How to boost customer experience with high-touch onboarding

Discover high-touch onboarding, its benefits, an 8-step guide, and the ultimate tool for a quality, high-touch onboarding experience.
July 14, 2023
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Mukundh Krishna

High-touch onboarding is all about giving your customers the attention they deserve and empowering them to master your SaaS product or service.

This approach distinguishes your brand from the competition in a fast-paced world where first impressions are crucial.

But what exactly does high-touch onboarding entail?  

And how can your company execute it? 

This post covers everything about high-touch onboarding, including what it is, the benefits, when to use it, and an 8-step guide for creating killer customer onboarding experiences

Even better, we've got the perfect tool for creating and executing a flawless high-touch onboarding process, making your life a breeze!

In this article 

  1. What is high-touch onboarding?
  2. 3 indisputable benefits of high-touch onboarding
  3. 3 instances when you need high-touch onboarding
  4. 8-step guide for creating a high-touch onboarding experience
  5. Amplify your customer onboarding experience with Rocketlane

Read on to learn how you can level up your high-touch onboarding game like never before.

What is high-touch onboarding? 

High-touch onboarding is a customer engagement model that aims to create a deep and meaningful relationship with your customers.

In contrast to self-serve (self-service), low-touch, or tech-touch onboarding, high-touch onboarding goes beyond the standard customer onboarding checklist.

It prioritizes human engagement and customized support, which helps ensure a seamless customer experience.


You use high-touch onboarding components, like:  

  1. In-person meetings
  2. Product tours 
  3. Training
  4. Webinars
  5. Video chats
  6. Phone calls 

But here’s the thing: To make it all happen, you’ll need to assign a dedicated customer success manager (CSM) who's there to:

  1. Tackle their challenges: If an existing high-value customer or a new customer struggles with a complex feature, your customer support team or CSM can provide step-by-step guidance, address specific challenges, and offer real-time support. They may also share additional resources like video tutorials or documentation to aid the customer in overcoming obstacles.
  1. Address their scalability concerns: Your customer success team proactively explains the product's infrastructure and scalability capabilities. They highlight success stories and business case studies of other customers who have successfully scaled their operations using the service.
  1. And answer their questions: Rather than providing generic or vague answers, customer success managers offer explanations that speak to the customer's use case. They strive to provide clarity and thorough understanding, breaking down complex concepts or processes into digestible information.

Bottom line: High-touch onboarding is the perfect engagement model for SaaS businesses that want to go above and beyond, especially for high-value customers. 

We're talking about VIP or "white glove" treatment.

What are the benefits of high-touch onboarding?

Let’s find out! 

3 indisputable benefits of high-touch onboarding 

Here’s how high-touch onboarding can transform your customer experience: 

1. Better customer retention and satisfaction

In high-touch onboarding, you roll out the red carpet and provide customized solutions, making your customers feel genuinely valued and cared for. 

For example: If there are issues or roadblocks during customer onboarding, customer success managers promptly address customer concerns via phone or face-to-face, minimizing disruptions.

The result? 

Happier customers, higher satisfaction levels, and increased customer retention. 

And here's the bonus: When customers have a positive customer service and customer onboarding experience, they become your brand advocates, spreading the word about their satisfaction and recommending your products or services to others.

Talk about a powerful marketing tool! 

2. Faster time to value and product adoption

Want to help customers quickly experience the ‘aha moment’?

High-touch onboarding is all about empowering customers to make the most of your product. 

Your CSM can provide an interactive workshop, virtual product tour, or training session where team members can actively engage with the software.

With this hands-on approach, you ensure that customers understand every nook and cranny of your product, like its features, functionalities, and all the fantastic benefits.

And you know what? 

That boosts your customer’s confidence and curiosity. They become pros at adopting your product or service!

3. Easier to gather customer feedback

A dedicated customer success manager for one-on-one engagement creates a sense of comfort for customers, making them more inclined to provide open and honest feedback.

Additionally, your customer success team may provide incentives to gather feedback. 

For instance, customers participating in one-on-one feedback sessions may receive exclusive features, discounts, or early access to updates.

These activities create a valuable feedback loop, facilitating continuous improvement based on customer insights.

So when should you consider opting for high-touch onboarding over tech-touch or low-touch customer onboarding?

Let’s explore the ideal scenarios.

3 instances when you need high-touch onboarding 

High-touch onboarding works exceptionally well in the following situations.

1. Implementing complex products and services

A complex SaaS product like enterprise software requires extensive training and guidance to ensure successful implementation.

This is precisely where high-touch onboarding triumphs over low-touch onboarding.

Imagine a cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) analytics platform designed for large enterprises to gain valuable insights from their vast amounts of data.

In this case, you could provide personalized assistance by assigning a team of data scientists and implementation specialists to evaluate and deploy the software for different customers.

These can be based on:

  1. Data infrastructure
  2. Business objectives
  3. And specific analytics requirements

The result? 

You achieve the highest level of customer onboarding success. 

2. Catering to high-value customers

Offering customized solutions is vital for satisfying the unique needs of your high-value SaaS customers. 

One practical approach is to allocate a dedicated data integration or migration specialist to guide a high-value B2B customer through the process, ensuring a smooth transition. 

The specialist can work closely with the customer's IT team to understand the data structure within their current customer relationship management system (CRM).

They can facilitate data mapping and ensure accurate and secure data transfer to the new system.

By delivering such comprehensive support, you leave a lasting impression on your customer base and solidify their trust in your services.

3. Differentiating yourself from competitors

In a competitive SaaS landscape, genuinely understanding your customer’s pain points and providing exceptional service can help you stand out.  

For example, a software implementation team or specialist may go beyond providing off-the-shelf solutions and instead invest time and effort in understanding each customer's unique requirements. 

Additionally, they provide comprehensive training programs, both onsite and online. 

These factors ensure that customers and their teams are well-equipped to use the software effectively.

More importantly, you build strong customer relationships, earn trust and loyalty, and establish a reputation for excellence in your field.

To sum it up: High-touch onboarding enhances customer satisfaction, accelerates time to value, and fosters strong relationships, ultimately driving customer success.

Want to create an unforgettable high-touch onboarding experience?

We've got you covered!

8-step guide for creating a high-touch onboarding experience 

Here’s an 8-step customer onboarding checklist that'll help you craft a fantastic high-touch onboarding experience:

1. Develop a customized, comprehensive customer onboarding plan 

It is crucial to thoroughly understand the unique needs and obstacles of every customer segment and persona to achieve customer success with a high-touch approach.

Here's a quick look at how a typical SaaS company would go about developing a high-touch onboarding playbook: 

  1. Segment customers based on industry, company size, product usage, and pricing.
  2. Create detailed customer personas, including their goals, challenges, preferences, and characteristics.
  3. Visualize the end-to-end customer journey from the customer's perspective, identifying critical touchpoints, milestones, and interactions. 

Implementing these steps can help you create a personalized and efficient customer onboarding experience, leading to higher customer satisfaction and faster time to value.

2. Assign a dedicated customer onboarding team

A dedicated customer onboarding team with specialized knowledge and expertise can significantly elevate the customer onboarding experience. 

For instance, a specialized high-touch onboarding team for a fintech company may comprise the following: 

  1. Customer success managers.  
  2. Legal and compliance specialists.

These team members understand the product or service in and out, allowing them to provide comprehensive support and address customer-specific needs.

3. Set expectations upfront 

Expectation mismatch can pose significant risks, particularly when dealing with high-value customers. 

For instance, an enterprise customer with high expectations may anticipate advanced customization options and dedicated support. 

If these expectations are unmet, the consequences can be severe, leading to dissatisfaction, strained customer relationships, potential loss of business, and negative word-of-mouth. 

4. Provide personalized training and support

Giving your customers personalized training or support and access to appropriate tools can help them become masters of your product or service.  

For example, a software implementation company could develop customer onboarding material as short video clips to cater to visual learners. These videos provide instructional guidance, ideal for those who prefer step-by-step instructions.

More importantly, ensure you provide a walk-through of the available resources and allow customers to access and revisit them at their convenience. 

5. Communicate regularly and clearly

Chart out a communication plan to keep everyone informed and involved while maintaining productivity and achieving customer onboarding success.

Follow these steps for creating an effective communication plan: 

  1. Identify communication needs based on customers’ preferences.
  2. Clearly define the purpose of each communication.
  3. Choose appropriate communication methods aligned with your customer’s working style. 

6. Gather Customer feedback and make improvements

Gathering customer feedback during high-touch onboarding is essential to understanding the customer's experience, pinpointing areas for improvement, and fulfilling their needs.

One highly effective approach is having your CSM schedule periodic check-in calls or face-to-face meetings to discuss your customer’s onboarding progress. 

By keeping this communication consistent, your customer success manager can offer personalized guidance and support, making the customer journey smooth.

The outcome? 

You ensure your customers get the help they need and have a successful client onboarding experience.

7. Measure success

Collecting information about customer experiences during the customer onboarding process reveals valuable insights. 

For example, you could track the rate customers adopt various features, helping you identify which functionalities hold the most value for customers and which ones might benefit from enhancements. 

Some other customer success and customer onboarding metrics you could track include:

  1. Time-to-first-value (TTFV): It is when your customers begin to get real benefits from your product instead of just learning how it functions. For example, how much money or time they save or how many transactions they complete in a specific period.
  2. First contact resolution rate (FCRR): The percentage of customer support cases resolved during the initial customer engagement. A higher percentage reflects the smooth functioning of your operations and the exceptional ability of your customer success management team to understand and assist customers quickly.
  3. Net promoter score (NPS): NPS is a customer satisfaction measurement that provides insights into the likelihood of customers recommending your company's product or service to their network of friends, family, or colleagues. The standard NPS question typically asks respondents to rate, on a scale of 0-10, how likely they are to recommend your product or service.

These customer onboarding metrics are a compass for shaping the product roadmap, ensuring it aligns with customer preferences and addresses customer needs.

8. Automate the customer onboarding process

Automation enables your team to save time and redirect their efforts toward the more high-touch aspects of the customer experience. 

For instance, when a new customer signs up, automated processes can gather relevant information about their business and requirements. 

Based on this data, the system generates tailored customer onboarding material, outlining the necessary steps and resources for the customer to get up and running efficiently.

Furthermore, the system can proactively schedule and send reminders for follow-up meetings or training sessions. 

It can also provide automated progress updates to the customer and the customer onboarding team, ensuring everyone is on the same page and milestones are achieved.

These nifty automations can free up time on your team’s schedule to attend to the customer in person. Instead of wasting time on mundane follow-ups and emails, they can invest in building a real relationship with the customer’s team. 

This proves that even though tech isn’t central to a high-touch onboarding playbook, it serves as the lever that drives the entire process.

Are you looking for that perfect customer onboarding software to accompany your high-touch onboarding process?

Amplify your customer onboarding experience with Rocketlane 

Say hello to Rocketlane, your all-in-one customer onboarding superhero!

Rocketlane is a customer onboarding platform that helps businesses streamline and optimize their customer onboarding process.

Let's check out some standout Rocketlane features that make it the ultimate tool for high-touch customer onboarding:

1. Personalize your customer onboarding experiences

Customizing your customer onboarding experience based on industry, implementation complexity, and company size is a breeze with Rocketlane. 

You can provide customers with a white-labeled portal to access content, messages, and resources based on their specific requirements.

Best part? 

Once you find a winning template, you can easily reuse it for future projects, saving you time and effort.

2. Visualize and automate tasks 

With Rocketlane, you'll have a clear view of all project goals, their status, customer sentiment, and task status. 

That's not all! 

You can set up automated reminders and notifications, ensuring everyone involved is on the same page.

3. Collaborate and communicate effortlessly

Improve teamwork and collaboration, not just within your squad but also with your incredible customers. 

You can have instant conversations, share updates, and address any questions or concerns within the platform.

The result? 

You create a fantastic relationship and an excellent customer service experience.

Gain a competitive advantage with high-touch onboarding!

High-touch onboarding is about going the extra mile to create meaningful connections. It drives retention, loyalty, and product adoption while reducing customer churn.

But here's the thing: To create customized customer onboarding experiences at scale, you need a robust customer onboarding tool! 

That's where Rocketlane comes into the picture! 

With Rocketlane, you'll have a centralized hub for managing customer onboarding projects, tasks, collaboration, and communication between your cross-functional teams and customers.

Ready to deliver a fantastic customer onboarding experience that speeds up time-to-value and boosts customer success?

Schedule a demo or start your 14-day free trial right now

Further reading

  1. Discover the essence of customer onboarding, its importance, and six crucial steps for a successful customer onboarding journey.
  2. Unlock the secrets to a successful kickoff meeting with our ten simple steps.
  3. Explore the world of retainer agreements, including their types, benefits, and best practices.
  4. Find out why customer onboarding specialists are crucial for smooth customer onboarding and preventing customer churn. 
  5. Enter the world of customer onboarding software, explore its significance, and uncover the ultimate tool to revolutionize your customer onboarding experience.

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Kirthika Soundararajan
Head - Content Marketing @ Rocketlane

All things content at Rocketlane. I run on coffee and cat videos. Follow me on Twitter @kirthikasrajan

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