Your Ultimate Guide to SaaS Customer Onboarding [+Template & Examples]

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In this article, we explore, in detail, everything you need to know to carry out a detailed customer onboarding process. So users can understand how to use your product, see its value, and be active paying customers.

What Is Customer Onboarding?

Customer onboarding refers to the process by which a customer becomes familiar with and fully understands how to use a product or service. It involves guiding the customer through the initial stages of using the product, helping them become comfortable with its features, and ensuring they see value in what they’ve purchased. An effective customer onboarding program includes guided tutorials, helpful assistance, and even celebrating milestones as the customer achieves success with the product. Essentially, it’s about delivering on the promises made during the sales process and ensuring a positive experience for the customer. 

Why Is Customer Onboarding Important?

The customer onboarding process is important because it makes customers believe your product is the right choice for solving their problems. Which, in turn, makes them adopt and use your product for a long period while increasing the growth and reputation of your company.  

4 Components of Successful Customer Onboarding

1. Aha Moment

Customers experience an “aha moment” when they recognize the value they were seeking in your product. As a business, it’s crucial to make this moment obvious and quick for users. When they have this realization, they’re more likely to pay for your product and continue their subscription without canceling.

2. User Activation

User activation is another essential aspect of onboarding. It’s the phase where users learn about all the features your product offers.

Moving beyond just understanding the value, user activation involves experiencing that value firsthand. It’s the transition from theoretical knowledge to practical usage.

3. User Adoption 

User adoption marks the final stage of the customer onboarding process.

At this point, the user becomes an active and regular user of your product. They rely on it daily and can’t go without using it.

Think of someone who spends hours on Facebook or Instagram every day—they’re a prime example of user adoption.

4. Power User

 A power user takes things to the next level. They’re extremely active and enthusiastic about your product. Imagine a friend who spends hours on Facebook daily and keeps telling you about its benefits until you finally start using it yourself. That friend is a power user and often becomes an evangelist for the product.

Who Is Responsible For Customer Onboarding?

Usually, customer onboarding specialists are responsible for ensuring customers enjoy an exceptional onboarding process. A customer onboarding specialist’s role includes solving customer needs, advocating for customers, and creating a loyal customer base.

Customer Onboarding Stages

1. Sign-Up Page

The Sign-up page is the first page users see when they need to make a purchase. So it’s good you give them a good first impression. And by that, you should keep the sign-up forms short. So you only ask them for vital information, such as their name and email address.

2. Welcome Mail

After the sign-up process and you have your customer’s email, you must send them a welcome email. Your welcome email should remind them why they signed up to receive communications from your business, establish the basis of a long-lasting relationship, and invite them to engage with your product by taking a specific action.

3. Dashboard Or App Welcome Flow

You must show customers a dashboard or app welcome flow. This includes pop-up messages with useful hints or a quick tour of key features and functionality. A dashboard flow assists customers in learning to navigate the interface. It also keeps them from getting stuck when they can’t find or use a vital function. 

4. Tutorials

When customers watch short video tutorials, they master how to use the product in its entirety. According to an analysis, videos are customers’ choice for onboarding. In the same report, 74% of people say they’ve watched a video to learn how to use a new app. 

5. Integrations

If your product integrates with other platforms, you must give users the option to learn the integration process through tutorials. So they can use your product with the software they use. That way, users will adopt and use your product easily. 

6. Knowledge Base

A knowledge base or help center is documentation with FAQs, tutorials, and other resources to help customers resolve issues. Your knowledge base should include a search function or a chatbot directing customers to the right resource. 

7. Customer Service Access

Maintaining successful customer relationships requires effective customer service. Make your customer service easily accessible, to avoid frustrating your customers, when they encounter issues. Establish clear channels for customers to connect with your agents and resolve complex queries.

8. Community Forums

Your customers can become your greatest advocates in community forums. They can help others resolve problems or guide them in understanding your product’s advanced features.

Benefits of Customer Onboarding

1. Building Positive First Impressions

When a customer has a positive early onboarding experience, they will likely continue using your product. It also plays a vital role in building strong relationships between your business and customers. First impressions matter a lot, as regards customer relationships. 

If a customer goes through a bad onboarding process, it can cause them to quit using the product, and they would have a bad impression of your business. 

2. Accelerates Time-To-Value

Time-to-value (TTV) is a metric for measuring how quickly customers start to experience real value or see the benefits of using your product. When you offer users a good customer onboarding, it eases the process of them reaching the “aha” moment, thus improving TTV. 

3. Maximizes Product Adoption And Utilization

When your customers go through a comprehensive onboarding process, like giving them a detailed guide on how to use a product and good customer support, they will likely use your product over time. A smooth onboarding experience is important for boosting customer confidence, leading to a high product adoption rate.

4. Drives Customer Advocacy And Loyalty

When your customers go through a positive onboarding process, using your product becomes a habit for them and, in turn, they can become active users. When they enjoy the onboarding process, they can have a good connection with the product and, thus, the brand. Satisfied customers will likely share their positive experiences with others. 

5. Positively Impacts Company Growth

After a smooth onboarding process, your users will always tell their friends about your product and make reviews online. That way, people tend to know more about your company, increasing your user and fan base. Thus, sparking growth for your company and giving your brand a good reputation. 

Best Customer Onboarding Practices

1. Communicate Early And Often

Communication is key in an effective onboarding process, so you must interact with them at every stage of the onboarding process. After signing up, you should send them a welcome message. Rather, you can share helpful resources, when they are using your product. 

2. Collate And Analyze Customer Data

For your customers to go through a good and effective onboarding process, so they solve their needs and wants, see the value of your product, and become recurring subscribers, you need to understand them and their needs. You should collect and analyze data to offer a good customer onboarding process. Data you should collect include:

  • Your customer’s details?
  • What do they want to achieve with your product?
  • Their pain points?
  • How can your product resolve their pain points?
  • What are some desired outcomes pending?
  • What is stopping them from using the product?
  • What are their expectations?
  • How do they measure success after using your product

3. Identify Goals And Establish Milestones

On knowing your customer’s expectations, convert them into goals and milestones along the customer journey. Therefore, convert goals into actions they take to complete their onboarding. 

4. Personalize The Customer Onboarding Program

If you have your customer data and understand their goals, aspirations, and preferences, you should personalize your onboarding process to suit their unique needs. Segment customers based on their personas. Then, your customer onboarding flow should address the needs of every group’s specific requirements and preferences.

Customer Onboarding Checklist – Welcome New Customers With Confidence

To give your customers a warm welcome, there are onboarding checklists you should keep in mind. 

  • untickedSend them a welcome email.
  • untickedSend follow-up emails to check up on your new customers. 
  • untickedHave a self-service portal for customers to solve problems and take action independently for seamless onboarding. 
  • untickedYour customer support should have live chats. 
  • untickedEnsure you have support videos. 
  • untickedCustomers should have the option to skip an onboarding process because some customers might have used a similar product in the past. 
  • untickedYour support service should be available 24×7. 
  • untickedGet customer’s feedback by sending them studies to partake in. To improve the overall onboarding experience. 

Welcome Your Customer

Welcome your customer, the first time they use your product, even after using it. You can send them an automated welcome email message when they sign up. When they open the product for the first time, show a welcome screen. 

Design Your First-Run Onboarding Flow

When designing your onboarding flow, determine tasks customers need to complete to achieve their initial aha moment. Thereafter choose your onboarding model, whether it’s self-serve, low-touch, or high-touch.

Create Onboarding Elements Outside Of Your Product 

Not all onboarding elements should be in your product. Other elements can be in your main website for customers to educate themselves about your product whenever they want. 

Set Up Customer Support Channels

Even if your onboarding process is perfect, your customers will still have issues. So set up at least a channel for your customers to reach you. It could be chatbots, help desk software, a social media customer support handle, or an email address to reach you. 

How to Create a Powerful Customer Onboarding Strategy in 5 Steps?

1. Start The Onboarding Process Immediately 

The sooner users reach the “aha” moment when using your product, the higher the chance they become paid customers. A simple and concise product tour can help customers familiarize themselves with your product. 

2. Each Customer Should Go Through A Personalized Onboarding Process

When customers go through an onboarding process, you must have gotten a lot of information about them, like their roles, needs, pain points, and more. With their information, personalize the onboarding experience. 

3. Create A Self-Service Onboarding Process 

Many users love to solve their problems when using a product; it’s their preference. Also, 90% of customers watch videos to help them understand a product. You should have a support section on your site. 

4. Show Users Their Onboarding Progress 

Visually showing customers their milestones can boost their dopamine, especially when they cross an item off their to-do list. 

5. Ask Customers For Feedback On The Onboarding Process 

Ask your customers how their onboarding process was. If it was seamless or complex, to improve it. Improving your customer onboarding process is going to be tricky if you don’t know what’s working and what isn’t. If you have a CS team, they can ask customers what they liked and didn’t like about the onboarding process. To make amendments. 

The Customer Onboarding Process In 8 Steps

1. Understand Your Customer’s Goals And Objectives

You have to understand your customer’s objectives, because they are not just using your product for the sake of it, they want to solve a problem. So you must understand their problem. Through surveys, you can understand their goals and objectives when they use your product and do that to create a personalized onboarding process. 

2. Identify Your Platform’s Critical Action Points

For a smooth onboarding process, determine where your onboarding flow is breaking and where customers are having issues to solve them. Determine where customers are finding the onboarding process easy, and “aha” moment to optimize your onboarding flows.

3. Prepare A Customer Welcome Message

Welcoming your customers is a starting point for a customer’s onboarding journey. It guides them on how to quickly hit the ground, running fast, using your product. Guiding them on how to use specific features, and then educating and reminding them of your product can benefit them, even if they are not logged in. 

4. Define What Success Means To Your Customers

Identify your customers’ “aha” moment – their emotional reactions when they experience your product’s value and believe it solves their problems. An Aha moment is crucial because it motivates the customer to keep using your product. Understanding your customer’s aha moment determines what features to introduce or not to users.

5. Choose An Onboarding Model

You can choose from three onboarding models: self-service onboarding, low-touch, or high-touch onboarding. Self-service onboarding involves guiding or walking through users with checklists, so they handle their onboarding journey. Low-touch onboarding involves using elements like in-app product tours, checklists, getting started tutorials, and step-by-step interactive onboarding walkthroughs.

6. Use A Tool To Automate The In-App Onboarding Experience

Automate your customer onboarding process to boost growth. By doing so, you will provide a more consistent experience for your customers to improve their satisfaction. You can automate the onboarding process to specific onboarding milestones.

7. Provide Continuous Support

Customers will likely encounter issues when onboarding, so it’s best to give them access to continuous support throughout the onboarding process. If users don’t have access to your customer support, it can ruin your onboarding process, they can likely quit using the product. Otherwise, they become paying and active users.

8. Measure, Iterate, And Improve

Testing, optimizing, and improving your onboarding flow should be a continuous process. So you can make improvements continually. Also, send surveys to customers for continuous feedback to improve the onboarding process. 

Top 5 Customer Onboarding Examples

1. Slack Onboard Users With A Friendly Bot

Slack, the popular team-messaging app for work purposes, for onboarding new users a Slack bot guides users to use basic functions. Also, during the product tour, users are referred to channels and a messaging menu, using empty states so users can take an action like sending a message. 

2. Duolingo: Onboards With The Product Experience

Duolingo ensures the user experiences the product in a gradual engagement form and then prompts the user to create an account to continue using the app. During the onboarding flow, users will do a quick translation exercise of their choosing to show users how easy to use the app is.

3. Grammarly: Learn By Doing Onboarding 

‍Grammarly is a personal writing assistant, for correcting user’s spelling, grammar, and word choice errors by suggestion. Each user gets to experience the app features in an onboarding showing users how they can easily use them to make corrections.

4. Tumblr: Personality And Personalization Onboarding 

Tumblr onboarding consists of a visual design and microcopy tailored for every unique user. Tumblr’s user onboarding incorporates creativity and personality. Using persona-based onboarding.

5. Faqprime: Onboarding That Meets Every User’s Personal Needs

Faqpriime a popular onboarding software uses personalized onboarding to meet every user’s unique needs, through In-app contextual help, pop-ups, product tours, surveys & feedback, and more. Faqprime has a robust set of customer onboarding tools, to ensure you increase conversions, revenue, and customer engagement. 

Customer Onboarding Template

Welcome Email

Hi [Customer’s name],

Thanks for being a [company name] subscriber. We are thrilled to have you onboard. Check out [product’s name] now. 

Onboarding Checklist 

Hi [customer’s name], 

Thanks for choosing our [product’s name], you’re a few steps away from solving your needs. 

  • tickedAccount creation
  • untickedTeam invites
  • untickedCreate your first [action]
  • untickedSubmit Feedback

Milestone Emails

Hello, welcome. 

Hey [customer name]!

I’m [your name] and I’m glad to welcome you to [your company name]. Over the next few [days/weeks/calls], I’ll be here to always guide you on how to set up and use [product’s name] effectively. Also sharing tips and best practices, answer any questions you might have so far. 

Onboarding Completion Email

Hi [customer’s name] 

You made the right choice choosing [product name]. Would like like to get the most of our product. Explore all the amazing features it has in the stall. Try our premium plan for $10/month. Click the link, to learn more. 

How To Measure The Success Of Customer Onboarding?

1. Activation Rate

Your activation rate measures the percentage of users who reach activation points you’ve set as key indicators of long-term retention. As with every product, it should have activation events showing users the value of your product. That’s why you should optimize your onboarding flow for users to reach activation.


2. Time To First Action (Ttfa)

Time to First Value (TTFV), determines how long it takes for customers to get initial value or benefit from your product. Setting clear objectives and milestones can help users identify the value of your product early. 

Measure the average time it takes for customers to take desired actions

3. Onboarding Completion Rate

The completion rate is the percentage of users who finish your onboarding process. Try smoothing out friction and unnecessary steps that hinder your onboarding process. improve your UX copy, or provide more guidance to users. 


4. Onboarding Dropout Rate

The onboarding drop-off rate is the percentage of users who abandon a process before achieving a specific goal. Or users who fail to convert to paying customers. To have a low drop-off rate, you can reduce the number of steps to complete an onboarding process. 


Challenges in Customer Onboarding

User Abandonment Before Activation

One major challenge in an onboarding process, especially for a SaaS product,  is not getting users to the activation point — when users become active users by performing key actions in your product. One major cause of this problem is that customers don’t know how valuable your product is. Ensure your onboarding process should provide each client with value.

Customers Aren’t Adopting Key Features

When customers finish their first onboarding challenge, you should ensure getting customers to utilize your product’s key features. Unfortunately, some customers don’t adopt key features. To solve this, give them detailed training, and limit the information customers need to know to undergo the process. 

Excessive Support Requests

When users require assistance during the onboarding process and the customer support teams are overwhelmed with requests. It can be hard to solve all user’s requests. Ensure Users get detailed training during the onboarding to learn all they need to know for a good onboarding process. 

Automate Your Customer Onboarding Process With Faqprime

If you want to make your onboarding process swift through signup, persuade them to upgrade, to reach activation.  Using Faqprime you can break down the steps you need to reach that goal. 

You can map the onboarding process, including every interaction and touchpoint, in detail with Faqprime’s software. Showing you where the opportunities lay to improve things.

Segmentation can tailor your onboarding experiences quickly and effectively. Also, carry out process automation for specific user groups. 


1. What Is The Meaning Of Saas Onboarding?

SaaS onboarding is a detailed process guiding new users on how to use cloud-based software so that they will understand its benefits. 

2. Which Tool Is Used For Customer Onboarding?

Faprime is a product adoption and customer onboarding software. It’s for helping users navigate and understand the benefits of using a product through guides and prompts. Faqprime ensures a smooth and interactive onboarding experience for your users. 

3. What Is Another Name For Customer Onboarding?

Another name for customer onboarding is also called client onboarding. And it involves customers becoming familiar and comfortable interacting with your product. 

4. What Is the Customer Onboarding Framework?

A customer onboarding framework is planning the set of actions, activities, and tools for helping a customer experience the value of a product. 

5. What Is An Example Of A Customer Onboarding Process?

Examples of customer onboarding processes include automated welcome emails, check-ins, text messages, and getting started videos.

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