Onboarding is one of the most important steps in your business’s relationship with customers and employees. New customers and employees would struggle to understand your service or products without an effective onboarding process. Your organization’s employee turnover rate would likely be much higher and customers would probably churn much faster. Prioritizing onboarding of all types is in the best interests of nearly every business. Yet, many companies are still using outdated and inefficient onboarding processes. The onboarding tools you use have an enormous impact on the success of your business’s onboarding program.
If you want to improve your onboarding for customers and employees, you need to use the best tools. However, there are a lot of options, and it can be difficult to figure out which user onboarding tools are right for your business. To help you out, we’re going to take a closer look at why onboarding is critical in many scenarios and some of the most effective tools for onboarding.
Let’s start with an onboarding tools definition. Onboarding tools are any kind of tools that facilitate the onboarding process. The most common kind of onboarding tool today is onboarding software, which is designed to provide an engaging and effective learning experience for new employees or customers.
The big question is: why’s onboarding important? It’s crucial we address this question upfront. Before you can start considering whether or not different types of onboarding tools are right for your company, you need to understand exactly how onboarding can benefit your company. An effective onboarding process can help your business avoid many different negative outcomes as well as create many positive ones. Here are just a few of the most significant reasons onboarding is essential at nearly every company:
Losing customers or employees is obviously something you want to avoid. Replacing an employee is costly, and a revolving door of customers is much more expensive for your business in the long run than a steady, loyal customer base. When you provide a smooth onboarding process, you create a positive first impression and immediately give new customers or employees a sense of connection and confidence. If you don’t provide them with much of an introduction to your organization, they’re less likely to stick around for very long.
Ultimately, you want your employees to be productive and your customers to generate revenue for the company. A successful onboarding process directly aids both of those goals. The onboarding process gives employees the information they need to do their jobs effectively and shortens the learning process so they can become fully-productive team members faster. It also helps familiarize new customers with your products or services and speeds up product adoption, which can lead to more frequent usage or additional purchases.
It’s important to cultivate a consistent culture and identity for your company. A good onboarding process familiarizes employees with your company’s identity so they can represent it to customers. When customers get a strong sense of your brand’s identity during their onboarding process, it can help customers feel more comfortable with your brand and often leads to improved customer loyalty.
There’s a long list of product onboarding tools you can use to gain the benefits mentioned above and more. The onboarding process is made up of many different actions and steps that help guide the user through the journey of learning how to use a new service or succeed at their new job. Some onboarding tools are designed for one specific purpose, and others are more all-encompassing. Let’s break down a few of the best onboarding tools you can use to build and maintain a top-quality onboarding program that adds value to your business.
Northpass is a learning management system that you can use for all kinds of user education purposes, including onboarding. It’s particularly well-equipped to serve as SaaS onboarding software. Northpass enables you to create, manage and deliver content in a scalable way to your entire user base, whether you need onboarding tools for employees, customers or almost any group at all. In addition, it includes analytics tools that make it easy to identify weak spots in your program and drive continual improvement. Northpass makes it easy to scale your onboarding program to meet the needs of a growing gig workforce. It’s also great for improving customer onboarding efficiency and reducing time to value.
Charlie is an HR software platform that makes it easier to onboard new employees. You can use Charlie to automate compliance documentation and collect information from new hires automatically. The software is also totally customizable, which means you can make a great first impression with an onboarding process that reflects the culture at your company.
Appcues is a code-free user onboarding solution that enables you to design customized onboarding experiences for your users without having to do any of the coding or hire a developer. You can create detailed onboarding flows that are personalized to each user’s needs and segment your user base according to their attributes and behavior.
Customer.io is an onboarding tool that can automatically send emails to new customers when they take certain actions. This enables a personalized onboarding experience that delivers the right information to the customer according to exactly which step of the process they’re on. Customer.io allows you to segment users based on their activity in real-time.
Some onboarding tools function best as product onboarding tools for physical products, but others are designed for online services like SaaS. Userpilot is an onboarding tool that helps SaaS product teams create customized user onboarding experiences for new customers. Best of all, it’s a code-free solution and it comes with user analytics capabilities.
It’s important that your users have a seamless onboarding experience every step of the way. One of the most basic, yet critical, steps is user login. It should be simple for users to sign up for an account and log in for the first time, but it’s equally important that the login experience is secure. Auth0 is a single-sign-on user authentication tool that can reduce the time it takes users to sign up for your service and process their data securely.
There are many different kinds of onboarding processes. There isn’t one way that’s correct, but there are some ways that are more effective for your business’s goals than others. Today, almost all onboarding processes are digital. Software tools are essential if you want to create the best onboarding experience for your users you possibly can.
Onboarding software's importance comes down to a few key benefits. Here are some of the major advantages of using onboarding software to onboard employees, customers or any group of users.
Onboarding software can allow you to monitor the progress of users as they complete the steps in the onboarding process. This helps create accountability in the onboarding process. If you use a traditional, paper-based onboarding process, it’s difficult to know how much of the information the user actually absorbed. Software like Northpass can show you exactly where in the process a user is struggling or stalling so you know when to intervene with assistance.
One of the most challenging problems associated with a paper-based onboarding process is documentation. When you hire a new employee or sign a new client, it can lead to seemingly endless paperwork. Onboarding software can enable a totally digital process that saves time and paper. You can also be confident that all your compliance documentation is in order because it's stored safely in digital format, not tucked away in a filing cabinet where you could easily lose track of it.
A manual onboarding process not only requires a lot of paperwork — it also requires employees to spend a lot of time processing that paperwork. Onboarding software enables you to make the whole onboarding process digital and automate many of the mundane tasks that take up your team’s time. Your onboarding pipeline can run automatically and you can step in only where it’s necessary instead of manually sending emails every step of the way.
When your employees have to spend less time on manual onboarding tasks like processing paperwork, they’re available to focus on more strategically important tasks. Thanks to onboarding software’s automation, you can reallocate your human workers’ skills wherever they’re needed most.
An automated, digital onboarding process that’s powered by software is usually more cohesive than a manual one. When you have a digital onboarding process, you know every user is getting a consistent impression of your brand and your service. You can also be certain the information each new user is receiving is accurate — even better, you can tailor the information they receive to match their relevant needs as a user.
Almost every business relies on a variety of software tools to function. It’s rare to find a business that operates with no digital tools whatsoever. When you use software for onboarding, it’s easy to integrate onboarding activities with the rest of your tech stack. When all your tools for sales, marketing and customer management are working together and sharing information, you can vastly improve efficiency at your organization.