A successful business starts with customer obsession!

Onboarding Programma Voorbeeld 4


And so the customer is central to Onboarding! How do you ensure that a new employee starts thinking actively about your products and services and what they mean for your customers? You do this by using the PRFAQ approach.

A successful business starts with customer obsession!

Customer at the center of onboarding

Focus is important in onboarding. A new employee has limited time and energy. It is important to determine in advance where time and energy will be spent on. Especially during the onboarding period.

Many onboarding programs cover topics such as:

  • what are we good at?
  • what are our qualities?
  • what are our competitors doing?

This way of thinking is too inward-looking. Too much navel-gazing hinders thinking about the customer. As a result, the new employee mainly learns to think in existing paths and successes.

You want the new hire to put the customer first during onboarding. And turn the focus outward and break new ground. Build the onboarding and induction program around the customer experience.

With topics such as:

  • What is the customer’s problem?
  • Why is our product or service the best solution?
  • What makes our product or service unique for the customer?

And let the new employee get to know the organization through customer experience.

How to put the customer first in onboarding

How do you ensure that the new employee starts thinking actively about your products and services and what they mean for your customers?

You do this by using the PRFAQ approach. This approach originated within Amazon and stands for Press Release and Frequently Asked Questions (PRFQA). In plain Dutch “een persbericht met FAQ”.

Within Amazon, this process is used to determine which new products or services to develop. Because even at Amazon, they can only put energy into something once.

Within Amazon, they use this approach to let employees immerse themselves in customers. To really experience what the customer experience means for the customer. And to make a decision whether Amazon is going to make a new product or not.

The onboarding approach

We have translated this Amazon approach into the onboarding process. In this way, the customer experience is central during the onboarding.

The approach Amazon uses is the PRFAQ method. The PRFAQ consists of 3 parts. Namely a press release, an internal FAQ, and an external FAQ. The final result is six A4 pages with a clear assessment of whether the product or service should be made or not.

For onboarding we only use the PR part of the approach, the so-called press release. The purpose of this onboarding PR is that the employee immerses himself in the products and/or services of the organization. And during the onboarding, we start a conversation with the team about the value of the product or service and which aspects are worth investing energy in.

Want to learn more about Amazon’s approach?

In their book Working Backwards , former top executives Bryar and Carr give a look behind the scenes. They say that at the start in 1990 Amazon was a very hands-on company. Everyone helped pack and ship the orders. Of course, this was not a scalable solution for the longer term. With 14 clear principles, Amazon created simple processes that fit this fast-growing agile company.

Or listen to Jacob Morgan’s podcast The future of work: Jacob Morgan in conversation with Amazon.

Below we describe the assignments and the process that the new employee goes through during the PRFAQ approach of the onboarding and induction program.

The onboarding assignment

The new employee writes a press release for a specific product or service based on conversations with colleagues, exploration of the company website and researching the USPs of our products/services. It can also be a video or a clear infographic.

The press release contains a maximum of 1 A4 page.


This sounds very simple and obvious. But that is not it. It is difficult!

To write a good press release, the essence must be described. And for this, the new employee goes through the process of conversations, researching, analysis, writing and rewriting several times.

The new employee then presents the result to the team or the manager and supplements it based on the discussion and information he receives.

Onboarding Steps

In order to come up with a press release, first the specific product and/or service is selected, then it is examined why this is the best solution for the customer’s problem and then it is looked at how the customer can be convinced.

A. Choice of product and/or service

First of all, it is important to choose a specific product or service. This makes the press release concrete and also ensures that the new employee does not get stuck in generalities.

The choice of product or service is best made during the introductory meetings. The new employee asks the colleagues which specific product or service they find most typical of their organization and why.

Often the products or services seem very obvious.

However, choose a specific product: for example, at Rituals the hand soap from a certain fragrance line or at the NS a train journey from Houten to Utrecht.

B. Customer's problem

Then explain why this product or service is the best solution for the customer. Which problem is solved?

Write it down in such a way that a dialogue is created with the customer and that the writing is based on the customer.

Why is this solution going to help the customer! What is the customer excited about! What is the customer’s problem?

Talk to colleagues about it: why do they think customers choose this product. And what solution the product offers for customers. Make sure it gets specific.

Also involve the mission and vision of the company and link it to the chosen product. Describe what the problem is and don’t get stuck in generalities.

For example: Rituals’ mission is to let customers enjoy everyday moments. What ensures that the customer can enjoy everyday moments of the Rituals hand soap from Jing? Think of a concrete situation. What would the press photo look like? What is the before and after?

C. The best solution

And finally, ask how colleagues convince customers with this story to choose this product. Why is this product and/or service the best solution? Where, according to the colleagues, does the product help to make the customer’s life easier and better?

In other words, what is that characteristic that makes the product better than the competitor’s. What concrete and specific advantage makes this product stand out.

Ask for quotes from customers and add them.

D. Write the press release

Compile the press release with the above information.

The components

‍ Title: Use a title that appeals to (new) customers. The title must contain a reference to the product or service. It’s one sentence!

Subtitle: The title below the main title describes the customer benefits of the product or service. Describe in 1 short sentence the advantages of using the product or service.

Summary paragraph: Provide a brief description of the product or service and its benefits. What are the most typical benefits.

Problem paragraph: Describe the problem that the product solves and why this product was made to solve this problem? Write from the customer!

Solution Paragraph(s): Describe in detail in these paragraph(s) why this product and/or service solves the customer’s problem simply, quickly and easily

Quotes: Add one quote from a (hypothetical) customer and one quote from the organization website. These quotes describe the benefits of the product. Describe how easy it is to get started and include a link to the website where customers can find more information.

What do new employees learn?

New employees learn from this approach to learn to think from the customer’s perspective during the start in a new organization.

This means that in everything they do they ask themselves what the customer wants? And work from this question back to the solution! Gaining and maintaining the trust of customers is the most important starting point.

And who doesn’t want that. This is why Amazon has grown into one of the most valuable companies of our time. After all, Amazon’s success has not been achieved by the genius of one individual, but has come about through a series of clearly formulated principles.

Customer obsession is the first and most important basic principle.

Want to get started?

Tip: You can easily add this assignment to a new or existing program in the Successful@Work Onboarding App.

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