The Importance of Customer Onboarding: Benefits and Best Practices

The Importance of Customer Onboarding: Benefits and Best Practices

Customer experience ·

The customer should be at the heart of every business. Your brand can be defined as successful when customers are buying your products and they are satisfied with the experience you are offering. This means that to reach success in the market, your business activities should revolve around the customer, their needs, and expectations.

Brands should always prioritize providing a positive customer onboarding experience.

The way you're onboarding customers has a huge impact on the relationship between the them and the brand:

  • It gives validation to customers’ choice to buy your product.

  • It impacts whether the customer turns out to be loyal or churns in a couple of weeks.

  • It helps businesses retain their customers and expand commercial opportunities.

If your business has been experiencing significant churn rates or a decrease in customer retention rate, redesigning the customer onboarding strategy could be a good idea. When done efficiently, customer onboarding brings to light the value of your products and services and sets your customers up for success.

This article will dive into the importance of customer onboarding. Here’s everything you need to know about how to create the ideal customer onboarding process.

The importance of customer onboarding

In today’s consumerist market, there is no shortage of options available to the customers. They can pick from a wide range of different products while having access to comprehensive information about each of them. So, in short, they are the ones having the bargaining power. That is why having an amazing product for your target audience is not enough, you need to offer an exclusive experience.

Brands must ensure their customers a smooth consumer experience. From the first touchpoint, which can happen through advertisement, the goal is to create a personalized and seamless customer experience until the post-purchase phase.

This is where the importance of customer onboarding comes in.

What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding refers to the process that new users are required to go through to get started and start purchasing your products. This covers the journey from the initial sign-up to product setup, followed by first use.

The product onboarding process is meant to introduce your product to users in the best way possible. It helps users learn how to use your product and all the different features. It guides users to be successful in their first uses so that they will be satisfied from the beginning. This is why having an onboarding strategy in place is fundamental to increasing customer retention. Offering a good experience from the first touch point is crucial to gaining customers’ trust and loyalty.

Keep in mind that acquiring new users and selling to them is almost 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining customers. According to a recent survey, only 18 percent of brands focus on customer retention, while 44 percent focus on customer acquisition.

If the brand fails at giving customers a good first impression, you can risk losing them and getting negative word of mouth. Thus, the ideal customer onboarding should involve easy-to-understand, step-by-step tutorials that offer helpful support and guidance. There should also be a celebratory or recognition aspect once the customer successfully signs up with your company. The customer onboarding should deliver value to your end-user right from the onset.

What are the benefits of onboarding?

Customer onboarding is essential because it sets the tone for the customer and encourages them to move forward in their relationship with the brand. Studies show that customers are willing to pay more to companies that serve them better. An effective customer support strategy should include a successful onboarding experience.

Effectively handling your customer’s onboarding results in happy and loyal customers. Here you can find eight reasons that validate the importance of customer onboarding:

1. It keeps the customers engaged with the brand

Helping your customers understand and reminding them of the value added to their life from your products is essential to keep them engaged. This will give them an incentive to use your products frequently and increase trust in your brand. A successful onboarding process gives the customers a reason to keep coming back to you for more.

2. It increases customer loyalty

If customers encounter barriers while trying to complete their first purchase or while setting up your product, they will likely get frustrated. Studies show that over 80 percent of people delete an app because they don’t understand how to use it. Brands only get one shot for creating a lasting impression, and this happens during the onboarding process.

As a brand, you cannot afford to wait and expect your customers to contact you when they need support. With a smooth customer onboarding you can guarantee that your customers will get high value from the product, knowing also how to solve potential problems quicker and more effectively.

If you can ensure a smooth customer onboarding process, your customer base will not only appreciates your efforts but gives you loyalty.

3. It increases the customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value (CLV) refers to the revenue that a business gets from a customer throughout its relationship. Since acquiring new customers is more time-consuming and expensive than retaining new ones, brands must look for a way to increase the lifetime value of existing customers. This can be done by ensuring an effective onboarding process, which ultimately drives company growth and maintains profit margins.

4. It improves trial conversion

If your brand offers a free or discounted product trial, the customer onboarding process is where your trial users get to experience the value they expect from the brand. If your onboarding process can demonstrate incredible value from the beginning of the trial, it is more likely that the customers will convert into paid customers.

5. It decreases the customer churn rate

The customer churn rate is an important metric for every brand, especially for brands that depend on their customers paying a recurring fee. If your customers tend to stick around for the long run and keep paying the subscription fee, that means that the churn rate is low. Creating a successful onboarding experience is important to keep your customers around for a longer period of time, thus reducing the churning rate.

6. It results in lower acquisition costs

An intuitive and practical onboarding process ensures a steady stream of returning customers, lowering acquisition costs. If brands have a consistent revenue stream from recurring customers, they do not have to invest huge amounts of resources into converting new leads every month.

7. It leads to word-of-mouth marketing

When customers have a positive experience with a brand, they are likely to talk about it with their friends and family. A study by Nielsen found that more than 92 percent of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations and are encouraged to check out the brand for themselves.

Word-of-mouth is essentially free marketing that can have an extremely high conversion rate. But for this to work, customers need to be appropriately welcomed through a great onboarding experience that they want to share with their family and friends.

8. It reduces customer queries

When customers are greeted with a positive onboarding experience, they normally do not have as many queries about the product. Providing assistance and necessary information before they seek it is part of an excellent onboarding process. Timely reminders about restocking of products, updating of warranties, and more such maintenance issues can provide a positive experience for the end-user.

Best practices of the onboarding process

Below is a checklist that covers the customer onboarding best practices.

The sign-up process

The customer sign-up process is the first step of the onboarding journey. A survey by Heap reports that the average conversion rate for the sign-up process is 36.2 percent. Brands should make it easy for their customers to sign up, which means keeping the process short and simple and only asking for relevant information.

Welcoming the customer

After signing up, the customer should be welcomed warmly. The welcome email/notification should not only make the customer feel gladly received, but it should also direct them to additional information, and tips and tricks about your product.

Brands should always attempt to curate a personalized welcome email, which can be a great first opportunity to show that you care for your customers. Make sure you say thank you, share resources to help them get started, and guide them toward your product page.


Collecting data

For the brand, one of the goals of the customer onboarding process should be collecting data. Without collecting sufficient and relevant data, brands cannot understand their customers and create a personalized experience for them. Click here to learn how Layerise can help you collect customer data.

The data collection process starts immediately after the welcome email is sent. The easiest way of doing this is by providing an intake form or questionnaire. Data collection can also be done by engaging with the customers on social media channels.

Product walkthrough

A product walkthrough is a tutorial that takes the customer through the steps that will help them set up and get started. Product walkthroughs should not just show the customers what they are expected to do but actually encourage them to do it.

When creating a product walkthrough, ensure you give your customers the option of skipping parts they may already be familiar with. It should also be easy for the customers to return to the tutorial later in case they need a refresher. Lastly, customers should also be able to find additional support if needed.


Consistent communication

The onboarding process is not a one-step journey or something that could be completed in a few seconds, and it should be constant and consistent. Ongoing and effective communication is imperative in maintaining a relationship with the customer.

To ensure consistent communication, brands should reach out to their customers frequently. This can be done in several ways, including regular feedback exchange, follow-up emails, offering them incentives and rewards, providing social proof through testimonials, following up after a purchase, sending personalized recommendations, and so on.

The customer success team is a linchpin in the modern business landscape. Their role in facilitating consistent communication cannot be understated. It's not just about maintaining a rapport; it's about creating an ecosystem of shared growth and understanding. In the realm of customer success, communication isn't a task; it's a philosophy that sustains relationships and drives lasting value.

Creating a self-service platform

After the customer signs up with your brand, they should be allowed to self-serve themselves. The most effective self-service approach is to create a comprehensive self-service portal where they can find all the information they need about the product. Make sure you update your self-service resources regularly and that your customer success team is always available when customers need further assistance.

Celebratory notification

To successfully conclude the customer onboarding process, customers should receive a celebratory notification once they hit a milestone. While a celebratory notification can be kept simple and to the point, it can also be done creatively. A creative way to celebrate your customer’s milestones is by providing them with a discount code or coupon that they can redeem at a later date.

Customer Onboarding Checklist

Customer onboarding is a crucial step in establishing a positive and lasting relationship between your business and its clientele. To ensure a seamless experience, it's essential to keep the customer sign-up process brief and straightforward. Lengthy forms and complicated steps can deter potential customers, so prioritize simplicity to encourage higher sign-up rates.

Follow this customer onboarding process checklist to give your customers a positive and thriving experience.

1. Sign up

Once a customer signs up, promptly send a welcome email or notification confirming their successful registration. This initial communication sets the tone for their journey and reinforces their decision to join your platform. It also provides an opportunity to highlight key benefits, features, or special offers, further enticing them to explore your offerings.

2. Customer data

Collecting customer data is paramount for personalization and effective targeting. Utilize well-designed intake forms or leverage data from social media channels to gain valuable insights into customer preferences and behaviors. This information empowers you to tailor your communications and recommendations, enhancing the overall user experience.

3. Product walkthrough

Guide customers through your platform with a comprehensive product walkthrough. This step is particularly important for complex or novel offerings. Clearing doubts about the ordering process, explaining navigation, and showcasing key features not only reduces frustration but also builds confidence in using your services.

4. Consistent communication

Consistent communication is the cornerstone of successful customer onboarding. Engage customers through personalized emails, offering relevant product suggestions based on their preferences. Moreover, maintain an active presence on social media by sharing valuable content, updates, and promotions, fostering a sense of community and trust.

5. Self-service

Make self-service resources readily accessible to customers. Organize tutorials, FAQs, and troubleshooting guides in an intuitive manner. A well-structured self-help section empowers customers to resolve minor issues independently, reducing the need for direct support and contributing to a positive user experience.

6. Milestones celebration

As the onboarding journey nears its conclusion, leave a lasting impression by celebrating the customer's progress. Consider sending a celebratory notification, perhaps in the form of a discount voucher or a free gift with their first purchase. This gesture not only expresses appreciation but also encourages immediate engagement, potentially converting new sign-ups into loyal patrons.

In conclusion, a well-crafted customer onboarding process is an investment in building strong relationships and fostering customer loyalty. By streamlining sign-up, confirming registrations, collecting data, providing guidance, maintaining communication, offering self-help resources, and concluding with a celebratory touch, you create a foundation for lasting customer satisfaction and business success.

Here's how Layerise can help you with customer onboarding

It is important to build a seamless onboarding experience that welcomes customers and empowers them to be loyal to your brand. No matter what your product is, do not forget to keep your customers at the heart of your business and align your sales and marketing efforts to work together.

Confused about how to create an excellent customer onboarding process?

Consider the advantages of leveraging a dedicated customer onboarding platform.

Layerise is the perfect solution for you. It combines customer experience abilities with CRM and marketing to establish a strong relationship between your company and the brand.

With Layerise, the customer onboarding and registration process are made simple and customers are welcomed with minimum steps. Thanks to Layerise, you can make the registration process way easier for your new users. They just need to scan a QR code on the packaging or directly on your product and register their product ownership quickly.

Moreover, with Layerise you can create an excellent setup guide, using videos and animations. It is important to make the setup process as easy and intuitive as possible. The customer should be able to start using the product as soon as possible without wasting too much time.


On top of that, thanks to Layerise, collecting data about your customers to personalize the experience has never been so easy. When the customer scans the QR code and registers, all the information provided will automatically personalize the experience in terms of notifications, language, videos, etc.

If you want to learn more about how Layerise can help your business, book a free demo now!