Customer onboarding goes beyond just product demos. It encompasses all the tactics, strategies, and programs you have to guide users towards finding value in your products and services and encouraging purchases.
It’s so vital to customer retention and conversion rates that businesses constantly look for ways to improve its effectiveness. 9 out of 10 customers believe that there is room for improvement when it comes to user onboarding.
One approach that requires your attention is high-touch customer onboarding for SaaS companies. High-touch onboarding is especially useful in the software market, as these businesses have the means to demonstrate features and platforms through engaging virtual IT environments.
But first, what is high-touch customer onboarding, and why does it matter? If you want to give your potential customers even more reason to choose you over the competition, find out how to create a high-touch onboarding experience.
What Is High-Touch Customer Onboarding?
Low-touch onboarding methods like self-service onboarding involve minimum intervention from the company itself and largely depend on the customers to navigate their own discovery of the product. By contrast, a high-touch approach requires the business to play an active role in providing a personalized journey for the customer.
Both options have their advantages. Low-touch makes sense for relatively simple onboarding procedures with many participants to whom to present. It’s a more scalable form of onboarding that gives your teams more time to focus on product development.
High-touch, however, is more personalized and caters to the users’ needs more comprehensively. Use high-touch onboarding if you’re serious about creating a lasting first impression for high-value customers or if your product is complex with multiple features and stakeholders involved.
Why Does a High-Touch Customer Experience Matter?
Taking the high-touch route means focusing more on individual customers and their experiences. During this type of onboarding session, the company watches more closely and tweaks every step of the customer journey.
The result is that customers feel more valued. They never feel lost and trust your brand more, as you are always there for their success. Going high-touch also makes sense when:
- Your product or service is rather complicated. Software solutions with many features, technical instructions, and complex guidance call for the high-touch approach. It’s necessary to push users through steep learning curves and convey value where it’s not always clear.
- You’re introducing a new release. You won’t always have time to create a complete low-touch environment to introduce a brand-new product. High-touch is the more practical model when time and resources are constrained.
- You have multiple stakeholders. Does your solution require input from multiple teams and individuals in the company? A high-touch onboarding experience works best to keep everybody on the same page.
- The customers you’re appealing to are high-value. Sometimes, extra effort is necessary when dealing with your most valuable customers or those with unique use cases. Either way, high-touch provides a heavily individualized presentation when the situation demands it.
When done right, a high-touch onboarding experience generates more revenue, more referrals from customers, and more recurring purchases.
How Do You Create a High-Touch Onboarding Experience?
High-touch SaaS onboarding is all about planning. A few steps and best practices to get you started, follow.
- Identify your customers’ goals. What is the participant looking for when engaging with your onboarding process? The answer differs depending on the customer persona with whom you’re working, but it should generally revolve around the core value proposition of your product. Whatever feature is most well-received or most-used should be the focus.
- Map out the journey. Between starting the onboarding process and finding out that your solution is the right choice, what steps did the customer have to go through? It doesn’t have to be a long and complicated journey. Just gauge user behavior at every step of discovery until you’ve locked your participant in as a paying customer.
- Reduce friction whenever possible. Remove as many barriers as possible during the entire interaction. Any potentially frustrating touchpoint is a potential “bounce” point where customers click off and discontinue onboarding. Even simple changes like shortening a signup form can significantly improve bounce rates.
- Provide a multichannel experience. In the same vein as reducing frustration, it’s important to meet your customers where they prefer to speak with you. Introduce your onboarding program through various channels like email, SMS, and even app notifications.
- Solicit feedback regularly. Dissatisfied users will rarely make an effort to tell you what went wrong. Encourage continuous feedback through surveys, and use the data to pick up on the motivations and goals of your customer segments.
High-touch onboarding overall means more touchpoints between your internal teams and your potential customers. A constant two-way conversation between the two maximizes the chance of generating conversions in the end.
Get More Involved in the Onboarding Process with a High-Touch Approach
From covering complicated features to the specific needs of your participants, high-touch onboarding makes sense when you have a lot to explain to your potential customers.
Set up this hands-on approach to user onboarding with a virtual IT environment, the most comprehensive way to explain and demonstrate a new software solution in real-world terms.