SaaS: Steps for Successful Onboarding

SaaS onboarding

Implementing a new SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution that benefits the company is good. Ensuring that employees actually use it is better. When deploying a new tool, support is no longer optional. Onboarding has now become a standard expectation for users. According to a study by the Huffington Post, 67% of users abandon a new application when they are not supported in learning how to use it. Here are the steps to follow for successful onboarding.

SaaS Onboarding: What Is It?

SaaS Onboarding: Definition and Explanations

SaaS onboarding is the process of integrating and familiarizing users with software, whether it’s a CRM, ERP, Procurement System, or HRIS. It’s a crucial step for facilitating the initial handling of the software, ensuring a smooth user experience from the start, and securing its long-term use. Thus, onboarding is part of a broader strategy of supporting change within an organization. This approach not only helps in quickly bringing users up to speed but also aims at reducing friction and enhancing productivity by making sure that the software is effectively integrated into daily workflows.

Four Reasons That Make Onboarding Essential

Reduction of the Learning Curve

At the heart of SaaS onboarding effectiveness is its ability to significantly shorten users’ learning curves. Instead of leaving them to fend for themselves with new interfaces, onboarding organizes a series of carefully planned integration steps. These steps allow users to gradually familiarize themselves with the software’s different functionalities, settings, and workflows. By reducing the time it takes to become competent and then expert, onboarding facilitates a smooth and swift adoption. It optimizes the transition to an evolving digital environment.

Optimization of Employee Productivity

Onboarding also has a substantial impact on employee productivity. By accelerating the mastery of key features, users can become operational more quickly and reach a higher level of expertise. For the benefits to be felt, each employee must feel comfortable with the tool.

Maximization of Software Value and Engagement

SaaS onboarding adapts to the user by steering them towards the essential features for their professions, to fully leverage the software’s potential. This deep level of engagement, also known as “stickiness,” creates a strong bond between the user and the software, contributing to its overall value. For instance, in areas such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, where complex interactions with data and customers are essential, SaaS onboarding ensures that users navigate confidently in a demanding environment.

Better Understanding of Users

One of the riches of SaaS onboarding lies in the amount of data generated during this process. This data enables companies to gain deep insights into user habits, preferences, and challenges. This information can then be used to provide personalized support, meet the specific needs of employees, and offer targeted recommendations to enhance their experience.

Steps to Follow for Successful SaaS Onboarding

Guide the User to the “Wow Effect”

One of the key initial steps in SaaS onboarding is guiding the user to what is called the “wow effect”—that is, enabling them to perform an action that makes them clearly perceive the value added by the solution. This involves effectively and impactfully presenting the core of the product and its key features right from the start.

For instance, on Twitter, this might mean following 30 people. On Dropbox, it involves uploading the first document to the cloud. These early successes help establish a foundation of trust and create a sense of accomplishment right from the first uses.

Plan for the Medium Term for Expert Features

For effective SaaS onboarding, it is essential to think long-term, allowing users to gradually master advanced features. Through defined objectives, often communicated via email, users are guided towards more complex and specialized functionalities. This approach prevents overwhelming users with too much information too quickly and provides a clear path to expertise.

Utilize a Digital Adoption Platform (DAP)

A Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) proves to be a valuable resource in facilitating SaaS onboarding. By explaining features, providing contextual tips, and offering interactive tutorials, a DAP enhances learning by helping users fully leverage the software’s potential. Market leaders include platforms like WalkMe and Whatfix. In France, as early as 2001, Knowmore, a French publisher, patented the concept of Digital Adoption and experimented with K-NOW, the first Digital Adoption Platform in 2002, assisting large companies in their digital transformation projects.

Ensure Support: Human or Chatbot

Providing a human contact point or a chatbot is crucial for maintaining continuous assistance. This allows users to ask questions, resolve specific issues, provide real-time feedback, and also gather employee feedback.

SaaS onboarding is much more than just an introduction to a new tool. It’s a strategic process aimed at ensuring optimal digital adoption, maximizing the product’s value, and enhancing user engagement. By following the key steps outlined in this article, companies ensure effective handling of their SaaS solutions, thus improving their employees’ productivity and strengthening the overall value of their technological investment.

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