Successful Customer Onboarding: 10 Best Practices for SaaS

Successful Customer Onboarding: 10 Best Practices for SaaS cover

Have you ever abandoned a product due to poor customer onboarding? One where you have to teach yourself how to use the product?

If your users aren’t activating or adopting your product, you likely don’t have a proper customer onboarding strategy, or it’s not doing what it should.

In this article, you’ll learn ten best practices for utilizing user onboarding software to create a positive customer onboarding experience for your users.


  • Customer onboarding is the first process a customer goes through after signing for a product.
  • The customer onboarding process is important because it helps deliver a positive customer experience and improve customer retention rates.
  • You should gather data from your customers by using in-app surveys. You can then segment users and personalize the customer onboarding process.
  • Help motivate users by showing them a checklist of their progress.
  • Interactive walkthroughs guide new customers on how a feature works and encourage them to try it out themselves.
  • Collecting feedback throughout the journey provides valuable information on how well your customer onboarding process performs.
  • Use webinars to drive customer success by educating customers on how to use your features to meet their goals.
  • Introduce automation tools like chatbots and help centers to reduce requests for your customer success team.
  • Use multichannel support: in-app messaging, social media groups, or help centers.
  • A/B testing is a great way of seeing how different customer onboarding performs.
  • Userpilot lets you create contextual onboarding experiences for new and existing users without writing a single line of code.
  • Want to see how you can use Userpilot to drive customer activation? Book a free demo now!

Why is the customer onboarding process important?

Customer onboarding covers the whole journey from initial sign-up to user activation and aims to set users up for success.

Your customer onboarding should aim to:

  • Create a positive customer experience: a good customer onboarding experience will keep your customer engaged and motivated to use your product.
  • Increase customer lifetime value: a right customer onboarding strategy helps users get continuous value from your product and stay with you longer.
  • Drive customer success and improve customer health scores: when users know how to use your product, they are more likely to succeed with your product.
  • Improve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty: a good customer onboarding experience takes into consideration how customers feel about different parts of your onboarding strategy and work on improving customer satisfaction.
  • Reduce customer churn rate: you should collect feedback and improve on issues customers raise as negative. The more you can improve the onboarding process, the less likely customer will churn.
  • Improve customer retention rate: a good onboarding experience goes a long way. If your customers are fully aware of the value of your product/service and have no problem using it, they are more likely to stay with you.

Who is responsible for customer onboarding?

The Customer Success Manager plays a part and helps decide on a customer onboarding strategy.

Then a Customer Experience Manager reviews the onboarding metrics to see how well the onboarding process is performing and monitors the outcomes of different strategies.

Another role that is responsible for customer onboarding is a Customer Onboarding Specialist. They help customers with any implementation that may be needed.

They also collect and act on feedback to help improve the onboarding. Moreover, they deal with any queries that customers may have that could result in them churning.

10 Best practices when onboarding new customers

You should implement the following ten best practices to create a good customer onboarding process.

1. Create a frictionless sign-up process

Your onboarding should be as simple and clear as possible.

The sign-up flow should require as few steps as possible to reduce friction. One way to do this is to implement a single sign-on because it reduces the sign-up time.

A screenshot of the Miro customer onboarding showing a single sign on option
Miro’s Single Sign-On Option.

Another way to make sure that the design of your onboarding is as simple as possible is to remove any long surveys.

This doesn’t mean collecting any customer data at all. You want some data points to create a personalized experience (see the point below for more detail).

But it can mean if you want to collect more data about your customer, you should wait until they’ve signed up to prevent adding more friction points.

2. Personalize the customer onboarding experience

Users signing up for the first time is a great opportunity to collect some customer data. You can do this with an in-app survey.

A screenshot of an in-app survey using Userpilot
Create no code in-app surveys with Userpilot.

The survey responses will help you segment your users based on the different jobs to be done. You can then personalize the user’s onboarding experience by segmenting users with similar characteristics.

You can trigger different onboarding flows for different segments to showcase the features that can help them complete their goals with your product.

A screenshot demonstrating user segments in Userpilot
Userpilot allows you to create user segments easily.

3. Use a customer onboarding checklist to drive feature adoption

A checklist is a great way to assist customers in completing their onboarding experience.

It helps users understand the key features of your product and motivates them to complete it when each point on the list gets checked off.

You can go a step further and personalize each checklist based on the response from the welcome survey so you can guide them to relevant features.

A screenshot of Userpilot's checklist as part of customer onboarding
A customer onboarding checklist example from Userpilot.

4. Use interactive walkthroughs to guide new customers through your product

For each item on your checklist, you can further help your customer succeed by triggering interactive walkthroughs. Each interactive walkthrough will demonstrate how a feature works and prompt users to try it themselves.

If you want inspiration on what your interactive walkthroughs should look like, here are six interactive walkthroughs to get some ideas.

An animation showing an interactive walkthrough by Kommunicate
Kommunicate’s interactive walkthrough.

5. Collect customer feedback throughout the customer journey

One of the only clear ways of knowing how well your customer onboarding is performing is to collect feedback directly from your customers.

With this feedback, you can determine what’s working and what isn’t so you can make improvements.

You can use in-app surveys triggered at certain points through the customer journey to collect contextual feedback and know when the customer onboarding needs improving.

A screenshot of a modal to collect user feedback during the customer onboarding
An example of a modal for collecting customer feedback.

6. Drive customer success with webinars

Webinars can help reduce the time it takes to educate your customer on how to use your product. It provides a format that can deep dive into a certain feature and its different use cases.

Go one step further and take a look at your analytics to see what features users have failed to adopt and send specific webinars that will help them successfully adopt that certain feature.

A screenshot showing a webinar used for customer education
An example of the SaaS in-app messaging webinar.

7. Use a marketing automation platform to automate self-service support

Marketing automation is when you leverage software and technology to automate repetitive tasks, such as common customer questions.

Some common ways of using marketing automation are chatbots or a resource center.

Chatbots help to automate conversions with customers to provide the necessary guidance and links to resources without having to take up the time of the customer support team. Userpilot integrates with chatbots, so you can get them up and running fast.

A resource center is a hub of all product and features resources, providing in-depth content to help with any questions or problems a customer might have.

Build an in-app resource center with Userpilot.

8. Offer multiple channels of support beyond the help of your customer success team

Some customers prefer talking to a real human. Others couldn’t think of anything worse and would instead message. Each customer has a preference for the way they like to communicate with a business.

That’s why it’s important to keep up with customer service trends and offer multichannel support.

Some examples of these channels could be emails, Facebook groups, help centers, in-app messaging, or live chat. You should unify these channels in an omnichannel support tool to manage them effectively.

A screenshot of Userpilot's Facebook community
Join our Facebook group to get help with building your product onboarding.

9. Measure customer onboarding success by setting goals

To run a successful onboarding process, you need to be able to measure it.

To do this, you should set goals depending on the different jobs to be done that different user personas have. This way, you’ll see how well customers are performing.

If you have a customer who isn’t achieving the goals that you’ve set, you can reach out to them and see how you can help them to get the most value from your product.

Measuring success through goal setting is one of the steps for a successful onboarding framework.

10. A/B test different onboarding flows

A/B testing is a method well used in marketing to find the best-performing version for things such as onboarding flows or in-app surveys.

You can create different onboarding flows like modals or checklists and find which one performs better against a certain goal. Make sure to test each at a time against your goal for the best results.

A screenshot of the A/B testing in Userpilot
Use A/B testing in Userpilot to improve your customer onboarding.

If you’re looking for alternatives to A/B testing consider multivariate tests or usability tests to uncover insights into improving user onboarding.

Create a successful customer onboarding process with Userpilot

Userpilot is a customer onboarding software that can help you grow your customer base without needing technical knowledge.

With a range of features, such as customer segmentation, analytics, in-app messaging, and different ways to collect feedback, you can build a successful onboarding experience.

Userpilot customer onboarding demo.

Create in-app surveys to measure customer’s experience

Userpilot can help you create in-app surveys to capture customer feedback. All without needing to know any coding knowledge.

These surveys help capture feedback within your product at whatever point you want in the customer journey. You can then use that feedback to help improve your product.

You can fully customize the look and feel of the surveys and choose from a range of UI patterns or use ready-made templates. So you can maintain your brand image.

A screenshot of a Userpilot in-app survey
An example of an in-app survey created in Userpilot.

Segment customers for a personalized experience

Segmenting your customer base means that you can offer a better-personalized experience.

Userpilot lets you segment users based on user data, company data, individual feature usage, pre-existing segments, engagement profiles, and user feedback.

This means you can go deep into your personalization to create the best experience for your users in your product.

Segment your users in Userpilot.

Use different UI elements to guide new customers

Userpilot has various UI elements that can guide your users on how to use your product. These elements include modals, tooltips, slideouts, and banners.

These UI elements can help users if they struggle to understand a feature or highlight new features that haven’t been adopted yet. All of which can increase the adoption of your product by customers.

A screenshot of the different UI elements in Userpilot
Userpilot’s different UI elements.


Customer onboarding is important to ensure your user understands how to use your product and gets the most value. Implement these tips to help your users achieve success in your product and lead them to become loyal customers.

Want to get started with creating successful customer onboarding?

Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can create unique personalized customer onboarding flows for all your customers.

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