The user onboarding process plays a crucial role in driving customer success and satisfaction in the SaaS industry. In this exercise, we will guide you through the SaaS User Onboarding Audit Checklist, which will help you assess and optimise your onboarding strategies. You will identify areas for improvement, address user obstacles, and develop effective solutions to ensure a seamless onboarding experience for your customers.
Goal: The goal of this exercise is to utilise the SaaS User Onboarding Audit Checklist to evaluate your onboarding process, identify pain points, and implement solutions to optimise user onboarding and time to first value.
Instructions & Resources
Definition - When is a user onboarded?
- Is there a common definition for when a customer is onboard?
- What is the customer's desired outcome?
- How does the customer measure their own success?
- How do customer's stakeholders (ex. boss) measure success?
- What is it that the customer wants to achieve?
- When do the customers obtain value from the product for the first time?
- Is this tangible value, or is this potential value (i.e. they see the potential for using the product/service longer term)
- Is this the same for all users, or different depending on the customer segment?
- Is onboarding defined by a time period rather than a value-capture moment?
Onboarding steps - What are all steps towards being onboarded?
To ensure a comprehensive evaluation of your onboarding process, it's essential to identify all the steps required for users to reach the "onboarded" state. By considering user personas, use cases, and the necessary actions within the product and their organisation, you can create a holistic picture of the onboarding journey.
- Are all users having the same onboarding experience, use case, and product understanding, or are there different personas to keep in mind?
- What are the current use cases or onboarding endings? For example: (1) abandons tool, (2) becomes free user, (3) upgrades to premium, (4) upgrades immediately.
- For each use case, what features give the most value without extending the learning curve too far and introducing too much complexity?
- What are all the steps that need to be completed to reach the 'onboarded' goal definition
- On the customer side:
- In the product
- Inside their organisation. For example: get data, connect systems, engage stakeholders, obtain approvals
- On our side:
- What is done with the customer
- What is done for the customer
- What does the customer have to do
- Who is involved from our team
- What happens after they become "onboarded"?
- What is the next goal for the customer once they reach the onboarded threshold
- When do we start communicating about this next and bigger goal with the customer?
Obstacles - Where do users get stuck?
Understanding the obstacles or points of confusion that users encounter during onboarding is crucial for improvement. By analysing user feedback, behaviour data, and support tickets, you can pinpoint where users get stuck and identify areas that require attention. This step will help you uncover valuable insights to enhance the onboarding experience.
- What are the current obstacles or points of confusion for the customer?
- When and how often do users get stuck? Tip: Use clickstream analysis, heat-maps, scroll analysis, A/B tests, session recordings, and event analysis"
- When and how often do users say they get stuck? Tip: Use in-app surveys, email surveys, feature sorting, check FAQs for most asked questions, and check support tickets for most raised issues"
- What do users say about why they get stuck? Tip: Use interviews & chats to ask why they didn't convert, focus groups, participatory design, user feedback, what-did-you-expect pop-ups asking about what's wrong while they're on the screen, leverage exit-intent"
- How do users behave in an improved scenario? Tip: Use usability labs, ethnographic field studies, and mockup tests"
- Are uncovered insights from the above research incorporated in the use cases and feature roadmaps?
- What's an appropriate expected experience for the customer?
- What do competitors do?
- If we have a significantly different experience, are there any reasons for this?
- What do customers hate or love about competitor products?
Solution - How can we help users get unstuck?
- Before signup
- Run the landing page audit checklist
- During signup
- Are unnecessary form fields removed?
- Are unnecessary points of friction and distraction removed? (Ex. navigation links)
- Are unnecessary steps or pages removed?
- Is it clear how far a user has progressed during the signup process?
- Is it easy and clear to reach out if one gets stuck?
- Is the core value proposition re-articulated convincing users at each step to continue?
- Are any claims backed up with social proof making the product more desirable?
- Is there any form of personalisation making users more invested?
- Welcome email
- Has a single clear CTA?
- Links directly into the correct place within the app?
- Re-articulates the value we provide, our credibility, how fast one can get a "quick win", and the next step to take.
- Are there empty state prompts helping users get to a "quick win" fast?
- Is the entire experience geared towards helping users get to a specific, relevant, meaning "quick win" fast
- Is it at any point clear what the next step is to get closer to a "quick win"
- Which onboarding model suits customers and you the best?
- 1-to-1, small-group, or 1-many
- DIY, DWY, DFY
- Support: Phone, SMS, Email, Zoom
- Consumption: video, audio, written, live
- Speed: 24/7, 9-to-5, Mon-Fri
- Which onboarding elements suit best to overcome the earlier define obstacles?
- Learn-by-doing: guide the user step-by-step through the tasks to take
- Manual: do the set-up for or with the user – generally only suited for high-end niche software
- Sandbox: give access to a test account with data to let the user explore while they're waiting for their own data to aggregate in their account
- Contextual: use elements that appear while the user explores the app: product tours, progress bards, checklists, hotspots, action-driven tooltips, and deferred account creation.
- Is there a knowledge base and FAQ page?
- Are there product tutorials in written and screen capture formats?
- Are there how-to videos for the most asked questions?
- Is there help & troubleshooting documentation?
- Is there developer-friendly documentation?
Optimisation - How do we make sure we hit the mark every time?
To enhance customer satisfaction and accelerate their path to value, it's crucial to optimise the time to first value. This step involves evaluating the current time frame, measuring its acceptability, and ensuring the sales team is aligned with customer progress. By considering incentives and refining your approach, you can deliver value to customers more efficiently and effectively.
- What is the Time to First Value for a customer?
- Is this time acceptable or should it be faster?
- Is the Time to First Value measured?
- Does the sales team know at any point how far a customer is progressed and how & when to intervene?
- How is the sales team incentivised to ensure customers get value before the Time to First Value?