Research shows that 63% of customers’ purchase decisions are influenced by the level of support they get after the sale. When you make your new customers feel welcome, engaged, and connected to your brand from the very beginning, you build trust and loyalty, which results in more customers who stay with you longer.
A seamless onboarding process that quickly helps new clients get acclimated to your product or service will help you stand out from the competition and improve your customer retention rate. However, developing an effective onboarding process takes time and effort—two things that are often in short supply when you’re juggling the day-to-day tasks of managing existing customers.
You can speed up your journey to customer success with these free customer onboarding checklists and templates.
Onboarding actually starts before you and your customers dive into the details of your product. The goal of pre-onboarding (or preboarding) is to gain an understanding of your customer’s needs and expectations for your product or service. Preboarding also prepares you and your client for the onboarding process as you develop a strong working relationship.
Pre-onboarding is a great time to collect key information about your customers. You’ll need to know who your point of contact is and get information about other stakeholders. Ask your point person why they chose your company and what they hope to achieve by using your product or service. This sets expectations and guides the customer’s onboarding journey.
These templates will help you make sure your onboarding process starts off on the right foot:
New Client Onboarding Questionnaire (HubSpot)—This template is visually appealing and covers a wide swath of preboarding questions. It’s a great questionnaire for sharing across teams.
Client Onboarding Questionnaire Template (AgencyAnalytics)—Download this checklist if you want a literal checklist. There’s something so satisfying about checking that little box.
Client Onboarding Checklist for Small Businesses (HoneyBook)—HoneyBook keeps it short, sweet, and to the point in this checklist that’s ideal for small businesses.
A welcome email series that triggers when a new customer is acquired can save you a considerable amount of time and ensure you’re not missing out on important touchpoints. For example, if your product is a SaaS tool that helps small businesses run better, consider including an introduction to the features and benefits of the product in your email series. You can also use your email signature here to provide more information to the customer and point them to helpful links like your help page or contact details.
The following templates will guide you on how to communicate with your customers from day one:
Client onboarding email templates (LiveAgent)—You’ll find five onboarding email template ideas and a long list of subject line examples.
7 welcome email templates for nurturing new customers (Nutshell)—Nutshell provides real-life examples for each welcome email template so you can visualize the final version.
Free email templates for onboarding new clients (GoDaddy)—A succinct assortment of email ideas you can use with minimal modifications.
SaaS Onboarding Email Templates & Examples (Messaged)—Browse hundreds of real email examples to see what leading SaaS companies are including in their onboarding emails.
10 New Customer Welcome Email Templates (ProProfs)—These ready-to-use welcome email templates can help you build stronger relationships with new customers.
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Customer Education (+ How to Do It)
Since onboarding involves a large number of tasks, templates that cover the entire process can help you stay organized.
They also make it easier to delegate tasks and assign people to particular parts of the process, so every department knows exactly what part of the onboarding process they’re responsible for. A good example is the handoff between sales and customer success; it’s a critical part of onboarding. Making sure that the initial transition goes smoothly is crucial for long-term retention. By creating a repeatable process with checklists, you can ensure everything goes smoothly every time.
By using the below templates and checklists, you can create easy-to-follow guides to develop a repeatable onboarding process that saves you time:
Our New Client Onboarding Checklist (360Learning)—Our guide to onboarding that’s packed full of ways to help you jumpstart your customer relationships.
The Only Client Onboarding Checklist Template Your Business Will Ever Need (UserGuiding)—This is a comprehensive walkthrough of the onboarding process from preparation to kickoff.
Customer Onboarding Checklist (HubSpot)—This article includes a check-the-box list of critical metrics you should monitor during the onboarding process.
The 6-step client onboarding checklist (with template) (Zapier)—Zapier guides you through each step of the process and helps you establish a project plan once you’ve completed onboarding.
New client onboarding checklist (LiveAgent)—Make customer onboarding more efficient with this no-nonsense checklist of onboarding tasks and helpful tips.
Customer Onboarding Template, Customer Success (BeSlick)—A user-friendly template for getting new customers up and running fast.
10+ Client Onboarding Checklist Templates in Google Docs | Word | Pages | PDF | Numbers | Excel (Template.net)—If you’re inspired to create your own checklist, you can modify one of the templates in this list or use one of the blank templates.
The customer onboarding checklist every B2B SaaS company needs (EverAfter)—This checklist breaks the onboarding process down into different stages so you can track the progress of new customers.
Many teams focus their onboarding efforts on making sure their customers know how to get started with their service or product, but the most essential objective is to prepare customers for long-term success. The first time a customer interacts with your company sets the tone for how they perceive your products or services in the future. The more invested you are in helping your customers succeed with your product or service, the more likely you are to build a lasting relationship with them.
Keep in mind that onboarding doesn’t end once a customer has completed all of their initial tasks. Continue providing support throughout the customer life cycle, and keep an eye out for opportunities to improve your customer’s experience even further.
For instance, if you analyze your product usage and notice that a feature has low product adoption, consider creating an onboarding guide for that specific feature that you can distribute to all of your current customers. This type of ongoing onboarding gives you a great organic opportunity to interact with clients to see how they’re doing and what else they may need help with.