As a business function, the magnitude onboarding has for SaaS organizations renders it more critical by the day. Especially now that customer experience needs to be stellar and user satisfaction established in the early stages of the customer lifecycle. When effective, user onboarding helps new users become proficient, and customers grow within a service. A poor onboarding experience, on the other hand, disappoints buyers, infuriates users, and eventually leads to churn.
Being subject to the GTM practices at play, onboarding changes attributes with the ease a chameleon adapts to a new environment.
Through a Self Serve onboarding strategy, it is fast and to the point, camouflaged behind scalable practices. On a Human-Assisted strategy, it becomes a thorough systemic process embraced by the handholding Customer Success provides.
Depending on its design, onboarding includes basic setup help, training, and leads to experiences that create proficient and habitual users. When executed correctly, it becomes a scalable and tailored educational framework, enabling accounts to grow by moving them down the customer lifecycle. When executed wrong, it delivers out of context messages, creates friction, and encourages drop-offs.
The multivariate nature onboarding has enables it to replicate Sales practices. The ongoing feature releases discourage the iconic sales funnel taxonomy. Every time a new release is launched, the onboarding process is reactivated to deliver initial value, lead to upgrades, and further account expansion. This process abandons the traditional sales model archetype, ending onboarding prevalence during activation.
Being a continuous process, onboarding needs to be evaluated at every stage of the customer lifecycle. The sales funnel has evolved into a circle where onboarding stands in its epicenter waiting for the next feature release to be triggered again.