There is no denying the fact that onboarding is hard; as little as 2.2 percent of website visitors and mobile app users convert into paying customers. With such a low conversion rate, you have to make sure you get your onboarding process right.
Luckily, there are ways in which you can improve upon your onboarding techniques to provide your users value in the early stages – which is crucial in getting them to continue using your products and services.
Your ultimate aim is to help new users to understand how your product works and how they can use it to their benefit. It’s about providing a user friendly interface; it’s about getting them to covert from being trial users to paid users.
Let’s talk about what would happen if you fail to provide sufficient guidance to your users. For reference, let’s assume that they have gone through the sign up process and have registered for your product. Now what?
Well, to begin, they will look around to get a grasp of your user interface (UI). If they find it to be too complicated (especially with no help around), they will start to get frustrated and this is the point where the majority of new users abandon services. This is exactly why professionals say that the onboarding process DOES NOT end once the customer has signed up.
Now that you have a general idea of what is going to happen next, let’s talk about how you can PREVENT your users from abandoning your service.
Help Your Users Help You
With the previous hypothetical scenario in place, it is safe to say that in order to keep users hooked on your service, you have to guide them and make things easy for them. There are numerous ways to help your users. In this blog, we will be talking about two of them:
- Helping customers by providing a FAQ page (frequently asked questions)
- Helping customers by providing them walkthroughs
Frequently Asked Questions Page (FAQ)
FAQ pages are important as they help to provide information for your users in a clear and concise way. People know that they can head right to the FAQ page and learn a great deal about a particular company, the product or service that they offer as well as guidelines on how they can benefit from it.
There are a number of reasons why FAQ pages are important. Let’s look at a few reasons below:
• Search Engines Favor FAQ Pages – FAQ pages are loved by search engines, and if you wish to achieve a high ranking in search engine results pages (SERPS), then you should definitely have one.
• Visitors Expect FAQ Pages – Nowadays, people that visit websites expect to see a FAQ page that is rich in information. A FAQ page can also be used to help clear up any possible confusion that a person may have regarding your product or service
With that said, it ought to be clear that an FAQ page can help you engage users and provide them the information they need. However, there’s something more interactive than a FAQ page that can help users learn more quickly about your particular product. Read on to find out what that is.
Walkthroughs are increasingly being used in SaaS web applications and mobile apps to prevent blank slate problem. Just like its name suggests, a walkthrough is designed to get the user started with the app to ensure that they get the best user experience.
A good example of a walkthrough would be Tumblr, which takes a user right from the beginning to a point where they can get some semblance of value. It takes users through the following steps:
- Sign up
- Agreeing to the terms of service
- Entering the basic information about your blog
- Gets the user to follow a minimum of 5 blogs to enhance their experience
- Previews their Tumblr feed
- Provide a call to action to allow users to download the Tumblr mobile app
- Get started!
The advantage of the walkthrough here is that it takes the user step by step to the point where they can start enjoying the service.
Walkthroughs have an immense importance in user onboarding. There are several things that make walkthroughs stand out from FAQ pages in terms of familiarizing customers. This winning edge over the FAQ pages is a result of the four design principles of walkthroughs:
Walkthroughs can be designed and implemented in a number of ways. For instance, they can be completely separate from your UX (such as a document, video or slideshow) or can be embedded in your UX (in-app messages, hint, reveal, etc). It is generally a good idea to implement them into the interface so that users can learn as they use the app. This is a major advantage of walkthroughs over FAQs, which are not interactive.
The walkthroughs can either be ever-present, or they can appear at a particular moment to reveal a specific functionality. It is generally recommended to present a walkthrough to the customer exactly when they need it.
Walkthroughs can be offered as something optional (Would you like any help?), or something that is mandatory (complete the walkthrough to begin using the service). Mandatory walkthroughs generally teach customers to get started with particular software much more quickly than any other methods.
A walkthrough can, as needed, reveal specific functions of the software or may even expose a certain workflow to help users get the most value. For instance, when a user signs up for a service, it’s a good idea to help them by providing hints about what each button/link does. People learn more quickly by doing – walkthroughs allow this; FAQ pages don’t!
Walkthroughs: A Clear Winner
There is no speck of doubt in our minds when we declare walkthroughs as the clear winner as an onboarding technique. It is much more interactive, engaging and informative than a simple FAQ page. There is even software out there, such as myTips.co, that offers complete onboarding solutions that include a tutorial/walkthrough builder that require no coding skills.
So if you’re interested in bringing down your abandonment rate and increasing your trial conversion rate, you have to seriously consider implementing a walkthrough to guide your customers. The first impression is a lasting impression; fortunately, you can give a good first impression by pointing them in the right direction from the very beginning.
Also, you don’t have to choose between walkthroughs and FAQ pages; while the former can do without the latter, you should never attempt to do away with a walkthrough as they are totally in these days. Consider providing both walkthroughs and FAQ to offer maximum assistance to your customers, thereby increasing both their productivity, and the chance that they convert into a paying customer.
Check out myTips.co to see how their software can help you build a walkthrough and implement it in your UX in just a few steps.
What are your thoughts about walkthroughs as an onboarding technique? Do you prefer FAQ pages or walkthroughs? Tell us what you think about this by leaving a comment below.