Customer Onboarding Practices: A Complete Customer Onboarding Guide

Customer onboarding process
Customer onboarding process

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User retention is a cardinal challenge for most product creators. Sticky customers mean less churn and customer lifetime value. Keeping new customers is so tricky that close to 75% of mobile app users will not reuse an app after first use. 

Customer retention is particularly difficult in the software as a service (SaaS) sector. Here, most businesses mistake growth for gain. Customer acquisition may seem like an essential aspect of SaaS business growth strategies. It is, however, the least effective of growth levers if retention is missing.

Unfortunately, 70% of SaaS business leaders view acquisition as their ultimate goal. Only 20% of them have customer retention as their foremost aim. This small group of entrepreneurs is the one most likely to prioritize customer onboarding. 

Retention of new and old customers is the heart of business sustainability. Churn will drag down any growth and sink an organization’s revenue. The sad reality is that leaders that do not optimize retention, hence customer onboarding is actively courting a painful and swift death for their businesses.

Customer Onboarding Process Guide – Topic Index

What is customer Onboarding?

How Does Customer Onboarding Differ from User Onboarding?

The Customer Onboarding Process

Personalizing the Customer Onboarding Process for Your Business

Automating Customer Onboarding Through AI

Chapter 1: What is Customer Onboarding?

What is Customer Onboarding?

The Salesforce Story

In 2005, Salesforce had a monthly churn rate of 8%. They were losing close to 75% of their customers each year. The culprit? The cloud-based software company leadership’s obsession with customer acquisition.  

Despite the leaky customer base, Salesforce was a juggernaut of an organization. The year 2004 had given it a market cap of $500 million. In 2005, they had a $2 billion market cap. Salesforce enjoyed a triple-digit–booking rate in that year. Unfortunately, it was hemorrhaging all this success by the year’s end. 

Salesforce could not persuade their signups to stay with them. This became a death spiral situation for the customer relationship management service. Soon, they would run out of new customers to entice. At the time, Salesforce had a stellar reputation in the market. So what caused the massive churn rates?

The Salesforce customer was not in tune with the product’s value proposition. The SaaS company’s answer to this dilemma was a 180-degree turn in their aim. They began to “help the customer succeed” by correctly introducing them to the Salesforce platform.  

Their customer service teams worked toward ensuring customer success throughout the customer’s life cycle. Salesforce simply optimized its customer onboarding processes. The results were stellar. 

While it had taken Salesforce five years to gain 250,000 subscribers, they added 250,000 more within a year of changing their onboarding tact. Did you know that over 55% of customers return products because they lack the knowledge on how to use them? 

According to Salesforce, 70% of clients say that learning how to use a service or product is key to winning them over to your business.

So, what is customer onboarding?

Simply put, customer onboarding is the process that businesses set up to take on new customers. Onboarding processes explain the working of a service or product. It is a procedure that highlights the value of your solution and portrays how you partner with your customers. 

Critical to an effective onboarding procedure is your first contact with your clients. Onboarding, however, goes beyond the first app experience to all touchpoints that potential long-term customers have with your organization. 

When does customer onboarding begin?

Every successful top-of-the-ladder entrepreneur has had an “aha moment” that kicked off their success story. The aha moment is a tiny moment in time that often brings a smile to most of their faces. This split-second brings clarity of vision, helping business people locate a solution to a problem. 

There also exists a user eureka moment, an instant where they also come to grasp the value of your product. This eureka moment is central to the SaaS customer onboarding process. It creates an emotional reaction in users. 

The SaaS version of Archimedes’s “Eureka!” is a powerful emotion. It is intangible, but it displays to users that the product has a solution to their pain points. This occasion is the highlight of a user’s relationship with your product. 

A positive onboarding process will give your clients an aha moment with your service or product. Handle the onboarding process proficiently, and you will keep your customers. They will know that they have made an excellent decision in choosing to work with you. Exceptional onboarding experiences, therefore, focus on eliciting the very first Aha! from users. 

Why You Need an Onboarding Process

Are you up the creek trying to make converts of your free-trial customers? Do you need more website visitors registering to use your tool? Are your users not adopting some of your unique product features? If you are facing these hurdles, then your value proposition might not be evident to your customers.

 According to Lincoln Murphy, the author of Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue, the seeds of churn are sown early. If your users struggle to find practical value in your product, they have not had this million-dollar moment with your product. If your activation rates are low and abandonment rates high, then you have not properly onboarded your customers from the word go. 

Most SaaS platforms view churn as an end-of-life problem. It is not. It is a life cycle dilemma. It can happen at any point, but it often starts with the initial onboarding process. This factor implies that you can also sow the root of long-term success early through your onboarding processes.  

The actions taken during that first engagement stage with your customer will influence their long-term 

 growth with you. Moreover, if well done, it could expand the revenue that you can generate from them over time. Customer success grows from the first point of contact with a client. It should carry forward throughout their life cycle.

Chapter 2: How Does Customer Onboarding Differ from User Onboarding?

How Does Customer Onboarding Differ from User Onboarding?

High churn levels signify a customer life cycle challenge. They are a sure sign of a business’s failure at pitching its value to its users. If your users are seeping away, it is you who is not getting it right with your platform, not them. 

Lincoln Murphy notes that one mistake most businesses make in their onboarding process is attracting the wrong customer. Most SaaS businesses do not understand who their ideal customer is. For this reason, they will grab user attention through free trials and push them toward a threadbare onboarding experience. 

Failing to differentiate the user from the customer will put a customer through a user onboarding experience.

Consequently, you will lose them. User onboarding helps people make heads or tails of a product. A user is a person sizing up solutions that will help them solve an immediate dilemma.

Users will typically go for the first solution that meets their needs. All a user wants to do is to learn the basic functions of your product. With SaaS business applications or products, users and customers are two distinct parties. A user will access your free trial and go through a user onboarding process.  

An organization might purchase 100 licenses from your SaaS platform. You will need to onboard all 100 employees as users. Eventually, only a handful of these people will renew the license or fully purchase the product. These are your customers. The person with the buying power needs a customer onboarding process.

In SaaS, features such as your product’s strategy, promotion, budget, approach, or leadership will attract users. Some will be potential customers, while others will be short-term visitors. You cannot easily differentiate between the customer and the visitor. 

The best practice is to deliver a user onboarding experience that leads to an aha moment. Highlight how a product works, keeping in mind that the user is comparing your product to equally promising solutions. To this end, onboard your users with minimum bother. Show them the value of your product to boost its credibility. 

The customer, on the other hand, is aware of your product’s value. They are already paying for it. They hope to gain more benefits from your product and not have to deal with any roadblocks. To reap full benefits from your application, direct them regularly to prevent any hiccups.

For this reason, product trials are of extreme value. They offer exploratory venues that, through user onboarding, will make users more comfortable, reducing churn. User onboarding guides a user to value using minimal interactions from the first engagement.

Customer onboarding makes the paying client at home with the product. It is a process that builds relationships that enhance customer loyalty. 

Who owns both onboarding processes?

Users can be fickle. They have choices, and they will hire and fire applications on a whim. Currently, you will not find a business that locks value behind iron-clad paywalls. Every user wants a level of hands-on experience before they can buy.

In this hyper-competitive world of platforms, a business must figure out how best to generate customers from free trials via their onboarding process. Since users are looking for a tool that offers them quick outcomes, progress, and value, leave them to the product team.

Users are at the awareness stage of the sales funnel. The product team should spend hours with the user, seeking to understand their needs. Both the product and sales teams work hand-in-hand at this juncture. 

The marketing and sales team will cast their net wide, filling up the top of the funnel with users. The product team, knowing the platform inside out, will design the application for the user. They will show the potential customer a path to success by helping them hop to their goal via minimal touchpoints. The sales team can additionally operate the onboarding flow.

The customer is at the evaluation, and purchase stages of the sales funnel. They want much more than the basic aspects of your application. Give them early training and customer support to help them recoup the experience lost in free trials. 

Remember that the customer is raring to go. You have their attention and time. They will give a relationship a try, so do not squash their high expectations. If you cannot build upon your platform’s value, they will churn. 

Do not leave them to their own devices, so hand the customer over to your account manager or customer success teams. Like Salesforce, make your customer flourish for better customer lifetime values.

Benefits of Successful Customer Onboarding

Benefits of Successful Customer Onboarding

Increases customer loyalty

Excellence in customer service hangs on effective customer onboarding processes. There are, however, many more benefits to customer onboarding processes than delighting your customers. According to the Harvard Business Review, conventional business wisdom dictates that your business needs to “delight” its customers to build loyalty. 

Most managers roll out over-the-top services for customers who have a natural inclination to punish poor service. The need to reward delightful service is, however, not as obvious. For this reason, organizations eat into their budgets trying to achieve an impossible feat.

In the process, they lose many customers. If your business suffers from the “revolving door syndrome” despite excellent customer service, you are failing on one massive front: you are not solving your customer’s problems. 

Reduce their effort. Companies build loyalty by helping their clients solve problems fast and easily through effective onboarding processes. If you doubt HBR’s findings, 86% of people will stay loyal to businesses with ample onboarding content that guides them on usage after purchase.

More revenue

Most SaaS companies only onboard a quarter of their free trial users. Most of them have even lower conversion rates. If your onboarding funnel has more holes than a hockey net, your coffers will soon run dry.  

After all, acquiring new clients costs up to ten times more than selling to existing customers. Your current customers will bring in 67% more revenue than new customers will. Customer onboarding reduces churn and increases customer loyalty, hence sustaining revenue generation.

Lifetime value

Customers who undergo a solid onboarding process will stick around much longer than those who do not. Therefore, customer onboarding will enhance the lifetime value of a customer. Close to 80% of a business’s future revenue flows from 20% of its existing client base. Unfortunately, most B2B brands only allocate 20% of their budgets toward retention initiatives.

Word of mouth benefits

The content customer is your top referral source. Over 92% of customers base their purchase decisions on referrals. As per McKinsey data, peer reviews influence 20% to 50% of all customer purchase decisions. 

They are significantly more influential among first-time customers and big-budget items. Peer reviews’ influence on purchases is bound to grow as the digital revolution encompasses all purchase points. Onboard your customers effectively and enjoy the benefits of positive peer appraisals from them.

More customer insight

Know your customer and make better strategies that increase profitability. The onboarding process can be a fantastic source of customer data. Use this process to collect customer data pre-and post-purchase. This data can significantly improve engagement and sales all across your enterprise.

Augmenting operational efficiency

The best customer onboarding processes can cut down on your service load overhead costs. Consumers who understand your product or service will have fewer challenges to adoption. A single view of each of your prospects also cuts down on risks, offering each client an audit trail for compliance. 

Chapter 3: The Customer Onboarding Process

The Customer Onboarding Process

Here is a quick breakdown of the customer onboarding process and a few examples of companies doing great things with their own SaaS customer onboarding journeys.

Step 1: Initial contact

Welcome the user warmly and let them sense the value inherent in your product. Show them how the platform works. Use customer data from your sales team to help them solve their challenges.

Step 2: Kick-off

Present the user with every item they need to get off the ground with your application. Provide them with documentation and login credentials. Paint them a picture of a successful onboarding so they can build their expectations. 

Step 3: Training

During this phase, your customers will sign in and interact with your product or service. Give them the bird’s eye view of your product or service’s abilities to meet their business processes needs. Ensure that they have their aha moment with your application.

Step 4: Adoption

Recognizing the value of your solution, the customer will integrate it into their business processes. It is at this point that your customer success teams need to be at their most proactive. Your customer’s expectations are sky-high, so show them your platform’s advanced features. Give them premium support and give your customers feedback. Make them feel heard. 

Step 5: Retention

Give your customers excellent reasons they should stay onboard your platform. Collect their feedback and determine areas they need improvement. Bring in additional product features and iterate the older ones. The retention phase implies that customer onboarding is a life cycle process that keeps your client’s engagement with your product soaring.

Elements of SaaS Customer Onboarding 

Below are some tactics that you can incorporate into your onboarding strategy. Use them to get a user or customer at ease with your product. That said, the flow of your process highly depends on a user’s needs, so we provided a wide variety of options and examples of companies who use them to great effect. 

Customers might have no interest whatsoever in your welcome video, but that does not imply that you should not have one waiting in the wings for them when their interest bobs up. You should ensure that you have as many onboarding resources as possible at the customer’s disposal.

Signup process

Your signup process can help gather data and set expectations about priorities and goals. Some of the best signup process practices include:

  • Have a simple signup process for starters. 
  • Only seek the most critical of information to lower the signup barrier.
  • Lessen the complexity of the process by easing the form field validation process. You need not make your users jump hoops by asking them to input an uppercase character, followed by symbols. 
  • Incorporate positive reinforcement in the signup process. Social proof for a great product can be very encouraging.
  • Have social signup buttons since they provide a smoother process than email procedures do. 
Signup Process

SoundCloud offers a superb onboarding process via its signup steps. The music network app allows its users to sign in via Google, email, Facebook, or Apple ID. The social network places the email field at the bottom since it will likely lower conversion rates.

After sign up, all SoundCloud seeks is information on user gender and age. They will also ask you to confirm terms and conditions and consent to app tracking to explore the music.

Welcome email

The welcome email is the ultimate kick-off feature. It should have a celebratory and positive mood. This letter tees off your potential long-term relationship with your customer. Use it to exhibit communication expectations. The best practices for welcome email onboarding include:

  • Holding back the information that your users do not need at the kick-off stage. Keep your welcome email simple. 
  • Give them access to resources that will increase engagement. Send them links to high-quality blog content or product videos.
  • Appreciate them for taking the time to sign up.
  • Rehash your mission or perspective and the outcomes that the customer should expect.

Squarespace’s welcome email offers new customers a straightforward process of signing in to their accounts and upgrading. They have a quick link to the support team in case they need any further help.

SquareSpace

First login

The first login begins the user’s product discovery stage. As you can see, it can make or break your onboarding process and curtail the user’s journey to their aha moment. The best first login practices include:

  • Creating a clear path for the onboarding process. Do not present them with an empty user interface. 
  • Embed positive reinforcement, and let the user know that good things are in store once the setup process is complete.
Slack

Slack uses thoughtful empty states and a friendly bot to welcome its first login users. The simple pages lower the cognitive load, cutting straight to the chase.

Data import

A B2B tool is likely to ask its customers to bring in their existing data or connect data sources to their applications. Buffer, for instance, will need a social account. ChartMogul, on the other hand, needs a billing system. 

These requirements can become barriers to adoption. Unfortunately, customers will not have their aha moment until they can complete this step. So how can you encourage them to take a leap of faith? 

  • Make the process of data importation or accounts connection easy. 
  • Have an autofill process that infills the data you have received during the signup process 
  • Have dummy data that allows the user to test the application’s functionality.

Grammarly Data Import

Grammarly has a mind-blowing “learn by doing” approach that helps learners grasp extra features. Grammarly is a personal writing assistant that checks grammar, spelling, and word choice errors via in-line suggestions. To begin with Grammarly, you need not import any text into its user interface. The app has a demo document with pulsing hotspots. 

Follow-up emails

Follow-up emails give users more educative and engagement information. Use them to direct your users to different aspects of your product. Call attention to single features each time. You can alternatively group them and have CTAs and reminders to keep the information in active use before the trial period expires. The best follow-up emails have:

  • Drip campaign features that present a feature at a time regularly
  • Enticements that push the customer toward trying out the feature
  • Personalized features that engage users as per their actions.
Grammarly 1
Grammarly 2

Grammarly’s follow-up emails again have the best onboarding practices. Use its trial version, and it will subtly nudge you about its paid product perks. The online editorial tool will send you emails that educate you on the app’s improvements since its inception. 

You will also receive a weekly gamified report of your writing. These reports will highlight your productivity most positively and talk about your success on the app. 

Product tutorials

The follow-up emails and welcome messages after the first login are crucial components of the onboarding process. Their end game is long-term customer support. You can accomplish these feats using tooltips and product tours. You can preset product tutorials using:

  • In-app product tours or learning centers
  • A checklist that has “getting started” items within the user interface
  • Feature tutorial buttons
  • Some best practices when creating product tutorial onboarding features included
  • Skippable tutorial features
  • Return features that allow users to come back to skipped notifications, pop-ups, and tutorials
Duolingo

Duolingo has perfected the art of product experience. The language-learning app has a reverse onboarding process that begins with the product, concluding with a signup process. This form of gradual engagement postpones registration, but it also guides the visitor through a translation exercise. 

It helps the user grab hold of the fact that learning a new language via Duolingo is easy. The platform has a friendly owl, Duo, who prompts users to choose their learning goal and commit to it before the signup process. This aspect increases engagement since humans have an inherent completion bias. The app also has a progress bar for user expectations. 

Documentation

The documentation bit of the onboarding process can be a bore, but it is critical sometimes. It will give your users quick guidance should they find themselves stuck.

  • Have easily maintainable and up-to-date documentation
  • Use a language structure that shows the user how to solve problems
MailChimp

A top-notch example of an efficient knowledge base is MailChimp’s. It has easy-to-find items and accessible search features. 

In-app notifications

Your application’s in-app notifications can have a profound impact on your onboarding experience. They are a vital contact point and can re-engage the detached user. In-app messages can point out unused features and congratulate the user on their progress. You can use them to give useful tips and call to mind any missing data.

  • Your in-app notifications should come at the right rate. Do not underwhelm or spam the user.
  • They should not have too much information. They are but signposts to the features within the product.
  • Your in-app notification feature should offer a frequency of viewership choice to your users. 
GoTo Webinar

To iterate its features and re-engage its disengaged users, GoToWebinar has animated slide-outs. Its in-app notifications are thorough but do not drag themselves out to guide the returning and new user as per their experience levels.  

Checkup call

The checkup call is a human-based touchpoint. Because of this, it is a powerful onboarding tool. A quick chat with a potential client can outrank most other onboarding practices. Phone calls can also give you critical, from-the-horse’s-mouth feedback. 

  • Find out what the perfect moment for a phone call is. Too soon, and you might appear needy. Too late in the onboarding process, and you might have already lost your customer. 
  • Have a measured approach when calling. Always have the data you need to get from customers beforehand.

Swag

Swag is the ability to wow users. Some businesses go as far as sending swag packs as an incentive. If you will incorporate this feature into your onboarding process, remember that delighting customers does not equal customer loyalty.  

Offer great onboarding experiences first. Add a personal touch to your items and send gifts that customers will love to use. Eventbrite lists books, desk plants, event survival kits, decoder glasses, and charitable gifts, among some of the best swag kit ideas out there.

Chapter 4: Personalizing the Customer Onboarding Process for Your Business

Personalizing the Customer Onboarding Process for Your Business

When you start to look at ways to personalize your customer onboarding process to suit your business’s specific needs, there are two main areas to consider:

1. Product considerations

Considering the format and the length of your onboarding process hinges on product aspects such as:

  • Best features to begin the process with
  • The product’s level of complexity
  • The feature limitations in place
  • The data input that the user needs to enjoy the platform’s features

2. Customer considerations

Do you need a high-touch or high-tech onboarding strategy? High-tech processes depend on automation and self-service. They work well for single users and simple-to-grasp products.

The high-touch process requires one-on-one touchpoints with your customer success teams. It is the go-to onboarding process for multiple team member accounts and technical products.

Common Metrics to Support Onboarding Strategies

So how can you tell that your customer and user onboarding process is effective? What metrics should you have access to in order to stay proactive against any future problems? There are customer onboarding metrics that ensure you can test your onboarding team effort and support the iteration of your product. These benchmarks include:

1. Login activity

To gauge the commitment levels of your users, study your login data. Frequent sign-ins imply that your users are realizing value from your service. A low login data volume is a sure sign of high churn. 

2. Feature adoption

Stagnating or low feature adoption data could mean that your team needs to highlight your product’s capabilities more. This data could also mean that your features are irrelevant and require optimization.

3. Feature usage

How frequently are your users accessing various aspects of your resource? Study high usage to discover your product’s most valuable features. These elements are a SaaS business’s strength. Feature usage data is critical in the industry-based segmentation approaches. 

4. Customer sentiment 

Include onboard surveys that review your offering’s first impressions. Is the onboarding process intuitive? Use suggestions and feedback to enhance the process. 

5. Trial conversion data

Are your users willing to turn to customers? How many users have made the jump to subscribers at the end of your trial period? This data can be a pointer to your company’s financial success or failure.

6. Onboarding abandonment

How many of your facility’s users and customers are detaching from it without an aha moment? High onboarding abandonment data implies that your users are in the dark and getting their quick wins fast enough. 

Even worse, it could be because of a sales team mismanagement of customer expectations. You are over-promising yet under-delivering on value.

7. Customer onboarding costs

How many resources and how much time are your teams deploying in customer support and training? Optimizing your processes makes them scalable and digital. Cut down on the time and cost that an employee spends on the onboarding process.

What are the top trends in customer onboarding?

The SaaS model of business is new, and its success hinges on internet use. Hosting software on cloud infrastructure for monthly fees is a great business model. The success of the SaaS business depends on massive amounts of coding knowledge and user interface design skills. 

Therefore, it can be a low barrier entry for entrepreneurs who want to avoid the capital costs of laying down robust IT infrastructure. However, these business people cannot taste success if their products do not have innovative onboarding processes. 

Some of the most prolific trends in the industry include:

High-tech and high-touch onboarding blending 

You can ensure successful onboarding by triggering automatic touchpoints and content streaming. This process eliminates the dependence of your teams and prioritizes application development.

In-app boarding

Use tooltips, integrated guided tours to increase engagement. In-app boarding techniques will supplement training and onboarding initiatives. Enhance the success of this strategy through support documentation and chat features.

Turning product content to marketing content

Most SaaS customers want in-depth application information before signup. For this reason, your product information articles and how-to guides should be on your marketing site. This ensures that any user brings the onboarding process the moment they log in to your website. 

Chapter 5: Automating Customer Onboarding Through AI

Automating Customer Onboarding Through AI

Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL) are becoming solutions that enhance the customer onboarding process. They can clear out the noise in your onboarding processes and help reduce churn. 

Fortunately, these technologies are also becoming viable as hardware costs become reasonable. As computing power for business builds up, AI and its subsets are becoming the avenue that cements customer-to-business communication.  

That said, AI is not yet the go-to tool for exceptional customer experience. At the moment, it is a channel that you can use to amplify your customer onboarding initiatives. Some use cases of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the customer onboarding process that include:

Real-time Support Delivery and Chatbot Services

Over 80% of all marketing heads today use chatbots to augment their customer experience initiatives. By 2025, AI and ML will power over 95% of all business-to-customer interactions. As per Gartner data, virtual customer assistants operate over 25% of all business customer service operations

The benefits of AI technology used in the customer onboarding process include customer query response acceleration and time savings in customer service communication. IBM says that chatbot use can trim resolution times to 5.4 minutes from a churn-heavy 38 hours inquiry period in some businesses. 

It is more cost and time-effective to have AI tools as your onboarding support tools. They will engage your users and aptly resolve any hiccups in your process. Did you know that the virtual agent can resolve 30,000 more customer queries than a human agent can?

Engagement Metrics Collection

AI tools are very efficient in personalizing processes related to purchases, but they can also help customize your customer’s overall journey. In the onboarding process, you can use these tools to prevent churn by collecting data to understand your customers. 

According to Customer Experience Magazine, only one out of every 26 fed-up customers takes the time to voice their complaints. The other 25 will churn. An absence of feedback is therefore not a sign of content customers. Indifference can cost you your business.

To stave off high churn rates, use AI tools to collect customer feedback during the onboarding process. Analyze all the information they collect to spot any areas that require improvement. Your AI tools can enhance your customer sentiment analysis to help you in getting to the root of the user’s dissatisfaction.

Digitized Customer Onboarding Experiences

Most business sectors have undergone many challenges because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that use paper-dependent processes as part of their onboarding procedures have found themselves in a crisis when onboarding customers. 

The greatest upset has been in financial organizations and banks that have been heavily reliant on in-person onboarding via hard-copy documentation. It has become clear over time that while customer onboarding offers these institutions an opportunity to show off their efficiency, the heavy paperwork process has only created a poor first impression.

Data shows that over 38% of customers will churn before their aha moment because of the sheer frustration that massive paperwork and touchpoints bring. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened these inadequacies. Consequently, these organizations have now come to terms with the need for effective digital onboarding processes. 

Travel restrictions and social distancing measures mean a growing physical rift between businesses and their customers. Remote onboarding ensures communication, monitoring, and the onboarding of customers safely during this period. That said, this process requires ample KYC/AML and cybersecurity compliance.  

Secure digital customer onboarding processes can lower your business’s churn and costs. The digitized onboarding experience will improve compliance and enhance customer engagement. Use innovative remote onboarding procedures to speed up the customer’s awareness of your product’s value.  

Firms that do away with an organizational culture that pushes away innovation will stay safe as regulations change. Financial institutions, for instance, have to observe the Payment Services Directive or the EU’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The latter expects SaaS businesses in the financial sector to limit anonymity in their platforms.

Security is yet another challenge that these institutions face. Onboarding systems reliant on paper processes can be highly insecure. Digital onboarding can enhance security if they observe stringent safety measures. 

Secure digital customer onboarding tips:

  • Remote onboarding can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks as well as financial crimes. Use a blend of human and technological techniques to safeguard your business without disengaging the user. Have processes that complete the identity verification process within seconds.
  • Optimize your customer onboarding process for mobile users. As the world goes mobile, there will be mobile onboarding processes that will have more risks.
  • Use AI technology in remote customer onboarding to streamline your verification processes. Digital document verification and video KYC can increase security, compliance, and engagement rates.
  • Put robust know-your-customer (KYC) authentication processes in place. Collect and verify personally identifiable information (PII) to mitigate any risks of financial crimes. Your KYC will also resolve any duplication errors.
  • Comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) law. Screen for AML to curb exposure to punitive fines and reputational damage.

Useful Customer Onboarding Software & Tools

So how can a business get the most out of its onboarding process? How can you launch or improve a product tutorial signup or welcome email activity fast? Here is a comprehensive list of some of the top software and tools to help your business create an effective customer onboarding journey.

AppCues

AppCues

AppCues helps guide your users through your product and has a sticky tooltips guide. Use it to create in-app alerts and a welcome page. This tool will segment your users, offering tooltips to users as per their exposure to your SaaS platform. 

In-line Manual

In-line Manual

In-line Manual is a tutorial and documentation product that places all your onboarding on one dashboard in minutes. It is a favorite of businesses such as Snapchat and UNICEF, allowing tooltips, interactive walkthroughs, and support articles. Use it to enhance onboarding through in-app messaging and attention-grabbing hotspots.

Intercom.io

intercom.io

Intercom is a comprehensive support platform that gives you insight into the activities on your platform. It has a powerful in-app and email messaging engagement system. Intercom allows you to segment your customers for messaging and has a useful slider-based pricing system.

Evergage (now Salesforce’s Interaction Studio)

Salesforce’s Interaction Studio

Evergage, which has been re-branded as “Interaction Studio” after being acquired by Salesforce, enables engagement by tracking customer behavior on your site. It will help you build a single view of your prospects to allow personalization. Some of its other features include demand operation, e-commerce optimization, and content publishing.

Userpilot

userpilot

Userpilot is code-free and triggers appropriate in-app processes as the right customer trickles down your funnel. Userpilot’s experience will blend with the user interface (UI) seamlessly. It allows A/B testing and personalizing of customer experiences. 

Chapter 6: How to Create a Successful Customer Onboarding Process with SweetProcess

SweetProcess

All set to build a conflict-free customer onboarding process for your B2B business? Do you want an approach that drives customers to their aha moment as fast as possible? If you’re going to kick off your relationship with your customers by delivering value, you need to document your process first.

Your team should go on a journey to discovery before they can launch your user onboarding creation procedure. Summing up and envisioning your firm’s customer onboarding process is a critical step, but one that is easy to execute poorly.

Process discovery is difficult for any business. The rates of failure are high because of faulty methodology and a lack of value perception. The establishment of a process is also at the mercy of inadequate tooling and insufficient resources.

The Challenge of Process Discovery and Creation

Most businesses kick off their onboarding strategy creation by setting up a stellar team of experts. The squad comprising the product development, marketing, and design teams will begin with enthusiasm and even make remarkable progress.

As the weeks rush by, the team will increasingly draw diagrams, review them, and manage tons of documents. They will need to keep on checking on inconsistencies, interdependencies, and reiterating the charts.

Inevitably, the team will lose the sense of the big picture. The wealth of documentation they have created will lead to confusion, and they will fail at drawing actionable conclusions. Unable to analyze conclusive insights, the team will find itself handicapped and unable to scale the onboarding process.

Other teams dedicated to customer onboarding process improvement will face unique challenges should they have a strategy in place. They, for instance, might have separate onboarding procedures for every business division that are of inferior quality and expensive to maintain. Such teams will need to discover all their processes and compare them to improve them. They will also need to turn them all into one best strategy. 

The customer onboarding process is also very dynamic. It cannot thrive in an unstructured and inflexible format because you will need to fine-tune it over time to make it as efficient as possible. If your teams cannot make even the most minor changes to your process, you will need to institute a complete overhaul of your strategy in a brief span. This is a very cost and time inefficient outcome.

The SweetProcess Advantage

SweetProcess is a process documentation tool that will help your team have a clear vision of your user onboarding process needs. Teamwork on SweetProcess will keep all documents and ideas in one location, aiding process discovery.

It is also a fantastic policy implementation tool. It will help your team master your craft and then refine and collaborate on process creation to enhance customer retention. The benefits of SweetProcess to the user onboarding process discovery and implementation include:

  • Identifying the root of your onboarding failures
  • Spotting any bottlenecks and weaknesses in your existing customer onboarding procedures
  • Establishing any interrelations of document components to prevent replication of processes
  • Connecting multiple processes from various teams or divisions to one standard process
  • Ensuring the effective implementation of procedures
  • Enhancing the creation of automated processes for SaaS businesses
  • Providing a private- or public-knowledge base for your employees
  • Enabling improvement of your customer onboarding process to enhance your firm’s customer lifetime value

SweetProcess will help the process manager in assigning actionable tasks to all team members from one easy-to-use interface. The management can also track the fulfillment of the tasks. This fantastic tool not only cuts down on document clutter and disorganization but also empowers collaboration amongst teams.

Any team member can suggest an improvement and make changes with the approval of the manager. SweetProcess also integrates with 1000+ other business platforms, including Zapier. To ensure your processes are easy to implement, SweetProcess will bring your customer onboarding process to life via process maps.

You can also embed videos and files to your process steps and use the tool’s image editor to refine your images and screenshots. Effective customer onboarding process creation involves a lot of real-time collaboration between your team members. Use SweetProcess’s live features to discover, improve, and compare your onboarding solutions and create a winning process.

Sign up for a free trial today (no credit card required).

Conclusion

There you have it. All the best tips, guides, and knowledge that you need to build a successful customer onboarding process. To get you started, we have a customer onboarding process design guide. 

Download “Six Steps to an Effective Customer Onboarding Program” below.

Customer Onboarding Program

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