User onboarding is the process of guiding new users to easily and quickly find value in your product. Think of it as a small welcome bridge between acquiring new users and turning them into happy loyal ones.
In essence, it is the first point of contact once a user signs up and so, it makes a huge difference in making a strong first impression.
You see, most users today have short attention spans and little-to-no patience. They would promptly lose interest if your product is confusing or complicated to use when they open it for the first time. That’s where user onboarding comes into the picture.
Benefits of User Onboarding
And there’s more. Here are four really big benefits of user onboarding for your digital product:
1. Boosts Engagement
When you create an interactive user onboarding process, such as one with clickable tutorials, it helps increase user engagement right off the bat. It allows you to prove your product’s value immediately by illustrating the best bits and benefits of your product.
Without an onboarding process in place, users might fiddle around a bit, trying to figure out things on their own, and if they miss a key feature or two, it is likely they would stop engaging with your product soon after. So, user onboarding streamlines everything from the very beginning, increasing engagement along the way.
Onboarding doesn’t have to be a tedious process either. Adding gamification elements like progress bars and checklists will make the process more engaging and appealing for your new users.
For more elaborate products, the onboarding process can become a bit long and tedious. In this case, badges and bonuses can make things more interesting. For example, Dropbox awards users more free storage space if they finish the user onboarding process, which only serves to increase user retention.
Talking about user retention…
2. Reduces Churn
Your churn rate is the rate at which you lose users or customers. Attracting new users can cost as much as seven times more than retaining the acquired ones, so working to lower your churn rate is certainly a smart bet, even if those lost customers can be replaced.
For any business, especially digital ones that are subscription-based, there is only one thing that is more important than convincing prospects to turn into paying customers, and that is to convince them to pay regularly by keeping them satisfied.
A well-designed user onboarding process can facilitate their mastery of your app/software. And as soon as they feel adept in regards to using your product, they would be much less likely to ditch it for another product. Nobody likes the idea of spending time to learn another app/software from scratch, they’d much rather stick with yours which allows you to improve your product while retaining those users.
3. Improves Product Adoption
All your competitors with similar digital products frequently release new features to satisfy new customer needs and provide more value. But again, thanks to proper user onboarding, your users get habituated to your product and it won’t be long before they decide to stick around even if you lack a couple of new features that your rival offers.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can get away with an inferior product. You release your own set of new features to continually improve your product. But by incorporating user onboarding processes such as interactive product guides and tours for new features, you make it much easier for users to quickly adapt to changes.
Such product tours also give you an opportunity to upsell and upgrade your users’ existing subscription plans.
4. Lowers Customer Support Cost
Naturally, if you create a really smooth and effective user onboarding process, such as a quick interactive tutorial, your users are much less likely to reach out to customer support for resolving difficulties that shouldn’t exist in the first place.
By incorporating reusable user onboarding flows, you are essentially automating many of the customer support activities and thus, reducing the associated costs.
This means you don’t have to invest as much in setting up and managing a large customer support team, because a smaller customer support team of qualified professionals would do just as well.
Besides, designing an effective user onboarding process isn’t as tricky as you might think. There are platforms and solutions that make it easy to create engaging and interactive user onboarding processes.
Closing Thoughts on the Benefits of User Onboarding
User onboarding remains a momentous part of the digital user experience. When designed carefully, it can result in the user becoming your brand’s champion. They will also more likely stick around for the long haul.
But don’t overlook this or do it poorly. Your hard-earned user can quickly ditch you without giving it a second thought. Consider how much competition you have today. So, don’t treat user onboarding as an afterthought. Do it right, right from the start.
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