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Customer service – User onboarding

In a Microsoft study; 54% of customers reported that they have higher expectations this year from customer support than last year. The success of customer activation and retention depends on how well your user onboarding creates successful users. Moreover, how well your support team can deal with tickets from those with setup issues.

Now it’s more important than ever to focus on coordinating a mixture of user onboarding and customer support. Why? Well, with just simple process improvements it can;

  • reduce your ticket requests
  • decrease churn rates
  • boost user retention

Offering in-app customer support will improve customer experience because it’s what users themselves prefer. According to American Express; 6 out of 10 customers said that their go-to channels for self-serve customer support are websites, applications, voice response systems, or live chats.

Based on the facts, let’s see how customer support and user onboarding can correlate with each other. Thus, how you can use it to your advantage when fighting high churn and low conversions.

How to correlate customer support and user onboarding

User onboarding provides actionable and valuable steps during the first weeks or months of the user journey. So, they can learn more about your product and a unique value proposition. Moreover, it connects your marketing material to the reality of their user experience.

In every step of your user journey (especially onboarding), your users face a different set of problems. First, it’s account setup, then finding their API key, then configuring an integration. Users exploring and learning will generate support tickets as they adopt the product. Your mission is just to make it easy to find valuable answers.

The formula for providing value is:

Relevance + Actionable information = VALUE

Every in-app prompt you send to your users should satisfy these two things. It should be relevant to your particular user’s lifecycle stage. Plus, it should provide actionable advice on how to solve their problem.

To cater to this and deliver the right help at the right time, live chat isn’t enough alone. You need two types of in-app help available:

  • “Push” help: prompts to nudge your users to learn more about a particular feature or frustration.
  • “Pull” help: enabling users to easily find out the information they need from knowledge bases, reps, and chatbots.

As you can see, live help and user onboarding are different avenues of support which, by nature, belong to each other.

Before we go on, keep one thing in mind – user onboarding is actually product marketing. The purpose should be reinforcing the value of your product (marketing) and not just teaching them how to use your product (training).

As you go through the article, we will see different ways of how you can use self-serve customer support in your user onboarding, as well as live support.

1. Implement live support inside your user onboarding flow

Live support plays a significant role in every business. It’s the same with user onboarding too. When AI fails or the user can’t find a solution to its problem, it’s necessary for human support to step in.

According to Microsoft, 94% of customers reported that customer support is of vital importance when they choose loyalty to a brand.

Let’s see how live chat support finds its place in user onboarding.

Live chat as the go-to for customer support

According to Invespcro, 73% of customers report that they find live chat to be the most satisfying way to communicate with a business.

Live chat plays a significant part in customer support. A lot of users demand answers quickly, and what’s a better method for customers to get answers to difficult problems than talking live to an expert?

In fact, 79% of people said that they love live chat precisely because it provides quick answers and solutions.

For example, you can show a chat widget on your pricing page to answer your customer’s billing questions or to upsell bigger packages.

In user onboarding, you can correlate live chat with every stage of the early journey. Users should have quick help whenever they need, whether it’s for setup questions or post-trial billing concerns.

On the other hand, providing your trial users with dedicated live chat support will not just help you to easily solve their problems, improve customer success, engage with them and adopt them, but it will also help you to improve your retention and reduce churn rates.

2. Make it easy for customers to find answers with Knowledge Base articles

An evolution of the FAQ or user manual, Knowledge Bases have become popular in the last couple of years. It’s hard to find a successful SaaS product without one. Why? Because support is going self-serve-first.

According to Salesforce; 89% of millennials use a search engine to find answers to their questions before making a call with customer support, while 67% of them increased support expectations versus last year. This is because the behavior of users that need support is changing. 

Econsultancy research shows us that 51% of customers prefer technical support through the knowledge base – the self-serve approach.

The need for a knowledge base grows organically as the number of support queries increases. A question that is asked enough times usually gets a knowledge base article to deflect that common query. However, knowledge bases also should be designed with comprehensive information and organized categories to make it easy for a user to find what they need.

3. Add checklists to your user onboarding to reduce support requests

Checklists are a great way to easily onboard your new users and reduce support requests. They can grab a new user’s attention, teach them a valuable flow.

Reasons to use checklists for user onboarding:

  • To break down longer flows into easily achievable tasks that are more likely to be completed.
  • Checklists are an implementation of the Zeigarnik effect – a psychological bias where users tend to remember to complete half-finished tasks.
  • Checklists also help to improve your time-to-value by getting a user to “aha!” faster

4. Offer in-app support through product tours

You shouldn’t have to use live support to deal with simple setup questions and tickets about where a feature is in the interface. You can automate a large part of that with in-app product tours. Tours can motivate users to finish setup, discover features, and do tasks that are associated with quick value and long-term retention.

By using different in-app widgets, step-by-step guides, or onboarding checklists, you will be able to show to your users your core features and activate them easily.

LiveAgent encourages users to go through the entire core feature flow. Therefore, by the end of it, the user will have done something that actually brings them value.

The bottom line

As we’ve seen customer support and user onboarding should be tightly linked to improving retention and product adoption for both new and existing users.

With the careful coordination of self-serve and live customer support, you will be able to reduce unnecessary and basic tickets, so your support reps can focus on their most important tasks for the highest value customers.

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