4 Signs It’s Time to Optimize Onboarding

Joanna Kurylo
5 min readDec 15, 2022
Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

No matter how great your SaaS product is, if the user experience is poor, it will not be easy to get traction with growth or scalability. This is especially true when it comes to SaaS user onboarding. Great onboarding can help reduce user churn, convert more users to paying users and cultivate long-term active and engaged users.

Up to 74% of potential customers will switch to other solutions if the onboarding process is complicated. Coupled with that fact and the notion that your business goals may change, it’s essential to constantly monitor the success of your onboarding process and make necessary adjustments to optimize. If you aren’t, you’re doing yourself and your users a disservice.

If you’re already monitoring your onboarding’s successes, how do you know it’s time to optimize your onboarding and revisit your strategy? Below, we’ll discuss the top 4 signs that it’s time to revamp your SaaS onboarding!

You’re not seeing the growth you expected.

SaaS onboarding is the first step your user takes with your product. If you’re not seeing the growth you expected, the culprit could be several things:

  1. Unclear messaging about the product and benefits
  2. Multiple friction points in the flow
  3. No “aha” moment that provides the user with the motivation to continue using the product.

Communicating effectively with your users and customers is a business imperative. One of the essential elements of SaaS onboarding that will affect growth is how well you communicate the value of your product to new users. If users do not understand the benefits of using your product, they won’t be motivated to use it, and the likelihood of them becoming active, engaged users drops dramatically. Having an effective onboarding process is essential for growth. If you are waiting to see the growth you expected, it’s time to take a closer look at your SaaS onboarding process.

You’re getting constant user complaints.

You need to look closely at your SaaS onboarding process if you’re getting customer complaints. Users may be reaching out saying they don’t know how to use the product or don’t know where certain features live.

You don’t need complicated tools to get feedback from users. Giving users multiple ways to provide feedback and input is necessary to ensure you’re able to address the issues before it escalates to the point where they might leave a bad review online or tweet about their problem.

Getting user complaints signifies that your SaaS onboarding process needs some work.

How do you start utilizing user feedback and complaints into actionable insights that can improve your user onboarding? According to Ring Central, one of the first steps in cultivating a streamlined process is creating customer service policies, utilizing CRMs to document your customer success process, and analyzing how your product improves and impacts your user experience.

Your retention rate is low.

If users are not sticking around or if you notice many users dropping off shortly after signing up, SaaS onboarding is usually at fault. Your users may not have been given the correct information or could not easily understand how to use the product. If users are not properly introduced to the product, they will likely not become the long-term active users you want them to be.

Increasing your SaaS product’s user retention rates is essential to the success of a business. SaaS companies must focus on creating a positive user experience during their onboarding process to achieve this. This includes providing users with clear information about the product, demonstrating its value, and helping users to understand how it works. Using our Motivate and Trigger framework throughout the SaaS onboarding process is a surefire way of increasing your user retention rates while helping you meet your other critical business goals.

You’re getting a lot of feature requests.

When managing a SaaS product, getting feature requests from potential users is a critical insight for your company. According to Uservoice, there are many different types of feature requests:

  1. A product improvement suggestion. (i.e., Can you make this better?)
  2. A request for a brand new feature. (i.e., I would love it if you also had X!”
  3. A question about how to solve a problem. (i.e., How do I solve problem A?)

Are you getting requests for features that already exist in the product? Constant improvement suggestions or questions on features? Then it’s clear that users aren’t aware of them and are missing out on the benefits they provide. The best time to make users aware of these features is doing onboarding. Users may have yet to be made aware of certain features during the onboarding process and thus are asking for them afterward.

This is where supporting tactical strategies like product walkthroughs, email marketing campaigns, and knowledge bases help your user fully understand your product’s benefits.

It’s vital to ensure that customers have the correct information and understand how to use the product’s features when they first sign up. This means providing clear information about the feature, demonstrating its value, and helping them understand how it works.

Conclusion

No matter what SaaS product you are offering, optimizing your SaaS onboarding process is essential to increasing user engagement and optimizing your conversion rate to paid users. By paying attention to the signs above, you can ensure that users have a positive first-time experience. Having an initial positive experience is one of the best ways to create long-term engaged, active, and paying users who advocate for your brand.

For SaaS companies, onboarding is an ongoing process and one of the most critical components of growing and scaling. Pay close attention to these signs to identify potential issues and ensure your onboarding process motivates a user to use the product.

To optimize your SaaS onboarding, you might only need a few tweaks here and there. If you want to get this right the first time and ensure your onboarding strategy is developed using the expertise, skills, and knowledge of a team that’s done it before, learn more about our process for custom onboarding strategy development.

About SaaS It Up:

At SaaS It Up, we develop custom user onboarding strategies for SaaS companies seeking to scale user and revenue growth. As product and revenue strategists, we firmly believe that onboarding is most successful when drawing on multiple insight points via a cross-functional approach.

Are you ready to start meeting your user engagement and conversion goals? Reach out to learn more about our process and see if you’re a good fit.

Originally published at https://www.saasitup.co.

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Joanna Kurylo

Business Development and Revenue Growth Strategist for Early Stage Startups