Customer onboarding – Process and examples

Customer Onboarding

In the past, businesses had to use printed brochures or flyers to educate customers about their products and services. Nowadays, customers are more informed than ever before. In fact, 81% of consumers now search for company information online before buying a product or service from a business. Customers expect an engaging experience that helps them get started on the right foot with your brand as soon as they finish signing up with you.

Onboarding is the process through which new users become accustomed to your product or service and its features so they can start getting value out of it sooner rather than later. If you don’t have an onboarding process in place, then you’re essentially throwing away opportunities to keep your customers engaged and coming back time and time again.

Customer onboarding is an essential process in the life of your customer. It’s a process that sets the tone for your entire customer relationship, so it’s important to get it right. A lot of companies struggle with onboarding their customers, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s just a matter of having the right strategy and putting in the work to make it happen.

To onboard your customers effectively, you need to first understand why you’re doing it and then create a plan for how you will do it. This blog post will give you some excellent ideas, methods, and examples so that you know the importance of onboarding and using effective onboarding UX strategies

What is customer onboarding?

The best way to describe customer onboarding is to think of it as an experience designed to get your customers up and running as quickly as possible. It’s the first experience of your product or service that your customer will have. How they navigate your product during this experience will largely determine their success with it in the long term. For example, if you’re running a SaaS business, then your onboarding process will likely involve guiding your customers through the signup process.

Why is customer onboarding important?

Onboarding is important because it helps you to establish a rapport with your new client. It also gives you a chance to show them how your business works and what’s expected from them during their next engagement with you. Onboarding can also include doing things like sending a welcome email and making sure your team knows how to work with your new client.

Customers who don’t feel comfortable using your product will quickly churn out. Onboarding is a great chance for you to turn new customers into long-lasting users. You can increase your customer retention rate by up to 25% just by improving your onboarding process. One key part of onboarding is identity verification, and your customers’ onboarding experience will also affect your company’s conversion rates.

If customers aren’t aware of the value proposition that your product offers, then they won’t stick around long enough to find out. Customers who have a positive experience during the onboarding process will also be more inclined to refer your brand to their peers. And that’s not all. Improving your onboarding process will also make it easier for your sales and support teams to close more deals.

Benefits of customer onboarding

Customer onboarding isn’t just a procedural step; it’s a strategic move with numerous benefits for both businesses and their users. Here’s why investing time and effort into a robust customer onboarding process can pay off:

  1. Enhanced customer experience: A well-designed onboarding process ensures that customers feel welcomed and supported from the moment they engage with your brand. This positive experience sets the stage for long-term satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Faster time to value: By guiding customers through the initial steps of using your product or service, onboarding accelerates their journey to realizing its benefits. This means they start deriving value sooner, increasing the likelihood of retention and advocacy.
  3. Reduced churn rates: Effective onboarding reduces the likelihood of customers feeling overwhelmed or confused, which can lead to early churn. By addressing user concerns and providing clear guidance, businesses can mitigate churn and maximize customer lifetime value.
  4. Increased product adoption: Onboarding isn’t just about getting customers started; it’s also about ensuring they understand and use the full range of features and capabilities your offering provides. A comprehensive onboarding process encourages deeper product adoption and exploration.
  5. Insight into user behaviour: During the onboarding process, businesses have an opportunity to gather valuable data on how customers interact with their product or service. This insight can inform future product iterations, marketing strategies, and customer support initiatives.
  6. Building trust and credibility: Transparent and helpful onboarding builds trust with customers by demonstrating your commitment to their success. When customers feel supported and guided, they are more likely to perceive your brand as credible and reliable.
  7. Opportunities for upselling and cross-selling: The onboarding phase presents an ideal opportunity to introduce customers to additional products or services that complement their initial purchase. By showcasing value-added offerings early on, businesses can increase revenue potential.
  8. Improved customer satisfaction: Ultimately, a smooth and seamless onboarding experience leads to higher levels of customer satisfaction. When customers feel confident in their ability to use your product or service, they are more likely to become advocates and recommend your brand to others.

By recognizing and capitalizing on these benefits, businesses can transform customer onboarding from a mere formality into a strategic advantage that drives growth and fosters long-term relationships.

The customer onboarding process

The process of bringing a new customer into the fold can be broken down into five key stages, with each one playing an important role in ensuring a smooth onboarding experience. To successfully onboard new customer, the first stage of the process involves acquiring new customers. The second involves retaining these customers. The third involves keeping these customers happy.

The fourth involves increasing the lifetime value of each customer. Fifth, you must maintain a sustainable customer onboarding process. If a company wants its customers to stick around, they need to make sure that the process is smooth and hassle-free. The best way to do this is to follow a structured and step-by-step process.

This process usually begins when a customer signs up for your product or service but does not end there. You want your new users to have an immediate positive experience that makes them excited about the product, which helps them to become loyal customers.

How to speed up the customer onboarding process?

Efficiency is key when it comes to customer onboarding. Here are some strategies to streamline the process and get customers up and running with your product or service quickly:

  1. Automate routine tasks: Identify repetitive tasks within the onboarding process and automate them where possible. Adopts tools such as email automation, chatbots, and self-service portals to handle common inquiries and administrative tasks, freeing up time for more personalized interactions.
  2. Simplify registration and setup: Minimize friction during the signup and setup process by reducing the number of required fields and steps. Implement single sign-on options, social media login integration, or pre-filled forms to expedite registration and account creation.
  3. Provide clear guidance and resources: Create intuitive user guides, tutorials, and instructional videos to help customers navigate your product or service independently. Proactively share these resources during the onboarding process to empower customers to troubleshoot issues and explore features on their own.
  4. Offer personalized assistance: While self-service options are valuable, personalized assistance can be invaluable, especially for complex products or services. Assign dedicated onboarding specialists or customer success managers to guide customers through the onboarding journey, answer questions, and address concerns in real-time.
  5. Adopt progressive profiling: Instead of overwhelming customers with a lengthy onboarding questionnaire upfront, implement progressive profiling techniques to gather information gradually over time. Start with essential details and progressively collect additional data as customers interact with your product or service.
  6. Implement in-app guidance and onboarding flows: Leverage in-app guides, tooltips, and interactive tutorials to provide contextual assistance within your product or service interface. Design onboarding flows that gently onboard users to key features and functionalities, allowing them to learn by doing.
  7. Optimize communication channels: Choose communication channels that align with your customers’ preferences and habits. Offer multiple channels such as email, live chat, phone support, and in-app messaging to accommodate different communication styles and accessibility needs.
  8. Collect feedback and iterate: Continuously gather feedback from customers throughout the onboarding process to identify pain points, areas for improvement, and opportunities for optimization. Use this feedback to iterate on your onboarding strategy and refine the process over time.

By implementing these strategies, businesses can expedite the onboarding journey, reduce time-to-value for customers, and foster stronger relationships built on trust, satisfaction, and mutual success.

Customer onboarding flowchart

There are many ways to onboard new clients, but the most important thing is to create a system. Otherwise, you could end up with a client who is left hanging and feeling lost. This happens when your new clients don’t know where to begin or when your agency processes are not set up correctly. Once you have a system in place, you can now start the client onboarding process.

It can take a few different forms, but the end goal is to make sure that your new clients are comfortable and know what to do next. The most common type of client onboarding process is a flowchart. It’s a simple, visual way of showing a client what to do next during an onboarding process.

A flow chart can be a helpful way to map out your onboarding process so that you can see all the steps and make sure that they are providing value for your customers. This will help to ensure that your new customers have a positive experience from the beginning and that they have all the information they need to get value from your product as quickly as possible. It’s important to have a well-thought-out onboarding process for new customers.

The best onboarding flows are designed to be quick, frictionless, and helpful. They guide new users through your product, teach them how to get value out of it, and give them a reason to come back.

When does customer onboarding begin?

When you think of onboarding, you might think of that first call or email between a sales rep and a new customer. However, the real onboarding process begins before that first interaction.

It starts the moment you sign up for a product or service. By onboarding your customers throughout the entire journey, you can retain more of them, avoid negative experiences, and build stronger relationships. The best time to start onboarding your customers is as soon as you can.

Signing up for your product or service is the first step of onboarding. Setting up your account is the next step, and it’s important to make this as painless as possible. Providing a quick guide or a video with voiceover is a good idea. Providing a feedback form or a survey at the end of the onboarding process is also helpful for gathering feedback and creating future content.

Customer onboarding strategies

Effective customer onboarding is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It requires a tailored strategy that aligns with the unique needs and preferences of your target audience. Here are some proven customer onboarding strategies to consider:

  1. Personalized onboarding paths:
    • Segment customers based on their needs, preferences, and behaviour to deliver personalized onboarding experiences.
    • Customize onboarding paths and resources to address specific pain points and objectives for different customer segments.
  2. Interactive onboarding experiences:
    • Engage customers with interactive tutorials, walkthroughs, and product demos to facilitate hands-on learning and exploration.
    • Incorporate gamification elements such as quizzes, challenges, and progress trackers to make the onboarding process more engaging and enjoyable.
  3. Progressive onboarding:
    • Break down the onboarding journey into manageable steps and gradually introduce more advanced features and functionalities over time.
    • Use progressive profiling techniques to collect additional customer data and preferences as they interact with your product or service.
  4. Automated onboarding workflows:
    • Implement automated email sequences, in-app messages, and push notifications to guide customers through the onboarding process.
    • Use triggers and user behaviour data to deliver timely and relevant onboarding messages and reminders.
  5. Self-service resources:
    • Provide comprehensive self-service resources such as knowledge bases, FAQs, and community forums to empower customers to find answers and solutions independently.
    • Curate user-generated content and best practices to supplement official documentation and support materials.
  6. Proactive customer support:
    • Anticipate common challenges and questions that customers may encounter during onboarding and proactively address them through proactive customer support initiatives.
    • Offer live chat support, personalized onboarding consultations, and dedicated customer success managers to provide personalized assistance and guidance.
  7. Continuous optimization and iteration:
    • Regularly monitor key metrics and feedback to identify bottlenecks, pain points, and areas for improvement in the onboarding process.
    • Experiment with different onboarding tactics, messaging strategies, and user interfaces to optimize conversion rates and enhance the overall onboarding experience.
  8. Social proof and testimonials:
    • Leverage social proof and customer testimonials to build trust and credibility during the onboarding process.
    • Showcase success stories, case studies, and user testimonials to demonstrate the value and benefits of your product or service.

By implementing these customer onboarding strategies, businesses can create seamless and engaging experiences that set customers up for success from the very beginning of their journey.

Customer onboarding examples

A customer onboarding process typically includes creating an account, verifying the customer’s identity, and providing the customer with access to the product or service. Another way is providing a knowledge base, which is a self-serve customer service library that includes information about the product, service, or topic that helps customers find answers so they can solve problems on their own.

Other common examples of customer onboarding processes can include the following:

  • Welcoming the customer, via call, email or letter with onboarding content for new customers
  • Explaining the product
  • Giving the customer a product tour
  • Providing customer support and helping them get started
  • Offering discounts or incentives-
  • An FAQ section
  • A customer success story
  • Checking in with the customer
  • Signing up for your product or service
  • Setting up the account and profile(s)
  • Giving feedback and surveys
  • Creating and closing a support ticket
  • Sending out welcome kits to new customers
  • Setting up user onboarding calls for new customers
  • Providing onboarding guides for new customers
  • Creating welcome videos for new customers
  • Creating welcome social media posts for new customers
  • Setting up welcome chatbot messages for new customers
  • Reporting a problem or
  • Requesting a feature
  • Downloading a resource
  • Signing up for a newsletter

Cost of customer onboarding

The cost of customer onboarding can vary significantly depending on various factors inherent to the process. From personnel expenses to technology investments, each element contributes to the overall expenditure. Understanding these diverse factors is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions about resource allocation and optimize their onboarding strategies for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. Let’s delve into the various components that influence the cost of customer onboarding.

  • Personnel expenses:
    • Salaries and benefits for onboarding specialists, customer success managers, and support staff.
    • Training costs for personnel involved in onboarding activities.
  • Technology and tools:
    • Investment in onboarding software, identity verification solutions, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, and automation tools.
    • Subscription fees for third-party services used in the onboarding process, such as email marketing platforms or customer support software.
  • Content creation:
    • Costs associated with creating onboarding materials, including user guides, tutorials, videos, and interactive demos.
    • Fees for hiring content creators, designers, or agencies to develop engaging onboarding content.
  • Infrastructure and resources:
    • Expenses related to hosting onboarding webinars, workshops, or training sessions.
    • Costs for maintaining onboarding environments, such as demo accounts or sandbox environments for testing purposes.
  • Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC):
    • Portion of marketing and advertising expenses allocated to attracting new customers.
    • Costs associated with lead generation activities and campaigns aimed at driving sign-ups or conversions.
  • Opportunity costs:
    • Time and resources diverted from other revenue-generating activities to focus on customer onboarding.
    • Potential revenue lost due to delays in onboarding or inefficient processes that result in customer churn.
  • Feedback and iteration:
    • Costs associated with collecting and analyzing customer feedback throughout the onboarding journey.
    • Expenses for implementing changes and improvements based on customer insights and suggestions.
  • Compliance and security:
    • Investment in ensuring regulatory compliance and data security standards during the onboarding process.
    • Costs associated with implementing identity verification, data encryption, and other security measures to protect customer information.
  • Scaling and growth:
    • Additional costs incurred as the customer base expands and onboarding requirements scale accordingly.
    • Investments in infrastructure, personnel, and technology to accommodate growth and maintain quality of service.

Understanding these cost factors enables businesses to make informed decisions about resource allocation, optimize their onboarding processes, and maximize the return on investment in customer acquisition and retention efforts.

How to improve a customer onboarding process

Onboarding is the process by which new customers integrate your product into their daily lives. This can be complex for certain businesses, so the best way to improve onboarding is to make it easier for new customers to set up their accounts and start using your product to embark on a satisfactory customer journey. This can be achieved by having a remote customer onboarding to make it as smooth as possible for your new customers

You can ensure that the onboarding process is as short and as simple as possible by providing a brief overview of the product’s features and setting up a customer success team to focus on making happy customers. Make sure that it is easy to sign up and set up. Show new customers how the product can help them solve their problems and you will ensure a lasting customer lifetime. Overall this will lead to a lower customer churn rate. All these processes can be completed remotely, we will focus on remote customer onboarding in another blog post.

When it comes to the customer onboarding process, Know Your Customer (KYC) is a key aspect and the goal is to make the experience as seamless as possible for the new customers. Trust is a big aspect of that experience; therefore, you’d need a smooth and trustworthy verification and authentication process during customer onboarding. One that allows them to trust you and build confidence as they trust that you will ensure that their data and assets are safe with you.

When you think of the best possible customer onboarding experience, you might picture a brand that offers an experience tailored to an individual’s needs. You might be surprised to learn that creating a tailored experience for every customer is also the best way to improve a company’s onboarding process. We will cover the concept of tailored onboarding in another post, but the easiest way to improve your onboarding process is to make it simpler and as a result, customer service will significantly improve.

Customer onboarding FAQs

FAQ – Customer Onboarding
What is customer onboarding?
Customer onboarding is the process through which new users become accustomed to your product or service and its features so they can start getting value out of it sooner rather than later. It sets the tone for the entire customer relationship and involves guiding customers through the initial steps of using your offering.
Why is customer onboarding important?
Customer onboarding is important because it establishes a rapport with new clients, demonstrates how your business works, and sets expectations for future engagements. It increases customer retention rates, enhances conversion rates, and boosts customer satisfaction.
What are the benefits of customer onboarding?
– Enhanced customer experience
– Faster time to value
– Reduced churn rates
– Increased product adoption
– Insight into user behaviour
– Building trust and credibility
– Opportunities for upselling and cross-selling
– Improved customer satisfaction
How does the cost of customer onboarding vary?
The cost of customer onboarding can vary due to factors such as personnel expenses, technology and tools, content creation, infrastructure and resources, customer acquisition costs (CAC), opportunity costs, feedback and iteration, compliance and security, and scaling and growth.
How can I speed up the customer onboarding process?
– Automate routine tasks
– Simplify registration and setup
– Provide clear guidance and resources
– Offer personalized assistance
– Adopt progressive profiling
– Implement in-app guidance and onboarding flows
– Optimize communication channels
– Collect feedback and iterate
When does customer onboarding begin?
Customer onboarding begins as soon as a customer signs up for a product or service. It encompasses the entire journey from registration to initial usage and beyond, aiming to provide a seamless and valuable experience from the outset.
How to improve a customer onboarding process?
To improve the customer onboarding process, focus on simplifying and streamlining the experience for new customers. Provide clear guidance, personalized assistance, and intuitive resources to help them get started quickly and effectively.

Enhance customer onboarding with Udentify

Customer Onboarding with Udentify

By helping customers get up and running with your product faster, you can increase retention, increase customer loyalty, take away their pain points and reduce the cost of acquiring a new customer. The onboarding process usually starts with an identity verification process and a setup wizard that guides new users through your product. The journey follows as authentication also becomes an important part of the relationship which embarks with the onboarding process.

Udentify is a best-in-class solution that helps your company maximize the value of your onboarding process and improve the experience of your new customers by delivering an engaging experience that allows them to focus on what matters most.

With intuitive, user-friendly identity verification and authentication, your new customers will be able to navigate the onboarding process on their own. The solution also allows your team to improve your remote onboarding process over time by building a trustworthy and reliable relationship.

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