(Preventable) Reasons Why Customers Leave at The Onboarding Stage
Many SaaS (Software as a Service) companies fail at onboarding new customers. They don’t have any outlined goals or strategies to introduce the customer to their company and product. But why does it matter?
Simply put, your company depends on recurring revenue, which you can only get if you have properly onboarded customers. They will see the value you offer and become willing to do business with you for a long time.
On the other hand, 68% of customers churn due to bad experiences with a company. And it all starts with onboarding.
Therefore, it’s important to understand where the problems are in your onboarding process and find solutions. So, we’re presenting the three most common reasons why customers leave and provide actionable tips on improving your onboarding.
Complicated Data Onboarding
The quicker you can get your customers to their Aha! Moment, the better your chances of retaining them.
But what if your product requires migrating a lot of data for the customer to get to an Aha! Moment? If the process takes too long, it might lead to frustration.
According to a recent survey by Flatfile, almost 90% of SaaS companies require some level of data migration. That is a process of transferring customer’s online and offline data to a new SaaS product. The data might be sourced from a previous SaaS product that the customer used, or from spreadsheets, files, and activity logs.
When participants were asked how long it took them to upload the customers’ data, these were the results:
Almost half of the respondents take hours or days to import data, but a concerning number of companies require weeks or months. One CRM implementation specialist claims that it takes him 11 months to migrate customer data for some projects!
The last thing you want is to lose customers because of the lengthy data migration process. So, is there a solution?
The same survey reports that most respondents use a combination of built-in data onboarding tools and manual upload.
Follow their example and invest in a good data onboarding platform. With automated tools, you can significantly speed up your data onboarding process. Most importantly, an automated system should not require any coding, which means you can set it up quickly. The expediency significantly reduces churn, and you can help customers achieve their goals faster. In the end, accelerating the onboarding process is essential for a good customer experience.
Do you know where SaaS companies fail the most during onboarding? Educating their users about how to use their product.
Actually, 8 in 10 users say they’ve abandoned a product because they didn’t know how to use it. And that’s the main purpose of onboarding!
The simplest solution for failings in customer education is to have a good onboarding strategy. There are three main approaches to onboarding:
- Self-service, which allows users to be entirely self-reliant, is usually employed by customers with a very large number of users
- Low-touch, which provides automated customer support for products of medium complexity
- High-touch, where the onboarding process is wholly personalized, usually with a dedicated customer success team
This will determine how you’ll train your customers. However, whichever approach you choose, you need to take two things into consideration: the product and the customer. Different customers require different levels of training. For example, if you are selling software that helps customers build their websites, you’ll have to consider if the customer is a complete beginner or if they have some experience in web design. That’s because your next step will include customizing their onboarding process according to the type of customer they are.
While those with previous experience might be happy with a quick overview of the features you offer, the beginners might need a more structured approach so you’ll need to implement checklists and tooltips to guide them through your onboarding.
For instance, Cognos Analytics provides a product tour with a three-step checklist for the user to complete.
In other cases, your advanced users might skip the tutorials altogether and jump into using the product on their own. Also, the complexity of your product is important. For example, if you have a social media scheduling app, all you’ll probably need is a few tips and a short video tutorial to show your customer how to schedule their first post. But if you have complex marketing software that requires several months of implementation, you’ll need a dedicated customer success team. Your team will need to work with the customer one-on-one to provide the necessary training. In the end, the only thing that matters is choosing the right onboarding model. Your customers will be adequately educated and realize your product’s value faster, while you’ll increase your retention rates.
Remember that your customers are in the process of learning about your product during the onboarding process. So it’s vital that you have their back throughout that journey. The simple reason is that they’re going to have questions and might need assistance finding the answers. So, if you want to keep your customers happy and reduce churn, you need to provide easy ways to find relevant information for their onboarding problems. How do you do that?
According to Microsoft’s research, customers want an omnichannel experience when it comes to communication. When asked how many customer service channels they use, these were the results:
Source: Microsoft Dynamics 365
The prevalent communication channel seems to be the telephone, followed by email and online self-service. Self-service is on the rise because many companies are adopting knowledge bases and help centers where customers can find relevant articles on their own.
Source: Microsoft Dynamics 365
The more options you have, the better because you cater to your customers’ preferences and increase their satisfaction levels. Also, it significantly increases their chances of getting an answer fast. In the end, it’s not the communication channel that’s important. It’s the speed at which the customers get to the information they need. They expect to get answers as soon as possible, so you must respond promptly. So, if your customers are having problems with using a certain feature, send them an email that will explain it more clearly. Like this example.
The most important thing is to reduce customer frustration while they’re learning about your product. So the obvious solution is to provide the customer with a variety of ways to get in touch with you and find the answers they need quickly.
Your onboarding is your best chance to make an excellent first impression. You’ve worked hard on acquiring customers, so you mustn’t fail in getting them acquainted with the intricacies of your product. If you dedicate time and effort to avoiding these common reasons for customer churn, you can increase your profits dramatically. Simply by improving your onboarding, you’re hitting two birds with one stone: retaining customers and making more money. And in the end, that’s what you need for building a successful company.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels