Customer Onboarding Best Practices

10 min read


A successful customer onboarding process can be the make-or-break factor in your organization’s success, as it greatly affects customer experience and user engagement, not to mention customer retention. A true onboarding process is much more than a simple sign-up process.

A poor initial experience can color the perception of your entire product or service or may simply be the factor that prevents the customer from experiencing what you have to offer. Ensuring that you keep your customers engaged from the outset of their onboarding journey will enhance your sales process and ensure new users and customers find your solution.

In this article, we will attempt to provide you with a customer onboarding guide that will help you to build a successful user onboarding experience based on onboarding best practices.

Benefits of Successful Customer Onboarding

A strong customer onboarding process provides numerous benefits to an organization, whether just starting out or an established player. A successful onboarding strategy can:

Increase Customer Adoption (conversion rate)

A positive first experience not only entices a customer to return but can help to drive sales and bring in more customers. Word-of-mouth is still a vital component of product marketing, and effective customer onboarding brings in new users.

Improve User Engagement

A strong onboarding process not only serves as the introduction to your product or service but also should provide the user with insights into how the product works and set them up for success with using the product or service. If the first experience of your product or service is a positive one, the more likely the customer is to return and speak positively of your solution.

Reduce Support Calls

A complete and effective customer onboarding experience should not only be simple and intuitive but provide strong guidance on initial steps with the product or service and link to supporting material such as documentation or how-to videos. Implemented properly, the onboarding process will eliminate support calls from new clients unsure how to get started with your product or service.

Reduce Customer Churn

Customer churn is a headache for any business, and a poor user onboarding experience can be a key cause. Customer churn occurs most often after the initial purchase, after a free trial, or as the result of onboarding woes. While churn is almost impossible to eliminate fully, you can set yourself up for success with a good customer onboarding strategy.

Increased Happiness and Net Promoter Score

A positive experience while onboarding can be key to customer happiness and can motivate users to promote your product or service, leading to a positive Net Promoter Score. Net Promoter Score is a standard customer experience metric used to gauge the willingness of customers to promote your product or service to other users. As many organizations send out surveys upon sign-up, you can imagine that the new client onboarding process can significantly affect your score.

Increase Lifetime Value (LTV)

Lifetime Value, or LTV, is a metric that measures the average value of an individual account for your product or service.

For example, if a customer spends 5$ upon the initial purchase of your app or service but never purchases or subscribes again, the lifetime value is 5$. If that same customer signs up for your service at 5$ as a trial subscription but stays on for an additional 12 months at the standard rate of 9.99$, then the lifetime value of that account would be 124.88$.

A strong user onboarding process is certainly not the only factor in determining LTV, but because it is instrumental in avoiding initial churn and in driving customer conversion, it can also have a significant impact on your LTV score. The more customers who are comfortable purchasing your service, the higher the baseline of your lifetime value calculation.

Tips for Customer Onboarding

To get your customers familiarized with your products and service, it is essential to implement customer onboarding best practices. Following are some tips for customer onboarding that will help you in creating an engaging, seamless onboarding experience that can lead to recurring and happy clients.

Create a Quality Customer Onboarding Program

A great onboarding program is essential to keeping customers engaged and invested in your products or services. Without an effective plan, those trying out your business may get frustrated before really understanding its value – leading to a high churn rate with fewer repeat customers over time. Put effort into creating quality customer journeys from day one – it will pay off!

Through customer onboarding, your business has the opportunity to forge strong relationships with new customers. By providing them with a personalized experience as they learn and use your services or products, this connection increases their lifetime loyalty and value in return – something more precious than just attracting additional patrons alone. Transforming these newcomers into repeat buyers is not only possible but highly probable if you properly nurture each individual through an exceptional journey of discovery. Also, make sure that all interactions leave behind positive memories of working together toward success!

Quality customer onboarding sets the foundation for a successful and profitable relationship with your customers – increasing revenue, generating word-of-mouth referrals, driving down costly customer service costs, and spurring engagement.

Define Expectations and Timelines

Asking questions is the key when it comes to customer engagement- but why? Well, it’s all about uncovering the customer’s definition of success. In this ever-evolving world of SaaS customer success, it’s crucial for organizations to focus on what their customers need from them and how these needs can be met. Establishing expectations early will ensure a mutually successful relationship built on trust between both parties.

Next? Make a plan and stick to it! Setting achievable goals and deadlines is the key. So when interacting with customers, make sure you let them define what those milestones look like – even if they go beyond industry standards!

Import Existing Customer Data

Did you know elite businesses attribute 68% of their success to data analysis and collection? This highlights the importance of gathering data onboarding on existing customers and new users. And the best way to do this? Make it as simple as possible for the customer to provide you with that data!

Data will also be your go-to resource during and after the complete onboarding process. You may determine the success of your sales by using baseline data to gauge progress or failure. You must continually demonstrate your value beyond the onboarding procedure, but in order to do so, you must collect the necessary data of the existing customers.

Provide a Customized Onboarding Experience

A great deal of content is out there, discussing the importance of customizing the onboarding process and experience for your new employees to make them feel at home. It’s time to treat your customers as you would treat a new employee. Consider your client as a partner and give them an onboarding process tailored to their needs and preferences.

Consider adopting UX design principles to create an unforgettable journey for your clients, such as VIP access portals with exclusive content and customized profiles tailored to the customer’s individual interests.

Make sure customers know you are just one click away by being available via multiple channels of communication – plus anticipate what they may need before they even ask! It may be useful to change the perception of your support team; instead of a customer support team, call them a customer success team, and focus not only on removing blockers but building an ongoing relationship.

Streamline and Automate the Customer Onboarding Process

Customer onboarding best practices can become a bit tedious, particularly if the process remains entirely manual. Aside from preparing the guides for your clients, you also have to take note of emails, requests, schedules, and other key tasks. With so much to do, your onboarding program can suffer!

Streamline your customer onboarding process by automating mundane tasks. In this way, you can focus on other important things, such as improving your customer onboarding strategies and achieving client satisfaction.

Some tasks that can be automated are:

  • Sending follow-up messages
  • Gathering customer data
  • Organizing schedules
  • Managing customers and clients

Automating such tasks can be a large part of building the best possible client onboarding experience, and happy, recurring customers.

Continuously Assess Customer Needs

The purpose of client onboarding is to give the customers everything they need to achieve their goals. Supporting your customers from the start with strong onboarding content that delivers real value, as well as a tailored customer onboarding experience, is essential for long-term success. This includes regularly assessing if client needs have shifted as they become more comfortable with your product or service. It is vital to re-assess often, to determine pain points, and discover emerging trends or needs that can help improve your product or service, not just the onboarding process.

Does the key to making sure onboarding remains effective and relevant? Building a strong bond of trust with each customer so you can pivot quickly in response to feedback, creating an experience tailored just for them!


Each onboarding process needs constant communication and contact according to customer onboarding best practices. Communication (or lack thereof) can make or break your relationship with your customer. Don’t just forget them after the final sale! Not only does over-communication ensure the customer feels appreciated, it also ensures that opportunities to gain valuable insights into customer needs and expectations are not missed. Be with them during the initial stages of engagement and make them know that you’re with them every step of the way. This way, you can have happy customers.

Follow Up After Client Onboarding is Complete

Your relationship with your customer doesn’t end once the client onboarding process is complete. It will be a shame if you build a perfect customer onboarding process only to cut ties with them abruptly.

The best thing you can do to achieve maximum customer satisfaction is to leave the door for your clients. Give them access to chat with their customer success manager (otherwise known as an account manager) after they’ve completed the onboarding process. This will provide a direct line of communication with your team if they have more inquiries about your product or wish to onboard a partner or new employee.

Additionally, you should occasionally check in with consumers to see if they have any new inquiries about your goods or services. While you are at it, you can ask what new features might drive more value for your clients, or if recent changes have been well received. Without proper follow-up, it is difficult to measure success, whether of the product as a whole or simply the onboarding process.

tips customer onboarding


From the very start, customer onboarding goals should be about crafting a one-of-a-kind journey. A successful onboarding process aids not only in customer activation (getting them to use your product) but also in customer retention. Your organization will derive the most value from your onboarding experience if it is part and parcel of your customer retention strategies.

It is simple to assume that your customer onboarding best practices exist to assist customers in the sign-up process and in using your products, but it’s a lot more than that. The ultimate purpose of the customer onboarding process is to set new customers up for long-term success with your product from the start. The actual measure of a successful customer onboarding process is whether or not your customers come back to your product days, weeks, or months after their initial use.

We hope the above information will help you to build a truly unique, powerful onboarding experience that drives not only customer adoption but customer success. Embrace the new opportunities that a strong user onboarding process can bring – let enthusiasm for engaging with fresh clients fill you and ignite a spark of excitement!

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