In a world of instant gratification, showing value early on is crucial for a lasting customer relationship. That’s where customer onboarding comes into play. Helping customers understand the potential of your solution is vital because it’s the only way to convince them that you can meet their expectations.
But setting up an effective customer onboarding process is more than just a one-and-done thing. Growth-focused SaaS companies are notorious for making customer onboarding updates, forcing everyone else to play catch-up.
To help you navigate the ever-evolving customer journey, we share the latest onboarding trends and examples from leading SaaS businesses. These trends will also make it easier for your team to define the most important customer onboarding metrics to track. Let’s dive in.
Creating a delightful customer experience is imperative in today’s business landscape. According to Salesforce, 88% of customers say a company’s experience is as important as its product or services.
The onboarding process is the first taste of the experience customers can expect from a company, which is why it’s vital. For nearly two-thirds (63%) of customers, the onboarding they’re likely to receive post-sale is critical in whether they decide to continue using your product.
Unfortunately, in most cases, companies don’t meet customers’ expectations. Data from Wyzowl shows that over 90% of customers feel that the companies they buy from ‘could do better’ when onboarding new users. These sobering statistics should be a wake-up call for all companies putting the onboarding process on the back burner.
The big question is: Why is customer onboarding so important?
According to Precursive, companies that have established a repeatable customer onboarding process report higher customer satisfaction with the onboarding experience. Moreover, bad onboarding is the third most important reason for customer attrition.
The customer onboarding journey is complex and requires a lot of planning and optimization. However, the benefits you get make it worthwhile. Here’s a high-level overview of the most essential benefits of onboarding your customers:
The fierce competition among businesses has raised the bar, so keeping up with customers’ expectations is harder than ever. Customers today are no longer just comparing you to your competitors but rather to the best experience they’ve ever had. The only way to remain relevant is to optimize customer onboarding and stay on top of trends.
Businesses constantly seek ways to create a consistent and seamless onboarding experience. Here’s where automation comes in handy. Automating standard onboarding steps can help you save time and resources, allowing you to focus on other critical aspects of the process.
You can simplify the process of getting started by automating interactive walk-throughs, video guides, customer education, and step-by-step checklists. However, finding the right balance between automation and a human touch is important.
While you can leave repetitive tasks on autopilot, don’t forget that customers also value having human support and interaction. Analyze insights to spot repetitive processes that help improve time-to-value.
Loom uses step-by-step customer onboarding checklists to help customers get started with the tool. This way, Loom automates the onboarding and allows customers to go through the steps necessary for using the tool to its full potential.
Personalization is no longer nice to have—it’s a must. Data from McKinsey shows that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. And 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Yet companies are still grappling with personalization.
According to Gartner, 63% of digital marketing leaders struggle with delivering personalized experiences to their customers.
Using personalization during onboarding gives you insights into customer preferences. You can use this knowledge to engage users, create deeper relationships, and increase retention rates. The goal is to tap into user motivation and deliver a more relevant experience.
Notion starts its onboarding process by asking customers how they plan to use the tool with additional questions about their work and role to personalize the onboarding experience.
The customer journey has evolved. Users switch between multiple channels when interacting with a brand and want a unified experience across touchpoints. As reported by Retail Touchpoints, 90% of customers expect a seamless omnichannel experience from brands.
The same is true for your customer onboarding experience. Limiting users to a single channel can create frustration. Your job is to create a top-notch experience and meet customers wherever they are throughout the onboarding process.
Miro guides customers through its onboarding process no matter what channel they use. The interactive walk-throughs empower customers to use the tool, whether they sign up using the desktop version or the mobile app.
Removing friction points during the sign-up experience will result in more logins on your platform and, ultimately, higher customer satisfaction. Businesses today invest a lot of time optimizing the sign-up process.
Offering multiple ways for customers to sign up, such as using their Google and Facebook accounts, providing new password recovery options, and decluttering your sign-up form are just some steps that can simplify your sign-up experience.
Trello gives customers a myriad of options when signing up. Whether customers want to use their email or sign up with Google, Microsoft, or Apple, they can easily create a Trello account.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the way companies do business. Tech-savvy brands are already building smart experiences leveraging the power of AI. With AI solutions, your products and services are more accessible and easier for your customers.
Incorporating AI in your customer onboarding process, such as chatbot, data analysis, and predictive modeling, can enhance the experience and reduce customer dropouts. The potential AI holds is yet to be explored. However, being aware of the latest trends is essential for staying ahead of the wave.
Demio simplifies onboarding by allowing customers to join a webinar to explore different features, such as sharing slides and managing the chat box. Besides this lifelike experience, customers can also ask the chatbot questions or talk to a customer support representative.
The modern customer is flooded with information every day. As a result, the first impression you create is crucial for the success of your onboarding process. If you want to capture customers’ attention, you must create an engaging experience that keeps them involved all the time.
From the moment customers click the signup button, it’s up to you to get them through all the necessary steps and reassure them that they’ve made the right decision.
Grammarly has tailored a very thoughtful onboarding process. Besides offering customers a step-by-step onboarding checklist, the AI-powered digital writing assistant has a demo document, allowing them to learn by doing.
Businesses finally realize the power of following up for successful onboarding. Whether your customers signed up for a free trial that expired or didn’t finish the onboarding process, following up is a crucial step for re-engaging them.
Following up is not just the last step of onboarding. Checking up with customers to share tips, examples, and best practices should be a regular part of the onboarding journey.
After the 14-day free trial period, Squarespace reminds customers why they signed up in the first place and offers them a discount to get them to the next step.
The competition in the SaaS space is cutthroat, and every nuance in the experience makes a huge difference. Whether you already have a solid customer onboarding process or are just getting started, the trends and best practices in this article will help you take your business to the next level.
Adopting the latest customer onboarding trends is a surefire way to turn customers into lifelong brand advocates. Are you ready to engage customers and futureproof your onboarding experience? Try Touchpoint today.
Kaleigh Moore is a contributor for Forbes covering retail, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer business with a focus on the fashion, beauty and luxury verticals. A full-time freelance writer and consultant, Kaleigh’s work has appeared in Vogue Business, Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, and others.
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