Best Practices to Create a Churn-Busting User Onboarding Experience

By Gaurav Belani

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Are you finding it hard to let users find value in your product? Do they add your products to the cart just to abandon them later?

Perhaps, you are not giving your users the best onboarding experience.

You are not alone in it. Many companies fail to satisfy their customer’s expectations when it comes to onboarding new customers.

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It would be best if you understood that user onboarding is not only about showing your customers how to use your product. You need to show them why they need it and let them understand your product’s value.

And to successfully apply the principles, apart from a great product tour, you have to understand your users and give them a nudge to take the next step.

To help you out, here are the best practices you can implement today to create a churn-busting user onboarding experience.

1. Choose the best user onboarding tools

The user onboarding tools you choose to use is largely going to determine the experience of the customers.

Make sure the tool is customizable and can engage the users. Tools such as Whatfix can help you to build engaging and interactive product tours, onboarding task lists, and contextual guidance. 

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Its segmentation will allow you to create personalized user onboarding experiences, and you can even use its analytics data to measure and understand the user’s engagement with your product.

Other tools like Userpilot can help you to build in-app product user onboarding by offering customized in-app experiences. You don’t need coding skills as its visual editor allows you to create experiences in a live-app preview using a browser plugin.

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2. Understand your customer

Understanding your buyer persona in-and-out will help you to provide them with a better user onboarding experience. And to do that, you have to understand their obstacles, pain point, and the challenges that they face and come up with solutions.

Try to engage with your customers in real-time using tools. Tools such as messenger and Drift are becoming increasingly popular customer service channels. 

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They will help you to gather customer insight and understand them better. 

Your database is a goldmine of valuable customer information that will enable you to understand their needs.

Study the data and try to see when your customers usually make orders. The data can also be used to analyze your performance. 

And don’t forget to check how fast you're responding to orders.

3. Set expectations

Before buying your product, users should know what to expect. It will make the journey easier for your customers 

Etsy does a great job of setting clear expectations when you set up a shop. They have a progress meter that shows you what you can expect to do during the course of the onboarding process.

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Carry this practice into your onboarding process as you go over the value that your product offers.

4. Disseminate information slowly 

Don’t make the mistake of overwhelming your customers from the start. Try to break everything down and make things simple for them to chew and understand.

Do you know why Dropbox asks you to upload a single file when they can ask you to upload all your files? Uploading one file makes the task simpler for the users, and it can be done quickly.

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5. Use gamification

Gamification can play a big role in providing a successful user onboarding experience. The idea is to make the onboarding process fun, enjoyable, and interactive.

If users are bored, they might abandon the process midway. Gamification will ensure that the process is interactive and exciting. You will be able to reward users when they complete certain levels and give them a sense of achievement. 

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You can also have a look at how Lookout onboards new users to an interactive quiz while explaining the app’s purpose.

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As long as your onboarding process is a fun activity, users will be more interested in completing it, and there is a higher chance of retaining your customers after the onboarding process is over.

6. Decrease friction

Even if you have an incredible product with great value to offer, if the signup process is complicated or lengthy, users will not get past the signup process. Though some amount of friction is unavoidable, if you focus on building a good design, it can make the onboarding process smoother.

Keeping the landing pages short and simple, aligning the marketing messages and the landing pages, and earning the trust of your customers are some ways to decrease friction.

Consider implementing an inline form validation to ease the signup process. Also, build trust via testimonials, customer reviews, and trust seals.

7. Implement user experience (UX) tests

After you create your onboarding process, it's crucial that you test it to see how easily users can complete each step and whether it meets your customers' needs. 

You can use free tools like the Free UX Research Kit to run your user experience (UX) tests and analyze how customers respond to your onboarding process.

You will be able to determine how easy it is to use your product and get customer feedback that will point out the defects in your product's interface or the customer's onboarding experience.   

Another way to test user experience is to conduct surveys on how customers feel about your products. You can also conduct A/B tests to study individual aspects of the customer's journey.

8. Be your customers’ guide

Don’t leave your customers stuck when they encounter issues. Having a great team of trained customer support will go a long way in making the onboarding experience better for your users.

Make sure to leverage live chat software to be available for your customers 24/7 - a guaranteed way is to provide self-service. 

Create a knowledge base that will provide all the answers to common customer blockades. It can be a variety of articles and resources for reference, tutorials, or videos. 

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Even when your support team is unavailable, your users can use the resources to quickly find quick answers.


As you can see, if you know the strategies, it is not impossible to give the best user onboarding experience to your customers and retain them while driving sales. 

Make sure to pick the right tools, try to understand the customers by engaging with them and leveraging data, set clear expectations, don’t overwhelm them from the start, use gamification for engagement and retention, as far as possible decrease friction, implement UX tests and be your user’s guide.

User onboarding is the most crucial part of your customer’s journey. Try to keep your users engaged and retain them by making things easy and simple for them.

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