5 Client Onboarding Software Solutions to Reduce Support Costs and Boost Retention

Mariam Ispiryan • August 12, 2022 • 15 min read

A great onboarding system for new employees is essential to teach them your company ways and set them up for success. And your clients need the same kind of setup to guarantee they understand your processes, timings, and communication methods to build a successful relationship. The difference between new employees and new clients is that the latter is only one click away from logging off for good. 


So, to reduce your churn rate and increase customer retention and satisfaction, add client onboarding software to your tech stack. 


If you’re wondering how to choose the right client onboarding software and determine which features are non-negotiable for your use case, look no further. By the end of this read, you’ll have a well-rounded understanding of what client onboarding software is and what kind of solution will best suit your needs.



Table of contents



Build your own customer onboarding solution with Softr.

Sometimes rigid customer onboarding software just doesn’t cut it. Why not build your own no-code solution?

What is client onboarding software?


Client onboarding software helps you manage all the steps involved in bringing new customers into your business.


And to build a good customer onboarding process, you should truly understand the journey clients go through before, during, and after they use your products or services. 


A reliable client onboarding software helps you understand common user bottlenecks, pain points, and frequently asked questions, so you can use that data to streamline your processes. 

What are the benefits of client onboarding software?


If you want to improve the all-around client experience, look into different client onboarding software solutions for your SaaS business. Using one will help you:



Reduce manual work with automation 


Client onboarding software lets you set automated actions to free your team up from administrative work and reduce human errors or missed steps. Some examples of actions you can automate are:

  • Emails and client communications like:
  • Welcoming new clients
  • Promoting discounts
  • Sharing tutorials
  • Providing updates on delivery status
  • Resetting passwords 
  • Client segmentation based on data demographics
  • On-screen tutorials
  • Payment collection
  • Pre-recorded comprehensive demos 



Impress new clients


An efficient onboarding process that identifies top client needs and pain points can help you come up with effective solutions, make a good impression on clients, and reduce churn. Here are some ways you can impress your clients:

  • Coming up with gifts
  • Anticipating their questions, needs, and pain points
  • Researching your competitors and establishing your own unique value proposition
  • Being respectful, responsive, and proactive
  • Optimizing your loading times



Grow your business


Using client onboarding software makes it easier to scale your operations. When you have everything automated, you can easily give async demos and tutorials and collect payments without any manual work. In that way, software can help you handle anywhere from one to a thousand clients without your direct involvement.



Reduce pain points


Once you understand your customers’ journeys, you can list all their most common pain points, come up with solutions to overcome them, and enrich the user experience. Anticipating client pain points also increases user adoption and overall product experience. 


For example, imagine your product is a time tracking software that syncs to your payroll service. For your HR team to pay staff members on time, managers need to approve the whole team's tracked hours.

 

In this case, one of your biggest customer pain points would be that it takes managers too long to approve team hours because of lengthy and hard-to-read reports. That means the payroll team would end up working late to avoid any payment delays, causing dissatisfaction. 


Taking customer pain points into account is the only way to make your app an optimal solution for users.



Stay compliant with GDPR regulations


Client onboarding software guarantees data protection and compliance with GDPR regulations. That’s great news because every time you save customer data, they need to know it’s safe and that you won’t sell it for marketing purposes. 


Under GDPR regulations along with other data privacy compliance such as the 'cookie' law, companies will need to receive consent from users before setting cookies or collecting any personal data. In addition to client onboarding software, cookie consent tools will aid in developing an in-depth policy while tracking users' cookies with their consent.


Client onboarding software helps you secure customer information so it doesn’t get stolen and protects all parties involved in case of any future mishaps. 

5 best client onboarding software to upgrade your workflows



1. Inline Manual: Best for established small businesses

inline manual homepage

Inline Manual lets you create guided tours for your new customers to give them in-app guidance.

Source: Inline Manual



Inline Manual is a tool that helps improve the client onboarding experience within your app. With Inline Manual, you can onboard new users, explain how new features work, and market other services in your app without writing a single line of code.


Main features and benefits


  • Lets you create in-app walkthroughs, announcements, tooltips, hotspots, and a help center.
  • Collects user feedback directly within the app. 
  • Fosters team collaboration so you can edit in parallel and publish when everything’s ready to go. 


How are people using it?


Inline Manual is a great choice for creating in-app walkthroughs and sending announcements to a segmented audience. Their software would work well for small SaaS businesses that aren’t likely to have a dramatic increase in users.


Main drawbacks

  • Pricing increases according to active user count.
  • Users need to pay extra for some add-ons like iFrames support.


Pricing


Inline Manual offers a free trial. Then, prices start at $158/month for 250 monthly active users (MAUs). An Enterprise plan is available with a custom quote.

2. Userpilot: Best for medium to large businesses

userpilot homepage

The Userpilot experiences dashboard lets you review all the experiences you’ve added to your product for improved client onboarding.

Source: Userpilot



Userpilot is a no-code software that lets you create behavior-triggered experiences. That is, it analyzes customer actions within the app and uses that data to send them segmented information. 



Main features and benefits

  • Allows A/B testing to experiment with different onboarding flows.
  • Lets you collect feedback to increase your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
  • Shares hints and tips to alert users about new features when navigating through the app for the first time.
  • Shows in-app pop-ups to drive upsells and conversions.



How are people using it?

Userpilot is handy if you want to educate users on key features and get them to adopt your product in a short period of time. Customers also use Userpilot to test out different onboarding flows and get feedback in real-time. Due to its pricing, this software is most popular with medium to large companies.



Main drawbacks

  • Phone support is only available on their Medium plan.
  • There’s a steep learning curve to build complex flows. 


Pricing

Prices start at $249 per month for up to 2,500 monthly active users (MAU). Prices vary depending on your plan and how many MAUs you have. 

3. ClientSuccess: Best for small to medium companies

client success homepage

ClientSuccess comes with a dashboard view so you can review all your key performance indicators and trends.

Source: ClientSuccess



ClientSuccess is a platform built from a holistic client acquisition perspective. It provides tools to help onboard, retain, and grow your customer base. 



Main features and benefits

  • Manages all client conversations in the same place to avoid spamming or poor BCC tagging. 
  • Syncs all your contacts and data seamlessly with your CRM to optimize data sharing.
  • Provides you and your team with timely notifications about user issues to help you improve the customer onboarding experience.



How are people using it?

ClientSuccess helps users shorten adoption times and increase revenue retention. Small to medium-sized companies generally find it most useful.



Main drawbacks

  • Lacks flexibility and customization options for users to feel like it’s a plug-and-play solution. Some in-app adjustments are necessary to include certain ClientSuccess features.
  • Too many data tracking features can make it confusing for users.



Pricing

ClientSuccess’s pricing system is not disclosed online. You can ask for a custom quote based on your needs.

4. ChurnZero: Best for mid-sized SaaS businesses

churnzero homepage

ChurnZero has a command center where you can review your pending tasks, segments, and metrics at a glance.

Source: ChurnZero



Churn rate is closely entangled with how well you understand your customers. ChurnZero is a platform that helps you gather data about customers throughout their lifecycle and share it with your team.



Main features and benefits

  • Gives you access to the command center. There, you’ll find customer information, be able to review real-time alerts, and build automations.
  • Ensures personalization at every stage of the user journey. Creates content for different segments and adds user names into all in-app communications and walkthroughs. 
  • Helps you become a data-driven product owner. Gives you access to health scores, reports, and survey data to adjust your onboarding checklist as needed.



How are people using it?

Users go for ChurnZero to have access to customer data in real-time as they go through each step of their onboarding journey. They then use those insights to reorganize their onboarding process. Mid-sized companies find ChurnZero useful because it’s not as expensive when compared with other similar tools on the market.



Main drawbacks

  • Messy to build different journeys and timelines simultaneously.
  • Lacks customization options for different personas. 
  • Has a steep learning curve and isn’t as intuitive as other similar platforms.



Pricing

ChurnZero’s pricing isn’t disclosed on their website. You need to fill out a form to get a custom quote based on your in-app requirements.

5. Pendo: Best for enterprise-level companies

pendo dashboard

Pendo comes with different views on the left sidebar. This dashboard is one of those options, and it provides a visual representation of all the product data. 

Source: Pendo



Pendo is a tool that helps improve your product experience, increases the value you provide to your customers with your software, and simplifies your onboarding process. Their software gives you access to analytics, includes in-app guides, and gathers feedback from users.



Main features and benefits

  • Tracks how clients use your product and key features, as well as when and how often they use it. 
  • Lets you roadmap your customer journey and share your insights with key stakeholders to guarantee team alignment.
  • Integrates seamlessly with a large list of tools like Salesforce, Hubspot, Looker, and Tableau.



How are people using it?

Users sign up for Pendo with the hopes of reducing churn rate, increasing retention, and providing a great customer experience. But what makes Pendo great is its ability to mix analytics with in-app tutorials. Pendo is an excellent choice for large corporations with over 500 employees because it integrates with a large list of enterprise software solutions.



Main drawbacks

  • Steep learning curve for specific features like integrations and setup.
  • Customization isn’t granular. If you need to change your branding, you’ll need to start again from scratch.



Pricing

Pendo has a free version with limited capabilities. If you want to upgrade, you can ask for a custom quote based on your company's needs.

What if you could build your own custom client portal?


The above tools are all great solutions for onboarding customers within your app, but most of them lack full customization capabilities. In those cases, it’s better to take matters into your own hands and build a client portal yourself. 


Softr isn’t a dedicated client onboarding system, but it offers lots of benefits when it comes to building custom web apps. With Softr, you can create your own solution and add the customer onboarding platform features you need using your Airtable or Google Sheets data.


Basically, Softr is like an all-in-one shower wash. Instead of shampooing and conditioning with different products, you can build many different types of web apps with the same platform: B2B or white label client portals, employee intranet portals, or any other kind of web app. 



Softr: Best for easily building your own custom, no-code web app


softr homepage

Softr.io lets you create powerful web apps and websites using building blocks, no coding or technical expertise required.



Softr is a no-code web app builder that has a zero learning curve and gives you the freedom to customize as much as you want. With Softr, you can build your own web app, include in-app alerts, and create automations to onboard your users all in the same place. 



Main features and benefits

  • Offers seamless integrations that let you customize your in-app client onboarding: 
  • Intercom lets you add in-app product tours, chatbots, and email campaigns.
  • Mailchimp and Mailerlite let you create email campaigns and automate customer messages.
  • Hotjar, Google Analytics, and Fathom let you gather user analytics. 
  • Crisp, Drift, and Hubspot Chat help you solve visitor needs before they become paying customers to increase conversions. 
  • Gives you full control over your end-to-end web applications.
  • Lets you create a document portal or a knowledge base to onboard clients who like to read long-form, comprehensive step-by-step guides.
  • Allows you to personalize your onboarding system by gating your content and adding membership access. 



How are people using it?

People usually start out with Softr to create a custom web application. The most common use cases are to build: 



Main drawbacks

  • Since Softr isn’t a specifically designed tool for client onboarding, using it for in-app guidance will be extra work.
  • Softr only lets you create no-code web apps. If you want to develop a native mobile app, you might need to consider other options. If a web-accessible mobile app works for you, you can use Softr’s PWA builder



Pricing

Softr offers a free plan with limited records for your back-end database. Then, prices vary between $24 and $165 per month—based on yearly billing.

Build your own customer onboarding solution with Softr.

Sometimes rigid customer onboarding software just doesn’t cut it. Why not build your own no-code solution?

Which is the best client onboarding software? At-a-glance comparison table

Client onboarding software comparison table

Softr is a powerful no-code platform that allows you to create web apps and include in-app onboarding guides and chatbots.

Build your own customer onboarding solution with Softr.

Sometimes rigid customer onboarding software just doesn’t cut it. Why not build your own no-code solution?

Which client onboarding software is right for you?


Each of the tools mentioned in this article will help you improve the customer onboarding process for your SaaS product. However, if you’re a small business that has under 2,500 MAUs, Userpilot might be your best choice. Their software lets you test out different scenarios simultaneously, track data in real-time, and add several in-app interactions—like hotspots, hints and tips, and in-app pop-ups.


But if you like to be in control of your applications end-to-end, don’t want to spend too much money, and want the ability to create more apps without having to pay extra. Then, Softr is your only choice.

Frequently asked questions about client onboarding software

There are many great tools for customer onboarding. These are the best customer onboarding software for different purposes: - Best tool for small businesses: Inline Manual lets you create almost any kind of in-app pop-up and track useful customer data. - Best for enterprises: Pendo is a comprehensive user onboarding tool that helps guide clients and shares information across your team to foster data-driven decisions. - Best for building a custom, DIY solution: Softr lets you build your desired web app and use integrations to automate welcome emails, add in-app guides, and set up a chatbot.

The best client onboarding process is one that has a thorough understanding of the user journey and is automated to anticipate their pain points and questions. Let’s get a little bit more specific about what a great client onboarding process looks like: - Answers user questions before they even think of them - Provides a comprehensive explanation of features - Isn’t intrusive, long, or unskippable - Is based on data - Is constantly improving

Client Portal | Internal Tools | Web App Builder | Free Website Builder Made with Softr