Are you operating a business in a highly competitive market? To sail those shark-infested waters with ease, you need a strong customer base.
But that’s not all.
You also need to gain new customers while retaining your existing ones.
New customers + kicka$$ customer retention rates = recurring revenue AND a thriving business.
So, how do you do all that and a bag of addictive chips?
When fishing for new clients, businesses must go the extra mile to maintain customer engagement. Otherwise, your customers might decide to jump ship and turn to your competitors instead.
This is a major reason why creating a positive customer onboarding experience for new clients is of utmost importance.
First impressions last a lifetime. And a positive client onboarding experience marks the beginning of your potential long-term relationship with your clients.
A new customer success process can be difficult (but not impossible) to scale.
As much as the client onboarding process is crucial for long-term customer success, we have to admit that it can be difficult to scale.
Because delivering a consistently excellent customer onboarding process becomes more difficult as your customer base grows.
Client gets onboarded successfully. They are so freaking happy and they trust your customer success teams that they are gasp feeling comfortable enough to ask for more resources.
Sound familiar? It happens to all the good businesses.
Basically, an excellent customer onboarding process is a double-edged sword. It eliminates work-related headaches but it can also create more work for you. The good kind of work.
Plus on top of that, you have to continue with the usual work tasks and initial deliverables the client wanted from you.
How the start to a beautiful relationship often goes
Early on in client onboarding, your customers will be eager to test your product or service. This opens an opportunity for you to showcase to the client how your product works, what benefits they’ll get from using it, and what makes your product the much better decision over your competitors.
Your onboarding process must make an impact on your clients, as it is a strategic process that can directly impact customer success for long-term product adoption.
A successful client onboarding process makes each customer feel they are prioritized and getting the support that they need. This paints a picture of how dedicated your business is to their success with the use of your product.
In this piece, we’ll show you how to create robust customer onboarding software aimed at customer satisfaction and business growth.
So, keep calm and read on to discover the must-have tips and tools that will level up your client onboarding process.
What Is Customer Onboarding?
At its core, customer onboarding is the process of introducing your products and services to your clients. So, you perform activities to get new users acquainted and comfortable with what your company has to offer, including answering customer queries or concerns.
In other words, customer onboarding covers all activities from signing the contract to the checkout process.
An exceptional client onboarding process should include the following:
- Step-by-step tutorials on your product
- Guidance and support
- Solving customer queries
- Celebrations on every milestone your client achieves while using your product or service
Exactly why is the client onboarding process so crucial to expanding your customer base?
Well, because there’s a possibility that new users drop your products or services the moment if they don’t understand it or they suspect it won’t give them any value.
What Is Onboarding Software and Why Do You Need It?
A growing business means a growing customer base. With each new customer, you want to provide the best customer onboarding experience you possibly can.
However, consistency might become an issue when you have tens, hundreds, or even thousands of customers. This is where client onboarding software comes into place and can help you replicate and scale your process.
What is customer onboarding software?
Also referred to as customer onboarding software, these software packages provide you with tools and applications designed to help you:
#1. onboard customers
#2. Manage and utilize software implementations
The software is equipped with problem-solving skills and advanced features that can ease the customer journey and user adoption process.
In short, onboarding software does the bulk of the work for you when it comes to onboarding new customers.
Why do we need onboarding software?
As we mentioned before, providing new customers with a great experience during the onboarding process is a key factor in gaining and retaining long-term customers.
Ultimately, this can make or break your growth plan for your business.
When you have excellent onboarding software, you can achieve:
- Higher customer retention rates
- Lower churn rate
- Reduced support costs
The software will eliminate some of the pain points in your onboarding process, allowing you to provide a great customer experience.
How to Get Started with Client Onboarding Software
Good news! Customer onboarding software is readily available and not super expensive.
It’s similar to employee onboarding software in that most packages contain the features needed to ease your customer onboarding process. However, there’s a possibility that your onboarding team might have difficulty using your chosen onboarding software.
That’s the last thing you want.
So in this section, we’ll show you how to get started with client onboarding software in a way that doesn’t tempt your team members to hit the bottle every night.
In essence, customer onboarding software helps your customers learn about your products or services. The software shows the different key features of your product and how they can get the most value out of using it.
Customer education is also highlighted in using the different customer onboarding tools such as:
- A series of emails to welcome your customers
- In-app messaging for onboarding and ongoing training
- Product support and knowledge base
We highly encourage you to create onboarding content that emphasizes customer engagement.
- Step-by-step walkthroughs
- Product tours
- Tool tips
- Video tutorials
Such tools can help you with analyzing customer usage patterns with your software to collect feedback. You can use the feedback you collected to gain insight and create a better onboarding experience for future users.
Types of customer onboarding software
The purpose of using customer onboarding is to transform website visitors into loyal customers. This is the reason why onboarding software contains tools to help your new clients understand your product and improve customer journeys and adaptability.
There are various types of client onboarding software to choose from, all of which will create different customer experiences in the onboarding process.
One extremely effective way to increase engagement with your client onboarding software? Use an interactive guide.
This onboarding method allows your client to be an active participant during the entire onboarding process.
With interactive on-screen guidance, participation and interaction are topped out at 100 percent. And your customers will have a more memorable and fruitful learning experience.
Bottom line? An enjoyable learning experience makes this particular client onboarding method extremely effective.
Other than its effectiveness, an interactive guide is also a major time and money-saving device compared to the traditional onboarding process methods.
This is because it eliminates orientations and inductions which only take up your time and resources. With the interactive guide, you can create an opportunity for your clients to master the key features of your product to establish and achieve their goals asap.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Also known as LMS, these are web-based systems that automate client and employee training. LMS provides your clients with outstanding targeted training to enhance learning and development.
With LMS, you can gather all learning materials in one place and make them accessible to all individuals who will need them. This automates the learning process, from tracking to reporting, and makes learning for your clients possible from anywhere, on any device, anytime.
Also referred to as help center software, knowledge bases allow the organization, management, and sharing of content that you specifically created for your audience.
This serves as your repository of information about yourself — from your products and services, to your business as a whole.
A knowledge base contains helpful troubleshooting content, such as:
- How-to articles
- Video tutorials
- Onboarding documentation
Your product teams and your clients can use your handy-dandy knowledge base for guidance on how things work — without having to reach out to customer support and sales persons. It’s a win-win for everyone.
How To Choose the Right Software for Your Business
Choosing the right SaaS onboarding software goes beyond just the pricing information. You must consider other factors such as the offered products and services, your potential clients, and even all of the software features.
Here are some criteria you can use in determining the best customer onboarding software for your business.
Good customer onboarding software segments users
Segmenting users means dividing them into different groups according to certain common characteristics or behavior.
Basically, segmentation is used to create a better customer experience for the purpose of higher customer satisfaction scores.
Client onboarding software that can segment users can provide a better customer experience, as it will make your new users feel like their needs are seriously taken into consideration.
Without segmentation, you risk alienating your customer base by providing a generic onboarding experience for all user types.
Check whether your customer onboarding software has an automated tool for dividing users into segments before you take the plunge.
The right customer onboarding platform analyzes user behavior
One of the uses of the onboarding process is to analyze your users’ behavior to measure whether they have the potential to form a long-term relationship with your brand.
User behavior can also indicate the success of any new product or service you intend to introduce.
A client onboarding software package must have analytics features such as the A/B testing function for user behavior analysis.
The perfect onboarding software has genuine interactive walkthroughs
When creating product walkthroughs, you must remember that linear product tours or walkthroughs built out of tooltips are not the best way to onboard new customers. You should, instead, create a genuinely interactive walkthrough that’s responsive to every input made the customer makes.
For example, if your product is a social media scheduling tool, use your product tour to show users how to post social media messages before they first connect to their social media accounts.
The right SaaS onboarding software allows in-app communication
Let’s face it — many client onboarding software packages will spam the customer’s inbox with notifications, whether they be surveys or software updates. And we don’t like spam!
As much as we also don’t like to admit it, implementing a spammy piece of software risks making new users drop your products like hot potatoes.
Instead of engaging this kind of catastrophe, look for client onboarding software that allows you to communicate with your customers in-app.
You can opt for in-app messages or calls to keep communication with your customers all inside the app.
Excellent customer onboarding software is genuinely code-free
Many onboarding tools nowadays advertise themselves as code-free. However, once you’re able to build UI elements, these same tools then require you to use advanced CSS to create more sophisticated elements.
Ugh! Talk about a bait and switch. This is a total no-go as the tool does not deliver what it promised.
So, do your research and make sure the onboarding tools you choose don’t engage in obnoxious false advertising like this.
The Benefits of Using Onboarding Software
The best customer onboarding software specifically responds to the new user’s needs. You can use the onboarding software to utilize your existing data to personalize the user’s experience right from the get-go.
This way, you increase your revenue numbers and decrease costs at the same time. Below are some additional benefits of using client onboarding software.
Increases user adoption and retention rates
Did you know that 8 in 10 people have deleted an app because they did not know how to use it? Everyone’s busy and nobody’s got time for that.
This is a major reason why customer onboarding is critical in customer retention. The onboarding process basically teaches new users how to use your product and get the most value out of it. They want a quick-ish tutorial. Not a masters level dissertation.
So, you want to invest in customer onboarding software that will provide your users with the training and knowledge they need to master your product as quickly and efficiently as possible. This reduces your churn rates and widens your customer base.
Decreases support costs
With the use of customer onboarding tools such as walkthroughs, videos, and tooltips, your new users get the self-service support they need to understand your product’s features. This reduces their need to contact your customer support.
Additionally, client onboarding software allows your customer support team to focus on more complex issues. So, they can work more efficiently.
Increases customer conversion from a free trial to a paid plan
Whether we consider the tight competition in the market or not, our goal is to convert customers from trying the free trial to availing of a premium plan.
Most entrepreneurs find it difficult to convince free-trial customers to upgrade and spend their money. But an excellent customer onboarding process makes the upselling process much easier, more efficient, and sharpens your competitive edge.
A great customer onboarding platform will make your new users such big fans of your product they’ll have no choice but to get that premium package.
Tips for an Effective Customer Onboarding Process
Implementing the right customer onboarding platform makes it easier for customers to interact with the product at every stage of their customer journey.
Here are some tips you can keep in mind during the whole onboarding process.
- Determine your customers’ needs.
- Cut out unnecessary questions and split the registration process into stages to simplify it.
- Thank and welcome your customers for choosing your product or service.
- Assist users when they log in for the first time.
- Never stop customer support, whether it be automated or not.
- Use customer onboarding software. Obviously.
- Measure and analyze the results of your onboarding process through quantifiable metrics such as the number of visits, conversions, and bounce rates.
Best Tools for Your Client Onboarding Process
With the growing number of SaaS companies on the market, the number of customer onboarding software packages to choose from has also widened.
To help you decide which one is best to use, we listed the best customer onboarding software at every step of the onboarding process.
Stage 1: Signing a contract
The customer onboarding process starts the moment the customer signs the contract. Here are some of the best onboarding tools at this point in time.
Panda Doc allows you to easily create, manage, and e-sign all your documents with its digitized and centralized workflow platform. With its features, you can minimize inefficiencies and integrate your documents into emails and communications with only a few clicks.
Panda Doc offers a free trial and can be upgraded to the Essentials and Business plans for $19.00 and $49.00 per user per month.
Considered a smart document builder, Qwilr automates customer communications. Its immersive and interactive user interface allows you to create documents for maximizing conversions.
However, Qwilr is on the expensive side with pricing plans that start from $35.00 per user per month, going up to $590.00 monthly subscription for ten users.
With DocuSign, you can automate how you prepare, sign, manage, and act on agreements with clients and even suppliers.
DocuSign accelerates the process of doing business with its eSignature Agreement Cloud and reduces your need to do manual work. DocuSign also helps you track agreements easily and quickly, thereby boosting your customer satisfaction scores.
Pricing plans for DocuSign can go for as low as $10.00 per user per month and up to $25.00 per user per month. For Enhanced Plans, you may contact DocuSign for a quote.
Now known as Dropbox Sign, HelloSign allows you to securely sign and request signatures online. You can add your signature to any agreement, and it can still stay legally valid with HelloSign. Its user-friendly interface allows users to easily sign documents and integrate them.
Dropbox Sign offers a free trial and paid subscription plans starting from $15.00 per month.
Stage 2: Intake process to kick off the project
The intake process includes all activities that let you introduce your client to your business. This lets you get everything you need — from information to resources — so that the project will be successful.
The intake process is also the time when you can ask your client questions. Here are some forms you can use for this specific purpose.
Best used for interactive surveys, TypeForm is an online form builder that lets you create captivating forms. It has many tools that can help you with your form design and even how you will handle the data you’ve gathered.
TypeForm offers a free trial. Its paid plans start at $35 per month and can go up to $70 a month.
JotForm is a web/app-based tool that lets you create forms online without involving any coding. It saves your forms online and eliminates the hassle of downloading and installing software.
The online platform also allows you to perform complex tasks with ease, from designing the forms to creating the logic for them.
JotForm has four tier plans— Starter plan (free), Bronze ($24.00 per month), Silver ($29.00 per month), and Gold ($79.00 per month).
Considered the most famous type of form tool, Google Forms allow you to create and customize forms that are sharable through a web URL. Its user-friendly interface allows you to create forms, customize, and integrate them to analyze the data you’ve gathered.
Google Forms is completely free and available online.
The information you get from these forms is essential in creating a client brief and even onboarding workflows for your specific client to make the customer onboarding experience even better.
Tools to Create a Client Brief
Now that you’ve collected information from your client, you might think of how you can present them. Using a client brief is a useful way of presenting objectives as well as information regarding your client and the project.
Here are some of the best tools for creating a client brief.
The onboarding process is also considered the client discovery process. You get to know your clients the same time they are learning things about your company. This is why it is important that you streamline your onboarding process, including your creation of the client brief.
HolaBrief is a software that prides itself in this feature with its interactive exercises and strategy-based templates. Its features allow you to easily gather strategic information about your client in one place so that you can deliver in less time.
HolaBrief has both a free trial and a free version. However, if you want to take advantage of all its features, the software has a pricing plan starting at approximately $16.00 per user per month.
Most businesses provide services to other businesses as clients. In this scenario, you would ideally want software that specifically addresses the needs of your B2B customers.
Using Walnut.io would be a great tool for you in creating client briefs and overall project management. This codeless software allows you to fully customize, manage, and optimize your client briefs as well as product demos.
You can personalize your client briefs for your clients without failure with Walnut.io. Not only that, but the powerful briefs and demos you create can also help you improve your valuable insight collection.
Walnut.io does not offer a free trial or a free version. But you can visit their website for more information and a quotation.
Stage 3: Setting up an internal place for technology
After you’ve gathered all information from your clients and built your client brief, it’s always a great choice to set up an internal place for the technology you’re building.
This internal place can help you with getting approvals from the client and all involved parties, and deadline reminders. Here are some tools that you can use to set up your internal place for technology.
Getting must-have information from clients in a timely manner can be frustrating sometimes. They may respond to your requests weeks or months after you request them, which can cause significant project delays.
Prevention is better than a cure.
With Content Snare, you can have a smooth end-to-end process, which makes information gathering easier while you are in the onboarding process.
Additionally, you can also use this platform to get files and documents from your clients and stakeholders.
Content Snare has an easy-to-use interface, which allows your clients to send whatever you need in record time. Your clients can answer questions, upload their documents and files, as well as track their progress in a single app.
The software has a free trial and offers a flat rate of $29.00 per month.
If you’re a large, global enterprise handling complex content governance, having a platform that enables you to plan, create, and deliver great experiences is a must.
Kontent.ai is a platform that offers flexibility that allows you to work with AI, modern technologies, and even the framework of your choice. You can use this software to produce content easily, reuse them, and collaborate and approve in real time.
If you have a content-first approach to your onboarding process, Kontent.ai is the tool you need.
Kontent.ai has pricing models based on features. For a quotation, you can reach out to their team or visit their website.
Stage 4: Schedule your resources
Whether you’re scheduling client meetings or assigning tasks to your team, scheduling management is important in project management.
Here are your must-have schedule tools.
Calendly offers professional and efficient meetings scheduling with its elimination of back-and-forth emailing. This intuitive scheduling tool allows collaboration, enterprise-grade security, and compliance.
Calendly plans start at $8.00 per seat per month and can go as high as $16.00 per seat per month. A 30-seat plan would require you to contact them for a quote.
OnceHub prides itself in smart scheduling which connects your leads and prospects with the right individuals in your team.
You can add booking pages in no time and even share your availability to reduce scheduling delays. OnceHub also allows integration; you can connect your OnceHub account to various software such as GSuite, Outlook, Exchange, or even iCloud calendars.
OnceHub can be free. But its paid plans start at $10.00 per user per month.
Serving as your personal scheduling assistant, Acuity can help you with scheduling client meetings with ease. Your customers can view your real-time availability, making them able to choose the right time for a meeting.
To learn more about Acuity’s pricing plans, you can check out their website for a quote.
Stage 5: Communicate with your team and clients
Communication with clients does not stop after the contract signing. You have to keep in touch with them to make sure they’re satisfied with the product and address any concerns they might have.
So, here are some of our best picks for communication tools.
Zendesk allows you to communicate with your clients using a variety of channels, from emails, to chat, to even social messaging apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp. This tool can serve as your one-stop place for communication and interactions.
In short, Zendesk serves as your unified communication workspace.
Zendesk’s pricing plans can go as low as $19.00 per month per agent and can go up to $99.00 per month per agent. Note that Zendesk will bill you annually.
Serving as a single workspace for connection with people and tools, Slack provides real-time messaging through calls and chat.
The tool also lets you search all your files and conversations, as well as integrate with bots and apps such as Google Drive.
Slack has a free version you can use but its plans can go from $6.00 per active user per month to $12.50 per active user per month.
Just like Zendesk, Slack bills you annually for your plans. For more sophisticated versions, visit their website for a quote.
Client Onboarding Software: Next Steps
Streamlining your business operations, in particular, your client onboarding process, is a must for today’s competitive business climate. If you want to gain a substantial advantage over your top competitors, this is one key way to do it:
- The client onboarding process is crucial in determining whether a customer will continue to use your products and services or avail of a competitor’s.
- To create an excellent onboarding process, you need to use client onboarding software that is equipped with tools and features that can provide the customer with all information they need regarding your product or service.
- Customer onboarding software has three types that all possess tools to respond to a specific customer base’s needs and solve customer queries.
- Using client onboarding software will provide you with many benefits including higher adoption and customer retention rates, reduced support costs, and increased conversion rates.
- There are different client onboarding tools that can assist you at every stage of the client onboarding process.
How to make your customer onboarding process more engaging and memorable for your target audience?
Streamline your client onboarding process with our powerful and user-friendly client onboarding checklist. Enhance efficiency and improve customer experience with our customizable solution that you can download for FREE here.