Customer Onboarding: Tools, Techniques, & Best Practices in 2024
Attracting new customers is an important aspect of a company’s success. However, not all companies are succeeding in this, as it is estimated that 26-70% of website visitors leave a website without taking any action. Successful onboarding can prevent this.
Customer onboarding, also known as user onboarding, covers all activities for a new customer who starts to use a product, service, or platform. It aims to improve customers’ experience and journey. When the customer onboarding process is managed well, new users quickly and effortlessly gain the necessary skills to use a software or an app. In the end, a successful customer onboarding process can increase the satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy of the customers.
In this research, we will go more in-depth as to why customer onboarding is important today, what are some best practices and showcase some customer onboarding solutions that can automate the process for your company.
What is the level of interest in customer onboarding?
The onboarding process has always been important for sales and marketing teams. For the past five years, and especially following the COVID outbreak, onboarding has continued to be an important business agenda.
What is customer onboarding software?
Onboarding solutions automate the overall onboarding process by automatically creating communication channels with the users, showcasing the company’s products and/or services, evaluating the process’ success, and more.
Why is customer onboarding important now?
Customer onboarding provides key knowledge to new users and helps them understand key principles about the product, service, or platform. This is useful because it helps companies attract new clients by showcasing their products in terms of the value they offer users.
The process of customer onboarding can continue, be constantly monitored, and be improved upon amidst customers’ changing expectations until they turn from new users into confident and loyal ones.
What are the benefits of customer onboarding software?
The benefits of customer onboarding include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Increase customer retention
- Show the benefits of the product or service to the customers
- Build a transparent relationship with the customers by clarifying communication
- Collect and analyze user feedback systematically
- Reduce customer churn
- Improve customer lifecycle (i.e., increase platform usage, up-sell, or cross-sell)
- Improve sales and marketing through feedback from user input during the onboarding process.
What are some customer onboarding solutions out in the market today?
We have prepared a list of commonly used customer onboarding tools:
These are comprehensive tools that can be integrated with a company’s various CRM and ERP systems to holistically standardize the client onboarding process from start to finish.
They are used to create and distribute online surveys. These tools provide various analysis reports to track the responses.
- Constant Contact
- Zoho Survey
You can find more on our list of survey tools.
Email Automation Tools
Email automation tools are effective in managing information sharing with new users or guiding users through new features. They allow users to send personalized emails with different templates, create analytical reports about the responses and automate follow-ups.
We have a data-driven list of email management software providers if you are interested.
RPA can be used in:
- KYC process
- Contract automation
- Providing orientational material, and more
Explore the 12 use cases of RPA in customer onboarding in more detail.
Visual Media Tools
Video hosting platforms are used to
- Create product or website video tutorials for the onboarding process
- Create interactive video tutorials
- Track the performance of videos
Some of these tools are:
Digital Adaptation Platforms
Digital adaptation platforms can be integrated into other software and websites. They are used to provide information to users about the features of the product. They include various onboarding tools, such as guides, in-app messages, boarding tours, checklists, messaging, and surveys.
They are used to interact with users in real-time. They help companies to track user onboarding activities, and provide chat automation and real-time customer support.
You can build effective chatbots from our lists of
- Chatbot platforms
- And voice bots if your solution has a voice interface or you have a call center for customer support
For more on chatbots, we explain how they support the customer service process.
Social Login Tools
They are used to make the login process easier for the users:
You can use only the basic features of the app for a short time without installing it (e.g. making car park payments, renting a bike, ordering food, playing a game first, etc.). These are snippets of an app providing the part of the app which the user needs. The application is required to be compatible with the app store’s guidelines for instant apps to be eligible for this. Examples are Apple’s App Clips and Google Play Instant.
User Analytics Tools
The user behavior analytics tools are used to collect data about customer onboarding experience (e.g. interactions, events, visits). Customer journey mapping tools, for instance, track the journey of the users and visualize the insights through dashboards and advanced reports.
Onboarding software achieves these benefits by
- showing the benefits of the product or service to the customers
- building a good relationship with the customers by clarifying communication
- collecting and analyzing user feedback systematically
What are the customer onboarding techniques?
Customer onboarding techniques vary according to the product or service. Companies need to have multiple channels for customer onboarding. 74% of customers use several channels to make a transaction.
Common customer onboarding techniques are:
- understanding user needs via surveys
- user guides
- interactive product tutorials (e.g. walkthrough)
- on-site or virtual training
- content to guide users:
- e-mail reminder
- intro videos/flows
- facilitating user onboarding via social login/single sign-on
- allowing users to use a specific functionality without a download (i.e. instant apps), reducing a barrier to onboard new customers
- gifting swags (for successful completion of advanced user onboarding)
- understanding the effectiveness of onboarding technique via web/app analytics
Digital adaptation platforms, as a software category, include a combination of these approaches with a focus on interactive user guides to ensure a fast and successful user onboarding.
What are the best practices for customer onboarding?
Customer onboarding strategy is important, companies first need to identify effective tactics to manage this process successfully and choose the best tools for their products and services. The customer onboarding process can consist of the following steps.
- Understanding customer expectations according to user segments
- Setting customer-centric targets to provide personalized experiences
- Identifying metrics (e.g. churn rate, customer lifetime value) of the onboarding process
- Choosing suitable onboarding tools and platforms
- Showing the value of the product or service with the tools
- Building a review system to analyze metrics
- Evaluating the success of the process and improving it using the feedback
For more on customer onboarding
Feel free to read our related articles for customer onboarding:
And if you are interested in adopting a customer service-related automated solution, head over to our customer service hub, where we have data-driven list of vendors for different use cases.
We will help you choose the best solution tailored to your needs:
This article was drafted by former AIMultiple industry analyst Ayşegül Takımoğlu.
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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