Having poor customer onboarding can pretty much kill your growth

Having poor customer onboarding can pretty much kill your growth

During the last months, I have been interviewing entrepreneurs and directors at global startups like Spotify, Klarna, Zound Industries and Google.  We discussed crucial questions for every startup that wants to build a global product and at the same time stay unique and innovative.

The topics: How do you scale and keep operational excellence when it comes to product quality, customer service, onboarding, compliance and organization in new countries?  How do you adapt and stay innovative and unique?  How do we create a seamless customer journey with happy customers and at the same time lower customer acquisition, customer support and installation costs?

So in this blog, I explain the challenges startups face to grow and scale a global product. I share about what we at Trice Imaging have learned and what I have learned from other great entrepreneurs and companies on the same journey.

My first topic is customer onboarding.  Having a poor customer onboarding experience for your customers can pretty much kill your growth. The first impression is often last.  If the customer’s first experience with your product is confusing, overwhelming, or puts up barriers to achieving success, it will set the tone and voice in your relationship.


3 tips on how to create a successful customer onboarding process:

Tip #1: Find out what success looks like for your customers 

One of the lessons we have learned and have also heard from other companies building a SaaS solution with a free trial is: just because they have registered or converted to become a paying customer, doesn’t mean it’s a success.  That is your definition of success and not to be confused with your customer’s definition of success.  The easiest way to figure out what success looks like for your customer is to ask them in the onboarding process: What is their desired outcome? What are they trying to achieve with your product?  A great customer onboarding process is created to ensure the customer achieves their desired outcomes and not to prevent churn.  The most common mistake startups do in their onboarding process is to focus on functional and technical onboarding instead of focusing on values delivered for their customer.

Tip #2: When you know what success looks like, you need to create a customer journey map to achieve success

Since most SaaS solutions customers will onboard and achieve success on their own, it’s crucial to have an easy onboarding process with few steps so you don’t loose them.

Here are my suggestions:

Step 1: “Sign up”- Make it extremely easy for your potential customer to sign up. Minimize the information you collect from the customer.  Choose product, customer name, email and payment information.  The signup process should not have more than 3 steps.

Step 2: Welcome your customers properly.  How would you feel if you walked in the door and every single employee acted as if you didn’t exist?  Welcome and guide them on what to do to get going with the service and while on this tour and ask them, “What are you looking to achieve with your product”?

Step 3: Add value.  After the most crucial steps in the onboarding process are done, promote workflows you know they need to be happy with your service.

Step 4: Monitor and analyze your customer’s behavior the first day of onboarding so your service can customize communication to their onboarding progress or lack of success.

Step 5: Convert quickly.  When your customer has realized the value of your service or they have seen the value potential in the product and are onboarded technically, they are usually ready to convert. Imagine if you asked for the sale right after they achieved success. If that happens on day 3, you could convert a customer on day 3 of a 30-day free trial, instead of waiting until the trial is over.

Tip# 3: When the customer is successfully onboard you are acquaintances and now it’s time to become good friends!

How does a SaaS solution become good friends with her customers?  It is the same ingredients to a good friendship between humans.  They need to feel respected, heard and appreciated.   The actions for a digital solution will then be a little different since the customers usually onboard and solve a lot of the problems on their own.

It is important to know your customers behavior patterns, identify how they use the service and how they would like to use the service.  So your Saas solution can provide excellent customer service and user-friendly features.  My next blog post will be focussed on how to provide an excellent customer service.

Customer Service

Thank you for reading and please share your onboarding experience with me!


Johanna Wollert Melin

8 thoughts on “Having poor customer onboarding can pretty much kill your growth

  1. Johanna,
    Great viewpoints and accurate statements. Will be fun and interesting to follow
    Hope all well
    -all my best//UFFE
    Ulf Hertin

  2. I must say you have hi quality posts here. Your page should go viral.

    You need initial boost only. How to get it? Search
    for: Miftolo’s tools go viral

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