User Onboarding

Not all onboarding is created equal - how to harness the power of a multi-channel onboarding experience

product-led-ideas
Get access to all our product-led growth courses and private community of growth experts.
Learn More
About
Transcript
Feedback

A product can live or die based on the onboarding experience you provide. Join Andrea Saez, Product Specialist @ ProdPad who has done the hard work so you don't have to. You'll learn from her mistakes, and successes when it comes to a multi-channel onboarding approach.

In this Talk Andrea will cover how ProdPad has used beta testing, gamification of in-app messaging and persona based emails to create a multi-channel, multi-touch onboarding approach that speaks for itself day after day.

You'll learn how to put these tests in place to find out what works for your customer base and how you can put your product's best face forward to turn those new customers into loyal customers.

Andrea Saez:
Hi, everyone. My name is Andrea, and I head Customer Experience at ProdPad.

Andrea Saez:
Today, I'll be talking about onboarding and how to harness the power of a multi-channel experience for your users focusing on B2B.

Andrea Saez:
Before we get started, there are three cardinal rules that I want you all to remember about onboarding in general.

Andrea Saez:
The first is onboarding doesn't just happen once. You don't just onboard a user and let them off into the wild. Onboarding is a continuous process that will happen over and over again throughout the customer's life cycle with you.

Andrea Saez:
The second cardinal rule is to remember that you're not just onboarding the person you're selling to. You need to win them over, but you also need to win over their entire team. At the end of the day, if the team isn't using your product, the account will end up turning regardless of how excited or involved the user you sold to might be.

Andrea Saez:
The third cardinal rule to a great onboarding experience is knowing that your onboarding is not perfect. It doesn't matter how well your acquisition is or how great your numbers look. Don't stop learning. Trying new things and testing different approaches will help you improve every single time.

Andrea Saez:
With that said, we're going to look at these three rules and how we can apply them to a multi-channel onboarding framework.

Andrea Saez:
So, let's start with rule number one: onboarding doesn't just happen once. This means that you need to consider what happens every time you put out a new feature, a new update, or even what happens when a customer comes back with a new company they've just joined. Just because the customer has experience with your tool, it doesn't mean they don't need the necessary assistance to bring on a new team.

Andrea Saez:
So let's look at onboarding as a continuous process. To make this a bit more clear, I divided it into two categories: initial onboarding and re-onboarding or continuity of onboarding. During initial onboarding, the customer will be discovering the application and what it does. At ProdPad, we decided to approach this initial onboarding from a persona-driven approach which our CEO, Janna Bastow, spoke about in the previous ProductLed Summit.

Andrea Saez:
To give you guys a brief overview of that, our persona-based onboarding will look at the user's actions as they're using the application and then send out emails or recommend next steps to take alongside some learning material for them. This means we don't funnel them into a single linear process. We rather let them investigate the app on their own time and highlight things of interest as they go along. This slowly pushes them into a learning phase of the onboarding process as we make sure that they're not just learning about what the app does functionally, but how it can help the user in the long run.

Andrea Saez:
To make it a bit extra fun, there's a level of gamification involved, whereas the more the user interacts with the application, the more time they earn on their trial.

Andrea Saez:
Now, because we're looking at multi-channel approaches today, we of course, don't just do this via email, but we also take advantage of our Intercom instance for this. Our in-app onboarding is broken down into an initial informative video and onboarding checklist and a set-up review to ensure they're moving forward properly.

Andrea Saez:
Now let's talk about the concept of re-onboarding. What's re-onboarding? Re-onboarding is knowledge. At ProdPad, we focus a lot on education. We fully believe that any tool is meant to help you learn to be better at what you do, not just act as a crutch to assist you in doing those things.

Andrea Saez:
Re-onboarding will include things like announcements, improvements, new features, webinars, demos, what we call success sessions which we just started which are sessions for our customers where we talk about best practices in approaching the tool, roadmap clinics, set-up reviews, et cetera which allow a one-to-one time between us and the customer. And of course, all of this is done via multiple channels. We use a combination of social, our help center, Intercom, email, and our Slack community.

Andrea Saez:
What I hope you've taken away so far is that multi-channel means opening up the lines of communication. It's not so much about the specific channels that you use, but about breaking down the walls and actually talking to your customers. I have a lot of people always asking me what method I use to communicate release notes, for example. My answer is all of them. Don't just use one. Use as many as you can. Celebrate what you're doing and let everyone know in every which way you can.

Andrea Saez:
ProdPad has seen a 65% success rate in trial conversions that involve direct customer interactions. This means that as long as they have some form of communication with us, whether it's through chat, email, a demo, social, whatever it might be, there's a 65% chance the customer will end up signing up. That's huge.

Andrea Saez:
Let's talk about our second rule now. You're not just onboarding the person you're selling to, you're onboarding an entire team. If you find that your customers are turning due to lack of team adoption, you're not alone. A lot of us focus on the main buyer, while the rest of the team is sometimes left on the back burner. To be fair, I think this is actually completely normal, so don't worry too much. Don't be so hard on yourself. We're heavily focused on selling and selling and selling, but then we tend to forget that we're not just selling to one person, we're selling to an entire team.

Andrea Saez:
Now I hate to break it to you, but this is not going to be an easy one to solve. You need to do a lot of research here. You will need to learn about your target audience and then research their teams. Find out what their goals are, why they're using the application, or what they've been told about the application or even why they aren't using the tool as expected or what they expected from the tool in the first place. Most importantly, find out what they hope to learn.

Andrea Saez:
Here's what we've done at ProdPad. This is an image of one of our Intercom custom bots. This one in particular is aimed at reviewers which would essentially encompass anyone outside of the product team. As soon as the user logs in, we ask them what they would like to explore first. Based on their answer, we will guide them to the right section and also give them a few tips about how to use this section and to get the most out of it.

Andrea Saez:
After using the custom bot and analyzing the answers, we gave the users what they needed. We now have a deployment guide and a rollout support for all buyers, so they know exactly what to say and what to do when introducing a new tool to their team. It includes some basics like why the tool is being introduced, what it's for, and even how to log in. This is all still in testing phase, and we're always learning about how we can offer support to the teams we onboard which leads me to my last point.

Andrea Saez:
Your onboarding is not perfect. This isn't a dig at all. It's just a reminder. Be mindful that there are always things to be learned and improved in your process.

Andrea Saez:
Always, always be testing. We've tested several approaches within our onboarding process before rolling out Intercom, for example, we ran an initial test for trial [inaudible 00:06:46] for a few months. That's how we found out the people that had interactions with us were 65% more likely to subscribe.

Andrea Saez:
We're also currently running tests on checklist material during the onboarding process. We test everything from messaging to content to what the buttons might say, for example, and this enables us to understand what gets people the most engaged. So far, we've seen 88% success rates in people that go through that flow which now gives the customer team enough data to go to our CPO and ask them to implement this as an option native to the app, for example, as opposed to relying on third-party applications.

Andrea Saez:
So to summarize, onboarding doesn't happen in a single perfect process. Remember that you're onboarding teams, not just a single user, and always be testing different approaches and different methods. Don't focus on a single way to onboard people, but make sure that you open up as many channels as possible. Not everyone learns the same way. Not everyone has the same learning abilities or learning curves. So it's okay for you to try different things. The important thing is that you're always trying.

Andrea Saez:
If you guys have any questions, you can reach me @dreasaez on Twitter. I'll be happy to answer any questions.

Andrea Saez:
Thank you.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Gretchen Duhaime
Andrea Saez
Product Growth and Education Specialist at ProdPad
Andrea has worked in product management and support for over 10 years with companies in various growth stages, always with a focus customer-centered outcomes and best practices.