In our last article, we discussed the importance of an onboarding strategy and its impact on the bottom line. In fact, data from Totango shows that companies that focus on improving their onboarding process see a 69% increase in MRR. UserIQ goes further stating that companies who invest in user onboarding and education experience 18% higher user engagement than those that don’t.
It seems clear that effective onboarding leads to higher user engagement, retention, and satisfaction, and ultimately drives brand advocacy. In the SaaS B2B world, onboarding is especially important. Customers expect to see value quickly and will not hesitate to switch to a competitor if they don’t get it.
If you are looking to impact your MRR and customer experience, here are the 5 best user onboarding practices for SaaS. These best practices will engage, retain and increase TTV for customers, creating brand advocates:
1. Personalized onboarding journeys
One size fits all onboarding is not effective as each customer is unique with different needs, expectations, and goals. Personalized onboarding journeys tailor the experience to each customer’s needs, ensuring they get the most value from the product. This onboarding may include targeted messaging, custom feature tours, or even assigning a dedicated onboarding specialist.
Personalized onboarding practices have been shown to reduce churn and increase customer satisfaction. In fact, according to ProfitWell, companies with a churn rate of less than 5% have an average annual growth rate of 25%. While those with a churn rate of over 10% have a growth rate of just 2%. This indicates that reducing churn is critical for sustainable growth in SaaS B2B companies, and effective onboarding practices play a critical role in customer retention.
Track the success of user onboarding by measuring the average TTV for customers who receive personalized onboarding vs those who don’t.
2. Interactive onboarding experiences
Interactive onboarding experiences allow users to actively engage with the product. And thus helping them better understand its capabilities and how to use them. This onboarding may include hands-on tutorials, product flows, quizzes, or gamification. Interactive onboarding practices have been shown to increase user engagement and reduce the time to value.
You can track the success of interactive onboarding by measuring user engagement metrics such as time spent on the product or the number of features used.
3. Data-driven onboarding
Data-driven onboarding leverages customer data to personalize the onboarding journey. Through targeted messaging, you guide customers toward the features that will deliver the most value. This type of onboarding may include analyzing usage data to identify areas where customers are struggling or creating targeted messaging based on the customer’s industry or job function. Data-driven onboarding practices have been shown to increase customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and improve user engagement.
Track the success of data-driven onboarding by measuring user engagement metrics and customer satisfaction scores.
4. On-demand training
On-demand or self-serve training provides customers with resources that they can access when they need them, rather than forcing them to go through a pre-determined onboarding journey. This may include video tutorials, knowledge base articles, or chatbots.
On-demand training practices have been shown to increase user engagement and reduce the time to value.
Track the success of on-demand training by measuring the number of support requests and the time it takes customers to get up to speed with the product.
5. Continuous onboarding
Continuous onboarding is an ongoing process that provides customers with guidance and support throughout their entire lifecycle, rather than just during the initial onboarding phase. This type of onboarding may include targeted messaging, personalized training, or even assigning a dedicated Customer Success Manager. Continuous onboarding practices have been shown to increase customer satisfaction and reduce churn. You can track the success of continuous onboarding by measuring customer satisfaction scores and retention rates.
User Onboarding Best Practices
If you are looking to retain customers, it is clear that onboarding best practices are critical to the success of SaaS products, but it isn’t one size fits all. Personalized onboarding journeys, interactive onboarding experiences, data-driven onboarding, on-demand training, and continuous onboarding are all effective strategies to engage, retain, and increase time to value for customers, creating brand advocates.
In order to keep your onboarding process relevant, measuring key metrics such as average increases in MRR, retention, or churn prevention can help you understand the success of your onboarding practices and refine them over time to ensure they are delivering the best results.