Build a better mousetrap and, they said, the world will be at your doorstep. Not when it’s constructed in a jungle. Not if you’re not telling people you’ve got a better mousetrap and definitely not if your users are wrongly using your carefully built ‘better’ mousetrap. If they aren’t satisfied, after one try they’ll get rid of it. User experience is very important. To ensure that your users have a great experience with your product and become long-term customers, you need to make sure that you are getting your users right on board. Teach them the proper way to use your product. User onboarding is all about the user ‘s journey once he purchases your product and is willing to start using your product. You have to convince the user that if he is using the product the right way, your product will add promised value to his life. And then it’s up to you to ensure it does.
The purpose of the onboard process of the user is to reach that ‘Aha’ moment when the user finally realizes your product’s value and decides to continue using it for a longer period of time – at the earliest. Onboarding the user is all about building the journey up to the ‘Aha’ moment. Onboarding strategies can be various. Best ones are designed around the product ‘s popular functionalities and on this fervent need of marketers to size up the user as soon as possible so that a custom onboarding strategy is then provided. SaaS marketers need to focus on customization very early as SaaS space is highly competitive and only those products that are deemed to be a good fit, get attention.
1. Along with ‘Hows’, give them ‘Whys’ also
The onboarding process is generally perceived as telling your users how to use your product. It turns out to be more helpful when telling your users why they should use your product. The benefits of using your product need to be emphasized. In your overall onboarding strategy, you should accommodate a value-oriented approach to onboarding. Why should your product like it? Give him a cause.
Emphasize the benefits of your product and tell each user how your product can prove relevant and beneficial to them. And, you also need to understand the ‘why’ of the customer – as in why does he buy your product? What are its aims? What its expectations are? Figuring out the answers will improve the onboard journey for all involved.
2. Divide the users based on their technical skills
Processes onboarding should be different for different individuals. It should be made to suit your needs. It might be based on their persons or their technical prowess. Use all your efforts, landing pages, and other resources at your disposal from the time you have the initial contact with the SaaS user to get an idea about your user’s technical skills. Do you think after onboarding sessions that he could use your product efficiently? Yeah? Good …… good. Let him explore the product on his own. Don’t bombard him with suggestions and hints. Unless someplace gets stuck and he needs help.
You see a user struggling even after a good onboarding session to find his way? Stay focused on him. Do not make any presumptions. Start with Basics tips. Comprehend his problems, and help him out. He would need all the helpful suggestions and hints you can give, and more.
3. There should be transparency in the onboarding and product implementation process
You need to set the right onboard expectations. You have to tell your users what the whole process looks like in advance. How many stages do they take? When should your calls and other relevant details await them? When you tell your users they are all set to take on the journey they are less anxious and more cooperative. To make the process more personalized and customized you can pitch in your a la carte services. When you transparently set up the process it also helps your sales and marketing team manage their processes. You make sure that they are not over-committed or under-committed and at the right stage can give the right amount of attention.
4. Shorten your onboarding process
Try to keep your onboard process short, if you can help. Dragging it into weeks and months lowers interest, and generally lowers your chances of conversion. More importantly – don’t give your customers homework. Get them on the phone, interact with them live, and fill out yourself the questionnaires or feedback forms if you need one in your onboarding strategy. At any cost, you must initially avoid the back-and-forth-email stage.
5. Have the users adhere to the onboard schedule
If you are in a company with several users of your product, first train the power users. Then they will become the advocates and trainers in the setup for others. It’ll make things easier for you. Sometimes the users drag their feet and find no time for onboarding. To ensure that your users remain committed to the onboarding and implementation process, you can schedule as implementation times a specific number of hours per week.
If they do not adhere to the onboard schedule or training module and do not remain committed to the hours of implementation, you can send them emails reminding them that their hours of implementation will expire by a given date. You need to consistently keep the users engaged. If there’s an executive sponsor, the person who actually sanctioned your product for the dollars, you can contact him tactfully to get the associated users back into the process.
6. Tell them what your product doesn’t do
If you’ve been in the business for some time, you know that your users sometimes assume that your product has features that it doesn’t actually do. You need to find the right user fit for the conversions. Be sure not to over-promise the sales and marketing staff. You don’t want to catch your users thinking, “Oh, but I thought you ‘d also have that feature/service.” If you’re really planning to offer that function or service in the future, let them know. If not, tell them the nicest way possible about the facts. Overtime helps you to make a list of items your company doesn’t do and then share the list at the right time during the onboarding process.
7. Pay greater attention to whales
To nurture whales— big users of your products, it’s important to focus more attention and resources. Gaining wide contracts with long-term retention opportunities in the client’s portfolio makes more sense. Do not depend too much on using automated tools to deal with those users. Here human interaction is key. You must convince your customer that, at the other end of an email or phone, there is a person who completely understands his business and is willing to go the distance for him at short notice. Some SaaS companies do not hesitate to send their teams to the premises of the customer to smooth the process of onboarding even if it is a flight away. The onboarding process is long at times and can really continue for weeks. Set their best team up for them. You don’t want user attention dwindling at any point in your product. Therefore, for conversions, you should be ready to provide high touch engagement for your high-value clients.
8. Carry out surveys and help fill out questionnaires
Sometimes the best way to get real insights is through a direct approach. Questionnaires and surveys can do that job on your behalf. You can send these to your users whenever you think they ‘re fit. No homework as mentioned earlier – help them fill it out. Fill out the questionnaires on their behalf after having them answer the questions live on the phone.
Let’s see just one instance. It is important to keep the churn rate minimal to improve conversions. It’s important to have 1st week. If you’re able to keep your new users engaged fruitfully for a week, chances are they’ll stick around. If you think your churn rate is high and users just drive by-find out why.
Dan Wolchonoc, the HubSpot product guy did just that. He wanted to know the reason behind Sidekick ‘s 1st week churns, a product released by HubSpot. He conducted a survey and found that as users did not understand the product, 30 percent of churns had happened. The value was not seen by 30 percent. It is a valuable insight that underlines the fact that, during onboarding, marketers have a small window to explain the product and allow users to find value in it.
Hopefully, these 8 useful points help you learn and grow!