Have you ever been in a situation where you explored the possibility of changing the team’s job titles away from Onboarding Managers, as they are often confused with HR personnel? Preflighters have, and here is some valuable advice they might have for you if you’re in the same boat!
Has anyone else experienced this or thought it would be better to classify their teams as Customer or Client Onboarding Managers?
If your product is technical, you can call your onboarding managers "Technical Onboarding Managers" which seems to differentiate it well enough.
Customer and new-hire onboarding can get confusing even when discussing it with internal teams! To avoid any confusion, we call our team Customer Onboarding Specialists.
Look at what this role is most frequently called across comparable companies and potentially re-title them to whatever the "norm" is. That will also make recruiting simpler as candidates typically search for a specific title.
Depending on your methodology and approach, you can pick between titles. We created a career framework where titles change depending on experience. However, it is between three of these main roles:
For early teams, Customer Onboarding, Customer Support, and Customer Success might fall under the same umbrella. As you onboard more and more customers, your processes will get refined, and specialized workflows will start taking shape. But for now, you need a generalist who will do all three, recognizing that they likely won't be great at any discipline since they require different skill sets and approaches. Pick a title that reflects the responsibilities but doesn't create false expectations.
I'm not sure if someone looking for a Customer Success Manager role will be expected to handle customer onboarding plus support in addition to the standard CS activities like consulting, advising, retaining, expanding, etc.
I think you're fine to call it a CSM role as long as you're clear on the job description and what the different responsibilities are. You must communicate that the route specialization will happen as the team grows. I've started with generalists multiple times and specialized when appropriate.
You might think about Customer Experience Manager as an alternative - but agree you'll get more people searching for CSM, so just make sure the job description is very clear, including success metrics for the role.
Here’s hoping this will speed up your research for the perfect name.
If you have any additional advice you want to share with the larger customer onboarding, implementation, and CS community, we’d love to have you join Preflight Community and share it with our members!