Huge Example For SaaS – FREE Onboarding. Case Study Of How We Created User.com Onboarding Process

What will you learn from this article?

In SaaS companies, Onboarding is one of the most crucial steps in Customer Journey. With proper Onboarding, you can create a high-quality relationship with your users. Yes, exactly – you shouldn’t create an Onboarding simply to teach users the product. It’s more than that. As Lincoln Murphy says:

Customer Success is when customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company

Lincoln Murphy

Now, stop for a moment to read this sentence one more time. It’s a super-powerful concept – not “through their interactions with your product” but  “with your company”… Sounds new? Let’s go into the details.

This simple image presents the concept of Desired Outcome: it is Required Outcome (RO) followed by Appropriate Experience (AX):

Source

Sometimes even when you have achieved your Required Outcome, in the end you may still feel unsuccessful. 

Imagine the situation: You just moved to a new city and want to sign up for a gym. You find the place with reasonable price, the machines inside are new and in good condition. There’s also a lot of varieties in fitness classes – you like the general impression. It all seems perfect, yet you don’t feel happy with the outcome.

Why? Because of unsatisfactory staff behaviour. You don’t feel someone is taking care of you, you have problems with finding answers to your questions, and you feel lost in this new place. So you decide to check one of the competitors – they are 15% more expensive. They have a smaller variety of machines and fitness class, yet the experience you have there is outstanding.

The gym-assistant welcomes you as the new person visiting their gym, gives you the walk around the whole place and asks what are you most interested in. He also provides you with suggestions what you could do and even offers you additional 30 min intro for beginners with one of the instructors at the gym for free, if you decide to stay with them. You feel like the part of the gym-family from the first meeting. 

Can you see the difference? Your Required Outcome has been achieved in the first situation as they had a greater offer: more fitness classes, great machines, etc. However, you were missing the Appropriate Experience. The “product” was great, but the whole experience with the company – not that very much. Appropriate, because it differs for each customer – some customers would be happy just with the fact they could pay less. But for you, it matters to feel as part of the community, too.

This is why Appropriate Experience (AX) is so important. One of those AX elements in the SaaS world is well-done Onboarding. Your customers are already testing your product because they believe they can achieve their Required Outcome (RO) thanks to your company. Furthermore, they think you will help them in achieving RO in the desired way – that’s why they chose you over the competitors. RO is nothing without the Appropriate Experience. 

If you have a great product in front of you, but you’re not sure what are the first steps to do, or there is no support and you have to figure it out by yourself, do you feel successful? It’s not only about interacting with the product but with the whole company, so remember about it while creating the Onboarding process.

What is Onboarding and why is it so important for SaaS company?

We want our new users not only to become customers but long-term, happy and loyal ones. The question is, how can we do it? How to convince users to stay with us, not with the competition? How do we encourage them to use our product every month and become devoted clients? These are the questions each SaaS company is facing.

The answer is pretty simple, yet sometimes hard to realize and accept: show the value of your product. And give it as soon as possible, even before the purchase. And do it correctly. This is why Onboarding is a crucial part of a customer journey for SaaS companies – both before and after they convert.

What kind of Onboardings do we provide for our customers?

Good quality Onboarding gives a positive first experience with your company and can help you to convert new users into satisfied customers. The sooner your users see the value of your company – the more likely they will become long-term customers. 

As one size does not fit all, at User.com we provide multi-channel Onboarding options. That way, we can engage our new users better and show them the value of our app from the first moments. Below, I have listed five ways we launched as Onboarding options at User.com:

  1. Quickstallation – We send a message to the recently registered user via chat to encourage him to jump on a quick call. During the 10-15 minutes conversation, the implementation specialist helps the user with the very first steps inside the app.
  2. In-app Onboarding – Right after the user starts the application, he is redirected to the Beginner’s Guide. This is a step-by-step tutorial, where with just a few clicks, the user can set the main elements of the platform. For example, create the first automation.
  3. Onboarding emails – our users receive the Onboarding email sequence during the 14-day trial period. As our pricing also includes a Free plan, we created a second path to onboard these users as well. So, even the users whom we expect to stay on the free plan get educational emails with various useful tips
  4. User.com University – it’s one-to-many video training where in short videos main parts of the app are explained to the users in a simple way.
  5. User.com Knowledge Base – our self-service application for the app users. Our KB covers 95% of questions a new user may have.
  6. One-to-one Onboarding call with our Onboarding specialist.

How does our Onboarding look? A case study from User.com

Onboarding should include specific goals that users should achieve as they begin to explore your product. The number one mistake companies make in their onboardings is overwhelming the user with all the tutorials, videos, steps to do and many distracting pop-ups redirecting to different parts of the product, everything at once.

Those steps should be broken down into milestones. In other words, we do not want to tell our users to do ten things at once. Instead, we guide them step by step: start with A, then let’s go to B, C, etc…. Remember, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite. You should keep it in mind while creating Onboarding – you have to eat him one bit at a time, step by step.

Proper Onboarding will give your users moments when they realize the potential success they can find together with your company. Moreover, remember that your product probably has many advanced features that are not as important for your new users as for the ones who already got familiar with your product. All of the functionalities would be too hard to understand at the beginning. That’s why you need to guide users to the core of your product first instead of focusing on all of the sophisticated features, in which your new users are not interested yet.

At User.com one of the biggest onboarding milestones are widget implementation and first automation creation – those actions can immediately show users the value of our app. This is why we are covering this first. Let’s see how.

Quickstallation

After new app is registered, we instantly send a Chat message from one of our specialists with the invitation to jump on a quick Hangouts call. The purpose of this call is to make User.com widget implementation as easy as possible.

Widget implementation starts the tracking process on the website. It triggers the whole engine of getting valuable information to base the segmentation on.

Moreover, thanks to those calls, we can build personal relations with the users and show that we really do care about them.

In-app Onboarding

During analyzing our onboarding strategy, we noticed there’s a missing element – Beginner’s guide. A new version of our platform had waited for it for too long. Now it’s finally where it belongs! This is how it looks:

User.com Beginner’s Guide

Under each category, we show the users how many steps are there and how long it would take to accomplish them. After each step is done, you can click the button “Mark as done”, and you will be simply moved to the next one. It’s easy and intuitive.

There is also no need to go to any other place of the app. Directly from there, you can configure your chat widget, or even set up your first automation. Just fill out the fields and click on the Save button when you finish.

Onboarding emails

In the era of in-app messages, we are used to undervaluing the power of a  simple and effective way to keep users informed – mailing. At User.com, we still believe emails are a multi-layered tool that can help to engage and win customers over.

Whether the user will choose a trial version of our tool (which includes every module inside User.com app except Call Center and it is available for 14 days) or Free plan (which includes the Chat, CRM, Google Calendar Integration, Web pushes, Knowledge Base and basic data tracking, free forever), we provide our users with onboarding materials. Each case has its own path: on Free plan, they are getting the emails during the first 30 days.

User.com Onboarding schedule for Free plan

On Trial – during the whole 14-days period (+1 day after trial ends).

User.com Onboarding schedule for Trial path

In this part of the article, I will focus on a brief explanation of how we created some of the Onboarding emails for Trial version of User.com. To see the full breakdown of Trial Onboarding path at User.com, feel free to download Onboarding Emails for SaaS companies. User.com Case Study Ebook.

Over two weeks, we are sending out ten emails. There is also one win back sent after the end of Trial. All of the emails are sent based on how much time has passed since last email.

Day 1. Welcome email.

User.com welcoming email from Trial Onboarding

It is sent immediately after the user registers his new app. The sender name is “User.com Team” – so it is clear from where the email came from when the user sees it in his inbox. We are also adding the user’s name in the subject line, like this -“{{receiver.first_name}}, We are excited you’re here!”.

Our Call to action button below redirects the user to Beginner’s guide inside his app so that he can act immediately from there. We also let the user know he will get tips on how to use the app to get the most out of it so he should keep an eye on the inbox.

Useful tips: 

– Send an email immediately after registration. 

– Use recipient’s name in the subject line. 

– Keep it simple and clear.

Day 2. Building block.

Building block email from Trial Onboarding in User.com

The “building block” for User.com is the Automations module. Thanks to Automations, he will be able to automate most of his tasks, save time and therefore not to worry about repetitive work – the purpose of this email is to make the user get familiar with the module.

First, we explain here how to create the first simple automation. The CTA button also redirects the user to the library of already prepared automation scenarios, that can be implemented inside his app with just one click.

Useful tips: 

– Keep the building block explanation simple. 

– Show users how to achieve their small-wins inside your product. 

– Highlight free options your users can benefit from.

Day 7. Support Contact.

Email sent by Support Agent

Apart from the formal emails from User.com Team, we also take a more personal approach and send an email directly from the Head of Customer Support Team. This way, we add a human touch to our onboarding emails to build personal relations with the user and to show we genuinely care about him. This is also a place to remind the user that he can always contact us directly via our support chat and that after purchasing a paid plan subscription, he will receive a personal Onboarding one-to-one call with our specialist for free so it’s worth it to upgrade the plan.

Useful tips: Even though the email is sent from a single person, sender name should include your company name.

Did you like the analysis of the above emails? Awesome! To see the full breakdown of User.com Trial Onboarding emails, feel free to download Ebook Onboarding Emails for SaaS companies. User.com Case Study Ebook:

Check other useful tips you could implement while creating your onboarding emails.

Free one-to-one Onboarding call with our Onboarding specialist

All actions covered in this article so far were focused towards users who start testing our app and are not paying customers yet. But what happens next?

Once they purchase User.com subscription, we provide them with high-touch Onboarding, often called “concierge onboarding”. After the user proceeds with the payment, a free one-to-one Onboarding call (lasting at least 1 hour) is scheduled. From that moment the user is indeed “on the board” with us!

During the call, our specialist focuses on the specific goals the client has in mind to make the solutions tailored for his case. After all, all of the actions taken should lead to improving the marketing strategy and boosting up the conversation rate – and with the smart usage of the features in our platform, that’s effortless!

Why is this type of Onboarding called “concierge”? Think of the concierge job in the hotel – he is the first person you meet in the hotel,  the one who answers all your questions and makes you feel comfortable. The purpose of concierge Onboarding , meaning, one-to-one call is the same – to give the user enough knowledge so he will be able to get maximum value from the product. Our other goal is to create an excellent experience with the company and begin a personal relationship with the user (do you remember AX?).

This Appropriate Experience (AX) works also while interacting with users via the support chat. It’s live on Mon-Fri from 9 AM-1 AM CET timezone. User.com Agents simply enjoy helping out the users. It’s a pleasure for us, and our customers can feel it.

I value especially customer service quality. I almost feel that your are my friends, and we work together 🙂

Paweł Sroczyński, Founder of Cohabitat Foundation

Apart from free Onboarding call, User.com also offers paid Premium Assistance. It’s 10 hours of individual consultations with the Customer Implementation Manager. Premium Assistance can be task-based (depending on the goal: for example implementing User.com, meeting requirements, adding agency-like tasks etc.), educational (to make make the user fluent with User.com tool, GTM and the whole Marketing Automation idea) or both task-based + educational. You can check our article about it if you got curious and want to learn more about it.

Summary

Providing outstanding Onboarding in SaaS company is definitely not that easy – it takes time and effort to create a valuable Onboarding strategy. However, you can be sure it will pay-off in the long-term. There isn’t one correct way to implement onboarding though so you might feel that it will be troublesome.

To start, remember that the most important part of the onboarding process is to show the value of your product to the users and build a relationship with them – and have a look at the tips we mentioned above.

While designing our onboarding strategy at User.com, we thought it’s crucial to make sure the user is not left alone with a big unknown software and know he can count on us to prepare a personalized solution for each user. And the onboarding isn’t only restricted to the paying clients – we also offer onboarding to the clients who are fine with staying on the Free plan because we believe that each and every user deserves proper attention.

Want to have an amazing tool to create all of those processes? 

Start Free User.com Trial Now! >>

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