Customer Onboarding Strategies That Do Wonders for SaaS | UpTrending

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January 19, 2017

Customer Onboarding Strategies That Do Wonders for SaaS

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Josh Hill  /  Marketing Jan 19, 2017

You’ve optimized your website to increase conversions, figured out a content marketing strategy that works, and new customers are signing on. Yahoo! But before you take a trip to Vegas to celebrate your company’s growth, you have to consider whether these new customers will stick around. Are you doing everything you can for effective customer onboarding?

It’s been proven time and time again that it’s more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, in particular, depend on customers spending money each and every month.

When a new customer signs on, you want to do everything you can to keep them around. You want them to benefit from all that your software has to offer. You need your customers to see how valuable your product is.

How to do it? With good customer onboarding, of course.

Outline each and every touchpoint

Customer onboarding begins before someone signs up. When someone chooses to pay for a subscription or try a free trial, they already have some information about your company. They already believe something about what your product can offer them.

In order to develop an onboarding journey, you have to figure out how much prospects already know when they decide to convert into paying customers. This will help you assess how much education they need, and where you should get started with the onboarding process.

You should think of the onboarding journey holistically, from the moment someone learns about your product to when they become a loyal customer. What are all the moments and interactions they experience? Write all of them down, and be ready to improve on each one.

Assess your onboarding funnel

Once you’ve plotted out the customer touch points, it’s time to assess your onboarding funnel. Basically, you want to figure out where and when prospects and customers drop-off. Do they stop using your software one week into a free trial, or do they never start using it at all?

In order to figure out where customers drop off, you need to know how customers are interacting with your software. If you’re struggling to get the data, you can read KISSmetrics Conversion Funnels Survival Guide.

Additionally, you want to know where customers get stuck. By using tools like Usertesting.com and YouEye, you can learn how prospects interact with your website and software. This will help you assess whether all the things you intended are clear to your users.  

Usertesting.com can help you analyze customer behavior on your site for better onboarding
Usertesting.com can help you analyze customer behavior on your site for better onboarding.

Reach out for the info

If customers aren’t having a good onboarding experience, you want to hear about it from them. That’s why we recommend reaching out to customers during or after the onboarding experience.

You should reach out to three groups of customers:

  • Loyal customers who went through your onboarding
  • Customers who partially completed the onboarding experience
  • Prospects who canceled their accounts

There are a few ways of gathering information. First, you can automate Net Promoter Score (NPS)® emails that go out throughout the onboarding process to get a pulse on how things are going. This will help you assess how customers are feeling throughout the process.

Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, measures customer experience and predicts business growth.
NPS® measures customer experience and predicts business growth.

You can also send out surveys to find out why customers canceled, as well as conduct customer interviews to find out where customers get stuck. By collecting this information, you’ll be able to determine where customers are getting stuck, and then develop solutions.

Determine the path that loyal customers take… and make more customers take it

Loyal customers who do not churn are the lifeblood of any SaaS business. When you’re assessing your onboarding, ask yourself what separates these loyal customers from those who don’t stick around.

Are these loyal customers…

  • …more likely to complete your onboarding process?
  • …more likely to open your email messages within the first day of joining?
  • …from companies that are a certain size or in a particular industry?
  • …using coupons, discounts, or referral promotions to get into your company?

You’ll be able to create a better onboarding experience if you understand what makes loyal customers stick around. For example, if you notice that your loyal customers set up their account within the first three days of joining, you can take steps to make sure new customers set up their accounts as quickly as possible.

Wrapping up

Changing your customer onboarding process is a worthwhile endeavor, and SaaS companies are catching on. For example, Magoosh, an SaaS company that specialized in test prep resources, found that users who got their welcome message converted 17% better than those who did not, proving that onboarding can make a big difference.

Great customer onboarding will help reduce churn, which will increase revenue for your SaaS company. By improving your messaging, changing up your email flow, and studying prospects and customer, you’ll be able to create an onboarding journey that hooks customers for life.

If your company needs help putting an onboarding process in place or analyzing your existing one, reach out to us! 

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