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December 15, 2022

Customer Onboarding - The Essential Guide

A positive onboarding experience is key to ensuring your customers remain satisfied with their purchase and help to prevent them from churning.

Blog type
Selling tips

Churn is primarily caused by customers not understanding your product and obtaining no value from it. A successful customer onboarding can solve these problems. There’s no doubt that you’ve created a product that your audience will love. In the beginning, customers just need a little help getting started. Your customers already like you, and they believe in your product – that’s why they bought it. Keeping it that way is now your responsibility.

The goal of this guide is to provide you with the following key takeaways:

  1. What is Customer Onboarding?
  2. Why Is Customer Onboarding Important?
  3. Customer Onboarding Best Practices
  4. How to Measure Your Customer Onboarding Success
  5. Must-have Features in Your Client Onboarding Software
  6. A Quick Customer Onboarding Checklist
  7. What Aligned Brings to the Table 

Customer onboarding

One of the most important aspects of a successful business is customer onboarding. Without a well-executed customer onboarding process, you may lose customers before they’ve even had a chance to experience the value of what you have to offer.

There are a few reasons why customer onboarding can fail or become a hassle for both the customer service (CS) team and the client. Poor communication, unrealistic expectations, or a lack of understanding of the product or service can lead to a loss of company money and time. 

Customer onboarding can also become a hassle for the customer service team if they are not properly prepared or trained. This can lead to frustration on both sides and can also result in a loss of time and money for the company. Thankfully, there are customer onboarding software options available to help make the process as smooth and easy as possible. Here, we’ll explore the essentials of customer onboarding software and what the right option can do for your business.

What is Customer Onboarding?

The customer onboarding process familiarizes new customers with your product or service. It’s designed to help them get started, learn the basics, and start using your product or service in the most efficient way possible.

Think of customer onboarding as a first date. You want to make sure you give your date enough information about yourself so they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to see you again. But you don’t want to overwhelm them with too much information all at once.

The purpose of customer onboarding is to ensure your customers are content with your product or service by supplying them with the tools they need to get started, and making it simple for them to use your product or service so their needs are met.

If executed well, customer onboarding can create a fan base who is die-hard about what you offer and will continue to use it for a long time. It can also help to reduce customer churn.

Customer onboarding is a process, not a one-time event. It should begin even before a customer has signed up for your product or service, and continue until they are using your product or service regularly and getting value from it.

Why Is Customer Onboarding Important?

Customer onboarding is the process of getting new customers up to speed with your product or service. It’s an important part of the customer journey, and it can have a big impact on customer satisfaction, retention, and lifetime value.

Impacting Customer Relationships and Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

The way you onboard new customers will set the tone for the entire relationship. If you provide a great onboarding experience, customers will be more likely to be satisfied with your product or service, and they’ll be more likely to recommend it to others. But if you’re sloppy or rushed with onboarding, they’ll be less likely to trust you or see you as a valuable partner.

It Decreases the Time To First Value

The faster you can get new customers using and getting value from your product, the better. If it takes weeks or months for them to see the value in what you’re offering, they’re much more likely to churn. But if you can help them get started quickly and easily, they’ll be more likely to stick around.

It Improves Customer Satisfaction

Customer onboarding is a great opportunity to improve customer satisfaction. If you can take the time to walk new customers through your product and help them get set up for success, they’ll be much more likely to be satisfied with your service. And happy customers are more likely to stay loyal and continue doing business with you.

It Helps Reduce Customer Churn

Customer churn (or attrition) is the percentage of customers who stop using your product or service over a given period of time. It’s a key metric for any business, and it’s especially important for subscription-based businesses like SaaS companies.

One of the best ways to reduce customer churn is to invest in onboarding. If you can help new customers get the most out of your product or service, they’re less likely to cancel their subscription or stop using your service.

It Can Increase Customer Lifetime Value

Investing in customer onboarding can also have a big impact on customer lifetime value (CLTV). CLTV is a metric that measures the total value a customer will bring to your business over the course of their relationship.

If you can help new customers get more value from your product or service, they’ll stick around longer and spend more money with you over time. This, in turn, will increase your CLTV.

Customer onboarding is a critical part of the customer journey, and it can have a big impact on your business. If you’re not investing in onboarding, you’re missing out on an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and increase CLTV, among many other things. So, if you’re not already doing it, now’s the time to start.

Customer Onboarding Best Practices

There are a few best practices to keep in mind when it comes to customer onboarding:

  • Create a clear roadmap for success: The first step in any good customer onboarding process is to create a clear roadmap for the customer. This roadmap should outline all of the steps that the customer needs to take in order to get started with your product or service.
  • Understand your customer’s needs: It’s important to understand what your customers need in order to get the most out of your product or service. Take the time to learn about their specific goals and needs. This will help you create a more targeted onboarding experience that is tailored to their individual needs.
  • Set milestones: Another important element of customer onboarding is setting milestones. Milestones help to keep the customer on track and provide them with a sense of achievement as they reach each goal.
  • Automate as much as possible: By automating key tasks, you can free up time for your team to focus on more important things, such as providing support or creating new features.
  • Following up after onboarding: Finally, it’s important to follow up with the customer after they have completed the onboarding process. This follow-up can help to ensure that they are happy with your product or service and that they don’t have any lingering questions.

How to Measure Your Customer Onboarding Success

When it comes to understanding how successful your customer onboarding process is, there are a few key metrics you’ll want to keep an eye on. Here’s a look at some of the most important ones:

  • Time to Complete Onboarding: This metric will give you insight into how long it takes customers to go through your entire onboarding process from start to finish. The shorter the better, of course, as you want to make sure your customers are getting up and running with your product or service as quickly and easily as possible.
  • Customer Progress: This metric tracks how far along customers are in your onboarding process. Are they making it all the way through? Or are they dropping off at some point? If you’re seeing a lot of drop-offs, that’s an indication that there might be some areas of your process that need improvement.
  • Customer Journey Mapping: This is a helpful tool for understanding the customer experience from start to finish. By mapping out the customer journey, you can identify any pain points or areas that could be improved.
  • Customer Response Rate: This metric measures how quickly and effectively customers are responding to your onboarding communications. Are they replying to your emails? Answering your phone calls? Taking advantage of your live chat? The faster and more responsive they are, the better.
  • Product Adoption Rates: This metric tells you how many customers are actually using your product or service after going through the onboarding process. A high adoption rate is a good indication that your onboarding process is successful in getting customers up and running with your product or service.

Measuring these metrics will give you a good idea of how well your customer onboarding process is working and where there might be room for improvement.

Must-have Features in Your Client Onboarding Software

When it comes to client onboarding, there are certain features that are absolutely essential for any software solution. Without these, your software will fall short of providing the necessary support and guidance during the onboarding process. Here’s a look at some of the must-have features in any client onboarding software:

  • A Task Manager: The ability to manage tasks and projects related to client onboarding is critical. Your software should allow you to create and assign tasks, track progress, and set deadlines. This will help ensure that everything related to the onboarding process is organized and on track, by keeping both sides accountable
  • Stakeholder Collaboration: Good client onboarding software will enable internal and external stakeholders to collaborate and communicate with each other. This collaboration can take many forms, including chat, forums, document sharing, and more.
  • Onboarding Progress Tracking: It’s important to have visibility into the onboarding process in order to keep everyone on the same page. Client onboarding software should offer features for tracking the progress of projects and sharing this information with stakeholders.
  • White-Label Branding: To create the desired white-glove VIP experience, branding and personalization are essential. Your client onboarding software should allow you to customize the interface and user experience with your own branding elements.
  • Bottleneck Identification: One of the challenges of client onboarding is identifying bottlenecks that may impact activities. Good software will include features for identifying project trends and bottlenecks so that you can take steps to avoid them.
  • Document Storage: The onboarding process often generates a lot of documents and other content. Your software should offer secure storage for this information, as well as tools for organizing and sharing it with stakeholders in a way that is easy to consume.
  • Sensitive Information Protection: Some of the information generated during onboarding may be sensitive or confidential. It’s important to have security features in place to protect this information from unauthorized access.

Measuring these metrics will give you a good idea of how well your customer onboarding process is working and where there might be room for improvement.

A Quick Customer Onboarding Checklist

Even though every customer onboarding process is different, we still want to give you an outline of what that process could look like.

  1. Write a great welcome email: Your welcome email is your chance to show empathy, prepare customers for the value they are about to receive, and lay the groundwork for rules of engagement and the brand’s voice.
  2. Hold a kickoff meeting: The onboarding kickoff is a major piece of any high-touch onboarding process. This is where everyone aligns on key objectives, gets to know each other, and defines the project scope (while limiting any scope creep).
  3. Check in regularly and offer help: Ongoing check-ins and implementation help customers get comfortable with the product or service and show that you care about their progress.
  4. Have a plan for launch day: Launch day can be nerve-racking, so it’s helpful to send over an email to show you’re prepared.
  5. Do quarterly business reviews (QBRs): to help determine if the customer is receiving true value for their money.

What Aligned Brings To The Table

When it comes to customer success, Aligned are experts in the field and deliver an unforgettable customer experience that will last a lifetime.

From project management that’s built for collaboration, to a streamlined process that ensures timelines and steps are followed, Aligned has you covered.

  • With Aligned, customers can self-onboard, meaning they don’t need to rely on boring spreadsheet project
  • Aligned also provides personalized portals that make it a breeze for customers to get started.
  • In addition, Aligned offers smart insights to ensure that the onboarding process is on track.
  • Finally, Aligned’s alerts system ensures that all stakeholders are kept up to date on the latest engagement in the workspace. So even if you’re not around to answer every question, your customers will still have all the resources they need to succeed.
    management tools.

By offering such a comprehensive and easy-to-use solution, Aligned is the best choice for any company looking to streamline its customer onboarding process.


Customer success is essential to the growth and retention of any business. By ensuring that your customers have a great onboarding experience with your product, you can set them up for long-term success and ensure they remain happy, engaged customers. With the right customer onboarding software, you can streamline and automate several key steps in the process, making it simpler and more efficient.

Aligned provides the best customer onboarding experience by delivering an end-to-end solution that is tailored to your team’s specific needs. From initial contact through to post-sales support, Aligned’s platform enables you to nurture and grow your customer relationships. By automating key processes and tasks, Aligned allows you to focus on providing a superior customer experience.

With its flexible and scalable architecture, Aligned can be easily customized to meet the changing needs of your business. Whether you’re looking to improve customer satisfaction or increase sales, Aligned is the perfect solution for your team.

To learn more about what Aligned can do for your business, just sign up. It’s free to use, with up to three deal rooms.

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