Customer Onboarding Process (How to Welcome Your Customers?)

By Femto15 Team - May 21, 2020

In a previous article, we talked about customer churn reasons, and we put poor onboarding at the top of the list. In this article, we will tell you how to create an onboarding process that reduces churn and CAC, and also increases customer lifetime value.

The importance of customer onboarding for SaaS

"First impressions last"

That's very true when it comes to any business, whether it's a SaaS or not. Since customers get convinced to buy your service, they do understand its value. But if you couldn't deliver that value at first, if they couldn't get what they want from your business, they will be from the early stage churn.

That's why creating an effective onboarding process is a cornerstone of your customer success strategy. It's your first opportunity to help the customer achieve the goals he/she signed up for. If you missed that chance to engage your customers, you may lose them in the first month.

Why would your customers get lost?

  • They aren't familiar with your product yet. They don't know all the features you provide and how to use them to reach their goals.
  • The software may be complicated due to poor user experience.
  • The friction prevents lots of people from converting to further steps in your system.
  • They may be just lazy and need a push :)

When customers first sign up, they want to get immediate value, a little win to make them feel their money didn't go for waste. That's why you should welcome them with big hands.

What's the purpose of the customer onboarding process?

Designing the onboarding process is part of your overall UX design and your customer success strategy because the onboarding is the initial part of the customer's experience with your product and it's the first step towards achieving your customer's goals.

So, the purpose of the onboarding process is to break the ice and let the user try your product and gain some value as soon as possible. It's also the best way to engage your customers and convert them into loyal ones.

How to create a proper onboarding flow?

When customers start their journey with you, they will need a map that shows the different routes and a companion who takes their hands to their desired destination.

The map is all the materials you provide to your customers to help them understand your service; such as knowledge bases and product tutorials.

The partner is your customer support or customer success reps who should communicate with the customer especially at the beginning to assure they are on the right way.

So, basically, you need to set up the map and offer your hand!

Set up the map

Here you design the route signs your customers should get through while targeting their defined goal. Thus, you need to define what would the customer need to know at each milestone and how to provide this knowledge or help.

Here are some actions that customers may take at the early stage:

  1. Sign up
  2. Log in to the app and start exploring it
  3. Follow the CTAs into your emails or product

You should also take into consideration active and inactive customers. Because the way you deal with each one is different.

Here are the main signs!

Signup form

The signup form is a part of the overall signup flow which should be created to reduce friction and pave the way for further interactions. It should only include required fields that are necessary to complete the registration step.

Welcome email

The welcome email may include an introduction video, a CTA that leads the customers to the next steps, set-up flow, or just a thank you message.

Create the best actions

Create CTA that leads your customers to the important parts in your product, it can be the home page, the settings page, or any page.

The first use

The first visit to your app is a great opportunity to let the user try using the features practically with inside guides such as filling empty states and instructional overlay.

Create a knowledge base

Creating a knowledge base that includes any educating material such as tutorials, how-to guides, videos, FAQs, blogs, etc. This knowledge base is an essential part of serving and educating your customers.

Educational emails

You need to keep sending educational emails until you are sure they are familiar with your product and go on without a guide. But you need to keep supporting them from now to then.

Celebrate small wins

Praise your customers after each step they take towards success.

Offer your hand

At certain stages of your process, you will need to perform human interaction with the customer. That's important to establish a personal relationship with the customer and push them if they got stuck.

Check up calls

Who should call? & When to call?

By tracking lots of onboarding cases and measuring certain metrics, you will have an idea about the most obstacles that face your customers and when they arise. Hence, you can offer your help at the right time (and of course in the right way).

Also segmenting your customers using some information at the early stage helps you speak to each one with what fits him/her the most. For example, segmentation by the goal they want to achieve using your product or by the features they did/didn't try.

Final words

This article is just an overview of what to do on your onboarding process. In future articles, we will illustrate all the ideas mentioned here to know exactly the how-to of each point.