SaaS customer success relies on a number of factors. One of those is ensuring a successful SaaS customer onboarding. Most SaaS users stop using products because it’s just too difficult to get them up and running. Getting to the point where you they can actually use the product is too complicated. Sure, the product may actually be able to solve a problem those users have. However, if they cannot even get started with the product, they will simply go elsewhere.
People these days demand simple products for solving complex problems. To stay competitive, you need to cater to those demands. Not all companies get this, which can put you ahead of a sizable number of SaaS businesses.
Did you know that between 40% and 60% of everyone that signs up for a free trial uses it once, never to log in again? What’s even more dramatic is that there are less than 3% of those remaining users who continue using the product after a month. While there is churn to be expected, if it’s seemingly high, the problem may lie at the first point of entry: SaaS customer onboarding.
Top SaaS Customer Onboarding Challenges
No matter who you are, your product’s onboarding process will likely have issues. Regardless of how great your product is and how well it’s positioned to become the killer of a more popular one on the market, if the onboarding process is complicated, it won’t matter.
We are going to go over the top challenges in SaaS customer onboarding so that you can increase your SaaS customer retention levels. Once you learn more about them, you can more readily prevent them.
The Interface Is Too Cluttered
While choice is nice to have, when there are too many, people get overwhelmed. Interfaces that are too cluttered will cause a headache more than anything. Showing tons of options to a user before they have gotten familiar with a product will potentially turn them off from delving into it any further.
The onboarding process should start off simple. Direct the focus of users in one direction at a time. If there are too many elements grasping for their attention, they will either skip the onboarding process or return to it later. You want to avoid making users so confused as to bypass the process meant to introduce them to your product.
Not Getting Customer Feedback
This challenge comes up by a lack of proactive action being taken. If you wait until a user reached out to you about having an issue during onboarding, it may be too late. Also, most people who are unsatisfied will never take the time and effort to complain in the first place.
Sometimes, users will have figured out how to resolve an issue. Other times, they may have simply ended up ignoring a particular problem with the product, if they can still use the rest of it without any issues.
In any case, you should collect user feedback. Forget waiting for users to come to you. Ask them about what they thought of the onboarding process. You can something as simple as requesting they tell you how helpful it was, on a scale of 1 to 10.
You could also ask them if the onboard process made it easier to understand how to use the product to achieve their goals. Beyond this type of feedback, look at user behavior, identifying exactly how users are interacting with your product while using it.
Not All Users Are Looking for the Same Thing
Different users have different skill levels and different needs. This means the onboarding process should not take a one-size-fits-all approach. There will be different needs, skills, and capacities among users. When you take the lazy approach, it can slow down the momentum that users have initially, causing them to stop using your product.
To achieve higher SaaS customer retention, you need to perform a bit of data analysis. This means tailoring the SaaS customer onboarding process to fit the kind of user you are onboarding. This will ensure the entire process is engaging all users in a meaningful way.
It Takes Too Long to Achieve ‘First Success’
When users find the onboarding process too technical, complicated, or long-winded, they will drop out quickly. SaaS products are supposed to make life easier, not more difficult. You want to make sure you are not making users work too long and hard to achieve their first success.
The longer you make them wait, the less they will believe in your product achieving the results they anticipate. Nobody wants to spend money and energy on something that they are unsure about.
A study has found that the shorter the time is from a customer getting onboard to them achieving their first success, the higher the likelihood of them continuing to use the product for the long-term. You can improve the time between onboarding and first success by ensuring each step during onboarding is designed to help them achieve success.
When all goes well, free trial conversion rates for subscription-based products are very impressive. However, to reach a high level of SaaS customer success, you need to make sure your product’s onboarding process is simple to navigate through. This is how you can maximize your SaaS customer retention.
You need to always remember that your customers are human beings who have real problems they are looking to solve. This means they are not going to have the time to go through a complicated SaaS customer onboarding process. They simply want to start using the product successfully as soon as they can, to achieve the results they are looking for. 18
If you cannot help them achieve success quickly, they will stop using your product in exchange for another one that does help them. Keep things simple and address the challenges we mentioned earlier, so you can keep your customer success and retention levels as high as they can be.
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.
Published May 27, 2020, Updated May 27, 2020