Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Customer Onboarding for SaaS Companies
Written by CXCherry | 8 MIN READ
As a SaaS company, there is nothing more exciting than putting the final touches on your upcoming product and seeing your vision come to life.
It is overwhelming, but sometimes, it can become a trap! Spending all your time wooing and polishing your product, you might be missing out to focus on the crucial part of your product’s success - the onboarding process.
You might have heard or experienced the same mistakes - that most SaaS companies committing while onboarding their customers and resulting in customer churn and even sign off.
So, keep these mistakes in mind before you onboard your new customers, or if you’re facing the issues - then this blog is specially made for you.
Let us onboard.
#1 Trying to Convince.
Even the most skeptical customers know the worth of valuable experience. It is the over-promising benefits that churn them off. So, when you’re onboarding new customers, remember, it is not about introducing your features or the benefits they are getting. It is about how easily they are getting to use your product.
It is easy to get carried away when writing about your product with adjectives like “breathtaking”, “groundbreaking”, etc. But avoid falling into this trap - your customers might not see the value of your product, how you have imagined it throughout.
So, be straightforward & precise about what all customers are getting out from using your product. Make them have a vision about their future wins.
Avoid using too many marketing lines in the initial stage of onboarding. Try to stick with real-time customer assistance, know-how are they experiencing the product use, and figure out if there are friction points.
For example, HelloBonsai makes it fun for freelancers managing it all! One of the many struggles that freelancers often face is management. Bonsai is very peculiar about how new customers are relating to their product and identifying the rights knots?
Customers always imagine how your proposed solution can transform the problem they are facing. It is more of a being in that future self for customers. Bonsai shows their new customers a bigger picture.
- Acknowledgment of Issue - Unstructured Work Ethics.
- An All-in-one Solution-based process. (From Proposal to Tax Season)
Your onboarding does not have to focus on the benefits the customers might get from using your product. Once you understand your customer - show them the map, the journey, their first win! It is always a better option than relying on your feature to become a convincing output.
#2 Assuming Customer’s Win.
You have all the information it takes - the demographics of customer behavior - the analytics-based predictions, and even the graphs to prove first success. But what if your customer has no idea what he wants?
Your customer knows how to sign-up, use your product, or even if - it is a happy one, then spread the word about your company. But he had no idea what is his winning situation is going to be. He knows the solution he gets from your product by experiencing it but is he imagining it while using it?
It is the bridge that enables imagination & desires! Your information is as good as their clueless desire about how it would be with your product.
So, what is your customers' win?
When any new customer gets an idea about your product - It essentially means that they know how to use it. But still, it is not enough for them to start thinking.
It's in the environment - the thoughts that generate - the mindset, the emotional balance that sets off the imagination.
No stressful or even relieved mind ever thinks about any software or the attractive UX once they had done using it. It is the relaxed state of mind that reminds them of how their experience was with your product.
Then they start to imagine - how extra burdening would it be without your product - how things went in the flow - how they succeed in something else because your product saved that extra effort.
That is the stage of acknowledgment!
When you onboard your customers, it gets crucial to identify individual user success. Some might get fulfilled with basic, and some require a premium to achieve their goal.
Road Map to your Customer’s First Win:
Your onboarding must focus on how to enable different customers according to their wins:
- Segment them!
- Create a Personalized Environment.
- Set Goals. (Daily, weekly, and monthly)
- Curate your specific content. (Show them what they want)
- Give away rewards. (Gamification - trophies, stars, even benefits)
- Assist them. (Train customer support & employ technology)
- Ask again & Improve. (Reach out via mails or calls)
#3 Over-automating Support.
When your customers face issues while using your product - they are probably looking out on google to assist with suitable solutions - Surrounded by tons of different opinions and methods to solve one problem - they are inevitably confused about whom to choose.
But why did they choose to google it rather than relying on the experts (you) to solve it?
In a recent analysis done by Microsoft, it came out that few reasons are causing this customer frustration to another level:
Let us take an example. Your customer is a salesperson - an information digger, an analytical mind, and a soccer player. He employs CRM Software to reach his potential customers & engage across networks. While using CRM, he experienced issues regarding email services - Responsible for n number of emails per day - he hurries & reaches out to the IT guy. When things went too stretchy for him - he chose to tackle on his own.
It is not that few glitches must stop you from employing technology in customer support - it is about keeping your customers urgency in the loop to identify the suitable assistant.
Relying too much on automated customer support makes your customers think:
- You treat them all like the same.
- You aren’t following up with them to learn about their experience.
- Your team and channels work in silos, preventing you from creating a seamless experience for them.
- You’re using email as a predominant channel.
- You are unable to predict when they are likely to churn.
- You’re measuring and optimizing the omnichannel customer experience.
#4 Ignoring the slow load times.
According to the Radware case study - even just a 2-sec delay in the load time can lead to a page abandonment rate of up to 87% approx. The faster your load time is - the happier your customer gets as they can solve their problem without any unnecessary wait time.
In your perspective, when you optimize your web page’s load time, you can expect to see an improvement in your user’s experience (UX), conversion rate, and ultimately, sales revenue.
You can always use external 3rd party tools to monitor your application and webpage performance - here are a few frontend performances monitoring cloud-based technology that you can use:
#5 Unable to follow up.
You have onboarded your customers successfully - prepared the needed environment, enabled them initially in ‘how-to’ product tour, even managed to show them their first win. Still, after some time - they lose interest, that long-sighted vision that once compelled them to keep progressing with your product - vanished - why?
A study by Harvard Business Review found that 56% of customers complain about poor customer follow-up.
- Because of poor customer follow-up - your customers are feeling left behind in a clueless pit of information. That once they used to imagine it as a resource - has now become a task.
To keep your customers intact with their choice of experience, it is a must that you constantly stick with them while they are progressing each day. It gives them two things:
- You are working with your customers.
- Interactive customers experience.
To help you get along with your customers and create an effective follow-up process, here are few email templates that you can use for your customers:
1. How did we do?
Each time your customers reach out to your support team regarding their queries, they expect a quick, reliable, and empathetic response. Once you have resolved their queries - you can use this template to assure your customer satisfaction.
Make sure you create an easy-to-reach backchannel (Customer care contact or 24/7 responsive mail) for customers to feel they have reliable support.
2. Survey - Slack, Follow Up!
A follow email with a rating is a great way to be in touch with customers in volume. But, if you are looking for more detailed feedback or customers response, you need a survey within the follow-up email.
It will depend on the type of questions you ask your customer to understand your areas of improvement or valuable part of your product.
If you are unsure what to ask your customers, here are a few sets of generalized survey questions for you to start with:
- Are you happy with the services that we are providing?
- Were your queries resolved quickly?
- What is that one thing that we can do better?
- Was the service helpful?
- Did we meet your expectations?
Remember to create questions regarding what you need to know from a customer perspective. The only reason why your customer will respond to your survey is that they find that you mean it intentionally.
#6: Delayed Response to Queries
If you are in a client meeting, waiting for that one last industrial report to arrive that you forgot at your desk in the morning while hurrying up, each second seems like hours, right?
That’s how your customers feel when they raise any query or request- mailing all those points & just waiting! And then a response that might churn them away or soften them up.
If there is already a delay in responsiveness, then the customers are likely to frustrate. Expect a high no of tickets raised or even a loss of customers.
Communication is like a tool in SaaS onboarding - new customers or even old customers rely entirely on your quick & reliable support.
If you are having trouble calculating your average response time, here’s a quick calculative formula:
Remember, It is not only about quick but also on empathy grounds, so make sure you keep training your customer support in these areas (keep a checklist!):
- Listening to complaints sympathetically.
- Always using a polite and empathetic tone.
- Suggest a suitable solution & reassure immediate action.
- After rectifying through appropriate action, do a follow-up!
- Let them know that their contribution is valuable.
#7: Abandoning Customers into Information Pit.
One of the most common mistakes - that most SaaS companies commit - overwhelming their customer with silos of information. Imagine a welcome screen is full of do’s & don’ts - what do you think your customer will do?
He will minimize each pop-up and will try to find his way in on his own, but, meanwhile, when he struggles to captivate his attention to work out for a solution - he is not enjoying the process at all.
Within 8 Seconds, you can win or lose your customers:-
The same fundamentals apply to you as well. If your customer support team is not well-trained to tackle different sorts of customers issues - more tickets are raised, not an enjoyable process.
So, keeping your onboarding program aligned with different customer expectations & needs will help you curate your content specifically. It will also help customers to focus only on a handful of steps to progress & improve.
How to ensure you are keeping it light on customers?
- You keep it simple! Don’t overpopulate their screen. Here’s an example - how you can go about like Dropbox, a modern workspace storage design tool - Allows customers to share and save their work, cloud-backed up.
Dropbox uses the white space on the screen like a wingman. It keeps the customer in the loop with the precision of what he might be searching for a solution.
Maintain your customer’s attention with specific content that engages them to accomplish their expectations. Also, remember, to keep this below checklist to curate your content that must:
- Not be generic concerning every customer.
- Not be complex to understand for the customer.
- Focus on individual customer goals.
- Be engage enough to feed imaginations and desires.
- Be natural that customers feel they’re familiar with the tone.
So, when your customer success team or marketing team strategize your onboarding content deliverables, make sure to keep the checklist along to discuss the to & fro of customer experience.
#8: Missing out Feedback since the start.
Feedback is the only tool that will get your onboarding program on a scalable track to improve. It happens with most SaaS companies - They don’t collect customer feedback since the initial onboarding.
And there are two reasons that SaaS companies might shy away from asking for feedback:
- Thinking they might churn off their customer with the extra effort initially.
- Thinking they might deliver value first, then ask for results.
What do your customers say about feedbacks? (Online reviews - Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Tripadvisor)
- 94% of consumers say that a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business.
- 53% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week. But 63% admit that some companies have never responded to their feedback review.
- 45% of consumers admit that they are likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews.
Customer feedback is a process - when you initiate your customers with a habit of engaging in a result-driven environment in which you want to work hard - customers appreciate & put in their trust.
So, when you think about onboarding new customers, make sure to include an engaging way of asking for feedback from your customers.
#9: Unable to monitor the onboarding process
If your customer success team fails to identify the customer’s churn during the ongoing onboarding - there are high chances to witness a rise in customer support tickets.
Your customers, since the initial stage, depending on your support, imagine their comfort while using your product. But, the moment customers face issues, they lose their comfort and begin to search for a better option.
So, to reduce customer churn rate and increase LTV, you can use onboarding metrics to track:
- Customer login frequency
- Used time per session
- Features they like or dislike
Establishing a tracking process for your onboarding will allow you to understand customers completion rate, usage time, daily active customers, churn rate, and time to value.
Once you know where the friction points are, you will be able to resolve & improve your onboarding.
#10: Unable to demonstrate a long-term vision.
The global software as a service (SaaS) market, expected to grow up to $272.49 billion by the end of 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.8%.
(Source: GlobalNewsWire, 2021)
Annually, the software is about rain-like options over customers. What is the one thing that will keep your customer loyal to your product?
Considering a customer sign-up for your overall win might give you the satisfaction of lead conversion. But, essentially, a successful conversion rate won’t be a revenue-generating asset in the upcoming future.
So, your customer loyalty and how long-sighted your customer is will decide your company’s revenue. So, every SaaS company must demonstrate a long-term vision in their onboarding - Not for just financial growth (Intention is the key!) - Not for just customer benefits (They need more than a solution) - All for customer experience.
Customer onboarding is the oldest art form of business. In ancient days, Indian street artists and vendors initiated the ‘technique of customer knowledge’ - Introducing origin, characteristics, and the taste created a curiosity to try out the product. Back then, word of mouth marketing was a tool to measure customer experience - the more famous vendor - the more activated customer - loyalty.
So, now, when too many options are letting us consider researching customer success - You must employ this ‘how-to’ guide to avoid making mistakes while planning your customer onboarding.