Are you struggling to onboard new customers quickly and efficiently?
Long onboarding times can frustrate customers and hurt your business, leading to lower satisfaction, retention, and revenue.
Fortunately, there are numerous, basic steps you can take to reduce customer onboarding time significantly.
In this article, I’ll share 9 practical and actionable steps you can implement to streamline your onboarding process, improve the initial experience, and boost your conversion rates.
Whether you’re a startup or an established company, these tips can help you onboard customers faster and more effectively, leading to greater success and business growth rate.
Let’s get to it then, shall we?
What Do We Mean by ”Customer Onboarding Time”?
Customer onboarding time, at its core, refers to the length of time it takes for a particular business model to successfully educate, engage, and retain a new customer. This process typically involves some specific steps such as account setup, product or service demonstration, and offering information and resources to guide the customer and help them get the most value possible from their interaction.
It starts when a user first gets introduced to the product or service, thus building their first impression of it, and it is vital at that point to ensure that they get value from the given product right from the beginning.
Once a user sees the product for the first time and gets value, it means that they have finally experienced the ”time to value” of the product, which refers to the amount of time it takes for an average customer to receive the first solid benefit from using what you have to offer.
It’s a critical metric for correctly evaluating the efficiency of the entire customer onboarding process.
By offering a clear and interactive onboarding journey, companies can easily help their users reach this milestone as quickly as possible.
👉🏼 And yes, it matters that it happens as quickly as possible since a shorter ”time to value” is always seen as a positive indicator of a business’s efficiency, as it allows new customers to start using the product or service quickly and efficiently.
👉🏼 A longer customer time to value, thus onboarding time, can bring about customer frustration or even abandonment, considering that customers may become impatient and angry waiting for access to the product or struggling to understand how to make use of it.
Why should you reduce customer onboarding time?
Let’s jump into the fast lane and discover why reducing customer onboarding time is the ultimate power move for your business.
Imagine your customers as eager explorers excited to dive into your product or service. By reducing onboarding time, you’re like a superhero granting their wishes instantly.
You’re giving them more time to experience the magic of your offering and less time waiting around.
It’s like serving up a lightning-fast roller coaster ride instead of a sluggish carousel.
Not only does it create a delightful and memorable first impression, but it also keeps customers engaged, boosts satisfaction, and increases the likelihood of them becoming loyal fans.
Plus, when word spreads about your lightning-speed onboarding, more customers will be flocking to join the thrill ride.
So buckle up and get ready to zoom past the competition with swift and sensational onboarding!
How Do You Speed Up Onboarding Process for Customers and Clients
1- Remove the human element.
Customer onboarding without any human intervention, like a robot takeover of paperwork and instructions.
It’s all about digitizing the process and bidding farewell to those pesky costs. Say goodbye to the chit-chat with representatives and say hello to software tools and apps doing the heavy lifting.
We’re talking about streamlining, saving time, and making things so smooth you’ll think you’re on a waterslide.
It’s like having a virtual tour guide who collects info, verifies identity, and gets customers ready to rock ‘n’ roll with your product.
Efficiency and cost-cutting?
A seamless experience?
This kind of approach can help your business save time and money, boost efficiency, and offer a more seamless experience for the customer.
Trello, for instance, offers a series of pre-made boards that you can use to get started quickly once you sign up.
2- Draw a straight path to value.
Drawing a straight path to value means focusing solely on the required elements of a product that directly provides value to the customer and avoiding any possible distractions or detours that do not necessarily add significant value.
In the context of customer onboarding and product development, it is common for businesses to offer many features or functionalities that they believe will make their product stand out and seem more attractive to potential buyers.
However, unless these features are directly related to the core value proposition of the product, they may distract the customer from the main benefit and, unfortunately, add complexity.
This approach involves identifying the key features that provide the most value to the customer and emphasizing them throughout the journey.
By doing so, you can make your product more relevant and easier to navigate, which can ultimately lead to even greater customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.
Furthermore, this approach allows companies to develop products more swiftly and effectively, as they can easily avoid spending too much time and resources on features that are not vital.
3- Use onboarding Checklists and Setup Wizards.
Onboarding checklists and setup wizards can be useful tools for users to map out the entire onboarding process of using a product.
Checklists are simple tools that allow users to keep track of their progress and make sure that they complete all the necessary steps with ease. When creating a checklist for a product, it is always important to remember to break down the process into clear and manageable steps that the user can easily navigate.
The checklist should be prominently demonstrated and easy to access so that the user can refer to it at any time.
As the user completes each task, they can check it off the list, which brings about a sense of achievement and satisfaction along the way.
Checklists can be specifically of great help for complex processes that include numerous steps or that require careful attention to multiple details.
👉🏼 Asana, for instance, offers a checklist full of tasks to complete that walk the user through the onboarding process.
A Setup Wizard, on the other hand, is a more sophisticated tool that guides users through the process of setting up and configuring the product.
It typically involves a series of screens or dialog boxes that prompt the user for more detailed information and guide them through the entire process step-by-step.
These Setup Wizards can be personalized to match the particular requirements of the user and the product, and they can be optimized to provide insightful tips, advice, or detailed instructions along the way.
They can also be used to gather important information from the user, such as their preferences or settings, and to provide service accordingly.
✍🏼 Both the customer onboarding checklist and setup wizards can be efficient tools for helping users map out the entire process of getting started with a product.
By breaking down the elements in the process into clear and controllable steps and offering invaluable guidance, these tools are here to help you make your users feel more confident and in control, which can ultimately lead to greater satisfaction and commitment.
Talking about Checklists… Check this Pro Tip ⬇️
Checklists and setup wizards not only reduce customer onboarding time but also:
👉 Increase personalization,
👉 Offer a better user experience,
👉 Regulate the onboarding process, and, most importantly,
👉 Increase completion rates!
But not any old checklist’s gonna cut it for all products.
In fact, if you are not a big enterprise with a big developer team with big-time slots lying empty in their schedules, the solution you are looking for is…
UserGuiding is a no-code digital adoption platform that empowers companies of all sizes to onboard customers with an easy to use, easy on the eye, and easy on the pocket solution.
Don’t believe me?
This checklist by Keyhole thinks otherwise ⬇️
UserGuiding’s key features include:
✅ Interactive guides, product tours, walkthroughs
✅ Hotspots, tooltips, in-app messaging,
✅ User onboarding checklists,
✅ Resource centers,
✅ In-app surveys,
And more, powered with powerful analytics, customization, localization, segmentation, and targeting.
4- Provide Live Support
Provide customers with live support through chat or phone to help them get an easier start. This will allow them to receive answers to their questions effortlessly and quickly.
Live support is a crucial resource for customers who need help getting things started with your product.
By providing your assistance via chat or phone support, you can help customers get answers before there is any room for frustration and confusion.
To make live support effective, make sure it is always accessible and responsive and staffed by knowledgeable agents who are willing to provide insightful advice.
Take Shopify, for example.
The platform offers 24/7 support via phone, chat, or email whenever you decide to sign up for it.
5- Use Video Tutorials.
Video tutorials can be a powerful tool for showcasing to customers how to use your precious product.
By coming up with clear, and precise videos that walk customers through each step along the process, you can help them get up to speed quickly and reduce the possibility of any errors or confusion caused by complexity.
To ensure that your videos are relevant and impactful, remember to keep them short since nobody has time to sit and watch a 30-minute-long manual.
Use clear language, and offer plenty of visual examples.
Dropbox does this brilliantly.
By providing a series of video tutorials to help its new customers get a positive start with their services, the platform successfully covers topics such as how to upload and share files, how to collaborate with others, and how to use advanced features such as version history and team folders.
6- Send a Welcome E-mail.
A welcome email is always simple yet effective.
It is a brilliant way to introduce customers to your product and set clear expectations from the very beginning.
In addition to providing critical information, you can also use a welcome email to establish a personal connection with the customer and make them feel heard and valued. For instance, you can easily include a welcome video from the CEO or a personalized message from your onboarding team to say ”Hello!”
Grammarly, a writing tool that helps users enhance their grammar and correct their spelling mistakes, sends a warm onboarding email to new users that provides a brief entrance to the core features of the product.
The email also includes a call to action to download the Grammarly browser extension which is a great way to get things started. Additionally, the email offers numerous links to resources such as a user guide and a FAQs section.
7- Include Interactivity.
Interactive onboarding is the new game-changer.
It has everything a customer can ever ask for – quizzes, surveys, and many other interactive elements to guarantee customer engagement during the entire onboarding process. By asking questions and offering personalized feedback afterward, you can, too, help customers understand how your product works and in what ways the customers can benefit from it.
Codeacademy, an online learning platform, amazingly uses interactive onboarding to teach new users how to code.
Whenever new users sign up, they are instantly guided through a series of coding exercises that are designed to help them learn the very basics of programming.
The exercises are all interactive and they provide immediate feedback, which greatly helps users stay interested and motivated to keep going. Additionally, Codeacademy offers customized feedback to users solely based on their performance, which helps them enhance their skills in a more impactful way.
8- Create a Knowledge Base.
A knowledge base is a collection of resources such as articles, FAQs, and tutorials that customers can reach anytime anywhere to get instant help with your product. By offering a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge base, you can reduce the need for live support and help customers solve problems on their own instantly.
Canva, a graphic design platform, has a great knowledge base that involves tutorials, FAQs, and a community forum to allow users to begin using the product right away.
Their knowledge base covers a wide variety of topics ranging from designing graphics to collaborating with others on fresh projects.
Users can also search the knowledge base for particular topics or browse by category to find the information they seek.
9- Use Customer Feedback.
Customer feedback is significant in speeding up the onboarding process simply because it provides invaluable insights into the customer’s experience with whatever you have to offer.
By collecting and analyzing feedback, you can easily identify areas that require enhancement and therefore prioritize the changes that will have the most important impact on your overall process.
Once you make improvements based on customer feedback, you can streamline the onboarding process and make it more effective.
This way, you will reduce the time it takes for customers to complete the process…
…Which ultimately leads to an increase in retention rates!
Apple is known for its main focus on design and UX, and it uses customer feedback to improve its products non-stop.
Apple has a customer feedback system built into its products and services, allowing customers to report any problems and issues or suggest improvements directly to Apple.
Furthermore, Apple uses customer feedback to inform its customer success teams and help them develop more relevant marketing strategies each time.
With these 9 steps, you’ll zap away those time-consuming hurdles and create a positively mind-blowing experience.
Optimize, automate, and personalize like a pro, because first impressions are everything! Watch customer loyalty soar, satisfaction skyrocket, and retention hit the roof.
Keep track, make tweaks, and get ready to rock the world of faster, smoother onboarding.
Buckle up, my friend; it’s time for a wild ride to customer success!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I speed up my client onboarding process?
To speed up your client onboarding process, focus on automating repetitive tasks, simplifying documentation and paperwork, utilizing technology for efficient communication and collaboration, providing clear instructions and resources, and leveraging pre-defined templates or workflows.
What is customer onboarding time?
Customer onboarding time refers to the amount of time it takes for a customer to fully engage in a product or service. It typically starts when a customer first hits the sign-up button or makes a purchase and ends when the customer is fully trained and able to use the product on their own.
How do you streamline customer onboarding?
To streamline customer onboarding, focus on simplifying and optimizing the process. Start by identifying and eliminating any unnecessary steps or information requirements. Provide clear and concise instructions to guide users through each stage. Automate repetitive tasks and use technology to streamline the onboarding experience. Personalize the onboarding journey based on user preferences and goals. Offer self-service resources, such as tutorials or FAQs, to empower users to onboard themselves. And continuously iterate and refine the onboarding process based on user insights.
How can I improve my onboarding time?
To improve your onboarding time, focus on simplifying and streamlining the process. Identify any unnecessary steps or information requirements and eliminate them. Optimize your user interface to make it intuitive and easy to navigate. And, provide clear instructions and guidance at each stage of onboarding.
What makes a strong onboarding process?
A strong onboarding process that you can confidently depend on consists of the basics – Clear communication, personalization, resources and support, automation, feedback, and lastly, empathy and sincere care.