How to Automate the User Onboarding Process with UserGuiding

Non-automated user onboarding is a dying art form. And personally, I don’t have any complaints.

Now here’s a hypothetical scenario for you: You hear your friends talk about a cool product, let’s say an app, like YouTube.

You have heard it’s really fun; you can log in and start watching videos uploaded from everywhere in the world, you can upload your own videos too, and you can share them with others. You can’t wait to get in there and enjoy the product.

An e-mail hits you: they want to onboard you. On a phone call.

user onboarding meme
TFW you’re hyped about something, but you have to talk to a company rep:

“Aww, but isn’t that nice and personal? They reach out to everyone one by one and help them understand the product. That’s a customer success dream.”

Wrong.

No one wants to have someone walk them through something unless it is something really important, maybe like if a meteor is approaching the world and you have to learn a missile control system real quick.

That’s why we need automated user onboarding. Chill people, no SaaS product is as complicated as those control systems, nor is it that important to master.

So today, let’s talk about:

What does Automated Onboarding exactly mean?

automated user onboarding meaning

Automated onboarding is an entire process of a user or customer onboarding that requires no real-time human interaction and is mostly supported by in-app messages and directions that are specifically designed to guarantee a positive onboarding experience and thus customer satisfaction. Proven to be way more effective than manual onboarding due to manual processes being too costly and not so time-efficient, automated onboarding has become a must-have in the SaaS industry.

So, in short, automated onboarding is the type of onboarding that doesn’t need two-way communication between the customer and the company representative. 

It can be done using product tours and walkthroughs and can also be triggered or scheduled to happen at a certain time.

Now the big question: “how is it better than a manual customer onboarding process?”

Let me explain.

Why should you automate your user onboarding?

When looking at the debate of manual vs automated onboarding, some pros and cons of the controversy are easy to agree with.

A manual customer onboarding process is personal and more in-depth but at the same time, it costs more and requires more time on both ends of the onboarding.

An automated onboarding is not as “VIP” as a manual one but it can be more cost and time-efficient for both the customer and the rep.

Now, these are up to interpretation depending on the variables of each’s own business but facts aren’t.

And here are some facts:

  • 67% of users would rather go with self-service before speaking to a company representative.
  • 81% of all customers try and solve their problem by themselves before talking to a representative.
  • 79% of customers expect companies to provide self-service tools so that people can help themselves without talking to customer support.

It’s clear as the day: your customers can do it alone.

Of course, these are post-onboarding situations that depend more on customer support than onboarding but still, you might want to ask yourself these questions before you ever opt for a manual onboarding process:

👉 Is my product complex enough to require manual onboarding?

👉 What is my customer base like? Would they need in-person onboarding?

👉 How would you define a seamless onboarding experience and how could you take this seamless experience to the next level?

👉 Would it be more cost-efficient to use an onboarding software or go with manual onboarding considering your company size?

👉 What would be the best for your customer experience?

Trouble answering these questions? Let me tell you about some people who were able to answer them.

3 Examples of User Onboarding Automation in SaaS

If you’ve been onboarding users manually for a long time and your approach to onboarding is pretty much settled forever, customer onboarding automation might be an odd concept for you.

To make things clearer, let’s see some examples that really nailed it by turning onboarding tasks into customer retention machines.

Here we go.

1- Ideta 

A no-code customer service platform founded in 2017, Ideta was struggling with their onboarding flow and the problem was the very thing they were trying to be a solution to: customer confusion.

They were sending tutorials and videos to customers via email and the problem was that the customers would have already checked out the platform before they could see the onboarding documents.

Then they decided to give automated onboarding a shot and adopted UserGuiding to create a complete guide.

Now, thanks to their initiative, their onboarding flow looks like this:

Ideta user onboarding automation

And though indirectly, this little change played a number on their retention rates too. User session durations went up by 50% and this contributed a 6% increase in revenue.

Just a lil’ something automated onboarding can do for your business 😎

Read the rest of the success story here 👈

2- Next Fit

Any gym rats here today?

Next Fit is that one software that your gym management uses to keep a record of things around the place. And they needed serious onboarding help.

The problem was that they were doing video call onboarding.

As we talked about it above, it is good to be so personal with your users. Unless it starts to take a toll on you. 

And it was getting costlier and costlier for Next Fit, as predicted. So they needed to do the one thing that could not only solve their problem but also improve other parts of the business: automate the onboarding.

Next Fit user onboarding automation

Using UserGuiding, they came up with an entire educational onboarding flow that had different interactive guides in it, in a matter of two days.

That is the time they would have to spend onboarding two users.

Though they have not yet abolished video calls completely, they have gotten amazing results with their automated onboarding flow.

👉 First, the number of video calls reduced by almost 80%. Now they only do the video calls with only 20% of the user base. 

👉 They reduced support ticket numbers by 50%.

👉 They doubled their customer base while they successfully dropped the ticket count to a shocking 15%.

Wanna read the full success story?

3- Autorola’s Indicata

Autorola, a big online remarketing and automotive IT solutions leader was looking for an onboarding solution for their used vehicle inventory management tool for car dealers, Indicata.

I know, I know, just remember that they need better onboarding.

Being a super big company with users in 13 different markets around the globe, obviously, they couldn’t call customers one by one. User manuals and emailing were off the table.

They were also suspicious that some users on the platform weren’t using it to the fullest, and some new features weren’t even properly announced.

Thankfully all that could be resolved with UserGuiding.

Autorola user onboarding automation

Here you see Indicata’s new feature announcement hotspot and how they embedded a video within the onboarding flow. 

Getting results didn’t take long.

Right after implementing the onboarding, the staff feedback was positive.

Then, after 7 days of implementation, the metrics arrived. 47% of users that week had interacted with the new feature tour and 34% of them had interacted with the hotspot.

Here’s the rest of the success story.

Well, I bet now we are on the same page about automated onboarding being the best thing you can do for your business.

what we are not on the same page about is, however, how YOU can do what these businesses managed to do with UserGuiding. And of course, it is my duty to explain how.

Let’s go.

How to Create and Automate User Onboarding Flows with UserGuiding, in 3 Steps

Let me clear something up before I start. If you’re thinking, “do I really need to use UserGuiding like all those other businesses to automate my onboarding process?

The answer is: No. No, you don’t.

If you want to deal with coding for an entire week only to keep maintaining it and losing more time on it.

If you want to do it no-code, no struggle, yes ease of set up, use, and customization, you need UserGuiding.

You’ll get why in a minute.

Now, normally preparing an onboarding flow takes time. But with UserGuiding, you can set up a simple or sophisticated one in a matter of minutes in three simple steps.

1- Create a guide

A simple guide can serve as an onboarding flow as well as an interactive one with different UX elements.

So, first things first, open UserGuiding.

create no-code ux modals

Go to the “Guides” tab and click on the “New Guide” button.

You will be asked to enter the URL of the website you want to use UserGuiding on. Once you type it in, a new tab will open up where you can use the UserGuiding sidebar.

creating ux modals guide

On the sidebar that appears on the website, click on “+Guide” to start. 

2- Customize and automate

It is important to name guides so that we can find them easily later on if we want to create a holistic onboarding process.

how to create ux modals
ux modals creating steps

Name your guide and click on the “+Step” button to pick a UX element for your onboarding processes like onboarding checklists, a greeting message, or simple tooltips.

steps for creating ux modals

Click on the “Modal” button and pick the UX element you want to use on your website. Add your content, pick your colors and add elements.

You can easily add more steps to your guide to make your onboarding flow more educating and digestible.

how do you create ux modals

Pick the modal placement, save your progress, and preview it by hitting the play button.

Once you are done, you can go back to the UserGuiding dashboard.

userguiding ux modals

Find your new guide and click on the Settings button to add your container code, this way you will be able to activate your modal.

Next up is automation.

Now, once your settings are done and you save your onboarding, it is already automated. But to spice it up, you can try other automation options like:

Custom page targeting,

UserGuiding page targeting

Audience segmentation,

UserGuiding audience segmentation

Auto-triggers or custom triggers,

UserGuiding trigger

Or you can schedule an onboarding flow.

UserGuiding scheduling

It is all up to you to decide, according to the needs of your user base.

3- Save and publish

creating ux modals with userguiding
how to create ux modals with userguiding

Lastly, turn your guide into active, save it, and publish changes. And so your automated onboarding is ready.

Like what you see? Give UserGuiding a try, for free!

Conclusion

All in all, the point is clear: if you don’t have ten customers, automated onboarding is always a wiser option.

It not only saves you time but also money and precious developer workload stacks that can be used to improve your product rather than coding an onboarding flow that requires constant maintenance. 

Do the right thing, automate your onboarding.

how to automate user onboarding with UserGuiding

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how to automate user onboarding with UserGuiding

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Serra Alban

Serra is a Creative Content Writer of UserGuiding specialized in user onboarding and UX design. When she is not writing you can find her playing video games or throwing random movie trivia at uninterested people.

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