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What role does onboarding play in driving successful product adoption, and what techniques have you found most helpful in ensuring a smooth onboarding process?

3 Answers
Jessica Broderick
Jessica Broderick
Yext VP, Client Solutions Management, North AmericaAugust 1

Client onboarding plays a critical role in driving product adoption because it lays the foundation for their understanding of the technology and how to use it. The quicker they adopt the product, the sooner they will start seeing value. The following techniques are key to a successful onboarding:

  1. Partnership Kickoff. Set up time with the client to understand who will be using the product and how they plan to measure success.

  2. Product Training. Get the client familiar with the product early on. Set up a screen share and have them log-in while you help them navigate and gain confidence using the product.

  3. Self-Serve Resources. Send the client a customized set of materials based on their use case where they can continue to learn about the product. This could be links to webinars, user guides, or even an online learning platform.

825 Views
John Brunkard
John Brunkard
Sitecore Vice President of Customer Success APJApril 2

Onboarding is a critical and important launchpad for driving Successful Product Adoption. Onboarding is the first impression your customers receive, therefore  setting the stage for their entire experience across the customer life cycle. 


Here's how it plays a key role:

  1. Foundations of Understanding:  A well-designed onboarding process equips users with the knowledge and skills they need to use the product effectively. They grasp the product's value proposition and how it solves their problems (their desired outcomes). 

  2. Reduced Friction:  By guiding users through initial setup and core features, onboarding eliminates potential confusion and frustration that could come later. This increases the likelihood of continued engagement. Focus on the golden features i.e. those whose benefits align with the customers desired outcomes and that will deliver value early on. 

  3. Building Confidence:  A smooth onboarding experience empowers users. They feel confident navigating the product and achieving their goals, fostering a likelihood of long-term use.

  4. Validation of Customer Objectives: Onboarding provides an opportunity to validate the customers objectives and desired outcomes. Open ended questions could be asked during the onboarding to help fine tune these a little further.

Here are some approaches I've found effective:

  • Personalized Experiences: Tailor the onboarding based on user roles and needs. Don't overwhelm them with everything at once. Focus on what is needed for the first time to value and what is in sync with the desired outcomes.

  • In-App Guidance: Sitecore has enhanced some of it’s product offering to provide In-App guidance. This provides contextual help within the product, like pop-up tips or short explainer videos, providing immediate support.

  • Track Success Milestones: Set achievable goals for early wins. Celebrate user progress through the onboarding process, keeping them motivated.

  • Onboarding is an ongoing process. Consider offering refresher courses or advanced tutorials for users who want to delve deeper.

426 Views
Meenal Shukla
Meenal Shukla
Gainsight Senior Director of Customer SuccessApril 23

Here are some key roles onboarding plays and practical techniques for ensuring a smooth process:

  1. Educating Users: Onboarding educates users about the core functionalities and value of the product, helping them understand how it can solve their problems or enhance their workflow.

  2. Reducing Time to Value: Effective onboarding shortens the time to value, enabling users to experience the product's benefits as quickly as possible. This is crucial for retaining interest and commitment.

  3. Lowering Initial Friction: Onboarding aims to reduce potential friction by guiding new users through setup processes, integrations, or initial configurations that might otherwise be overwhelming.

  4. Building Confidence: By gradually introducing features and allowing users to succeed early, onboarding builds confidence in using the product and encourages deeper exploration.

  5. Encouraging Habit Formation: Good onboarding guides users toward behaviors that will become habitual, ensuring that the product becomes a regular part of their routine.

Effective Onboarding Techniques:

  1. Segmented User Journeys: Tailor onboarding experiences based on the user’s role, industry, or experience level. This ensures the onboarding process is relevant and aligned with the user’s needs and goals.

  2. Interactive Walkthroughs: Instead of just video tutorials or manuals, interactive walkthroughs guide users through the key actions they must take within the product environment. This hands-on approach helps reinforce learning and engagement.

  3. Progress Indicators: Incorporating progress bars or checklists during onboarding shows users how far they've come and how much is left to complete. This can motivate users to continue through the onboarding process.

  4. Immediate Value Delivery: Design the onboarding flow to demonstrate value quickly. For example, if your product is a marketing automation tool, help the user set up their first campaign during onboarding.

  5. Use of Tooltips and In-App Messaging: Subtle tooltips and contextual in-app messages can provide additional information and reminders without being intrusive. They help users learn at their own pace.

  6. Regular Feedback Collection: Implement mechanisms to collect feedback during and after onboarding. This helps identify pain points and areas for improvement, ensuring the onboarding process remains effective.

  7. Personalization and Flexibility: Allow users to personalize their onboarding experience by choosing what to learn about or skip based on their prior knowledge and experience. Offering flexibility makes the process more user-friendly.

  8. Integration of Support Resources: Ensure that help resources, such as FAQs, training links, community forums, and customer support contacts, are easily accessible throughout the onboarding process. Knowing help is at hand can reduce anxiety for new users.

350 Views
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