What is user onboarding and why is it so important?

What is user onboarding and why is it so important?

Onboarding is an important part of the customer acquisition cycle for the online business. Much like in the offline world, it easy to get lost on a website trying to navigate between the buttons, links and other controls of a new unfamiliar interface; however, on the web it is that much easier to leave, put it off for later or search for a competitor. This is why user onboarding becomes increasingly important for businesses on the web.

What is it – customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding is the process of taking a new user to the intended experience with your product or service. Onboarding a user takes a series of activities, which combine:

  • Educating about the product applications
  • Training how to use its features
  • Selling its advantages
  • while Using the actual product

All delivered in a consistent and unobtrusive way. To use a famous quote by Benjamin Chow, Director of Web Products at Hive7:

“When you get it right… the boundary between trying out the product and using it disappears”

How does user onboarding work?

Implementing user onboarding can dramatically improve user experience on your site and overall satisfaction with your product or service. It would be safe to compare onboarding to hospitality, where you as a good host go an extra mile to make your guest feel welcome and comfortable. This helps to achieve several key advantages:

  • Immediately introduce new customer to the product and its functionality
  • Avoid confusion and answer most common FAQs
  • Significantly reduce time to productivity – get them doing, instead of learning
  • Boost conversions and segregate
  • Decrease number of customer support queries

As Internet continues to grow and the number of choices users face on the web grows with it, the time and effort available to make decisions diminishes accordingly. This is the reason why success of many online business often hinges on the ability to deliver a clear message of value quickly and user onboarding comes in the light as a major factor in helping achieve this goal.

In our future posts we will cover tools and best practices in implementing an effective user onboarding, so please stay tuned.