User onboarding is a commonly used terminology with reference to software products and services. And since Digital Adoption Platform is a form of software that aids organisations to on-board and train all its stakeholders in welcoming the digital change through effective use of technology, understanding user onboarding Whatfix makes it more relevant.
In simple words, user onboarding is the entire process of improving an individual’s success with a software product or any of its services, and can be done either manually or in an automated manner. The process enables new users to get acquainted with the features and functionalities of the software in an effective manner so that they can eventually operate the portal or app or dashboard or any other software services.
User onboarding also depends a lot on the way a new software is designed so that it becomes hassle free task to get users acquire the necessary knowledge and skill to operate it by their own.
Every software application varies in their functional complexities and scope, so technically each onboarding process varies from one another, and there’s no such common process available.
For example, B2B SaaS platforms catering to the enterprise clients will have a completely different process of user onboarding than that of any B2C web app. However, the objective of user onboarding is to make the users understand the basic principles that lies in the heart of a software product and to make them realize how it will improve their lives.
A great onboarding can be achieved by providing the right content through right channel at the right time.
Essential Elements of User Onboarding Process
To get the onboarding process right one needs to combine educating, inspiring and providing actionable insights to the users. Every software is uniquely developed and how the user onboarding is handled will transpire to what extent you know your users, their needs, their learning process and what makes your software stick with them.
Let’s look at the different tools and resources that can be used to make a perfect onboarding.
- Sign-up forms
- Welcome emails
- Tutorial videos of product / services
- First time login
- Educational emails
- In App messaging
- Help documents
- Invitation & data imports
- Follow up calls
- Event based emails
It is not necessary to have all of the above, but good user onboarding just doesn’t look at the first instance of product usage but continues to help, guide and support at later stages too.
Effective onboarding will always make their users feel welcoming and comfortable in using the products, along with training them in best possible way to use the product.
It also enables users to garner the value from the product, up the retention and reduce their learning curve. User onboarding is vital to any company as it defines a customer’s relationship with the company and its products / services.
Strategies for perfecting User Onboarding
The onboarding process largely depends on the user types and the kind of software product / service one deals with. But then putting a strategy in place to perfect the onboarding process can have competitive edge in the market.
1. Engage the users in depth-interview sessions – Knowing your users is a great way to establish a strategy. Every user is unique and getting to know why they are using your product is a golden information that can help you to empower them and convert them into long term users.
2. Create hooks to get customers – Customers should go through a cycle of parameters that would make them more knowledgeable on various features of the software, thereby converting them into long term users. Trigger, action, reward and investment are the important parameters that enables any user in taking appropriate step forward.
3. Set the expectation and keep the momentum – Keeping the users motivated and intrigued into the process of onboarding can be a challenge. The best way to do it is by using a progress bar to let them know how much time left for completion. It is advisable to keep the process simple and short without any ambiguity.
4. Make use of progressive profiling – To start with onboarding it is wise to ask for minimalistic information and then use progressive profiling to extract more info about themselves. Asking for too many personal information at the beginning of the signing up process might push the users away.
5. Create rich content – A fine balance should be maintained with the content you create for the onboarding process. Note; content in the sense not an SEO content. While few love to be told about what all to be done, others just hate to be schooled with the entire process flowchart. Offering one solution for all can be a total let down, instead providing them with an option to schedule and learn as per their convenience can be engaging and beneficial.
6. Visibility of user drop-outs – Studying the user drop-outs can provide great insights to the onboarding process. Tracking these drop-offs can help you identify the grey areas and reactivate things for better experience.
Top User Onboarding Tools of 2020
Acquiring new customers is the biggest challenge faced by new businesses. And to get rid of this hurdle, user onboarding plays a vital role. Effective onboarding enhances customer experience, reduces support costs and gets more revenue. Following are some of the best tools for 2020 that enables to create awesome user guides and tours to enhance customer satisfaction and reduce support costs.
These advanced tools create an entire new mechanism to connect with the customers and help them make informed decision by taking their feedback at the appropriate time with event triggered messages.
Onboarding and conversion of new users to active ones have now become simple, easy and effective. To make it further robust, the tools are synced with user’s behavioural data with other productivity tools. They also convert trial users into permanent subscribers and inactive ones into engaged users. Before narrowing down to the right onboarding tool, it is advisable to evaluate a couple of them and do a comparative analysis.