How to personalize customer experience at onboarding?

January 15, 2024
Customer Success

The right onboarding experience tells the user they're in the right place. 97% of companies say that good user onboarding is necessary for a product’s growth. It also helps you to retain them. Because the top two reasons for customer churn are 1) they fail to understand your product or 2) they don't see the return on investment from your product.

Customer onboarding can help you solve these issues. Your product might be a great problem solver, but customers need some hand-holding before they squeeze the value out of it. And the good part is they believe in your product enough to sign up for it, so now you have to keep it that way.

You can do this by creating a seamless customer experience from the first touchpoint through the post-purchase stage. This guide will help you with customer onboarding and how you can implement it as a regular part of your customer service.

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding is the process of helping your new users learn how to use your product effectively through step-by-step tutorials, helpful guidance, and support.

It also involves celebrating your customer's success when they achieve a certain milestone using your product.

Why is customer onboarding essential?

A great customer onboarding experience helps you build a deeper relationship with your customers— resulting in increasing your activation and retention rate.

Here are the key points that'll help you understand the importance of a personalized customer onboarding experience.

  • It keeps your customers happy and engaged and turns them into your top referral sources, as 78% of people share their favorite recent experiences with people they know at least once per week.
  • It helps you convert your new users into retainer ones by keeping them happy so that you don't have to hunt for new customers every time. Acquiring new customers costs between 5 to 25 times higher than keeping the current customers happy.
  • It increases your business revenue. Remember that the existing customers are the biggest sources of your company's revenue, as 80 percent of your future profits will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers.

What should be in the customer onboarding process?

  1. Welcome email

The first impression is the last impression, so you need to make it a positive one. Congratulate your customers on their new purchases and let them know that you value them by saying "thank you!".

Also, add a call to action to click through and log in to your product.

  1. Greeting message

A greeting message is an in-app welcome message that your users get after their first login.

You can use it to encourage your users to start setting up their accounts. Remember not to confuse your users by asking them to do so many things at once.

Ask them to either change their account password or turn on the email notification. You can add a video tutorial for the same to make their process easier.

  1. Product setup

Keep in mind that your new users are using your product for the first time, so don't assume they can do everything themselves.

Create a step-by-step guided tutorial or setup wizard to help your customers through the entire setup process. Try to keep the tutorial short and optional.

  1. Empty states

There'll be no data when your users enter their dashboard for the first time. It's your responsibility to help them understand what the feature is, explain its value, and encourage them to start using it by filling those empty states with actionable tutorial content.

  1. Feature banners

Displaying banners is a great way to guide your users around the features of your product and mention any important point that they should know about.

Now, don't interchange banners with tutorials as banners function as an introduction while tutorials teach your users how to use your product.

  1. Walk-through

A walk-through is meant to teach your users how to use your product effectively. Although the best way is to let them learn it by using the product themselves, here are some ways you can consider providing your users an interactive walk-through:

  • Mention contextual tips at the end of the completion of every task to show how to complete the next one.
  • Make the walk-through skippable so that it doesn't work as a barrier for those users who already know how to use your product.
  • Give your users the option to return to the walk-through later, as not everyone will want to do it the first time they log in.

  1. Knowledge base

There'll be some users who will need extra support even after going through the walk-through, and in that case, the knowledge base could be an ideal resource section that will help users solve their problems easily.

Apart from that, you can also add the contact details of your support team or a live chat feature to solve their issues with a personalized touch.

  1. Routine check-ins

Routine check-ins are a crucial element of a personalized onboarding experience. Customer Success Managers must let the users know and feel that they care for them.

So, consider doing regular follow-ups with your users to understand what is holding them back from using your product and how you can help them with the same.

  1. Mini milestone celebrations

You have to be customer-centric if you want them to be invested in your solution.

So, don't forget to celebrate all the customer-centric milestones with your customers either by sending an in-app notification or a congratulatory email. Remember that your goal as Account Manager or CSM is to make them feel that you actually care about their desired outcome and overall success.

What are the customer onboarding best practices?

  1. Know your customer

Knowing your customers is crucial to understanding their expectations, pain points, and challenges. As you can use this information to identify better solutions tailored to their specific problems — helping you provide them with a more personalized onboarding experience.

  1. Set expectations

Setting clear expectations is essential to make sure you're setting milestones you can hit every single time.

Let your customers know what to expect from your product before investing in it so that they'll be prepared for any unexpected obstacle and not give up easily.

  1. Show value

Focus on the values your product will be providing to your users. Explain how it will address their pain points and will be providing solutions to their unique cases.

A quick call or personalized training can be a valuable option here.

  1. Constant communication

Maintaining constant communication is important to understand whether your user is getting value from your product or not.

Consider sending regular emails throughout the onboarding journey to supplement the in-app tutorials and walk-through.

  1. Customer-focused goals

Create your goals and metrics according to your customer's situation. Let them define their success and then help them create measurable and achievable milestones to achieve them.

  1. Track your progress and measure success

A great onboarding experience is meant to help your customers as well as your business in terms of satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Keep track of your customer's progress, pain points, and obstacles to understand what's working and where you need to improve.


If you want your new users to get converted into retainer ones, you need to ensure they understand the value of your product and see the ROI from the same. And a personalized customer onboarding experience helps you with exactly the same.

By including the onboarding must-haves and applying the best onboarding practices in your customer onboarding strategy, you'll be able to reduce your customer churn— resulting in increasing your customer retention and revenue growth.

And to do that, let Successeve help you with analyzing your customer usage, scoring their product adoption and engaging with them automatically when they reach a milestone.

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