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What is a Customer Onboarding Plan?

A customer onboarding plan is a detailed strategy that a company uses to guide new customers through the process of getting started with its products or services. It typically includes a series of steps and milestones that are designed to help customers become familiar with the product, understand how it works, and begin to see the value that it can provide.

What are the Benefits of a Customer Onboarding Plan?

There are several benefits to using a customer onboarding plan, including:

  1. Improved Customer Satisfaction: By guiding new customers through the process of getting started with your product or service, you can help them feel more confident and satisfied with their purchase.
  2. Increased Customer Retention: Customers who are successfully onboarded are more likely to stick around and continue using your product or service.
  3. Reduced Customer Support Costs: By proactively addressing common questions and issues during the onboarding process, you can reduce the need for ongoing support and troubleshooting.
  4. Increased Revenue: When customers are successfully onboarded and begin to see the value of your product or service, they are more likely to upgrade or purchase additional products from you.

What is Included in a Customer Onboarding Plan?

The specific steps and milestones included in a customer onboarding plan will vary depending on the company and the product or service being offered. However, some common elements of a customer onboarding plan might include:

  1. Welcome Emails or Messages: A series of messages that welcome the customer and provide basic information about the product or service.
  2. Training Materials: Videos, tutorials, or other resources that teach the customer how to use the product or service.
  3. Onboarding Milestones: Specific goals or achievements that the customer should aim to accomplish during the onboarding process.
  4. Support Resources: Contact information for customer support, as well as FAQs or other resources that can help the customer troubleshoot common issues.

How are Customer Onboarding Plans Best Used?

Customer onboarding plans are most effective when they are used as a proactive tool to guide new customers through the process of getting started with your product or service. It's important to communicate with customers regularly throughout the onboarding process, and to make sure that they are making progress and achieving key milestones. Additionally, it's important to listen to feedback from customers and make adjustments to the onboarding plan as needed.

5 Steps to Creating a Customer Onboarding Plan


Start with a User Flow Chart

The first step to creating a customer onboarding plan is to understand the journey your customers take when they use your product. Create a user flow chart to see exactly what steps your users will take. This way, you can internalize each individual feature you will need to explain.


Develop a Standard Presentation

Now that you understand the journey your customers will go on, it’s time to create a simple and universal presentation you can send them when they need help. In your onboarding process, it’s great to have a quick and easy PDF or PowerPoint that you can send the users to help them get started (e.g. set up their account, add additional users, adjust their settings).


Email Cadence

One of the most critical parts of onboarding is setting up an onboarding email cadence. This will be possibly a daily, semi- weekly, or bi- weekly set of emails that are sent to your users who have just started using the product. These emails can contain tips on how to use the product or resources they may not have seen. Remember to A/B test your emails and constantly be iterating for improved results.


Track Product Usage

Now that you have your system set up, it's important to make sure it’s working. Work with tech to have a system set up to track usage of the product. Are users who open your email more likely to convert to a purchase? What questions are users asking after they read your presentation? Where in the usage funnel are most of your onboarded users falling off? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow you to improve your onboarding process and increase conversion rate.


Make Customer Care Available

Lastly, make it known to your users that customer care and assistance is always available. Make sure they know who/where to contact if they have any questions at all. When users feel like they are being taken care of and all of their issues can be solved, they are much more likely to purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions About Customer Onboarding Plans

How long should a customer onboarding plan take?

The length of a customer onboarding plan will vary depending on the complexity of the product or service being offered. However, most onboarding plans should aim to get customers up and running within a few days or weeks.

Who is responsible for creating a customer onboarding plan?

In most companies, the responsibility for creating a customer onboarding plan falls to the customer success or onboarding team.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in customer onboarding?

Some common mistakes to avoid in customer onboarding include overwhelming customers with too much information at once, failing to tailor the onboarding experience to the customer's specific needs, neglecting to provide ongoing support and resources, and failing to measure and optimize the effectiveness of the onboarding process.

How can you measure the success of a customer onboarding plan?

The success of a customer onboarding plan can be measured by tracking metrics such as customer engagement, product adoption, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. By monitoring these metrics and making adjustments to the onboarding process as needed, you can continually optimize the experience for new customers and improve overall retention.

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