SaaS Onboarding

SaaS onboarding: a definition

SaaS onboarding is the process of helping new users set up and use a piece of cloud-based software – “Software as a Service” – so that the users will realize its benefits. SaaS solutions are becoming the de facto way that companies operate.

Why SaaS user onboarding is important

SaaS onboarding is important because it helps your customer understand how to use your product and eventually get the most from it. If you have been stating the benefits of a solution and your customer fails to understand how to use it or doesn’t use it to its full potential, they will feel shortchanged and likely churn. Instead, incorporating a good onboarding process helps your customer from the very beginning. SaaS onboarding is important because it helps:

  • Customers hit the ground running
  • Show ROI
  • Enhance customer loyalty
  • Reduce time, effort, and expense

Making your SaaS customer onboarding process count

It’s important to ensure that your SaaS customer onboarding process is as effective as possible. That means more than simply showing your customer how to use your product. Here are some tips for building a successful SaaS onboarding flow:

Set a “goals mindset”

To ensure that your customers get the most from your product develop a “goals mindset”. This involves understanding the end user’s business objectives. Knowing this will help you to create a customer onboarding system that prioritizes outcomes rather than simply covering features of the software.

Create a flexible process

Do your research and create a process based on the needs of each individual customer. Some users will be more advanced than others. Creating a stock learning process risks alienating beginners or boring users who are further along the learning curve. Understanding your audience and adapting to suit them is key to success.

Provide an interactive experience

When it comes to onboarding, it’s important to provide users with a dynamic and interactive experience with your software. Static or passive means of learning can impede the onboarding process because customers don’t get to use the product in a way that helps them learn its nuances and see its benefits. Consider choosing a learning platform that provides an immersive and interactive experience for your users, including collaborating features, video conferencing, and over-the-shoulder views.

Measuring success with customer onboarding metrics

In any realm of learning there is often a moment when the lesson begins to stick or the practice solidifies into your routine. This is known as the “aha moment”. And it’s what we’re all searching for – those who provide a solution and those who buy and use it.

Measuring the aha moment

Understanding how new users are reacting to your solution and mapping their journey is important to understand what you are doing well and where each of your SaaS onboarding phases can improve. There are many products that can help you visualize, track, and analyze the progress of new users. Whatever software you use, make sure you can:

  • Track daily and monthly active users
  • Set up funnels
  • Measure retention
  • Understand churn
  • See user engagement and behavior

SaaS onboarding is vital to not only help new users get the benefits of your solution but also encourage them to become loyal customers and brand ambassadors.


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