This post was originally posted by our colleague Carmen Apostu on the Saasler blog, you can find related topics here.
Sooner or later, all SaaS companies come to the realization that in great measure, the success of their business depends on setting up an effective onboarding process. In fact, the initial interactions with an application, have been proven to determine the course of the overall user experience.
In the words of Lincoln Murphy, chief customer evangelist at Gainsight:
“The first in-app experience your customer has with your product sets the tone for your relationship, and if it’s confusing, overwhelming, or otherwise puts up barriers to achieving success (or at least recognizing the value potential in your product), you’re in trouble.”
Now, the way you choose to go about this process depends on many aspects of your business, including resources, product/service type, overall strategy, etc…
There is no wrong or right way to go about it, as it all depends on your company’s business model.
Accordingly, with customers becoming smarter and more demanding, SaaS companies are faced with finding the right balance between a personalized experience and a more standardized process.
The first one, which is the one we’ll focus on, is known as a high-touch or “concierge approach.”
High-touch onboarding is based on the premise that each customer has unique needs that should be addressed at a personal level. So, instead of automating the process with bulk emails or generic messages, high touch marketing involves cultivating more personal relationships, as you depend on a few high-value customers rather a large number of low-value ones.
This type of onboarding approach for SaaS involves reaching out to each customer individually and offering support (text, chat, phone call) whenever and however many times it’s needed. Additionally, once you’ve made the sale, you can continue nurturing the relationship with a focus on educating your customer to turn them into loyalists.
Obviously, a focus on building more personal relationships can be key to higher retention rates and customer success. However, there are some other things you can do to ensure that your high touch on-boarding is as fast and successful as possible.
So, let’s focus on integrations and how they can be critical in making the process more efficient, while increasing customer success.
In high touch on-boarding, the longer it takes to make a connection, the more time an account executive must invest in this personalized touch. That’s why integrations are key in accelerating the process, while keeping the experience as personalized as possible.
The idea is that the easier it is for a customer to get started and see the benefits in your app, the less amount of work and resources it will take for your onboarding team to guide them through the process.
Integrations increase app functionality, giving new users a faster, better experience, which in turn, will allow onboarding teams to focus their efforts on nurturing leads and building new relationships.
Additionally, by integrating with platforms that your customers already use, you are able to fetch the data from it right away and the user is able to begin taking advantage of the product quickly and easily.
Customer success mainly revolves around maximizing the value that customers generate from the solutions they acquired. In simpler words, making sure that customers are satisfied with the product.
So, how can integrations help with this?
As we mentioned before, the seeds of churn are planted early, and any bumps in the onboarding process can prove irreversible. In fact, something as simple as not offering integrations with other products that your customers use can prove a major hurdle for any onboarding team.
This is even more critical for high touch on-boarding, as the whole program is based on offering solutions to specific needs. Especially when you are dealing with high-value customers, offering the right integrations can be the difference between keeping and losing a user.
Third-party integrations done right will not only make your customers’ (and your) life easier, but it will show customers the added value of your product faster and, for a longer period of time, leverage positive brand association and build social proof.
Interested in finding out how you can use integrations to make your customers happier?