It’s never too early to start asking your customers what they think about your business. The onboarding process is a prime time to start surveying your customers to find out what brought them to your SaaS business, and how you can improve the experience for them.
If you don’t gather data about how customers are intending to use your products then your customer success and product teams will be in the dark. You’ll be attracting new customers without fully understanding them and missing vital opportunities to enhance your offering.
Obtaining answers to relevant questions in an onboarding survey means you can tailor the experience to suit individual customer needs. Over time, you can improve your product and the onboarding process in general to impact customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention.
What is an Onboarding Survey?
A customer onboarding survey is a tool used by SaaS companies to gather business-critical insights into the customer before they officially become a paying customer. Onboarding surveys enable your SaaS business to learn more about your customers so you can effectively meet the challenges they are facing together.
You typically send out a customer onboarding survey online and it contains between 5 and 10 questions which are a mix of qualitative and quantitative questions. It’s important to remember that the customer has not actually started using your product yet, so the goal is to obtain information about them that can help you make their experience better.
Customer onboarding surveys are useful because it shows customers that you care about them. If you ask the right questions in your survey, it demonstrates to the customer that you understand their pain and are invested in providing them with a solution. Valuable insights about customers can be stored in your customer success software for future reference. Also this information can be used to change the customer experience while they are using your product.
What Should be Included in an Onboarding Survey?
Include a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions
In order to gain a clear understanding of customers, you’ll need to use a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions to solicit their responses. Quantitative questions require an answer on a numbered scale and include a question like: “How likely are you to recommend our product to others?” which is an example of a Net Promoter Score (NPS) question.
Qualitative questions are open-ended and require respondents to write a free-form answer to explain why they have given a particular score. While quantitative questions are more scientific and can be compared, qualitative questions offer a deeper understanding of a respondent’s intention.
Limit the length of your survey
There’s nothing more off-putting for customers than a long survey that will take them twenty minutes to complete. A survey with lots of questions is unlikely to get answered, and customers may abandon it if they feel it is taking too long. That’s why it’s a good idea to include between five and ten questions.
You might want to include lots of questions to make your survey comprehensive but it’s better to expand the dataset that you can collect. It’s more useful to have more answers from a wider range of customers so you can make changes that impact the largest proportion of your customer base.
Make sure your questions are clear and easy to understand
Don’t include ambiguous questions in your survey or customers will simply want to skip over them. Ambiguous questions are when it’s not clear what you mean by the question and the answer isn’t immediately obvious.
Steer away from leading questions to your customer that seem to demand a particular sort of answer. Avoid questions like: “Data shows that our product has a marketing ROI of over 90%. Do you agree?” You don’t want to compel customers to give a particular answer – rather, you want to uncover genuine insights.
Questions should be straightforward with a simple answer to ensure the highest survey adoption possible. Stay away from jargon and overly technical language to ensure that comprehension is strong.
Sample Questions for Onboarding Surveys
1. What is the structure of your team?
Finding out more about the nature of your customer’s team is critical for SaaS companies that want to know about their customers. You’ll be able to get an idea of the structure of your customer’s team and the roles that each individual fulfills.
You will understand who will be responsible for setting up your SaaS product and who the main point of contact will be. This is the person who will be contacting support and attending training to learn how to use the product.
2. Why did you choose our business to help you?
It’s important to learn about the purchasing intent behind every customer’s decision to buy from you. You want to know why customers choose your business over others and what makes your SaaS company stand out in the marketplace.
When you have answers to these particular kinds of questions you can improve your marketing materials and the sales process. You can also take the opportunity to ask customers how they heard about your business so you can emphasize the most popular marketing channels.
3. What problem are you trying to solve with our product?
In the customer onboarding survey, you can find out from customers what exactly they are hoping to achieve with your SaaS product. When you know what goals your customers have based on the pain point they are struggling with, you are in a better position to add new features later down the line. You also have valuable data for your customer success team to work with when they are supporting customers to get the most out of your software.
You can also keep track of how close customers are to solving their problems with your software over time, which gives you an accurate indicator of customer health. If customers fail to solve their problem, they may be at risk of churn and your CSMs will need to intervene.
4. What are the hurdles in your present process?
Finding out about how your customer currently works is vital to learning about the efficiencies that can be gained with your software. Customers no doubt will have an existing way of working and will hoping that your product can help them improve productivity.
When you identify their inefficiencies you will be better placed to recommended features and functionality in your software that can help them. Each company is different and will have different requirements from your SaaS.
5. What are the typical challenges your team runs into?
This question expands upon the previous question. Your customer’s challenges are the sticking points that likely led the customer to your product initially, and are problems that they are hoping your SaaS will help them solve. You can capture these challenges so that your customer success team will be empowered to help your customer overcome them.
Customers need their hand held when it comes to finding out how your product can change their business for the better. You must prove to them that your solution is the right choice and reaffirm their decision.
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6. What does your usual day look like?
This question looks at how your customer is currently operating and the tasks that take up most of their time. If they are repeating certain tasks then maybe your product can help automate certain activities, or if a certain task is taking up a large proportion of their time then perhaps your product can step in.
It’s important to know as much about your customer’s activities so you can advise them on how your software can enhance productivity or save time. The answer to this question will help you learn how your customer will use your product and increase adoption.
How to Distribute Your Onboarding Survey
In order to distribute your customer onboarding survey you need to adopt the right software to ensure you can reach your customers. Popular options include Typeform and Google Forms, which enable you to create appealing surveys that you can email out to your customers as a link.
You’ll need to make sure your survey gets triggered just after they sign up for your SaaS, but before they dig into properly using your product. You can prompt customers to fill it in using a pop-up form, and maybe offer them an incentive to complete such as a discount on their first month’s subscription.
Our software, Churn360, offers the ability to send out customer surveys at a specific point in the customer journey. Churn360 provides customizable surveys that you can send through email or via in-app communications. You can capture real-time feedback and insights from your customers and include them in their health scores.
Ready to Create Good Onboarding Surveys?
Now you understand what a customer onboarding survey is, it’s time to start sending them out to your new customers. Onboarding is a vital stage in your customer’s journey before they have properly begun to engage with your business, and an opportunity to gather insightful feedback from newly acquired customers.
Obtaining feedback from your customers makes a better impression and shows that your business is professional. Answers to your survey are useful for every team, from support to customer success, to product, and allows your entire SaaS business to make improvements that benefit every customer.
Strike while the iron is hot and you’ll be able to take advantage of customers when they are eager and ready to share. Take advantage of our sample questions to start constructing onboarding surveys that will engage customers and solicit the best answers.