Onboarding for Customer Success: Best Practices

You know you have a great SaaS product. Your goal is to help customers grow their business using your SaaS. If you’re like many businesses, though, you find it challenging to get clients to sign up for your service—and if they do, they often abandon it too soon.

What can you do to encourage a client to sign up, convert to a paying customer, and remain loyal by continually using your SaaS? While there are many answers to this question, one beneficial avenue to explore is onboarding for customer success. Understanding what customer onboarding is, why it’s important, and how it can set your clients up for success can help your company gain and retain customers.

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding is making sure the customer is set up to use your product successfully. A client’s successful utilization means that they:

  • Are able to use the product
  • Are engaged in using the product
  • Can see its value
  • Can use the product to achieve their goals or solve the problem they need it for

A thorough customer onboarding program will engage the customer from the beginning of the process and continue until the customer is comfortable using the SaaS product. Customer onboarding usually includes offering a welcome, setting expectations, and providing a walkthrough to show the client how to use the product.

Why customer success onboarding is important

Customer success onboarding is essential because it proactively reaches out to the customer, lets them know what to expect, and, most importantly, trains them to use the product and get the most out of it. Customers who can successfully use your product to meet their goals will be loyal users of your SaaS.

Businesspeople know the problems they need to solve, but they may not have the expertise or interest in learning how to use new software. If customers don’t know how to use your product or find that learning how to use it is too time-consuming or complicated, they will abandon it. This becomes a lost opportunity to convince a customer that your product is right for them.

While many companies think their onboarding processes are satisfactory, 90% of customers feel that customer onboarding programs could be improved. After a free trial, 40–60% of users do not convert. One study found that 75% of customers will stop using a new service within the first week.

Customer success onboarding can positively affect conversions and revenue. Having a great onboarding process that welcomes and educates customers can have a significant impact on business results. In fact, 86% of customers are more likely to do business with a company that has a strong onboarding process. In addition, customer success onboarding is a valuable tool to increase revenue since highly engaged clients are more than three times more profitable than customers who are not engaged.

SaaS onboarding best practices to maximize customer success

When designing onboarding content, remember that it will be most successful if it covers the whole process. Most companies want customers to sign up for a free trial or demonstration and convert them to paying customers. There are several things you can do to accomplish this:

  1. Get their attention. If the customer doesn’t know about you, they can’t sign up for your offer.
  2. Keep the sign-up process as quick and easy as possible. People will be more likely to finish signing up if the process is simple and takes very little time.
  3. Provide clear guidance during the sign-up process. Customers may need confirmation during sign-up that they’re doing things correctly. For example, HubSpot has a checklist for its sign-up process. When the customer enters the correct information, they get a green light. The green light lets them know they are on the right track so they won’t get an error message at the end.
  4. Send a welcome email and let them know what to expect. Include a call to action within the welcome email to direct the customer to begin using the product, such as a “Learn more” button. You can use a service like Moosend, for example, to provide emails, calls to action, and videos that the customer can access to learn how to use your product effectively.
  5. Make the first log-in easy. If customers have trouble signing in, they probably won’t continue.
  6. Offer a walkthrough. Make sure your walkthrough content engages the customer with video, graphics, and clear instructions so they’re more likely to complete it. Customer success at this stage is essential because it enables the customer to become familiar with your product.
  7. Achieve a quick win. While experiencing meaningful value from your SaaS product requires time and engagement, achieving small milestones at the end of the onboarding process can keep the customer engaged.
  8. Send follow-up emails. You can use these to get feedback or share additional resources, tips, or valuable information to help customers achieve their goals.

Onboarding customers successfully is a win-win strategy

Developing a customer onboarding strategy that’s engaging, easy to understand, and customer-focused will encourage clients to become loyal, long-term paying customers. Once people are familiar with your product, understand how it can help them achieve their goals, and know how to use it effectively, they are more likely to purchase it.

Setting customers up for onboarding success is a winning strategy for them and for your business. For more actionable insights, check out the VeryCreatives blog today and keep an eye on our customer success topic.

SaaS expertise to your inbox

Join the group of Founders & CEOs and learn everything you need to build your SaaS product and grow your business.

Follow us on social media

Feri Fekete

Feri Fekete

Co-founder of VeryCreatives



Digital Product Agency

Explore more topics

  • Product Discovery

    Product Discovery

    Essential tips for exploration, finding a target market, reducing risks, going from zero to 0.1.

    Browse Product DiscoveryArrow
  • Product Strategy

    Product Strategy

    Useful tips about market positioning, scoping workshops, risk management and product-market-fit.

    Browse Product StrategyArrow
  • Minimum Viable Product

    Minimum Viable Product

    Best practices about idea validation, scoping, staffing, platforms and building a minimum viable product.

    Browse Minimum Viable ProductArrow
  • Business Model

    Business Model

    Articles about business models, recurring revenue, subscription models, and pricing strategies.

    Browse Business ModelArrow
  • Digital Transformation

    Digital Transformation

    Application of digital innovation to existing business problems.

    Browse Digital TransformationArrow
  • Outsourcing


    Benefits of outsourcing product development, fixed-price agile, build vs. buy.

    Browse OutsourcingArrow
Schedule a free consultation with us!

Book a free consultation!

Save time and money by getting the answers to all the questions you might have about your project. Do not waste your time spending days on google trying to extract the really valuable information. We are here to answer all your questions!