How to Craft and Sustain Delightful SaaS Onboarding Experiences

Customer onboarding does not have to be fraught with escalations and uncertainty.
Kirthika Soundararajan
April 30, 2021
Main Illustration:
Krishna Kumar

Think of the best dining experience you’ve ever had. You were greeted with a warm smile as you were ushered in. The cutlery and table were spotless. The nibbles were as well-thought-out as the menu. Your glass of water was always full. The server knew the menu inside out and helped you pick the right options. They also probably checked in with you every once in a while to see if you were enjoying the meal. You and your fellow diner didn’t have to wait awkwardly for the other’s dish to arrive so you can start eating together. And, of course, the food was delectable and Instagram-worthy. 

One thing that would not have come to mind when you thought about the restaurant experience is the sight of the kitchen. You probably wouldn’t have caught a glimpse of the frantic humans running about, the smoke and the sizzle, the aroma, and in short, the chaos. And that’s on purpose: the messy kitchen is of little interest to anyone who just wants to have a good time and have good food.

Why should your customer onboarding experience be any different?

Think about it.

The onboarding phase is vital to that experience. You have to get your customers to hit those critical milestones, demonstrate value quickly. 

You have everything set: projects created on Trello, customer’s team invited (they use Trello for their project management too, so you save time you’d have spent walking them through it, phew!), tasks assigned to your team members, and theirs. You’ve shared the detailed project scope via Notion. You have the processes outlined on spreadsheets. You’ve enabled email notifications for comments assigned to you on Google Docs or for tasks assigned to you on Trello. You mark them as important so you can find them quickly.

You try not to think about how everything you put on your tools are open for your customers to see. So you clone your project plans, docs, sheets: one for your team and one for your customer’s team. Now you have double the number of email notifications flying into your inbox, and that is the least of your worries. Do you know how you double, triple-check an important email and still get anxious when you have to hit send? Your onboarding team feels that about every document they share or every task they add to the project management tool. 

Because there have been times when the wrong or outdated version of an important document was shared and led to frustration for the customer. Or you’ve sent multiple emails following up with the customer to complete tasks assigned to them, and they’ve all just gotten buried under other emails in their inbox. They have their way of going about managing projects, as do you. The lack of coordination isn’t helping the experience. There’s been an escalation. You frantically switch tabs putting together every piece of information you require to tackle it. Yet again, some elements of information are missing. You reach out to the customer for them, fully aware it might add to their frustration. They can see your messy kitchen.

Generics tools = hit-or-miss executions

Ever considered the possibility of the problem being the system you’re using for customer onboarding?

Think about why you use the software you do for sales, CRM, customer support: to ensure your customer experience isn’t broken. And then, you have the implementation phase, where multiple tools come together to form that one system you need—no wonder a lot of churn happens during onboarding.

The tools you use aren’t meant for customer onboarding or implementation projects. They aren’t built to provide customized visibility levels to your customers and your internal team. Neither can they help you gauge customer experience at every phase of the onboarding process. In the end, it looks like customer experience has taken a backseat during the onboarding phase.

Delight your customers with Rocketlane

We couldn’t find a tool that would provide a unified, collaborative workspace for working with our customers. So we built one!

Rocketlane is a customer onboarding platform that helps you have everything you ever need in one place: tasks, teams, checklists, files, processes, etc. Set different visibility levels for internal and external teams and eliminate the need to duplicate work.

You can also track customer sentiments for every phase, which helps you understand where the team can do better, and what processes can be improved. 

Want to check it out for yourself? Sign up here and serve up a delightful onboarding experience!

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Kirthika Soundararajan
Content Marketer @ Rocketlane

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

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