not about paperwork.


2. Turnover, costs, and time-to-proficiency all decrease.

HCI’s study found that having structured onboarding process steps cuts employee turnover, onboarding costs, and time-to-proficiency in half. When the onboarding information a new rep needs to assist and support customers is at their fingertips, they have the luxury of being resourceful and discovering things on their own. Onboarding software helps growing teams scale without the stress of stopping everything to onboard someone new. It takes time upfront to establish a solid onboarding process checklist using software. But once that employee onboarding process is built out, it’s a rep-retaining and money-saving machine. 


3. Onboarding software is accessible and customizable.

SaaS onboarding software lets managers edit their onboarding process steps as their teams and needs change. If training a rep means using a sample onboarding document and adjusting, printing, and reediting that for each new hire, every rep hired takes excessive time and resources. The process could be as easy as assigning a new hire a lesson and updating it in the backend of the software if needed. Onboarding becomes more trackable, efficient, and personal. 


Do Better Customer Service Work with Onboarding Software from Lessonly

Elevate your customer service by onboarding your reps with better training software. Lessonly’s powerfully simple tool makes it easy to adopt onboarding best practices as a team, so new reps can find the info they need. Get a demo to see how you can Do Better Work today. 

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