Customer Onboarding Tools — Finding the Best Option for Your Team

Download Now: Free Customer Onboarding Templates
Sam Lauron

Published:

I recently signed up for an account with Authory, an online portfolio website. I’d seen the product mentioned many times in freelancing communities I’m part of, so I thought I knew all there was to know about it when I finally signed up.

customer onboarding tools

However, as I started going through the onboarding process, I realized there were so many more features I wasn’t aware of — from the self-updating portfolio to the social analytics for my published pieces. The platform and onboarding emails not only guided me through the next steps but also showed me how to get the most out of the platform. This is when I realized the importance of customer onboarding.

To make the onboarding process seamless, memorable, and informative for customers like me, you need a customer onboarding tool to facilitate, automate, and improve the experience. I’ll cover 15 tools that can help improve your customer onboarding process and help guide you to make the right choice.

We're committed to your privacy. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

Free Customer Onboarding Templates

Eight templates to lead your new customers through their first several months with your product or service

  • Customer Intake Form Template
  • Customizable Welcome Packet
  • Onboarding Timeline Template
  • And More!
Loading your download form

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Download Now
Learn more

What is a customer onboarding tool?

A customer onboarding tool is software that helps facilitate the onboarding process. Customer onboarding sets the tone for a successful ongoing customer relationship, so it’s important to get this step right. Your onboarding tool can provide step-by-step tutorials, training videos, personalized tips, and more to engage and inform your customers as they get to know your product.

The Benefits of Using Customer Onboarding Tools

Having a customer onboarding tool to facilitate the onboarding process makes you and your customers’ lives easier. Rather than creating multiple spreadsheets, sending a multitude of forms, and going back and forth over email to explain everything, customer onboarding software automates most of that. Here are some of the benefits of using customer onboarding tools.

Sets the tone for the relationship.

After sales, the onboarding process is your customers’ first glimpse into what the ongoing relationship will be like. You can set the tone by being intentional about it and choosing an onboarding tool that offers everything you need.

Helps with customer retention.

A strong start to the relationship can also help improve customer retention. The more information and support you can offer through your onboarding tool, the more customers will trust that they’ll be successful with you.

Your onboarding software can also be used to celebrate milestones whenever customers achieve them. For example, using a feature for the first time or reaching a certain amount of product usage. You can celebrate any sort of milestone as long as it keeps customers engaged in your product.

Encourages autonomy.

A customer onboarding tool is designed to provide your customers with all of the information they need to be successful when using your product. Your onboarding process can include training videos, checklists, a knowledge base, or any combination of these.

The best part is that an onboarding tool allows customers to learn this knowledge independently. Instead of scheduling time with customer success, customers can walk through the process on their own time to learn about the product as it pertains to them.

Helps promote your product.

You can also use your onboarding tool to showcase all of the different features available. Your customer may have signed onto your product for a few reasons, but they probably aren’t aware of every single feature and how they can use it for their business.

The onboarding process is a great opportunity to demonstrate your product’s different use cases so your customers are trained on every feature or, at the very least, become aware of the features available to them for future use.

15 Customer Onboarding Tools

Whether you’re looking for a self-service platform that offers training videos and a knowledge base or you prefer a high-touch onboarding platform for one-on-one communication, there are tools for every type of customer relationship. Here are some of the best customer onboarding tools I’ve discovered.

1. HubSpot

Customer onboarding tools, HubSpot

Image Source

HubSpot is an all-in-one customer relationship tool for service, sales, and marketing. The central platform facilitates every part of the customer pipeline, from marketing to sales to success. After customers are onboarded, you can continue supporting their customer journey on HubSpot’s platform.

HubSpot onboarding features include live chat and chatbots, customizable workflows, automated emails, knowledge bases, and much more. If you already use HubSpot for marketing and sales, it makes sense to keep your onboarding workflow within the same central platform so your team has visibility into the entire relationship.

What I like: HubSpot offers a free plan, making it easy to get started right away. You can upgrade as you scale your onboarding program and bring on more clients; HubSpot scales with you.

2. Arrows

Customer onboarding tools, Arrows

Image Source

Arrows is a customer onboarding tool made specifically for teams who use HubSpot. The HubSpot integration offers a two-way data sync and attaches customer onboarding tasks to deals and tickets within the CRM. This means teams don’t need to leave their HubSpot dashboard to complete tasks.

What I like: Customers are presented with an easy-to-follow onboarding interface, so they don’t need to learn how to navigate the inner workings of your HubSpot platform.

3. Dock

Customer onboarding tools, Dock

Image Source

Dock allows your team to create collaborative, self-serve customer onboarding workspaces using templates. Using onboarding templates across your organization helps your team scale better than a clunky spreadsheet or countless emails. I think it’s especially useful that each template can also be customized to ensure every customer can get a personalized experience no matter which customer success team member they’re being onboarded with.

What I like: I like that your team can track every customer’s onboarding process so you can measure engagement early on.

4. ChurnZero

Customer onboarding tools, ChurnZero

Image Source

If you have a subscription-based business, ChurnZero is a customer onboarding tool that can help you scale. The platform goes beyond onboarding and optimizes the entire customer journey by helping you track and analyze key insights, such as product usage and engagement, to improve customer experience and retention.

What I like: I like that the platform creates “ChurnScores” which rate a customer’s health and predict the likelihood that they’ll renew.

5. Rocketlane

Customer onboarding tools, Rocketlane

Image Source

Rocketlane is a customer onboarding tool that offers the organization, visibility, and collaboration capabilities that you’d find in a project management tool. This tool works well for sales and customer success teams that often communicate and collaborate internally. The platform creates a seamless handoff by kicking off the onboarding process as soon as a deal is marked as “won” in your connected CRM.

What I like: I think it’s convenient that customers can access their portal with a magic link, which means they don’t need to remember a password or login to access the onboarding info they need.

6. GuideCX

Customer onboarding tools, GuideCX

Image Source

GuideCX is a customer onboarding tool that improves efficiency and collaboration through templates, automation, and increased visibility. I think it has some really helpful features like role-based views and integrated automation that help minimize manual errors and reduce your team’s time spent on repeatable tasks.

What I like: GuideCX offers a mobile app with push notifications so you can stay on top of customer updates on the go.

7. Planhat

Customer onboarding tools, Planhat

Image Source

Planhat is a data-driven customer success platform that analyzes customer metrics to assess their health and engagement level. The comprehensive analysis takes into account customer usage, behaviors, and interactions to identify issues before they come up, which helps improve retention.

What I like: Where Planhat thrives is in its playbooks. You can create playbooks so customer onboarding becomes a streamlined, repeatable process.

8. Userlane

Customer onboarding tools, Userlane

Image Source

In addition to customer onboarding features like personalization and interactive on-screen guidance, I like Userlane because it is specifically designed to increase trial conversions and help with customer retention. The platform does this by offering interactive guidance during free trials and demos so users can better understand a product’s benefits. This ultimately leads to more conversions, which is ideal for subscription companies looking for a low-touch onboarding tool.

What I like: Userlane is no-code, which makes it easy to launch an onboarding quickly and without costly development.

9. Customer.io

Customer onboarding tools, Customer.io

Image Source

Another data-driven customer onboarding tool is Customer.io. The customer engagement platform offers omnichannel messaging so you can communicate onboarding tasks with customers through their preferred channel, whether that’s in-app, via email, or with push notifications. You can also use real-time first-party data to personalize the message and A/B testing to optimize the onboarding experience.

What I like: I like how the low-touch onboarding gives customers autonomy while providing meaningful data for the customer success team.

10. ClickUp

Customer onboarding tools, ClickUp

Image Source

ClickUp is a project management tool that can be helpful to use during the customer onboarding process. The platform offers multiple views that work for every type of customer or collaboration, from grid to list to Kanban board. The tool also offers several templates that can be customized for your team’s onboarding process.

What I like: If you use ClickUp for project management, I think it’s convenient to use its templates and workspaces for customer onboarding, too.

11. Process Street

Customer onboarding tools, Process Street

Image Source

Process Street is a checklist and process documentation system that allows you to create no-code onboarding workflows. Its process feature is AI-powered and can generate workflows and individual tasks, and its forms feature can be an easy way to gather customer information during the onboarding process.

What I like: Process Street has an extensive library of onboarding templates for different industries and customer scenarios.

12. IdentityCheck

Customer onboarding tools, IdentityCheck

Image Source

IdentityCheck is more of an add-on than a standalone customer onboarding tool, but it’s important to the process nonetheless. It lets you quickly verify your contacts from within your CRM platform, like HubSpot. The tool is designed for regulated industries that must meet compliance requirements. Still, I think it can be an extra safety measure for companies looking to create a more secure onboarding process.

What I like: The platform offers onboarding add-ons like workflow automation and user training if you want to expand beyond the identify check feature.

13. EverAfter

Customer onboarding tools, EverAfter

Image Source

EverAfter enables your team to create a white-labeled customer hub for low-touch onboarding. I like that EverAfter’s customer interface is interactive and collaborative, with interactive guides, progress trackers, and personalized dashboards.

What I like: EverAfter integrates with many tools and apps like HubSpot to sync your customer data.

14. Notion

Customer onboarding tools, Notion

Image Source

Notion is a collaborative workspace tool that functions well as a knowledge base or checklist within the customer onboarding process. You can create an onboarding checklist or workspace from scratch or use one of their templates. I’ve seen many people use Notion as a hub with information about their products, processes, teams, and more.

What I like: I personally love how Notion’s interface looks; it’s clean, simple, and easy to scan.

15. Onboard

Customer onboarding tools, Onboard

Image Source

Unlike many of the customer onboarding tools on this list, Onboard does away with templates and instead creates auto-generated launch plans that are customized for each client based on customer data gathered during the sales process. I like how the platform automates a task list so you can focus less on the process and tasks and instead on spending time with your customers to provide a personalized experience.

What I like: I like how Onboard integrates with tools like HubSpot to automate and streamline customer data.

Making the Right Choice

If you’re overwhelmed with the onboarding options out there (I don’t blame you — there are many!), there are a few ways to narrow down the choices. Here are the features to look for in a customer onboarding tool.

Communication Features

The types of communication features you’ll want depend on how hands-on you want your customer onboarding process to be. If you want your customers to have a self-serve experience, then it’s important to look for in-app communication, like pop-ups that can guide them through the onboarding steps.

If you want better visibility into your customers’ onboarding journey and engagement levels, then you’ll want to look for a tool that provides real-time notifications whenever a customer completes a task.

Data Dashboard

In-depth data is a key feature to look for in your customer onboarding tool. Data into customer engagement and behaviors lets you know if your onboarding process is successful at training and informing new clients or if it could use improvement.

How engaged are new clients throughout onboarding? At what point are they dropping off or getting stuck? You need a tool that provides transparency into those analytics so you can continuously optimize your flows. You can also look for a tool that includes built-in forms for gathering consumer engagement data so you can automate the process.

Customization Capabilities

Customization is key to building trust and setting the tone with new clients. While one of the goals of a customer onboarding tool is to streamline the process — especially if you have a low-touch onboarding flow — it’s still important to add personalization so every new client feels important.

In fact, 90% of customers say they are willing to spend more time with companies that personalize the customer service experience.

Look for onboarding tools that offer templates. Templates make it easy to streamline your internal processes while still allowing you to customize your workflows and tailor each step to your clients’ needs.

We're committed to your privacy. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

Free Customer Onboarding Templates

Eight templates to lead your new customers through their first several months with your product or service

  • Customer Intake Form Template
  • Customizable Welcome Packet
  • Onboarding Timeline Template
  • And More!
Loading your download form

You're all set!

Click this link to access this resource at any time.

Download Now
Learn more

Unified Platform

If you want to enhance the customer experience across teams, look for a unified customer platform. A tool focused specifically on the onboarding process is a great option for the customer success team, but a unified platform makes it easy to collaborate across different CX teams, such as support and success. Not only does this increase visibility across teams, but it also helps everyone stay within the same workflow without the need to switch between apps.

Best Practices for Implementing Customer Onboarding Tools

Once you’ve chosen your preferred customer onboarding tool, how can you make the most of it? I asked customer success experts for their best practices for implementing one.

1. Leverage the technology.

If you haven’t used a customer onboarding tool before, it can be tempting to stick with your old way of doing things, like manually creating and sharing onboarding docs for each client. However, customer onboarding software is designed to help your customer team save time and resources during the process, so let it do its job.

“Make technology work for you,” says Irene Graham, co-founder of Spylix. “As your new clients enroll and begin using your product, anticipate they will require assistance beyond that of your customer success team.”

For example, Clooney Wang, founder and CEO of TrackingMore uses ChurnZero for customer onboarding. One way he takes advantage of the technology is by ensuring automated alerts are turned on.

“These email alerts are crucial and help you address customer issues long before they are even aware of them,” says Wang.

2. Be flexible.

As you get acquainted with your customer onboarding tool and learn what works and doesn’t work for your customers and team, you may find the need to switch up your process. It’s okay to be flexible in your approach, suggests Graham.

“Do not anticipate your onboarding process to remain the same in the long run,” she says. “Allow your evolving clients and business to influence how you alter it. When working with ever-evolving humans, expect your procedures to evolve as well.”

Alison Lancaster, co-founder and CEO of Pressat, echoes that sentiment. She suggests having a standardized core onboarding process that allows for customization.

“Create a basic onboarding framework, but always personalize elements like video intros or kickoff agendas to give that white-glove treatment,” she says.

3. Analyze the data.

To truly understand how your onboarding process is performing, you need to look at the data in your customer onboarding tool. Where are your customers dropping off? Are they watching one of your training videos more than the others? These metrics will let you know where you can improve the process and if there’s a feature or tutorial you need to spend more time on when it comes to training.

Lancaster also recommends surveying your clients on their onboarding experience for anecdotal insight.

“At the end of onboarding, get direct feedback on what rocked and what needs improving,” she says. “An onboarding survey is pure gold for optimizing.”

Getting Onboarding Right

The best customer onboarding tools depend on what your team needs. If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform that connects your sales team to your customer success team, I recommend a connected tool like HubSpot. If you’re looking for a self-service customer onboarding tool, I like Dock for its templates and interactive interface.

customer onboarding templates

Related Articles

We're committed to your privacy. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

Pop up for DOWNLOAD NOW: FREE CUSTOMER ONBOARDING TEMPLATES FREE CUSTOMER ONBOARDING TEMPLATES

8 templates to help your new customers use your product or service.

Service Hub provides everything you need to delight and retain customers while supporting the success of your whole front office

START FREE OR GET A DEMO