7 Best Practices for Onboarding Customers

Picture of Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

customer onboarding best practices

Customer onboarding essentially focuses on giving your customers the information they need to get the most out of what you’ve sold them. Some of this can be delivered during the sign-up process, but you need to go further than that if you want to turn a one-time transaction into a long-term relationship. 

Companies that ignore customer onboarding best practices are going to struggle when it comes to customer retention, especially if they operate in a competitive field. Looking to grow your clientbase and expand? Struggling to keep customers engaged after that first sale? Read on for the lowdown on what you need to know about overhauling the onboarding experience for your customers. 

Why is Customer Onboarding Important? 

Many people think that the customer onboarding process begins and ends by introducing a client to a service or product. In fact, this is just the start of the customer journey. While the user onboarding process is certainly a showcase of your product, it also needs to let customers know how they can make full use of it. 

What’s more, good customer onboarding experiences let you get to know your client base better. By actively listening to what customers have to say and asking the right questions, you’ll be able to address every one of their pain points. During the customer onboarding experience, you’ll be able to illustrate how your product can make every single one of those points a thing of the past. 

The better you manage an onboarding program, the happier your clients will be. You can turn one-time customers into lifelong advocates, as well as generate some valuable word-of-mouth referrals. 

Companies of any size need to be thinking seriously about their customer onboarding strategy. SaaS companies operate in an increasingly competitive sector, making tailored SaaS onboarding programs all the more important. If you fail to engage with an effective customer onboarding strategy, you’re giving your clients the green light to head elsewhere. 

best practices for onboarding customers

7 Best Practices for Onboarding New Customers 

Struggling with onboarding flow? Need some help hammering out that onboarding checklist? Below are some of the most important customer onboarding practices to remember. 

1. Map the Journey for Your Clients 

For best results, make sure you’re giving your customers a clear overview of what to expect from the onboarding process. The easiest way to do this is by creating an onboarding workflow roadmap. Keep things simple and identify key checkpoints in the journey. Very few roadmaps are going to be identical, but there’s a lot of shared DNA. The more prepared onboarding users feel, the more likely they’ll be to ask questions and get the most out of the experience. 

2. Choose the Right Onboarding Software 

Once you’ve nailed down the finer points of your onboarding program and created a roadmap for users, you’re ready to select software. At a bare minimum, you’ll need something that will let you connect with clients. However, you’ll also want rich features like the option to add video and interactive elements. The right tools leave you with endless options, allowing you to integrate things like product tours, product walkthrough videos, and more. Gloww has an interactive onboarding template you can use for this purpose.

3. Set Clear Milestones and Consider Customer Expectations 

To ensure maximum success, you need to pre-empt what your customers expect from your product and/or service. Once you have a clearer idea of what your customers are expecting, you can more confidently set milestones for individual customer journeys

Even a slight miscommunication can result in an unmet deadline or deliverables that fall short of requirements. This can put a serious dampener on a burgeoning customer relationship. By understanding and being able to manage expectations right off the bat, you can set realistic milestones and ensure everyone’s happy. 

4. Treat Your Customers to Tailored Experiences 

This can seem like hard work if you have a broad client base. However, it’s important to customize the onboarding process as much as possible. Individualizing the experience doesn’t just make your customers feel valued, it also sets the tone for customized account management

This all starts with remembering the fundamentals of user experience. Make sure your onboarding process is accessible and provides real value to customers. When in doubt, look for existing onboarding examples for inspiration. Now you’re in a position to incorporate more tailored content. This will be an ongoing process, so touch base with customers regularly to monitor engagement and satisfaction levels. If any part of the process is falling short, you’ll be able to make the necessary improvements quickly. 

5. Use Activities to Engage Customers During the Onboarding Process 

Even with a heavily customized onboarding program, it can be a struggle to engage clients with the process. To mix things up, consider introducing rich media and interactive elements during onboarding. A well-executed webinar can work wonders for customer engagement and add to your knowledge base. However, even rudimentary video tutorials will prove welcome. 

Some customers may prefer a by-the-numbers Q&A session, while others may need a guiding hand to address specific pain points. The more you interact with your customers, the more informed you’ll be when deciding on which onboarding activities work best. 

Here is a list of 49 engaging icebreakers, as well as 6 ideas on how to spice up a remote presentation

6. Always Follow Up with Customers 

Don’t assume you’re ready to say farewell to a customer just because the sign-up process is done and dusted. Instead, focus on great customer service and look forward to a long-term relationship. At the end of onboarding, make sure customers know who they need to reach out to should they have any queries. In most cases, this will be a dedicated account manager.

customer onboarding best practices

7. Do Your Customers Have Everything They Need? 

You’ll learn a lot about your customers during onboarding. However, customer needs change over time. This could happen as soon as they start using your product or service. To minimize churn rate, use a customer success manager to check in occasionally and keep those lines of communication open. 

Why Include a Video Conferencing Solution in Your Onboarding Strategy?

If you want to streamline your onboarding process, it makes sense to invest in a full-featured video conferencing platform. Video is an effective tool for onboarding, helping automate certain processes and making things more interesting than an uninspired email chain. 

Positive Onboarding Experience

Video can dramatically enhance customer onboarding experiences. Are you having trouble keeping customers engaged with lengthy product tours? Why not switch to succinct demo videos instead? The key advantage here is you can cover a lot more ground in relatively little time. 

Continuous Learning

A successful onboarding can set the tone for continuous learning. With the right content, you can ensure your customers are always up-to-date on the latest product developments and troubleshooting guides. This not only results in happier users, but also means your customer support teams are going to be less overwhelmed with queries. 

customer onboarding best practices

Interactive Engagement

Worried that a product tour is going to leave your audience feeling uninspired? Have you struggled to maintain engagement with webinars in the past? Use a platform that allows you to launch live polls and gather real-time feedback from onboarding participants. 

Remote and Hybrid Work Support

Many businesses are saying goodbye to the idea of a conventional workspace. While remote and hybrid working models don’t work for every sector, they’re particularly well suited to delivering great customer service. 

Social media and live chat support can only go so far in providing customers with the answers they need. With a full-featured video conferencing solution, you’re ready to respond to specific queries in rapid time. 

Building a Long-Term Relationship Through Onboarding 

While a positive onboarding experience offers you instant gains, it should really be looked at as one part of a larger picture. Successful onboarding results in confident customers with a better understanding and deeper appreciation of your product. 

What’s more, the more positive an experience, the more likely it is that a customer will stay with you for a long time. Even if you have a large client base and a steady stream of new acquisitions, you need to be focusing on customer retention. After all, it’s far cheaper and time-effective to retain a customer, than to acquire a brand new one. 

A customer who’s enjoyed a seamless onboarding process is more likely to refer your business to an acquaintance. At this point, you’re already benefiting from brand advocacy. However, if you’re looking to turn a dedicated customer into a lifelong advocate, you need to do more. 

One of the simplest ways to do this is to ensure your customers are choosing to buy from you, time after time. As you continue to sell to the same clients, the stronger the relationship between them and your brand will be. 

You also need to continue to prioritize personalization. Eager to secure more conversions from existing customers? Consider what bespoke discounts or free trial offers you can provide. 

We’re not necessarily talking about giving anything away for free. Do you have a loyalty program currently in place? If not, now’s the time to consider introducing one. If customers genuinely feel like they’re getting a good deal they won’t find anywhere else, increasing your odds of landing a referral. You can even incentivize things with your existing customers by bringing a referral program into play. 

Overhaul Customer Onboarding with Gloww

The more positive the onboarding experience is for your clients, the more likely they are to remain loyal customers. Go above and beyond and you’ll likely find yourself profiting from word-of-mouth referrals. 

Crafting a user-friendly onboarding experience is relatively simple. You’ll need to tweak things for different audience segments and individual clients, but a clear roadmap and establishing customer expectations will ensure you deliver, every time. 

However, you’ll need access to the right resources to provide your customers with the onboarding experience they deserve. With Gloww, you have a full-featured video conferencing solution that can be used to take the onboarding experience to the next level. Use ready-made templates to make quick work of adapting the process for individual users with specific colors, images, and multimedia assets. Want to make the process more enjoyable for everyone? Add interactive elements and collect feedback in real-time for participants, or break up longer sessions with fun activities. 

We also have articles on how to create a seamless remote employee onboarding, how to engage employees virtually, the blueprint for a productive team weekly meeting, taking company training to the next level, managing remote teams, and much more.

You can get started with Gloww for free. You can also check out our pricing plans if you’re keen to use Gloww’s advanced features to boost our onboarding strategy.

Still have questions? Get in touch with the team today. 

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Picture of ben aflalo
ben aflalo

Ben Aflalo heads Gloww's product team with over two decades of leadership experience. Passionate about leveraging innovative technology, he is committed to building products for the greater good.

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