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Customer Onboarding Software: Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

A business is nothing without customers. And customers won’t stick around if they don’t get the support they need when they first start using a product or service. This is where customer onboarding software can help.

We understand that customer onboarding is a difficult process to get right. But that doesn’t make it any less important that it does it get done right – from the get-go. 

We’ve worked hard to address everything our new customers would need in our onboarding process. It’s our goal to ensure we give new customers the best experience possible. 

And we use our very own product, Process Street, to document this process and create a centralized hub for all customer onboarding knowledge. Here’s a guide to help you do the same. 

What is customer onboarding software?

Customer onboarding software is specifically designed to help customer success teams efficiently transition customers from potential leads to active users. 

This software creates a centralized hub where all onboarding documentation can be used whenever a new sales prospect becomes an active customer. 

Customer success employees can then follow this onboarding process through the software, making it easier to perform. 

Providing a good customer onboarding experience is crucial for retention, and using effective software makes it easy to deliver this stellar customer experience.

Why is customer onboarding software important? 

  • 90% of customers believe that companies can provide better onboarding experiences. 
  • Two-thirds of a customer’s decision about whether they remain with a vendor or not depends on the support they receive shortly after making a purchase. 
  • 86% of customers state that they’re likely to remain loyal to businesses that provide support to users after an initial purchase. 

After considering these statistics, it’s easy to see why delivering a good onboarding experience is so important. That doesn’t mean onboarding is an easy process. 

Customer onboarding software makes the process more straightforward and helps decrease the workload on your customer success team. Onboarding comes with extensive tasks that all need to be done in a specific order. 

Software helps you track this task completion and ensures everything is followed in the right order for a consistent and efficient experience. 

Highlight and automate your recurring tasks for a more streamlined experience. This savesyou time and reduces the risk of human error. 

All-in-all, your employees can spend more time building a strong rapport with your customers and delivering a personalized onboarding experience. 

Signs you need customer onboarding software: Is it right for you?

You might already have a customer onboarding process in place. But you might not see the necessity in using software to enhance this customer onboarding experience. 

Here are some clear indications that your business is ready to use customer onboarding software. 

You have multiple onboarding guides (in different places)

Through onboarding your new customers, your team has found that they have a wide range of learning styles. For this reason, your team has created varied onboarding content to help these customers understand your product. 

This onboarding content is in the form of audio formats, text, and video and can be accessed in different libraries. These include your help center, knowledge case content, blog, or Youtube channel. 

Because this trail of content is long, it becomes tedious to update. This makes it difficult to keep track of crucial metrics based on your user’s journey. 

Modern customer onboarding software provides flexible content hosting, supports multiple content formats, and allows on-demand training capabilities. This ensures all your onboarding content is available in a central location and your user’s journey can be tracked through the software. 

You don’t have the capacity to offer 1-on-1 training to your new customers

It’s typical for customer success teams to schedule training calls to educate new users on their products. This is definitely an efficient way to offer a personalized onboarding experience if the customer load is small. However, it’s impossible to scale over time. 

Manual training comes with its own set of difficulties. Knowledge is challenging to convey through scheduled calls. Scheduling conflicts may hinder participation. It can also lead to inconsistent customer onboarding results. 

A better alternative is to provide various pre-made training that can be delivered instantly regardless of instructor availability or time zones. This can be done with customer onboarding software. On-demand training is more cost-efficient when you consider the resource and time perspective. 

With customer onboarding software, training materials can be updated through the platform and its customization functionality can be used to cater to different user needs.  

Tech support tickets have increased 

Support inquiries grow if customers aren’t sure about how to use your product. This results in the customer support team’s workload increasing. 

 If this is the case, customer onboarding software can play a significant role in reducing this workload. New users will have access to all the information they need to start using your product. 

Through customer onboarding software, each user follows a process that gets them acquainted with the product while customer success teams can then track the user’s journey. 

You’re reply on customer journey systems (but none support onboarding)

Many businesses use customer relationship management and marketing automation tools to maximize their customer experience. However, none of these systems are designed to accommodate customer onboarding. 

When you adopt customer onboarding software, you can integrate it with your customer relationship management (CRM) system, which leads to a more efficient experience. Customer success teams have a better understanding of their user journey and other metrics relating to successful onboarding. 

By integrating training with CRM, customer success teams gain valuable insight that can measure the impact of their programs related to customer retention and product adoption.  

Must-have features of customer onboarding software

Before you decide on a customer onboarding software tool, you want to consider these features: 

Media additions can be uploaded

You want your onboarding process to be as interactive as possible. This means using a customer onboarding software that allows you to easily add media within a process. No-code is the way to go in this case. 

Your chosen customer onboarding software should allow you to add onboarding videos and other materials that can be used to make your process more engaging. These interactive on-screen tutorials help your customers see how to use your product or service. 

Reporting and analytics

Analyics are vital for your customer onboarding process as this data can help you make data-drive decisions when it comes to improving overall experience. When you have access to accurate reports, you can: 

  • Stimulate interaction with customers
  • Highlight cross-selling and up-selling opportunities
  • Improve retention rates
  • Market new services to your existing customer base
  • Simplify your user experience

Access to an onboarding community 

You want a customer onboarding software solution that helps you connect with like-minded people. 

This community can help you improve your onboarding process through brainstorming sessions, workshops, and other events nurtured by your software provider. 

Using a software that has an active community of users is an excellent way for you to learn more about the product from people who are also users.  

Improvement and continuous updating plans

This is one of the most crucial features of any customer onboarding software. Your onboarding software should offer continuous improvement to meet new changes related to user behaviors and trends.

Instead of showcasing plans, it should have a history of continuous improvement. This way, you know your chosen vendor doesn’t just make plans and promises. It actually follows through. 

This will ensure you’re working to the most efficient level possible. Otherwise, if your vendor isn’t dedicated to improving their product, you’ll likely be left with an outdated software tool. 

What to look for in a customer onboarding software vendor

When it comes to choosing a customer onboarding software vendor, you should take this criteria into consideration: 

User interface (UI)

You want a software tool that’s easy to understand. That means its user interface should have clear designs and navigation. When you have an effective interface, your team won’t have to waste time trying to navigate the software. 

Price vs. value

You don’t want to be paying for things you aren’t using. It’s important to understand what you wish to use from a certain onboarding software and what isn’t needed. That way, you can find a package plan that fits your needs (and your budget). 

Integrations 

Essentially, you want a customer onboarding software tool that lets you integrate with other automation or productivity tools in your tech stack to reduce data entry and create a more centralized knowledge base. 

5 tips to get the most out of your customer onboarding software

Introducing new software can be challenging. In order for you to see real results, you need to make sure this transition is as soon as possible. It’s tricky business but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 

Here are 5 tips to help you get the most out of introducing customer onboarding software to your company: 

Expect apprehension 

To start, you need to expect there to be apprehension when you introduce customer onboarding software. It’s normal for employees to fear the unknown, especially when the older way has been around for a while. 

Understand why your employees might be nervous about transitioning to customer onboarding software. 

As a best practice, you want to assume the best case scenario. Instead of viewing your employees as uncooperative or lazy, get to the underlying anxieties they have.

There are two common reasons for employees being apprehensive:

  • They don’t see how it will benefit them personally
  • They’re worried about being replaced by the software
  • They’re nervous about learning to use the software
  • They don’t understand how the new way is better than the old
  • They don’t realize how it will benefit the company long-term  

Understanding what is the cause for your employees apprehension is the first step to addressing it. 

Share the customer onboarding process with your employees 

You shouldn’t downplay the complexity of transitioning to a customer onboarding software tool. Instead, assure your customer success team that you understand the difficulty of this change. 

But also enforce the benefits that comes along with using it. This way, no one feels as though they’re expected to become an expert at this new system overnight. But they’re also motivated to learn and gain these advantages. 

Here’s a simple process you can use when introducing a new customer onboarding tool into your organization:

  1. Announce that customer onboarding software will be implemented into the organization (and why you’re making this transition).
  2. Schedule a meeting with your customer success team to introduce and discuss the new tool.
  3. Demonstrate how this new tool will be used. Someone who really knows how to use the tool should do this demonstration as any fumbling will cause uncertainty around the tool.
  4. Be open to discussion and address any questions or concerns your employees might have. 
  5. Let everyone start playing around with the tool before you make the switch. 
  6. Implement the new customer onboarding software. 
  7. Ask for feedback from your employees. This could be anonymously if you believe that would be best but it will depend between organizations. 
  8. Make regular check-ins with your customer success team to understand if there are any problems. 

You should also share this process with your employees so you’re transparent about what they can expect. 

Describe the personal advantages of using this customer onboarding software

Before your employees will buy in to the new system, they need to understand how it benefits them. One of the reasons for implementing this customer onboarding software is to make your employees’ work easier. You need to describe how this software will do exactly that. 

You’ve probably already got a great, motivated team who want to: 

  • Gain useful new skills
  • Feel appreciated by their colleagues and leaders
  • Be productive and an asset to the team

The goal would be to explain how your new customer onboarding software can help them achieve this. For example: 

  • Customer onboarding software eliminating time-consuming and repetitive tasks, allowing employees to get more work done quicker. 
  • Learning comes from understanding how to work the new customer onboarding tool, which is an excellent way to offer on-the-job training to your employees. 
  • Customer onboarding software allows collaboration to happen more efficiently, which will benefit the entire organization and won’t go unnoticed by management. 

Highlight the company-wide advantages

When you introduce customer onboarding software, you want to address one of the most common questions:

“How is this solution better than what we’ve been doing before?”

Even if your employees don’t ask this question, they will be thinking about it so address it from the get-go. After all, it’s a fair point. Why even switch if the new solution isn’t distinctly better? 

You want to clearly communicate what advantages come with using the new customer onboarding software. 

Here are two considerations to make: 

  • Your new solution might have functionalities that you previously didn’t have access to
  • Pain points you previously had (and how the customer onboarding software wipes these away)

Here’s an example: 

You use Gmail for your customer onboarding process. The problem is that multiple employees can end up replying to the same user because there isn’t a clear record of ownership.

In Process Street, you can see which team member is responsible for what thanks to its role and task assignments. 

Explain what high level business metrics and goals are affected by the customer onboarding software

Efficient customer support is invaluable for both customer loyalty and the organization’s bottomline. The Harvard Business Review found that customers with great past experiences with a company spent 140% more than customers with poor company experiences. 

And what is the first company experience your customers have? 

Their initial onboarding.  

That means a more efficient customer onboarding experience equates to more money for your company. The next step would then be to showcase how your new customer onboarding software can support these vital experiences: 

  • Innovative automations streamline the process and free up time for employees to spend building relationships with their customers
  • Smarter, more accurate analytics offer a clearer overview of what has been done and help make more informed decisions
  • Easy visibility helps make collaboration more efficient and ensures everyone knows what they’re responsible for

Effective customer onboarding is the secret to low churn  

When you’re providing your new customers with the support they need, you’re making them feel appreciated and seen. Far too often, customers feel like a number with a fat wallet – that companies couldn’t care less about their experience. 

By investing in your customer onboarding process, you’re telling your customers that this isn’t the case. And in doing so, you win over their loyalty. Customer onboarding software enables you get your ducks in a row to ensure you deliver this stellar customer experience.

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