What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do

This article originally appeared on CloudTweaks

I am not going to mention names in this article, but if you want to be the best, you must look at what the best do – and do it better.

The importance of investing in SaaS onboarding can be easily overlooked in favor of designing efficient and powerful software features. While that is important for creating a competitive product, it will have no value if first-time users do not stick around.

Top SaaS vendors are using a variety of methods to improve onboarding, from adjusting their interfaces to be more user-friendly, to analyzing data to determine funnels in the user experience. Some of the methods are proven, while others are more experimental.

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In this article I will take a look at 5 methods top SaaS vendors are using to speed up the onboarding process and improve their business performance.

  1. Avoid Confrontations and Reduce Friction Points with a Minimalist Visual Approach

One of the major issues that many services have with onboarding is making the process initially too complicated, which introduces many friction points. For example, the sign up page may ask for a profile picture, confirmation email, or other lengthy forms to fill in, which all detract from the user’s initial experience. It is better to reduce the amount of clutter onscreen and to limit what you ask of the first-time user.

We often see that having multiple options with no clear criteria can make it difficult to evaluate which option is most important. While it is tempting to make your software dense and feature-rich, it may hurt your user experience.

  1. Seamlessly Integrate Support Tools throughout the Onboarding Process

Support is most effective when it is provided at the right place and at the right time.

Top SaaS vendors use integrated support tools within their software. These tools can range from built-in training solutions, help desk systems, Q&A forums and manuals. These solutions help solve user problems quickly, as well as reduce the burden on your customer support team by decreasing the number of help inquiries.

Doing this right is especially effective for B2B SaaS Vendors. When you prepare and provide great help materials, those will be used by your customers to train their customers, thereby contributing to your brand awareness and marketing efforts

  1. Dear New Customer: You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

 As you can see from the infographic below provided by Cheifmartec,the burgeoning landscape of SaaS and Cloud services is absolutely immense. The image illustrates a high number of players in marketing industry which is only one of many.

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Top SaaS Vendors know better than to let a first-time user walk alone. When new users “walk alone“, they make mistakes, become frustrated and end up calling support.

Technology has come a long way and today, cloud computing enables SaaS vendors to provide their users with contextual step-by-step guidance and instructions which are specific to the use’s role, language, preferences and of course the device they are using. Using GPS-style technology, top vendors are able to guide their customers without asking them to leave the screen to watch a video tutorial or read FAQs and training manuals.

4. Baby-Sit Your Customer During the Onboarding Process With Real-Time Information Analysis

A key to efficient onboarding is to have your finger on the pulse of your customer. Top SaaS vendors actively monitor and respond to their customers when they are in distress. They harness the power of BI in the cloud, figure out where users are struggling, and put the fire out with a cup of water, rather than waiting for the user’s distress to escalate.

5. Everybody loves free stuff and top SaaS Vendors know it

Motivate the user during a dull onboarding process. Keep the user interested and intrigued by offering incentives such as free codes to unlock new features in your app. This demonstrates that you care for the users, and it makes them feel valued and comfortable.

Overall, speeding up the onboarding process for users comes down to putting greater care into the crafting the first-time user experience to be as smooth as possible. That means removing any distracting, complicated and tedious features from sign up interfaces. It also includes observing advanced metrics, involved training programs or tours, as well as ‘treats’ to make the ride a sweet one.

Bo Amidor
Head of Corporate and Marketing Communications at WalkMe and Contributing Author to SaaS Addict blog.