This entry is a celebration of the launch of our new workflow for Social Impact Organization customers who want our Self Service products.
But the topic I want to cover is a little more universal and a little more important for the team here – providing the best care we can for those who care for others.
TL;DR: This being a long post about shortening a process is not a joke lost on me. If you want to experience the new validation process without reading this, visit https://auth0.org/get-started.
Our Destination Is Product Impact
This past November, I was delighted to make the announcement that we were extending our cost-savings offer for nonprofits and social impact organizations to also include 50% off on Self Service plans.
This was not a small undertaking. We had multiple platforms to access: to verify the organization’s eligibility, adjust their pricing, document, and ensure the account launched properly.
We, of course, iterated and improved regularly – something that Auth0 is known for. What we also did is take our instantaneous Self Service onboarding process and create a time to live of up to one month, averaging 22 days - something we don’t want to be known for.
What Was a Beautiful Customer Journey?
We launched with a process that takes up to a month, and with so many steps, we needed to publish a guide explaining how to get the offer. But we launched.
Making sure social impact organizations could get the product discounted is important to us – but we sacrificed speed and simplicity to get our launch.
It’s easy to excuse. In an enterprise environment, diligence is life. There are features and pricing tiers and stakeholders to involve. Talking to someone - sales, an engineer, support - that’s part of the process. Our customers receive white-glove treatment, and it’s perfectly fine to introduce that to a select group of our Self Service customers.
As a marketer, an entrepreneur, and a customer, it wasn’t OK. A lot of what I love about Auth0 self-service is that it is product led. We have free plans for everyone. It’s totally DIY, and we provide documentation and plugins, and support to keep it that way. I should be able to add authentication to my project while I tinker at 2 am – or whenever I have time, not wait on a multitude of processes.
Getting Back on the Right Path
Because I wanted to, and because we had so many steps, I have spent my time here personally onboarding every self-service social impact customer that came to Auth0. I have met some amazing people who work for inspiring organizations. We’ve shared and continue to share these stories through case studies and posts about these organizations, like NCBI and Every.org.
Even though I love it, this method is not sustainable as we grow. So many customers, so few working hours.
Beyond what they’re working on, our very patient and very open social impact customers clued me into their frustrations with our onboarding and other elements of the process that made their experience different and less than the process for-profit customers enjoy.
A New Companion for the Journey
To make sure we’re giving the cost savings to organizations that fall within our eligibility criteria, that don’t take part in hate speech, that is who they say there are - we rely on third-party agencies. These agencies are known as “validators.” When I entered this space, I learned validation platforms operate reactively - meaning a nonprofit or charity can already be a member or indexed by the system - making approval easy, and if they weren’t already in the system, applying would initiate a process to get them verified and validated. This takes time, and even in the case of “easy, already in the system,” validation was still a manual process for us, the customer, and the verification organization.
I started exploring the corporate social impact ecosystem, and another companion on our journey, Mitch Stein (CEO of pond, a great marketplace, and a different upcoming post), let me know of a set of entrepreneurs pivoting their social impact app into a validations-and-beyond company, Percent.
I met with team Percent, and their platform used a proactively filled database - pre-validating organizations at a rapid pace to eradicate future wait time. They were also able to check a box that I thought couldn’t be - they were able to add automation to the process to get customers to the “next steps” while keeping it all Auth0 - eliminating the need for a separate guide.
Less than one month of integration, building, and testing later (thank you, Flor and the ever-so-patient Auth0 Marketing Engineering Team) - we’re live!
Welcome to Our Emerald City
So here we are. We are launching again. An updated version and an updated process. A better customer experience for the nonprofit organizations we cherish.
If you read this far, that’s where we’re at on our product impact journey as we continue to explore and improve our customer journey. Thank you for following along, and never hesitate to reach out.