10 Best Practices for SaaS Customer Onboarding

10 Best Practices for SaaS Customer Onboarding-feature image
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Reviewed By: Gaurav Tandon

“Smart companies have realized that Customer Loyalty is the most powerful sales and marketing tool that they have.” – Bill Price

In today’s ever evolving world of subscription based software, there’s one thing that’s certain is that the true power is in the hands of customers. SaaS customer onboarding refers to the very first experience any user can have with your product.

For that matter, have you ever downloaded an app, didn’t understand how to use it, got confused and immediately uninstalled it? Well, this is because the SaaS onboarding process for this app failed miserably.

Well, if you think about it, your customer has gone through a series of steps that includes researching about your software, going to your website, navigating through the checkout process, and finally making the decision of downloading your app. Now that they have decided to use your product, do you really want to lose it to a not-so-good onboarding process? Absolutely not!

Well, to take your SaaS onboarding to a new level altogether, we are going to discuss in detail what SaaS onboarding exactly is, its importance, and the best practices for SaaS onboarding process!

saas customer onboarding banner image

What is Customer Onboarding?

SaaS customer onboarding is the process of helping your new users get familiar with your SaaS product. The complete onboarding process helps new users’ transition from beginners to regular users of the product by helping them understand how your product is going to help them achieve their goal.

The best SaaS user onboarding experience includes a mix of several useful elements that guides a user through using your product right from the time they sign up.

The Importance of SaaS Customer Onboarding

A great SaaS onboarding experience is a crucial factor in determining whether your customer will become a regular user of your product or not. Well, a smooth onboarding process not just includes providing a good first experience but also turning first-time customers into loyal users of your product.

Do you know that approximately 62% of customers would stop using a particular product if they didn’t understand how to use it or didn’t derive much value? This data is enough to point out the need for the right customer onboarding process in SaaS!

Quick Tip: When there are a number of SaaS companies, your SaaS onboarding software process must be excellent in order to achieve maximum engagement from the new users.

SaaS Onboarding Checklist

saas product onboarding

Here is an outline of a smooth SaaS onboarding process!

Step 1: A simple sign-up process

First thing first, you need to streamline the sign-up process to be as convenient as possible. If you get this right at the first step, you’re on the right path to ensure that your target audience doesn’t lose interest in your offering.

Keyways to ensure smooth signups for SaaS:

  • Allow customers to sign up using Google account or social media to save time
  • Try to keep the sign-up form simple
  • Skip asking for credit card information if it isn’t necessary

Step 2: Send standout welcome emails

Welcoming customers after a sign up is among the best practices for a smooth SaaS onboarding experience. A good welcome email is your opportunity to directly interact with your customers. Hence, try to make your email copy as personalized as possible while ensuring that it aligns with your brand’s tone.

Step 3: Include an in-app message

Greet your users with a message as soon as they log in to your app. In-app messaging should ideally be contextual and should pop up when a user performs a certain action. However, remember that the messages should be crisp and short.

Step 4: Pick the right onboarding model

There are several models you can pick depending on the kind of product your company sells. Self service onboarding, low touch onboarding and high touch onboarding are the three types of onboarding model.

Step 5: Measure and improve

Optimizing your onboarding flow is a continuous process and an important part of your creation strategy. Track analytics reports, talk to customers and send out surveys on a regular basis to find loopholes, if any, and make onboarding improvements.

Best SaaS Customer Onboarding Practices

enterprise saas onboarding

Here is a quick overview of SaaS onboarding best practices to reduce the customer churn rate for your business!

  • Onboard customers with live chat feature
  • Try to know your customers for a personalized onboarding journey
  • Provide interactive and informative onboarding content
  • Keep onboarding simple and communications open
  • Contextual user onboarding for the best experience
  1. Streamline onboarding with 24*7 live chat services

For an effective onboarding process, the live chat feature is an ideal solution. This is because customers need constant guidance from the time, they sign up on any SaaS platform. While it is not humanly possible to be available 24*7, the live chat functionality can certainly work well in this area. Moreover, in today’s digital era, customers expect prompt solutions and thus live chat as part of an onboarding strategy is crucial.

Benefits of 24*7 live chat services:

  • Efficient communication in real-time
  • Personalized service
  • Better customer retention
  • Round the clock support
  1. Create a personalized onboarding journey

Personalization is a surefire way to increase engagement, and engaged customers are more likely to spend more time with your product. While it is evident that all your customers won’t be using your product in the same manner, it is important to understand every user’s expectation so that you can direct them to a walkthrough or set up tutorials accordingly.

For personalizing your SaaS user onboarding, you need to consider factors like the number of users, personal or official use, and the duration of use. Consideration of these factors will make the process more relevant, engaging and effective.

  1. Provide interactive and informative onboarding content

‘Do you know that approximately 91% of people tend to watch a video to understand the product better!’

A good SaaS user onboarding process should be informative and interactive. Imagine your customer has downloaded your SaaS solution and are excited to know what it has in store for him/her, but they get stuck on the home screen itself. Without any assistance, they are most certain to delete the app.

See, it is your job as a company to assist users in understanding your product/service.

How to make the onboarding process informative and interactive?

  • Capture and react to user actions
  • Create useful How-to videos and informative blogs
  • Conduct virtual tours as a part of SaaS onboarding process
  1. Keep the communications open

The primary goal of any onboarding process is to ensure your customers use your products on an ongoing basis. Hence, optimizing your onboarding flow should be a consistent process. Much to your surprise, there will always be improvements in the process.

How to improve communication with SaaS customers?

  • Talk to your customers directly or send out surveys
  • Develop a continuous feedback process
  1. Contextual user onboarding

It is no secret that the best SaaS onboarding experiences are contextual. This means that your onboarding flow should be in coordination with what your user is currently engaged with inside the product. In simple words, contextual onboarding ensures you show relevant message to the right user at the correct time.

Benefits of contextual onboarding:

  • Enable users to start using the product quickly
  • Provides actual personalization to elevate the brand
  • Great approach to familiarize users with your app

Top Examples of Great SaaS Customer Onboarding Experiences

While you can look at hundreds of examples of SaaS customer onboarding experiences to get experience, we have highlighted the two best ones for you in this section:

  • Zapier

Zapier

Zapier software boasts comprehensive onboarding experience for new employees. Popular for its remote work environment, this SaaS company is a winner at automated workflows. Their onboarding process is designed in a way to keep employees engaged during the process.

To help ease newcomers in the workplace, Zapier ensures that employees spend their first week getting familiar with the work environment. This includes knowing their teams, learning tools etc. By week two, they are ready to pick small tasks. While once week three begins, they start collaborating with teams on different work projects.

  • Slack

slack instant messaging app

Slack instant messaging app has become increasingly popular in recent times. Like, it simplifies communication, and its onboarding is equally user-friendly.

Slack has its own onboarding tool called Slackbot that helps share useful videos/tips for using the software. It provides interactive tips for successfully using the platform. To make new hires comfortable, they give them a warm welcome and share relevant links and documents that can guide them during their initial days in the office.

Slack even set reminders for once a day for the first week at work. This way, employees are not burdened with a lot of paperwork on the first day, all at once.

Please note: Each onboarding experience differs from one another. So, what might work for some may not be applicable for you. Hence, it is crucial to create strategy keeping in mind your product/services and your ideal target audience!

Key Takeaway

“Companies that excel at customer experience tend to have 1.5 times more engaged employees than their counterparts.”

Always keep in mind that if your customer doesn’t see its benefits or experience slow load time, they will eventually uninstall your app. Hence, it is important to have a good customer onboarding process in place.

FAQs

  1. How do I onboard a new client for SaaS product?

    Creating a customer welcome series, selecting the right onboarding model and regular testing and improving your onboarding process are the most important part of an effective customer onboarding process for SaaS products.

  2. How can SaaS companies improve onboarding experience?

    A few simple ways that SaaS companies can follow to improve onboarding experience are providing tutorials, investing in a great first impression through knowledge resources, using data driven insights, to name a few.

  3. Why is SaaS onboarding important?

    The right SaaS onboarding company not only makes an ideal first impression but also helps save companies time and build a smarter customer.

  4. What is client onboarding checklist?

    Client onboarding checklist includes sending welcome/onboarding documents, collecting important client data, maintaining internal consistent communication, and outlining tools and technology.

  5. What are the best practices for client onboarding?

    Some good practices for effective customer onboarding include creating a clear road map, understanding customers’ needs, automating repetitive processes and following up after onboarding.

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