The importance of SaaS customer onboarding & how to create an enjoyable experience using video

What’s the most important stage in a SaaS customer lifecycle? The onboarding stage, of course. Do it right and reap the rich rewards that await you. Do it wrong and you’ll get some free publicity of the undesirable kind.

The importance of SaaS customer onboarding and how to create an enjoyable experience using video

Remember, no matter how many good product reviews you have managed to accumulate, all it takes is a couple of unflattering observations from a few disgruntled, but influential customers to undo your hard work.

And news, especially bad news, travels fast.

In an increasingly competitive SaaS world, caring for your customers pays rich dividends. It is proof of your strength, commitment, and endurance. If you are not in the game for the long haul, customers simply switch over to those who are.

If you look at customer reviews on sites like Capterra, you will see that they will not only allow a reviewer to list the pros and cons of a product, but also the name of the product the customer switched over from! So be careful, very careful.

And more often than not, it is the bad or indifferent onboarding process that is the main culprit for the loss of business.

“Customers pay good money to acquire a product or subscribe to a service. As a SaaS provider, this is the beginning of your commitment—not the end.”

Developing and nurturing relationships with customers

As a SaaS entrepreneur, you know what it takes to develop a world-class product. For you, it meant shedding your fair share of blood, sweat, and tears. But your customers could not care less about your ‘sacrifices’.

“Convincing your customers that their money is well-spent on the product or services they buy is what ultimately matters.”

So how do you endear yourself to your patrons?

In an ideal world, you should strive to make yourself the go-to solution for your customers. Something along the lines of:

Want spreadsheets, think MS Excel, need a word processor, get MS Word, want to email, open GMail…

Obviously, success did not happen overnight to these biggies. They had to work hard, slug it out with talented rivals, and face many setbacks before they could get their pricing, marketing, and customer service strategies right.

Along the way, they had their share of duds.

List of Microsoft, Google, and Apple products that did not quite cut ice with users:

Sl. No. Microsoft Google Apple
1 Windows Mobile Wave Macintosh TV
2 Windows Vista Nexus Q Ping
3 Zune Google Plus Lisa
4 Windows Me Google Glass Homepod
5 MS Portrait Knol Apple III

So, what did they do wrong? These behemoths have such deep pockets, unlimited resources, and a readymade customer base, you might ask.

A number of things, actually.

  • It was obvious to the general public that these biggies were not paying as much attention to the products listed above as users have come to expect from them. Remember, the audience has matured over the years and they can instinctively feel when a product is not getting its fair share of attention or commitment.
  • Many of these products were developed as a response to a competitor’s success with similar products. When success looked difficult, they simply stopped product development to minimize their losses. There are scholarly articles out there on the internet for those who want to dig deep and find out why.

What about their successful products and their portfolio is full of them? Like we said:

You don’t necessarily have to come up with a perfect product the first time. But you must demonstrate you are committed to your users 100%.

Read More: How Much Does A User Onboarding Video Cost?

Content Beta has been collaborating with some of the top SaaS companies in the world to produce content to help with their product marketing, customer support, and customer education campaigns. And we found that:

“Creating a user-friendly product, demonstrating its ease of use, and reiterating your commitment is a fairly fool-proof strategy to adopt.”

Top 6 reasons that could make SaaS customers angry

We have previously discussed the benefits of using videos in marketing on multiple occasions based on insights gained during our interactions with both SaaS providers and users.

In fact, we are in the business of producing video content because we faced the same issues that most SaaS users face: Poorly-written and presented material masquerading as FAQs, onboarding guides, customer testimonials, and indifferent and ill-trained support staff.

Trying to get an intelligent response was time-consuming and let’s just say, not worth bothering about.

But it was not a total waste of time either as you might have guessed!

We were richer for the experience, and we have since shared this knowledge with SaaS aspirants and veterans alike.

So, what gets your customers’ goat?

Here are the six pain points along with their remedies.

1. Mediocre customer support

Looking after your customers is a commitment that extends far beyond the initial 3 months or so of the purchase. Not being responsive to customer concerns is asking for trouble.

Solution: That is where an FAQ video comes in handy. Host it on your website and remind your customers from time to time by sharing the link to the video or the video itself on a video mail.

That is why video is highly regarded as a marketing tool. Create once and share multiple times, and say goodbye to lengthy documents or downloadable PDFs.

According to Wyzowl, 43% of marketers say videos have reduced the number of product support calls their company has received. That is quite a big gain, isn’t it?

Here’s an example FAQ video from Verifyle

2. Unsupported upgrades

There are two problems associated with upgrades:

  • Releasing a newer version of the product but neglecting to notify your customers of the changes in the belief that they would figure it out for themselves. This is handing over your customers on a silver platter to your competitors. Imagine your software stops working suddenly, and you get a message asking you to contact their sales team.
  • Make sure your customers are clear about whether they would automatically have access to the upgraded version when they subscribe/buy

Solution: Make sure your customers are clear about what they are getting when they opt for a particular plan. A video mail about how to upgrade to a higher-tier service would be well appreciated by your customers.

3. Ambiguous value proposition

Not being clear about the level of services a customer is entitled to if they sign up for a particular tier of subscription is how many SaaS companies lose their customers.

Solution: Here’s a good example from Vidyard about their pricing plans that clearly explains what features their customers can expect from a particular plan.

4. Unclear roadmap

Not publishing a product development roadmap is another way to keep your customers away from a long-term commitment.

Solution: Most SaaS companies provide a clear roadmap for customers and explain what upgrades and improvements they can expect, and when. You can use a project management tool like Trello for this purpose. Here is an example from Buffer.

5. Poor design

UI/UX, micro text, inline/online help are not just fancy jargon anymore. They have become de rigueur for every SaaS product. Your design should be simple but that may not be possible with every type of application. A drastic change in UI/UX could confuse users, resulting in a flood of customer calls.

Solution: Make good use of annotations to explain the UI in your Explainer videos. Here is an example video from Content Beta that uses Simplified User Interface (SUI) to fit in future UI changes.

6. Poor onboarding experience

Not every user who buys your software application is, by default, a tech-savvy person. Most of them expect a guided tour of the product or service they have purchased or signed up for.

Solution: This being the main topic of the guide we will cover this in some detail with examples.

Let us use some statistics compiled by Wyzowl to understand:

Why should you pay attention to customer onboarding

Sl. No. What customers think of onboarding
1 More than 90% of customers feel that the companies they buy from could improve onboarding of new users/customers.
2 According to 86% of people, they'd be more loyal to a business that invested in onboarding content that welcomed and educated them after they bought.
3 In 8 out of 10 cases, users delete an app they don't know how to use.
4 Over half (55%) of people have returned a product because they were not clear on how to use it.
5 More than two-thirds (63%) of customers say onboarding - the level of support they're likely to receive post-purchase - is a crucial factor in whether they choose a provider.

What people think of video as an onboarding tool

Sl. No. Why video
1 In 91% of cases, people watched a video to better understand a physical product.
2 74% of people have watched a video to understand how to use a new app or website.
3 Video is perceived as an effective tool for welcoming and educating new customers by 97% of people.
4 In response to a question about how companies could improve onboarding, 69% of people suggested more video content.
5 65% of customers say they prefer video to get information on a product or service.

How to use video in customer onboarding?

We view onboarding as a broad process that guides customers and prospects at every stage of their customer journey.

Let’s see what type of videos to produce at each stage of their journey.

1. Product-related information

Product demo videos illustrate the true potential of a product in the easiest and most effective way. It is like having a veteran door-to-door salesman from the old days! Your job is to:

“Demonstrate how your product can solve customers’ problems and not merely describe its features.”

Example: SaaS Product Demo Video for COMPSTAK. Commercial real estate brokerages and appraisal firms can access analyst-reviewed commercial lease comps, sales comps, and property details through the CompStak Exchange platform.

2. Customer success stories:

To make a strong impression on viewers, showcased content must be easy to adopt, make an impact, and describe the purpose of the product.

Here is an example from Lawcus that helped them achieve higher product sign-ups. Lawcus is a modern legal practice management software attorneys can use to automate consistent processes to help deliver more effortlessly and transparently.

3. How-to, onboarding, explainer videos

You have tried help centers, zoom calls, onboarding programs, and chatbots. But free trial users aren’t converting? That is because:

Each customer has their own needs, use cases, and success metrics.

Content Beta has helped SaaS companies around the world to create engaging onboarding videos to get free users hooked on their products.

Let’s see an example we created for newsela, a literacy-focused Ed-Tech start-up company that offers leveled and standards-aligned informational content in English and Spanish.

4. Remote video testimonials

These types of videos are worth their weight in gold. A good word from a respectable industry name can make a huge impact.

Example: A testimonial video from ScaleX.ai uses artificial intelligence and sales automation to automate up to 75% of a sales rep’s tasks, allowing them to focus on higher-value work.

5. Academy videos

You can create a series of videos of 5-6 minutes duration explaining the processes clearly. Best practice is to provide support for multiple languages. You can even monetize them, run assessments, and provide certificates on course completion.

Check out the Kissflow Academy example to see how effective this strategy can be. Kissflow is a cloud-based forms automation solution for automating business processes and tracking performance.

Final Words

Since videos are shared and viewed easily, they can motivate your customers to buy, upgrade, or even recommend your products to others.

To summarize, your SaaS video strategy should focus on informing and reassuring users about your products and services.

Make your customers’ lives easier by telling them all they want to know—simply, clearly, and quickly.

Ready to get started?

Avoid spending long hours in Onboarding video production and fix customer churn today!

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