SAAS: What is a great customer onboarding process?
Customer onboarding process is an important start to your customers’ journey. It is all about enabling your customers to get the most out of your product.
It is no surprise to tell you that customer onboarding is substantial for your business. A customer onboarding process is all about comprehending the relationship of clients with your business or company from the very start.
Customer onboarding is the beginning of a customer’s journey. It allows you to understand the perception of customers about your business. It enables you to analyze all activities or procedures regarding the introduction of your products and services to new customers.
Customer onboarding is a daunting task for many businesses. However, when you get it right, this process will allow your customers to get acquainted with your products or services. When it comes to the success of the customer onboarding process, it requires careful planning, significant efforts, and ongoing support.
The process of onboarding is important throughout your customers’ journey. It is all about enabling your customers to get the most out of your product or service. The entire purpose is to improve retention.
In today’s article, we are going to tell you about SAAS – what is a great customer onboarding process and how to get the most out of it. We will likewise highlight client onboarding process steps.
We recommend you to read this post carefully so that you comprehend all the necessary information and treat the process as a touchstone to boost productivity and retention. Read on!
SAAS companies represent a major change in the way companies operate in the market. Today, they represent a change in the old-fashioned way of doing business.
You probably have heard the word SAAS, but do you know what it means? SAAS (Software as a Service), is the availability of applications via the cloud – i.e. the use of the software through the internet.
You probably have more contact with services like this than you think, Google Drive, Trello, Mail Chimp and even Netflix are among these types of services.
The customer experience has become increasingly important for organizations, those that do not adapt will be swallowed up by the market. This is what happened to the software market.
SaaS is a summary of the many needs that consumers had. Certainly, your experience with Google Drive is much better than with your external hard drive. In the end, this is the goal of Software as a Service, to make life easier for its users.
According to a Gartner survey, 71% of CIOs use SaaS companies as their first choice. The market has already adhered to this type of tool, recognizes its importance and all the experience that can be provided with these solutions. Because of this, the benefits offered to make the customer experience much more complete.
The old methods of acquiring applications worked, but it was not ideal, it was what consumers had at their disposal. With the lack of support after purchase, it was very difficult for the customer to learn to handle all the features and obtain good results.
Today, in addition to providing more quality services, SaaS provides more learning on the customer journey, facilitating the use of tools and creating a more attractive experience.
Software as a Service (SAAS) came to change the rules of the game and radically change the market, the trend is that this type of technology continues to grow – as well as concern for the customer experience.
This model has been increasingly widespread among companies and it is very simple to understand why. There are several advantages when choosing a cloud solution, among them, are:
This is one of the strengths of SaaS: support and customer service. 92% of consumers consider that service is essential to choose a brand to buy or relate to. Service is the main connection between the company and the customer, which is why we see so many successful SaaS cases.
If you use Netflix and have already had to solve a problem or answer a question, it was certainly very well attended. These companies understand the importance of maintaining a good relationship with users.
Creating customer onboarding is essential for your ongoing relationship with your customers. Not only does it increase the lifetime value of a customer but it also decreases churns. The purpose is to convert new customers into repeat customers.
Customer onboarding is extremely important – and in today’s fast business world, if you are unable to retain customers, you will suffer from discrepancies. These include losing over 70% of new customers in the initial days.
Research shows that 40-60% of new customers will test your product one time. They will never buy from your company again. A list of great customer onboarding examples can be accessed here.
This is why customer onboarding is of great importance. The “word-of-mouth” plays a key role in acquiring more and more customers.
Customer retention increases your business revenue by lowering the cost of acquisitions. Eventually, this is beneficial for your company – i.e. more repeating customers will lead to more revenue.
It is not a good idea to create a campaign without a sophisticated onboarding strategy. If you haven’t created an onboarding strategy, you might face problems like ineffective marketing. Therefore, you need to create objective – and based on them, you would be able to create plans.
Your plans will keep on changing as you become more knowledgeable about your customers. Again, you need to set objectives – because, without clearly-defined goals, you can’t start your journey.
Tip: Your objectives or goals must be customer-oriented and specific to your products. It is important to synchronize your objectives with retention.
So, in this regard, you must get customers to use your product or service one time in the initial days – i.e. the first week. The second thing is to create a sophisticated usage pattern. Make sure you make your product or service more indispensable.
The initial phases of customer onboarding require you to collect information on your customers. The best way to do this is via your marketing and sales processes.
Keep in mind that your customer impression of you is everything you need to determine. So, always give your customers a holistically engaging experience.
For a successful onboarding strategy, first, you need to create a buyer’s persona – which means knowing and understanding your customers. This will allow you to analyze hindrances, challenges, and prospects.
Buyer Persona is also useful for creating ideal solutions and outcomes. Gathering information on your customers can help you create customized onboarding objectives and experience.
Your customer expectations about your product hold a significant value. This means your customers must know what to expect from your product or service before he or she opts to purchase your product.
In this sense, you must carefully examine all qualifying factors regarding your product, which is an essential step into the customer onboarding process. This requires you to repeatedly present your product’s value to the customers.
At the same time, you need to educate your customers regarding any potential risks. So, if any unwanted or undesirable situation occurs, your customers will be prepared for it and support your company.
Attention to detail is important – for example before new customers buy or use your product or service, you need to tell them about your product’s value and how this particular product can fulfill their unique requirements. You can give them examples of your product so that they understand how can they use them and get the most out of it.
So, prepare yourself to create documentation on your product explaining every aspect. You must also create training manuals for the accurate use of the product or service.
The customer onboarding strategy obligates you to stay in contact with your customers. Throughout the onboarding process, it is essential to communicate with your customers via emails or any other special tools used in the customer support department.
Experts say that communication through email is the perfect medium to stay in contact with your customers. It is important to create apps so that your customers can access your business and its products through them. After you have an indispensable product, they will sign in the app receive notifications about your product and services.
Your business objectives must be client-centered. This is the key to success. Make those objectives unique for addressing the needs of each customer. The tailor-made objective – however, requires careful planning. You need to make your customers define the success of your products. This way, you can achieve all your milestones and maintain retention rates.
Another important element of your customer onboarding process is to inspire them. Why they should buy your product? Why do they need to buy it again? How can they do “word-of-mouth marketing for you on their own?
These are the questions you need to note down and then scrutinize every aspect to engage them in a positive experience. Not only will this make them buy your product but at the same time, they will share their experiences with others optimistically. This will increase your chances of driving more customers organically.
Onboarding is not only beneficial for your company and its products but also for the customers. After making a sophisticated strategy and initiating the onboarding process, it is valuable to measure your outcomes and success.
How can you do this? It is pretty simple. Employ key approaches to gather feedback from your customers. This will allow you to determine and analyze key friction points. Similarly, after gathering feedback, you will have the opportunity to measure the risks and prospects.
Doing so will improve your onboarding process because you would now know what your customers want and how can you fulfill their expectations. Measuring your success periodically is the key to business success.
In this section, we are going to tell you the client onboarding process steps. Continue reading!
Many business leaders or owners ignore this important step, which yields harmful outcomes. So, this is one of the most important steps or phases of your customer onboarding process.
Many companies set a common goal – i.e. to train and enable customers on all features of the product. Experts believe that this is where companies make mistakes.
So, what to do? Well, you need to gather feedback from your customers and ask them what made them buy your product in the first place.
The next step is to ask your customers about your product – was it beneficial? Did it satisfy them? What do they expect more? How can your business and your customers move in the right direction? Your next action depends on data collection from customers who would answer all these important questions.
Business-to-business “B2B” SaaS products usually have a longer period for justification. It could take several months or even years to measure the metrics and then make a strategy to reduce churns. So, clearly defining the objective will help you make sustainable progressions in customer lifetime value.
Once you have defined the objective, it is time to set the direction. This refers to finding out the adoption of your product by the customers. How to do this? There are a few steps you need to consider, which are:
If you want to ensure your customers to achieve the onboarding goal, then you can’t simply ignore this step. How to create or establish a workflow? Again, you need to follow a few steps, which are:
Following these steps, you can provide substantial support to your customers. You can interact with remote customers, give them guidelines/instructions, allow for work sessions – both onsite and remotely, etc. this will make it easy for your customers to continue their journey easily. Moreover, you can determine your price points based on the quality of your product, customer satisfaction, challenges, and prospects, opportunities and threats.
The below example from Slack onboarding helps users exactly how they can use its features most effectively.
This is an important step – especially when we talk about client onboarding process steps. It is always a good idea to keep your customers in onboarding for a while.
They must not be stuck in it for a longer period. This way, you can create a clearly defined timeline for your onboarding process.
Again, expert advice is breaking down each step and then defining a timeline for each one. Your timeline creations should be an easy process. Don’t make it complicated or it must not take a lot of your time.
The last step is to decide on effective measurement tools for your customer onboarding process. You must complete each task within the set timeline.
To identify and measure the impact of your customer onboarding process, experts suggest keeping an eye on the production adoption.
The SaaS deployment process is relatively simple. The fact that internal investments in infrastructure are not necessary is one of the main factors responsible for this ease of implementation.
This is the first step of implementation, and the initial questions of the company that provides the chosen solution are carried out, to align expectations and identify the next steps of the implementation stage, according to the demand and segment of each company.
At this point, your supplier will have an overview of what your company expects from the solution and how it can be applied to achieve your and your employees’ satisfaction.
The system is parameterized according to the client’s business and the demands raised in the first stage of onboarding. This step is not carried out on the spot, but remotely. This is one of the advantages of the software hosted in the cloud, there is no need to make constant visits for adjustments, and everything is done remotely.
After configuration, the process of automation and validation of automated documentation begins, in which the solution will begin to perform a series of tasks autonomously, replacing the old processes used in your company, such as sales orders, commercial proposals, contracts, etc.
The next phase of implementation in SaaS is to conduct training and simulations of the system implanted with its employees, to prepare them to deal with the new tool and all its functionalities, in addition to informing them about the changes in the processes.
It is natural that at the beginning of the use of the new software there is resistance on the part of the team and some difficulties arise in adapting part of the collaborators or even processes.
It is necessary to keep monitoring the results to check the places where an intervention is needed for improvement. After a few cycles of changes, your company will be fully adapted to the system and enjoy all its advantages.
In this last step, your Customer Success professionals will continue to follow up to ensure that they have the best experience and achieve the expected success. Monitoring must be maintained, as new opportunities for improvement can always arise – allowing your team to further improve the numbers achieved with the new tool.
Originally Published March 24th, 2020, Updated February 15th, 2021
Rohan has over 11 years of experience in client services, marketing and hospitality field. Previously, he was head of digital marketing for a hi-tech mobile application. Rohan is driven by new challenges and the possibility of making an impact on individuals and businesses.