Onboarding – the Key to Churn Prevention and Increased NRR

Courtney Librizzi

Poor onboarding, resulting in poor adoption early on, is the #1 reason why customers churn. So, how do you fix this, and what does good onboarding look like? 

In this session, Courtney Librizzi, Head of User Engagement at Kognity, shared what you need to do in the first 30-60-90 days for your customers to experience and understand the real value of your product.

“At Kognity, onboarding is a key part of the usee journey. It’s where we activate our users and make sure they understand the value of our product as quickly as possible,” she said. 

Courtney stressed that not only the decisionmakers who purchased the tool need to understand the value and how to use the product, but also the thousands and thousands of users within those companies. 

“Onboarding has a huge impact on retention, customer experience, and NPS. A good onboarding helps increase NRR and decrease gross churn,” she said. 

So, what’s the secret sauce of a genuinely great onboarding experience? Below are Courtney’s tips on how to help your new customers fall in love with your product. 

Courtney’s 6 tips for a better onboarding

  1. If “easy to use” is a USP for your product, onboard accordingly.

Most SaaS companies boast ease of use as a selling point and state that their product is easy to integrate and implement. But not everyone onboards accordingly. If you’re selling “easy to use,” your customers will expect a seamless and straightforward onboarding experience. Now, how do you do that?

  • Focus on your CTA in communications
  • Keep product tours/in-app guides short and sweet
  • Use drop-off and completion rates as key metrics
  1. Onboarding should bring your users to the “AHA moment” asap

The “aha moment” is the center of your onboarding universe. Good onboarding is about getting your customers there as fast and frictionless as possible. 

  • The “Aha moment” is when your customer sees the value of your product
  • Use the “Aha moment” as a tool for evaluating your onboarding process
  • Use TTV, Time To Value as the key metric
  1. Create a value-based onboarding (don’t just explain your features)

Let the customer’s needs guide the onboarding process, not your features and how they’re organized. Start where it makes sense for the user to start.

  • Bring users through a logical journey, not a feature display
  • Continuous upskilling is better than information overload in the beginning
  • guide users through their workflows
  1. If you ask the question, you should use the answer

Don’t just ask things to benefit your product team’s data collection. Only ask things that are beneficial to your user during onboarding.

  • Surveys should be valuable for both you and your user
  • 79% of customers are willing to share information in exchange for contextualized interactions
  • The more details you ask for, the more personalized of an experience they will expect
  1. Communication should be clear, constructive, and hopefully customized, too

Nobody likes a guilt trip, so refrain from the all-too-common “we miss you” emails or “was it something we said *crying emoji*” subject lines. 

  • Clear: what to do, how to do it, and what the outcome will be
  • Constructive: understand the why behind (in)action
  • Customized: address pain points and meet them in their journey
  1. Help your users help themselves

Very few people enjoy calling customer support, but rather, it’s their last resort when they don’t manage to figure things out on their own. Help them avoid it by providing the resources they need. 

  • Users want to resolve their own problems
  • Learn where users get stuck or need help and be proactive to prevent that
  • The best support is one that is rarely needed and even more rarely needed again