Client onboarding is the first essential stage of the customer journey.
It defines the relationship between your clients and the service you provide in the long term.
It’s all about making sure that your clients become capable of making the most of your product so that they turn into loyal, happy customers.
Thankfully, it’s not a manual process in 2023, and we have some effective customer onboarding tools to help ease the process.
So, now, let’s take a look at:
- What a client onboarding software is,
- Why client onboarding tools matter,
- Different types of client and user onboarding software, and
- The best client onboarding software out there
Looking for something more specific?
Don’t have the time? Here’s a quick recap ⬇️
Client Onboarding Software / TL;DR
- A client onboarding software is a tool for onboarding customers to products successfully utilizing different onboarding UX patterns like walkthroughs, in-app messages, user surveys, educational content and more.
- Using a client onboarding software matters because:
- It saves time and money,
- It helps build customer loyalty thanks to a better user and customer experience,
- It is easy to use and most client onboarding tools can be utilized by anyone as they are often no-code solutions
- There are different types of client onboarding software, the most prominent being interactive on-screen guidance, LMS, and knowledge bases.
- Some great client onboarding software are:
- UserGuiding – for advanced features with affordability and ease of use,
- Jotform – for no-code survey building and editing,
- ClientSuccess – for tracking client success post-sale,
- Inline Manual – for all-in-one client onboarding with a big budget,
- ChurnZero – for focusing on churn decrease,
- WalkMe – for big companies with even bigger budgets,
- GuideCX – for focusing on analytics and engagement,
- Userpilot – for advanced onboarding for dedicated onboarding teams,
- Pendo – for product analytics,
- Nickelled – for video guides
But first, let’s get some definitions straight.
What is a Client Onboarding Software?
A client onboarding software, also referred to as customer onboarding software, is a tool that helps manage and utilize software implementations and onboard your clients with problem-solving skills and advanced features that ease the customer journey and adaptation process. With a good client onboarding tool, you can achieve higher customer retention rates, lower churn rates, and decreased support costs since it will have a tremendous impact on your elimination process of the pain points and, thus, enable you to offer a better customer experience.
Essentially, a customer onboarding solution isn’t necessarily too distinct from a user onboarding tool.
In fact, a user onboarding process is often intertwined with a customer onboarding process.
So we can say that the client onboarding process is as important as the user onboarding experience a product offers, if not more important in some cases.
But hey, let’s talk a little bit more about that:
Why does client onboarding software matter?
Client onboarding software has been a relatively new area of software and SaaS, becoming popular only recently.
Meaning, before that, we had to code user experiences for onboarding.
Or people would read through manuals, especially for employee onboarding, which was definitely way worse than having to code.
So we can say that that is the main reason why a user onboarding tool or any technology used for a client onboarding strategy is a must.
But there is more.
Here’s 3 reasons why customer onboarding software are necessary for effective onboarding:
1- Saves time – and money 💸
A customer onboarding software’s primal advantage is how much less time it takes to create a user onboarding flow.
This is the main value proposition for most client onboarding software as well.
They not only decrease the workload of coding a brand new user onboarding experience from scratch but also save time in maintaining them.
But on top of that, a customer onboarding tool also offers the opportunity to save money.
Without an automated onboarding process for clients, it is either a product demo for each client that is handled by a customer success manager or a salesperson, or other resources like help centers or knowledge bases.
So we can say that any client onboarding software picked right for the product at hand can save lots of time and money 🚀
2- Better app experiences = more loyal customers
Having been designed by SaaS people who understand the logic behind effectively onboarding users, a client onboarding software can help you:
✅ Increase product and feature adoption, user activation, user retention,
✅ Segment users and offer personalized onboarding experiences,
✅ Indirectly and directly contribute to product growth,
✅ Encourage and enable customer feedback in-app and outside the app
And thanks to all this, client onboarding software can help create more loyal customers that validate your social proof and get you even more loyal customers.
3- Better management – by anyone
The last advantage of a client onboarding tool on our list is one simple fact:
Most client onboarding software work no-code.
That means anyone on your team with enough technical knowledge to drag and drop UI elements can use a client onboarding tool, create user onboarding flows, gather actionable insights from analytics, and design an entire user onboarding process.
So, with a client onboarding software, you can save time, money, and employee effort, create loyal customers and increase customer retention, and do all that with ease with any teammate on board.
Of course, to do all this, you would need to pick the right customer onboarding solution for you.
Let’s talk about:
3 Client Onboarding Software Types
1- Interactive On-Screen Guidance
An interactive guide is a wonderful onboarding method.
👉 It increases engagement significantly by creating room for the client’s participation in the whole learning process.
With a 100% interactivity strategy such as this one, you can easily transform the dull learning experience into a memorable and fruitful one that your customers enjoy.
For example, platforms like UserGuiding provide on-screen guidance to help you connect with your huge amount of clients with the help of this brilliant combination of interactivity and engagement.
Here’s what an interactive experience looks like:
👉 These platforms use tooltips, hotspots, product tours, NPS surveys, and many more features that encourage interactivity and participation that really pave the way to creating smooth onboarding flows for your clients.
👉 Since on-screen guidance is more effective and requires much fewer resources to begin with, it is cost and time-efficient as well.
Instead of using a traditional onboarding process that basically involves orientations and inductions, going for a client onboarding software that includes interactive guidance will enable you to create an opportunity for your clients to establish and achieve their goals by mastering the essential features along their way with great ease.
2- Learning Management Systems
Learning management systems are web-based systems that help you automate client and employee training.
👉 They are, again, a great option that perfectly works as a software application primarily for the automation, tracking, reporting, and offering of instructive courses, training programs, or learning processes you offer.
👉 Their purpose is to enhance learning and development departments by providing outstanding training for the targeted learner audience to achieve business growth and success.
With an LMS, you can gather all your learning materials in one place and make them reachable for all the learning personas with a single click.
You can divide the learners into categories representing your audience’s job position or function in your company.
👉 Afterward, you can easily assign your learners a single task or a test and track their progress.
With LMS, you’re not only saving yourself time, but you’re also enabling yourself to improve client knowledge regularly with ease, enabling them to access the learning materials from anywhere, any device, for an unlimited number of times to refresh their memory.
3- Knowledge Bases, Help Centers & Wikis
The last one on the list is knowledge base software & wikis.
Knowledge base software, also referred to as help center software, is a complex tool that allows you to organize, manage and share the content you created for your audience.
👉 You can think of it as an online repository of information about your product, service, or organization.
👉 Primarily, a knowledge base enables you to offer helpful troubleshooting content such as how-to articles, video tutorials, documents, presentations, or FAQs that help team members and clients to use self-guidance for as long as they want without having to wait on salespeople or reach out to customer support, which can be a total pain.
Here’s a cool knowledge base example from Document360’s help center:
👉 Similarly, the term ”Wiki software”, also referred to as a wiki engine, defines collaborative software that runs a wiki, letting users create and edit documents, pages, or entries via a web browser.
👉 Wikis are helpful in that they can store extensive amounts of information while providing ease of use.
Multiple people can edit them, any bad edits can be easily reverted, creating links between the documents is quite simple, and all edits are traceable in the detailed page history.
Just a quick wrap-up before I’m done with this part:
I also find it worth mentioning that there’s a slight difference between internal and external knowledge bases.
When you go with an internal knowledge base, the software might require login information to enable access to the content. In contrast, external help centers enable you to create for the masses.
Wanna know more about knowledge bases?
Check out our article 9 Knowledge Base Software That’s Worth Your Time in 2023.
But for now, let’s take a look at some of the best customer onboarding software to enhance your customer onboarding process:
Top 10 Best Client Onboarding Software in 2023
Now, it might sound like I am being partial – well, I am – but UserGuiding is THE customer onboarding software.
It offers a customer onboarding tool that helps you create perfect first-time user experiences as well as customer onboarding solutions for all types of businesses.
What’s really great about UserGuiding is that it combines advanced features with easy-to-use elements, which then lets you step up your client onboarding process.
Here’s a quick look at those features:
✅ Interactive walkthroughs, product tours, guides,
✅ Tooltips, hotspots, in-app messages,
✅ In-app Surveys,
✅ Onboarding Checklists,
✅ Resource Centers,
✅ Powerful analytics,
✅ Segmentation and targeting, and
What you can achieve and create via these given features is entirely up to you.
The stage is yours 😎
But before moving on, let me just add that UserGuiding wins us over with one additional detail:
It’s completely no-code.
So with UserGuiding, you get to look into detailed analytics of your customers’ user journeys, segment and target them, customize their experiences completely and do all that without coding.
Long story short, if you’re looking for a great client onboarding tool that will increase your product adoption rates, retention rates, user activation rates, and feature adoption while decreasing churn rates and customer frustration…
UserGuiding is the one for you!
- 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Basic Plan: $89/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU
- Professional Plan: $389/month when billed annually for up to 20000 MAU with unlimited guides
- Corporate Plan: $689/month when billed annually for custom MAU
UserGuiding also offers free migration services for your in-app content created using other software to minimize your switching costs.
Schedule a demo with one of our experts or start your free trial now:
Jotform is a free online form builder that enables you to:
👉 Create all types of online custom forms, including registration forms,
👉 Receive responses via email,
👉 Create editable PDFs,
👉 Collect crucial details about your clients,
👉 Organize the final amount of information in a clean space,
👉 Send personalized feedback via email based on your clients’ needs
All without a single line of code.
The software has a drag-and-drop user interface that contributes to its ease of use while building forms with tons of features and thousands of templates.
Which makes it an excellent option for beginners or advanced learners!
In this sense, the software plays a significant role in creating an individualized customer onboarding experience instead of forcing thousands of different people with different needs to go through the same dull process.
What I mean is, providing a personalized experience is essential to customer satisfaction.
For instance, you will have advanced clients that require further knowledge, and on the other hand, you will have beginners who would be more willing to experience a step-by-step guiding approach.
Makes perfect sense, right?
If you are looking for a free client onboarding software, Jotform is one of many you can use in customer onboarding.
Jotform has a free version and comes with 4 different plans; Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Enterprise.
The Bronze Plan: $34/month with 25 forms and 1.000 monthly submissions
The Silver Plan: $39/month with 50 forms and 2.500 monthly submissions
The Gold Plan: $99/month with 100 forms and 10.000 monthly submissions
Enterprise Plan: Custom
If you are part of a B2B Saas company and want to:
👉 Manage post-sales relationships with your clients,
👉 Closely examine their lifecycle -and hopefully extend it,
👉 Maximize customer retention and growth,
ClientSuccess is another great software you can entrust your customer onboarding process with.
At its core, it’s basically a brilliant reporting tool.
Which improves your ability to:
✅ Stay organized in tracking your interactions with clients,
✅ Grow your existing customer base with detailed, actionable insights,
✅ Keep up with rich and thorough analytics while offering personal relationships and an incredible client onboarding experience,
Also, it creates ease of use and quickness in that it integrates with Gmail accounts so that all email threads with your clients automatically become available for your access in an instant.
So, you don’t have to worry about information updates and being too busy to make manual entries because the email integration will enable you to review all the details about client interactions easily.
How cool is that?
And I’m not even done 😎
What makes ClientSuccess really great is that the platform pays great attention to building efficient customer journeys in a step-by-step, very neat manner.
This is personally very appealing to me since I care about organized, clean spaces I can work on, and I like to see my virtual progress on a solid platform to keep track of it.
If you’re like me, I’m sure you will like how this software operates in terms of organization.
Unfortunately, ClientSuccess doesn’t offer a fixed pricing.
However, you can go to ClientSuccess’ website and contact for pricing plans.
4- Inline Manual
The next customer onboarding software on our list is Inline Manual.
Inline Manual is a client onboarding software that helps you create interactive walkthroughs, tooltips and share support articles in-app WITHOUT any coding required.
You already know that to be able to create a great onboarding strategy that really is ✨perfect✨, you need:
👉 Onboarding documentation, tutorials, in-app messages, hotspots to draw user attention, and other features to make it work so well.
And that it is usually really hard to find an all-in-one digital adoption platform.
But you’re in luck!
With Inline Manual, all your documentation and tutorials can be created in just a few minutes, and you can control and manage them with a single dashboard.
With other powerful features like:
✅ Version control,
✅ Feedback channels, and
✅ Detailed analytics,
You can benefit from Inline Manual’s rich and helpful content to achieve that great onboarding you’ve been looking for.
Be warned, though, all those cool features come at a price, and it is not only in dollars.
Some users say that Inline Manual’s UX tends to be confusing and that there is a lack of detailed analytics features.
You might want to consider Inline Manual alternatives here 👈
Still, it’s a great all-in-one customer onboarding solution with a fitting price:
Inline Manual Pricing
Inline Manual’s pricing plan starts with a minimum of 250 monthly active users for $158.
If you wish to raise the number of users, the pricing increases accordingly.
ChurnZero is a very rich platform that’s designed primarily for growing SaaS and subscription businesses to help their customer success teams fully understand clients and take action accordingly.
At its core, the software empowers you to:
👉 Create engagement with your clients, contacts, and accounts
👉 Keep track of the customer lifecycle,
👉 View product usage, and
👉 Study their behaviors
Which, in turn, helps you fight churn, expand your current accounts, increase product adoption and optimize the overall customer experience -decreasing the time to value and the time it takes to onboard new clients- as a result.
It’s got everything you need to know– all in one place with a single click.
It provides you with:
✅ Reminders and real-time alerts,
✅ Account insights,
✅ Customer health scores,
✅ Automated task creation and timelines,
And a constant flow of information to keep you regularly updated and in control.
Here’s a quick look at how it does what it does:
Sadly, ChurnZero doesn’t offer a free plan.
ChurnZero provides a custom pricing plan for their software, so you’ll have to contact them to gain information. Contact for pricing here.
If you want to gain a better understanding of your clients’ behaviors and interactions with your website, app, or during the onboarding process, WalkMe is a great choice.
WalkMe is a digital adoption platform that enables you to practice an effortless, smoothly operating client onboarding process by providing you with the opportunity to create on-screen tutorials that guide your audience and walk them through every step of mastering your service.
Thanks to this software, clients are able to unlock the value of your service from the very beginning with personalized onboarding experiences.
With the help of this customer onboarding software, you can:
Encourage and practice customer engagement, reduce churn, increase retention and simplify the throughout UX with key features that come with WalkMe; such as:
✅ Comprehensive analytics,
✅ Tracking of click rates,
✅ Viewership, and
✅ Various digital transformation solutions,
All of which will help you focus on the possible frictions and struggles your clients may experience along the way and enable you to act faster and more relevantly.
But, of course, such great capabilities come at a price.
And WalkMe is not really preferred by small and mid-market businesses or larger businesses that don’t have the resources for it.
WalkMe doesn’t share its pricing plans publicly, and the sales process is often initiated through demos, but according to our insiders 🤫 WalkMe contracts go way beyond $10,000 annually while some others say the monthly pricing hovers around $9,000.
Like WalkMe too much?
Check out our WalkMe alternatives article here 👈
As a person who likes to have everything organized and focused for the success of a certain task/project or business, I can easily say that GuideCX became one of my favorite examples as I was researching for this article.
And it could be yours too!
If you’re part of an organization with a lot on its plate – numerous processes with different tracking mechanisms in multiple tools- GuideCX is the software you’re looking for.
At its core, it’s a client onboarding project implementation platform that places your clients at the center of each project by providing you with detailed insights and visibility into your clients’ journey.
With GuideCX, you can walk your clients through each step and help them stay on track with:
✅ Automated tasks,
✅ Notifications, and
GuideCX also manages to win hearts since it’s effortless to use and doesn’t require much technical knowledge or training, so your clients won’t have difficulty embracing it.
And the features it provides for SaaS projects of all kinds are really worth it.
You can track all the detailed analytics, increase engagement within your website and grow your project with unlimited guest invites and more.
Sadly, GuideCX doesn’t have a fixed pricing list.
You can reach out to the platform via the contact form on their website to create custom pricing, but here’s a detailed screenshot of the other plans that are offered, anyway.
Userpilot is another client onboarding tool with a no-code approach.
It is a great software that will help your product teams provide a great in-app experience just when your clients desperately need it and boost user adoption as a result.
What’s so good about UserPilot?
Well, UserPilot offers your clients a personalized product experience with features such as:
✅ Quick tips and hints,
✅ Goal setting and tracking,
✅ A customizable UI,
✅ A/B testing flows and more
When you keep in mind that every possible client takes on a different approach to your service since they all require different things, you’ll understand and appreciate what Userpilot helps you achieve better.
It does a great job making customizations for each of your client personas.
But you might also want to keep in mind that some users believe Userpilot’s customization can be a little limited for its high pricing and that implementation can be pretty cumbersome.
Just in case you’d like something else, here’s our Userpilot alternatives article 👈
Userpilot offers the following pricing plans:
14-day free trial (no credit card required)
Traction Plan: $249/month when billed annually for up to 2,500 MAU
Growth Plan: $499/month when billed annually for up to 10,000 MAU
Enterprise Plan: Starting from $1000/month when billed annually for up to 10,000 MAU
But it can do wonders as a client onboarding tool as well.
With its own tools that create space for innovation within your business, Pendo will help your clients learn how to get the hang of the software and easily adopt it for their everyday routines with in-app walkthroughs, guides and custom messaging.
In addition, the onboarding experience offered by the platform is guaranteed to provide your clients with all the necessary details they need to understand the product.
Pendo also has analytics features that allow your teams to track how clients are using the product and how often they’re using it and measure all kinds of engagement stats so that you can make the necessary improvements and alterations to offer an even better onboarding.
Trusted by many major global companies, Pendo will surely do an incredible job helping you create relevant solutions to your clients’ needs and offer them a wonderful experience that will last.
Again, a tiny disclaimer:
Some Penod users report its analytics feature being a bit primitive and that Pendo is hard to setup, maintain, and overall use since it has a steep learning curve.
But don’t fret!
If you want a more capable, more affordable Pendo, here’s our Pendo alternatives article 👈
Pendo offers four separate plans that you can choose from according to your needs and expectations.
You can get started for free with up to 1,000 monthly active users. Or you can go for the plans ”Team”, ‘‘Pro” or ”Enterprise”. Here’s what they all include:
Here’s another favorite of mine.
Nickelled is a customer onboarding platform that offers interactive, customizable, and engaging onboarding experiences.
If you’re interested in providing your clients with perfectly interactive training that ensures they fully learn how to use your service and even intensify this learning process by offering step-by-step guides and videos, Nickelled is the platform you’re looking for.
The best part about Nickelled is that it requires no software or code installation.
Once you decide to stick with it, you are offered the opportunity to examine the rich insights into how your clients use the product and easily understand where you should step in and give them a hand.
You can always check the competition and satisfaction scores for each of your tutorial videos, tasks, or assignments to learn how your training process has worked out so far.
You can reduce the total time and effort you put into your onboarding process and minimize support tickets since you’ll be using many guided tools, in-app callouts, widgets, and more to create an overall brilliant onboarding experience for your clients.
Nickelled doesn’t offer a fixed pricing list anymore, but you can reach out to them for a demo here 👈
Onboarding clients the right way from the get-go is a critical step in your relationship and communication with customers in the long term.
Customer retention, product usage, customer satisfaction scores and customer health scores, feature adoption and other important metrics and business insight become trivial if you fail to onboard customers properly.
For continual business growth, this is your sign to start using a good client onboarding software.
Which one works best for you is up to you and your product.
I tried to put together a list of effective solutions for customer education and onboarding, I hope it’s been helpful 😇
Best of luck in advance!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to onboard new clients?
It might look like onboarding your clients is best done through one-on-one calls or through a personalized manual sales process, but an automated customer onboarding process using a client onboarding tool can be equally rewarding in terms of increasing customer retention and product adoption rates. Content creation, training content, online training solutions and other additional resources can of course be helpful as well.
What does a client onboarding specialist do?
A client onboarding specialist works with new clients from the very beginning to get them ready to take the journey and reach success. They basically make sure that clients understand what they’re dealing with regarding the quality of the product and features, etc.
What is SaaS onboarding software?
A SaaS onboarding software is a tool or platform dedicated to SaaS user or employee onboarding that often makes use. of interactive walkthroughs, educational content, and onboarding UX patterns.