Everything You Need To Know About SaaS Customer Onboarding

12minutes read
saas onboarding

Customers define the success of your product. SaaS user onboarding is essential in helping new users stick with you. It’s the best chance to show them how your product helps to meet their needs. The customer onboarding process is a long journey of learning how to use the specific platform. Your income depends on the effectiveness of your onboarding program, as 63% of customers consider it when making a purchasing decision. Let’s see how you can impact the users’ first impression.

What is SaaS Onboarding?

SaaS customer onboarding introduces new users to the product and educates them on using it. The process guides the users from signing up for the platform to becoming dedicated customers.

User onboarding aims to turn your customers from beginners to regular users by allowing them to navigate the product with enough assistance to achieve their goals. During this time, you show the most vital parts of your product and the benefits of using it regularly.

You may be interested: How to Design a SaaS Product?

Why Does Customer Onboarding Matter?

82% of organizations rate their onboarding strategy as a critical value driver. When customers realize the importance, it is more likely to reduce the churn rate among them. This way, a successful SaaS onboarding journey can turn many first-time users into loyal customers.

the importance of saas onboarding flow
why is saas onboarding matter

A pleasing onboarding experience leads to overall satisfaction and employee productivity. Users’ fulfillment directly depends on the high-quality UX design. The psychology behind customer behavior plays a crucial role in onboarding. The UX design can form an opinion about the platform from the beginning. Let’s discuss it in detail.

  • Improved customer retention. Effective SaaS product onboarding helps users realize the platform’s value, leading to increased retention rates and decreased churns. Onboarding shows users how the product addresses their needs, resulting in higher engagement levels and a greater likelihood of continued use.
  • Increased product adoption. Onboarding helps users understand the full range of features and benefits offered by the SaaS product, resulting in increased product adoption as users become more confident and proficient in using the software. Based on this, the onboarding process shows the product’s significance sooner for the users. Users’ confusion decreases by proactively addressing common questions and issues during the onboarding.
  • Software reliance. Onboarding increases user confidence in the product, leading to greater reliance on the software. It’s essential to provide users with a comprehensive understanding of the software and its capabilities. You can build a long-term user base by establishing a strong user knowledge foundation and confidence early on.
  • Less customer support. SaaS user onboarding teaches customers to do more without help, meaning your support team can focus on more crucial problems. Effective onboarding increases the productivity of both parties. As a result, you’ll gain more customer trust.

Paying attention to these details can create a comfortable working atmosphere for the users and increase your revenue.

How To Run a Successful SaaS Onboarding Process?

Building the customer onboarding flow takes a lot of time. The process is filled with thorough planning that creates a wholesome result. Follow the steps we offer to meet users’ expectations and be profitable.

how to run a successful saas onboarding process
saas onboarding process

Structure the goals you want to achieve

A precise vision of a final onboarding result is decisive. A good SaaS onboarding flow concludes with a user taking a desired action, which leads to them adopting your product. Focus on the most critical features that users must acquire to be successful with the platform. The onboarding experience should be smooth so that the customers will be satisfied interacting with it. UX design plays a significant role in this process. Users want to see simple, familiar patterns and logical designs. Details such as action-driven tooltips can draw users’ attention. Walk them through the platform’s navigation, so they’ll be fluent in your product.

All the points mentioned above should be clearly defined to attain the desired result of the onboarding journey. Think through all the process details, define the goals, and start developing the onboarding flow.

Welcome new users

Setting up welcome screens is a great starting point in SaaS onboarding. You are encouraging new customers to use your platform by greeting them. It allows you to guide and educate them through an entire experience. Thus users will understand the general purpose of the product.

A product tour is one of the ways to greet new users. A comprehensive familiarization with the platform’s value will help clients master the software faster, leading to greater work productivity. Besides, a product tour increases engagement. The changes of friction are lower when the onboarding process is well-designed. The flawless first experience leaves users engaged with your product for a long time.

Another way to welcome new users is to conduct micro surveys. Ask them questions about what they want to achieve with your tool. The surveys may be game-changing as you learn valuable information at the start. In such a manner, users can avoid unnecessary onboarding process steps and use the product for their benefit.

Choose an onboarding path

After getting valuable user data, continue choosing the onboarding model you’ll guide the user with. They may alter depending on the surveys you conducted before or on the complexity of your product. There are some paths you can utilize:

  • Low-touch onboarding. It’s a great onboarding model for low or medium-complexity products. They may require several steps to learn the system’s logic and use it successfully. This technique includes product tours, tutorials for getting started, or a step-by-step guide on how to use a platform. This type of onboarding is easy and fast to finish.
  • High-touch onboarding. This method works best for more complex systems. In this case, users will see that your product needs more time to understand and start working with. High-touch onboarding offers a series of training sessions to understand the system thoroughly. Customers may apply for help while using the product.
  • Self-guided onboarding. It’s a common approach that involves providing users with resources like tutorials, videos, and documentation to help them learn how to use the product on their own. Self-guided onboarding allows users to learn at their own pace and explore the software in a way that works best for them.
  • In-app onboarding. It involves providing users with interactive tutorials or walkthroughs, guiding them through essential software features within the application. This approach delivers context-specific tips and guidance that help users understand how to utilize the software effectively.
  • Hybrid onboarding. This type combines elements of different onboarding paths to provide users with a customized experience. For example, a hybrid onboarding approach might involve a combination of guided onboarding with self-guided resources and in-app tutorials.

Facilitate task setup

The user onboarding ends with the “aha” moment. Recognition happens when users experience the outcome that first brought them to the product. Smoothly lead them to the action to help accomplish the mission. The task will vary depending on the kind of your product, but the principle remains the same. Effective SaaS user onboarding guides the customer to the final task setup, which means the onboarding process is completed successfully.

Consider implementing a progressive task completion approach where users are guided through the setup process gradually. Present one task at a time, ensuring users fully understand and complete each step before moving on to the next. This approach helps users focus on one task at a time, reducing overwhelm and improving comprehension.

Read our article on How to Choose a Credible Web Design Company when designing SaaS onboarding.

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How to Improve the Existing SaaS Product Onboarding?

If you already developed a SaaS client onboarding and want to improve it, look at the following things to pay attention to.

  1. Analyze user behavior analytics. These tools will help you to uncover patterns and trends that provide valuable insights into user needs, pain points, and opportunities for improvement. This way you can notice where users drop out or get stuck during the onboarding process.
  2. Optimize the product and implement the improvements in your onboarding experience. User behavior analytics provides insights for improving product features, workflows, and interfaces. You can prioritize enhancements or changes that align with user preferences by identifying which features are heavily used or underutilized.
  3. Conduct the A/B testing on the onboarding flows. Define the goal of your A/B test. It could be to improve user activation, increase product adoption, reduce onboarding drop-off rates, or enhance overall user satisfaction. Having a specific objective helps focus the testing process. As you gain test insights, use that knowledge to inform further tests and refinements. Remember that A/B testing is an iterative process, and continually improving your onboarding is essential to achieve the best product version.

SaaS Onboarding Best Practices in 2023

Here are some best practices for developing an outstanding onboarding program. Follow them so that the users have a favorable opinion of using your platform.

saas onboarding best practices
what makes a great saas onboarding

Keep the onboarding process simple

Users want to start using the platform as soon as possible. Based on this, you should make the onboarding journey fast and legible. Keep your instructions short and straightforward. Otherwise, you can overwhelm users with endless commands.

There is no need to explain all the processes the product does. Start by showing how the key features work and go with the flow. If you offer a complex platform, conducting an onboarding process for each section is better.

Prioritize the product’s value

Users need to notice the product’s value straight from the onboarding. The faster users understand how your software helps solve problems, the more they use it. You can research the analytics to understand the user better. This data will show the churn rate and why customers stop interacting with the platform. Based on the results, you can learn what are the pain points and decide how to optimize them. Introduce the solutions with the onboarding process, so the users will be happy using the product.

Provide context for how the software’s functionality delivers value to users. For instance, if your software automates a specific process, explain how that automation saves time and reduces errors. Identify the main software benefits and prominently feature them throughout the onboarding process. Effectively communicated values help retain and motivate users to continue using the platform.

Make the onboarding interactive

Interactive onboarding flow keeps the users interested in using your product. Instead of continuous explanations, create an engaging atmosphere by allowing customers to interact with the content. For example, each step of the SaaS client onboarding should be triggered by the previous step’s requested action. This way, you encourage customers to use the software and allow them to explore the platform.

Interactive onboarding is more effective than traditional static onboarding methods. Gamification is an excellent way to keep users curious. It involves using game-like elements, such as rewards, points, badges, and leaderboards, to motivate users during the onboarding. It helps make the learning process enjoyable and reinforces key concepts and behaviors.

Make the sign-up process fast

The impression of the product is formed in the beginning. Ask only the necessary information to create a great first experience. Email address, phone number, and password would be enough to start. Requiring too many details can look concerning and turn the user away. Focus on the main features that will be enough in the sign-up stage. To develop the software more productively, consider these points while designing the platform to create the software more productively. You can ask for additional information further in the learning process.

Provide personalized onboarding flows

Personalization gives more freedom to explore the product. It engages the users in the workflow, which makes them use the platform more often. Remember that every customer won’t use your software the same way. Creating a multifunctional product means including everyone’s needs.

Start with offering to choose from several paths on the welcome screens. People will use the platform for different reasons, and someone won’t need the complete set of options. For example, you can ask users about their field of work to optimize the use of your product.

Many other options can help users feel involved. Customizable design is an example. Clients will be able to create an inspiring atmosphere, which can affect their work productivity.

Take a closer look at the UX/UI design services we offer.

What to do after a SaaS Client Onboarding?

What happens now that the onboarding process is complete? Your task is to keep teaching users and help their productivity. Look at some ideas you can implement in the software.

what to do after a saas onboarding
what to do after a saas user onboarding
  • Provide ongoing support. Continue providing users with access to training materials, webinars, and other resources that can help learn more about the software. It can reinforce fundamental concepts and behaviors and allow users to stay up-to-date with the latest software updates and enhancements.
  • Monitor user engagement. These metrics help identify potential areas of improvement and ensure the users get the most out of the software. It may include tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), churn, or retention rates.
  • Give personalized recommendations. Provide users with customized advice on how to get more out of the software based on their specific needs and patterns. It may include suggesting new features, workflows, or integrations that help users achieve their goals.
  • Recognize success. Reward and recognize users that succeed with the software, and showcase their achievements to others. It can foster a sense of community and motivation among users, as well as strengthen the software’s value over time.

These steps will ensure that the users continue to benefit from your software. The onboarding process can pursue throughout the entire platform’s usage as your customers open new software sides and features.

Gapsy’s Experience

Over the years, we mastered the skill of designing SaaS products. We offer you to take a closer look at our BooKit Me case.

bookit me case gapsy
gapsy's bookit me saas case

BooKit Me is an online appointment system. This app was created for convenient meetings and planning your calendar of plans. Our designers compiled the apps’ roadmap to understand and visualize the application in general.

saas roadmap
bookit me roadmap

Gapsy experts researched to create an outstanding user experience. We worked on creating a unique application style. The main task was to develop a presentable and pleasant design that catches user attention. Everything from colors to typography makes the app stand out from the crowd and enhances user comprehension. You can find more information on the case on our Behance. You can be sure of our professionalism!


SaaS customer onboarding is a great way to turn new users into loyal clients. Developing the onboarding journey is an ongoing process that needs constant attention. The key to success is regularly revising the onboarding flows and improving their quality. The point of onboarding processes is much more than helping new users adopt the product. The ultimate goal is to commit the users to long-term success with your platform.

Gapsy Studio is ready to help with designing your onboarding journey. Our experts will provide you with high-quality services to enhance your success. Check our works on Dribbble and contact us for future collaboration!

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