5 min read

Design a stellar onboarding experience

If your business is struggling to retain customers, or if you’re still in the process of building a product, you need to think seriously about designing an onboarding process. User onboarding can be a game changer when it comes to growth. Learn the art of designing great onboarding experiences and you’ll be on your way to achieving customer success.

In this post, we look at what it takes to design the best onboarding process design, and best practices to follow to help improve your user onboarding.

onboarding process

What is customer onboarding and why is it important?

Customer onboarding is all the activities involved in introducing a new customer to your company product or service. A seamless onboarding experience is one that teaches new customers how to get the most out of your product or service. This involves listening to their queries and questions and answering them. The ideal customer onboarding experience is about making their experience as simple and smooth as possible.

Customer onboarding refers to the process of showcasing your customer everything that your business has to offer in an effective way without overwhelming them. Bad onboarding experiences are one of the main reasons why businesses lose customers. In some cases, customers even leave and never come back.

The onboarding process can positively or negatively impact the entire customer experience.

Customer onboarding

Benefits of a positive customer onboarding experience;

  1. Your customers will continue to come back to you and buy from you again
  2. They will become happy and loyal customers
  3. They will tell their friends about you
  4. You will benefit from word of mouth marketing
  5. You will have lesser number of customers that churn
  6. Retaining old customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones
Benefits of onboarding

Ways to design a stellar onboarding experience

Designing an onboarding process and knowing what to improve can be a daunting task. Before setting out to completely redesign your onboarding process, evaluate your current processes and then understand what you need to change.

To achieve the goal of turning new users into fully engaged customers, here are some of the best practices for designing the best onboarding experience 2021.

1. Know your customer and their needs in depth

To show your customers value in your product and what you offer, it is essential to understand their needs in depth. If your products can solve for their needs and offer solutions, you can reassure users that they’re in the right place and remind them of the product’s value.

To do this, you need to first ask yourself why your customers need your product.

Without knowing why existing customers use your product and the value they derive from it, mastering the onboarding experience for new customers will be an uphill task. Conducting customer surveys can be really useful to understand what value customers get from your product and build your user onboarding experience around that value.

To cater to your customers, you need to know the following essential things;

  1. Who they are
  2. What they want
  3. Their pain points and how your product can solve for them
  4. Their tasks
  5. The risks they think are associated with buying your product or service
  6. Why they churn or where they got stuck
Customer needs

2. Remove any barriers

Your aim is to make users understand the value of your product and help them get there as quickly as possible. Remove any barriers that are hindering users from getting there. 

You can remove barriers by not asking for user information early on in the process. Another way would be to not require account creation before they try the product. Basically you need to identify what it is which is stopping people from being able to see value in your product. This could be because of a complicated signup process, asking for too many user details etc.


3. Use branding to stand out

Ensure that your branding conveys everything about your business and makes your product stand out to your ideal audience. Branding is what convinces users to sign up or buy your product in the first place, and by constantly innovating and re-inventing your branding it can also be the factor that keeps them on board. Ensure that you spend enough time bringing your brand to life.

Use branding

4. Create a multichannel experience

To increase customer engagement and retention, you need to be able to make use of multiple channels. In today’s world, users consume their information from many places and have different preferences in the way they retain this information. 

The multichannel user onboarding experience should be as consistent and synchronized as possible. To do this, map your user journey and pinpoint what information you need to provide and where and what would be the best channel to showcase this information.


5. Use videos for quick introductions

Videos are a great resource to design a great user onboarding experience. Rather than a huge chunk of text introducing users to your product or a list of features why not create an engaging and interesting video instead? Videos are especially useful for products that are visual. Videos will instantly be able to see how valuable the product or service is. 

A video can also aid users in understanding how to make use of that product and be able to create their first project or achieve their first task.

Video introduction

6. Chat box for answering questions

User onboarding is not just about introducing customers to your product, you also need to provide a way for users to ask their questions, whenever they have them. Providing long term service is critical for retaining users. 



Effective and strategic user onboarding is key to keep users from quitting your sales funnel and never coming back. Without user onboarding, your business will be stuck in an endless cycle of spending thousands of dollars on user acquisition, getting new customers, customers churn due to poor onboarding and then repeating this process all over again. User onboarding is the bridge between acquiring new users and turning them into highly engaged customers.

Sonakshi Kochhar