11 Steps to have on your Customer Onboarding Checklists

It’s high-time that enterprise SaaS organizations revamp their customer onboarding checklist to reduce customer churn.

All enterprise SaaS organizations will know the value of each customer. If they like your service then they are going to be loyal and act as referrals. If not, then they churn. Did you know that 42% of clients unsubscribe from the SaaS service due to poor or lack of customer service?

One mistake is all it takes. According to zendesk, 50% of customers will switch to other SaaS services after a single bad experience, and if they have more than one bad experience the customer churn can go up to 80%!

All the new SaaS startups and established SaaS organizations should remember that customer experience is more important than customer service.

Customer service is an old problem-solving concept that works after a mishap has taken place. Whereas, customer experience is an ongoing precautionary measure that has a customer-centric system in place and hence can avoid mishaps.

The customer onboarding experience is a significant part of customer experience since it deals with the customers in the initial stage. So, it is your duty to ensure that the customers have a positive SaaS onboarding experience.

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding is the mid bridge that builds a relationship between the customer and your service. From the first sign-up up until the customer’s first use customer experience should be satisfactory. And for that purpose customer onboarding should have a customer-centric approach.  

It is also the first opportunity you get to create a good impression on your customers.

The initial time period during which you help your customer understand the basics of your product/service will pave way for a long-term relationship.

Why is it important?

According to user guiding, 60% of customers are not happy with the current onboarding experience in enterprise SaaS organizations. Hence, a mere demo of the product wouldn’t suffice.

There is a need for SaaS organizations to put a proper customer-centric onboarding process in place.

  • You might know the product/service well but your customers might be new. So, you will be the gatekeeper of the information shared with your customers.
  • Hand remembers what the mind forgets. If a customer knows your product in and out then they would stick around for a longer-term.
  • When you take efforts and genuinely care about customer pain points they understand your true care and affection. This will make them stay loyal to your brand.
  • They will advertise your brand to their friends. Word of mouth referrals is one of the oldest publicity that still holds a lot of trust among the audience.
  • Longevity of subscription to your brand even when they scale up.
  • Customer retention lowers customer acquisition costs.

Customer Onboarding Checklist

This is a simple yet efficient checklist that helps to have a solid customer onboarding process in place in an enterprise SaaS. These checkboxes need to be ticked for every client. This helps in customer retention.

customer onboarding checklist

Formulate a proposal

Create a proposal based on the client’s requirements and your ability to deliver. Discuss it with your team members and then take it to the client. Make the necessary changes and get it signed off by the customer. This would serve as a basic work agreement for both parties. Signing it in the first place would avoid a lot of miscommunication and problems in the future.

Define terms and conditions

Setting up terms and conditions initially will provide clarity to both parties. Your clients would understand the service you offer to them and you would understand the responsibilities you have towards your client. Get a mutual concern and sign off the agreement.

Payment process

If it’s a free trial then you do not have to worry about the payment in the beginning. If it’s a paid subscription then you need to manage your payment issues upfront. You and your client should come to terms with the payment method. Also, this would be the right time to discuss whether you need full or partial payment. You should also complete the tax documents, if any, to be filled.

Sign-up

Collecting data on your customers and potential customers is very important. Yet, it is also significant not to overwhelm them with questions. Make a simple sign-up process that lets them sign up without hesitation. You can also use social sign-up buttons to lower their burden.

Welcome email

Welcome emails send a more personalized message. It is also a way to show your excitement and care. You can share the contact number of SPOC, blogs, and video tutorials in the mail. You can also automate welcome emails.

Communication Channel

Consistent communication is very important throughout the customer onboarding and implementation process. Hence, discuss and decide a proper communication channel through which both the parties can discuss the project. Generally, using silos of tools for communication would be difficult for everyone to follow. So, try to use an SSOT platform for effective communication.

customer onboarding checklist

Kick-off meeting

Schedule a kick-off meeting through the communication channel. The meeting can be a virtual or direct one. This meeting shall be used to introduce both the parties, discuss timelines, set boundaries, track progress, and prioritize tasks. This will also help the customers to clarify any doubts.

Product introduction

Introduce the product to your customers. Take them through all the important features. Make sure not to leave any empty states. You can also add pop-ups to explain the features of your product. As mentioned earlier, do not bombard them with information. Allow them to explore as well.

Training

This is one of the phases that you have to give utmost importance to in your customer onboarding checklist. Have a flexible training method based on your customer. Do not over inform your customers with too much information. They might have already seen your tutorial videos or blogs, so it is your job to recap the same and resolve queries.

Consistent communication

Maintain standard communication during and after onboarding. This is not just a customer onboarding checklist that you have to tick off. It is your duty to keep your customers in the loop and convey the updates regularly. It also helps the customer to clarify doubts then and there.

Appreciate

Again this is one customer onboarding checklist that every SaaS organization should complete. Never forget to congratulate your customer’s success. Appreciate for reaching their short-term goals. Let your customers know that you genuinely care about them.

To summarize

Customer onboarding and implementation are the two significant facets that help in customer satisfaction and retention. Hence, every enterprise SaaS organization is rebuilding its onboarding program based on customer-centricity. A customer onboarding checklist is formulated based on customer-centricity. It is mandatory for the happy onboarding of the customers which in turn decreases customer churn.


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