What I’ve learnt from Superhuman’s Customer Onboarding

Author: zmzlois


If you want to build something targeting a highly-niche market at a premium, you don’t want to miss out on Superhuman.

If you want to build something targeting a highly-niche market at a premium, you don’t want to miss out on Superhuman and their customer success experience.

Source: Superhuman Blog

Another great piece about it is Mehdi’s ‘So you want to build a Superhuman of x

Breaking down the price tag of different emails service. Superhuman’s pricing is 1.5–6x more.

Google Business: 6–18 USD/per user/per month

Outlook Business: 5 USD/per user/per month

Superhuman: 30 USD/per user/per month

Some of you might be frowning at that price tag and tell me you will use it one day. I was a bit sceptical too — Why should I pay for a tool that integrates with my outlook and Gmail purely for the speed? However, I signed up for the notion that ‘Everything comes with price comes with a surprise.’ My theory was quickly confirmed: this is not just about productivity in replying to emails. You are buying a front-seat ticket to watch someone building a great product by becoming the user of it and learning something you can’t learn from the free resources on the internet. The value behind it was much more than that 30 USD/per user, and my days without Outlook open 24 hrs makes the Maker’s schedule much more achievable.

To make it a list and save both of our time:

1, Price before Product. Period.

Like Mehdi said, Superhuman didn’t shy away from the pricing from the first day. If people value productivity to an extent, they’d love this product plus it is at a reasonable price. It’s a mutual selection process and Rahul knows who is he selling to. Plus they actually deliver what they’ve promised — ‘Built to be blazing fast ’, ‘Achieve anything in 100ms ’. Before it was launched people were screaming on the wait-list before its official launch. From my personal experience, when I was trying to download their product, they were already collecting my bank details and told me ‘We won’t charge you until you onboard.’ That was like, ‘Think again. Do you love productivity this much? There is no going back.’ Loved it.

2, Learn about your customer. The hard way.

Yes. They didn’t allow me to try or touch the product until the onboarding meeting. The psychology behind it was if you are learning something completely new, the memory will stick around much longer. And they can learn about the users in person. Rahul knows sales. Plus they did create something new for me. It’s a great email product, but different from anything I have ever used. That 1:1 onboarding concierge was impressive from how they spoke to me and how it was structured, and instantly fits the street credit ‘Ferrari in Email’ — who the hack assign an ‘account manager’ to each individual user and reply my every request with detailed instructions? Gmail and Outlook didn’t. Yet they did. For a product priced at 30 USD, my experience was as good as an enterprise client. And almost everyone becomes a user after the onboarding call. Rahul used to take customer onboarding call by himself to learn every user one by one. And look at me, hyping about it here after they’ve launched it for 4 years.

Apart from some standard questions about what I do and where I find them, the overall onboarding experience was similar to a combination of Duolingo and Quizlet, but in person. Almost every command in superhuman comes with keyboard shortcuts, and the onboarding call was to train those shortcuts into my muscle memories. She was encouraging me to use all the shortcuts, and even corrected me, asking me to go back and do it again if I had done it wrong. And yes, I have been using shortcuts in their product since day 1.

3, Carefully segment your customers to find product/market fit

After the launch, the survey question becomes ‘How disappointed would you become if you can no longer use the product’. And the benchmark of that answer to find product market fit is 40%, from Sean Ellies who ran early growth at DropBox, LogMeIn and Eventbrite. Rahul actually talked about how he built the Product Market Fit Engine in great detail on Coda here and on First Round Review for Superhuman. In his framework, he split his customer persona into 7 categories: Founder, Manager, Executive, Business Development, Customer Success, Sales, Data Scientist, and Engineer.

4, Pick the team right

During the onboarding call, I was curious about what makes a great customer onboarding specialist, and what brings her a special set of skills to teach people something new quickly. So I asked her ‘what was your background, were you a teacher?’ Turned out she was an actor! But she also told me the team mix in Superhuman Customer Onboarding Team includes teachers and a blend of different industries. They all share the same sets of transferable skills in communication. If you have a look at Superhuman’s team background, you will find a group of people who take ownership of what they do, even at a glance.

Rahul created his own playbook starting by taking screenshots of every other email product and explaining to people what could be better. No one can be an exact copycat of them as every industry is different. You might get nothing if you do. But if you don’t like what you are experiencing — Look for the benchmark. Learn from the best. Dive into the logic behind it. Give your own product superpower.