“How to ace your customer onboarding process”

When talking to our clients about their goals for the new year, new customer acquisition is often the number one priority. The second goal is often customer retention by ensuring loyal relationships and customer success. But how can companies achieve this without a strong customer onboarding strategy? The answer is simple —  they can’t.

If you’re ready to revamp your customer onboarding experience and ultimately improve your bottom line, this blog is for you!

What is Customer Onboarding?

According to Tallyfy, “client onboarding is the process of welcoming new clients into your business, addressing their questions and concerns, and ensuring they understand the services available to them.”

customer onboarding

Through a frictionless customer onboarding process you give your new client the opportunity to share their goals with you, set expectations and start getting acquainted with your team members, customer success manager and account representative. This stage sets the tone for the rest of your professional relationship, and shifts the conversation from transactional correspondence to a collaborative environment.

Why is Customer Onboarding Important?

If you’re not convinced based on the previous definition, here are a few customer onboarding stats for you.

A recent HubSpot article shared that:

  • 40 to 60% of free trial users will use your product once and never come back.
  • More than two-thirds of SaaS companies experience churn rates greater than 5%.
  • Most revenue comes from existing customers.
  • Happy customers become your top referral sources.
  • Customer retention lowers acquisition costs and increases revenue.

Building a relationship with your customers is the best way to carry your company values, mission and vision. A good customer onboarding strategy tells your new customers who you are, what your product or service can do for them and why you care about their success.

good customer onboarding

When discussing with your team, always transmit the importance of positive customer service interactions during the onboarding process. Cultivating the importance of this process within your company will only bring stronger, longer, more profitable relationships in the future.

→ Access Now: How to Use Digital Workflows to automate Customer Onboarding 

 How to Use Digital Workflows to automate Customer Onboarding

3 Most Common Mistakes when Onboarding New Customers

By now you understand that a frictionless customer onboarding process only brings positive outcomes to all parties involved. But what happens when companies struggle to develop a solid process due to a lack of resources, information, or time constraints?  The three most common mistakes we see when onboarding new customers are:

1. Not taking their customer journey into consideration

Your audience’s journey starts the minute they first find out about your organization and what you can do for them. When new customers sign a contract with a new solution or service provider, it’s important to understand that their onboarding experience will heavily impact their customer journey. This makes it a vital step that requires extreme attention to detail.

→ What it means to automate customer requests and contract management processes

Take a look at this Salesforce.com article to learn more about mapping the customer journey and why this step is crucial for organizations.

2. Not thinking about how your customer can achieve success with your product

Your product of service was built with the end customer in mind, so why not use the customer onboarding process to help them get the most out of it? We often see companies get stuck in the “how to” portion of onboarding, but in order to succeed you must keep the customer’s goal in mind. As well as how your team will help them get there. Collaboration and partnership are key!

3. Not thinking long term

According to Bamboo HR, the onboarding process should take anywhere from three months to even a year, depending on the complexity of the product. This general formula, however, doesn’t mean that your customer support efforts should end there — it’s actually quite the opposite! One of the best practices for a frictionless customer onboarding process is to always think long term, and think of onboarding as just a step towards continued support for your clients.

5 Customer Onboarding Process Steps

If the above mistakes resonate with you, and your customer churn rate is higher than it should be (here’s how to calculate your company’s customers churn rate), it’s time to reengineer your customer onboarding process.

Customer churn rate

These are the five steps you should follow:

Initial Contact

As opposed to low-touch customer service, high-touch customer service requires human interaction and a strong relationship between parties. The initial contact is the best step for your customer to understand the different levels in which you will be supporting them and how the relationship will work. During this step you should:

  • Introduce key team members
  • Further crystalize information regarding desired outcomes
  • Define roles and expectations


The kickoff is the appropriate time to discuss key performance indicators, how you’ll measure success and how your product will help the client get there. Even though you can introduce features and high-level how tos, this conversation should be had under a customer-centric tone. Your main focus should be the benefits you provide and the problems you are solving for them. A few questions you should be asking are:

  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What are your short and long term goals?
  • What are your top five pain points?
  • How will you measure success?


Training is one of the most exciting parts of the process, as you finally get to show your customer all that your product or service can do. Make sure to highlight specific features that align with their goals and enjoy the conversation! This portion of the process should take some time to ensure all team members are comfortable using your product.

This is also when your customer get access to the appropriate knowledge base, FAQ page and resource centers that will help them further their education.


Once your customer is fully trained, you should introduce any additional features or integrations that might be relevant to them. This is also a great way to discuss how often you should communicate with them and whether there’s any onboarding feedback they’d like to provide. Make sure to listen carefully and implement suggested changes.


An engaged working relationship will ensure retention and satisfaction for years to come. Check in with your customer regularly, announce new features and integrations and make your customer’s needs a priority.

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