Product onboarding, user onboarding, employee onboarding…So many different concepts with the word onboarding, right? 

There is a lot of talk about onboarding in the SaaS environment. And there’s a good reason for it. When a company first introduces itself to its customers or introduces its product to them, we’re talking about onboarding processes. We all agree that first impressions matter, right? It’s the same when we’re talking about companies. You can gain a competitive advantage by making a good first impression. 

Are you ready to discover product onboarding, the differences between user onboarding, and the benefits of a successful onboarding process? 

Today we’ll explore all of this and more, including: 

  • What is Product Onboarding?
  • What is the difference with User Onboarding?
  • What are the main benefits of successful onboarding?
  • Choose the right platform for your Product Onboarding
  • The key to PLG: A great Product Onboarding Process 

Let’s dive in! 

What is Product Onboarding?

First, we need to understand what product onboarding is. PO (product onboarding) is a crucial part of the product adoption process as it involves introducing users to a product or service. This helps users learn how to use a product, understand its features, and become familiar with it through training and support. 

It’s also a continuous process designed to teach users how to use the product to achieve their goals or resolve challenges. Moreover, as users have different needs, the process should also be interactive and personalized to help ensure users get what they need.

Be careful, though! Product onboarding isn’t the same as user onboarding! It’s easy to get confused between the two concepts, but they’re actually two different things. Let’s dive into their main differences! 

What is the difference between Product Onboarding and User Onboarding?

Both product onboarding and user onboarding aim to show users how to adopt and use a product. However, the main difference lies in the underlying model or framework. The product onboarding process enables customers to discover the product in the early stages of their journey, whereas user onboarding enables users to discover the product individually. 

To better illustrate these, let’s look at some examples. ShippingEasy is a software company that fully integrates with USPS, providing robust shipping automation to ship orders from wherever you sell, with marketing to help you grow your business. 

To reduce the time it takes a new user to understand the product’s functionality, they needed to onboard users efficiently and quickly. For this reason, they created in-app guides to walk users through the most important tasks of the platform. That’s an example of user onboarding, as it’s a strategy that is implemented at an individual level. 

Now, let’s look at an example. Genially is a platform that helps users create interactive content. They implemented a product-led onboarding process with interactive product tours through the platform that assists users in completing the primary onboarding stage. As part of the user experience, users are presented with a customer onboarding checklist, which combines product onboarding with user onboarding.

Generally, product onboarding and adoption focus on product experiences, whereas user onboarding focuses on user experiences. Ready to discover the benefits of successful product onboarding? Let’s go!

What are the main benefits of a successful PO?

Implementing a successful product onboarding has many benefits. From boosting retention rates, creating loyal customers, decreasing churn rates, and increasing conversion rates, all of which can reinforce the main goal: to help users see the value of your product. The main benefits for SaaS companies are as follows: 

  • Help users see value in a product
  • Increase customer retention
  • Activate more users, making them less likely to churn 
  • Help users use the software to the full extent
  • Lead new users and existing ones toward valuing your product
  • Generate engagement with your platform
  • Optimize the onboarding process to minimize user frustration and burnout
  • Guide users at the initial state

It clearly is an essential part of the adoption process. However, you need to choose the right platform to implement it. 

Choose the right platform

There are different platforms and tools for product onboarding. Nevertheless,  choosing the right one for your business isn’t as easy as ABC. There are many factors involved. As it’s a hard decision to make, we’ll guide you through the existing platforms so you to choose the best one and boost your onboarding experience. 

1. Digital adoption platforms

A digital adoption platform is a software layer that helps to guide users through key tasks and provide contextual information as they navigate a software product, app, or website. Using these platforms can significantly improve the quality of onboarding and training. Digital adoption platforms use: 

  • Product or platform-specific contextual guidance
  • A walkthrough that guides users step-by-step through any workflow, automatically and without requiring human intervention
  • Analytical tools that provide insights into user behavior

2. Product success platforms

A Product success platform is a customer-centric, product-led platform that uses the product to optimize all areas of the customer lifecycle. 

It offers a variety of tools and features to analyze user data, including downloads, customer feedback surveys, behavioral event tracking, engagement, and product flows. PSPs then use this data to build, segment, and optimize customer experience via onboarding processes and engagement campaigns. Moreover, this software also provides omnichannel, proactive support to maintain a top-quality level of customer care. The main features of PSPs are: 

  • Product flows to help you engage with customers.
  • Integrations that combine specialist tools together to make the most out of your data.
  • Communication and engagement tracking tools to manage all conversations, emails, and other communication channels in one place.
  • Product usage rates for every person working at the company have a real-time pulse on the usage and engagement of a product.
  • Customer tracker to analyze customer statistics
  • Proactive onboarding allows you to onboard customers faster, increase sign-up conversions and educate users about your product.

3. Analytical tools

Analytical tools enable businesses to make better, more informed decisions while minimizing costs and increasing profits by creating and executing analytical processes. These tools help to track and measure product onboarding strategies. The main features of analytic tools include:

  • App or software analytics 
  • Website analytics
  • Survey software to provide insights and explore information about your customer base

All these tools will help your product’s onboarding processes in different ways. First, analyze your company’s needs and then select the right platform to level up your SaaS business.

The key to PLG: A great Product Onboarding Process 

Having learned what product onboarding is, you should now realize how crucial it is to implement it and maintain an accurate tracking system within your product. Taking this process into account can ultimately:

  • Boost customer experiences
  • Increase retention
  • Help users understand the value of your product
  • Guide them through seamlessly 
  • Help them see the value of your product faster and more efficiently

To learn more about how FROGED’s Product Success Platform can help transform how users interact and engage with your product, book a demo with us today or discover our key features, such as product flows