Garrett O'Brien

The Difference Between Client Onboarding and User Onboarding

Many people use the terms “client onboarding” and “user onboarding” interchangeably, but there are some key differences between these two things. Understanding the differences can help you choose the right onboarding software to meet your needs as you bring in new customers.


User Onboarding

User onboarding consists of a set number of steps that get a person set up to engage with your product. That often includes things like setting up a username and password and sending some basic instructions or short videos on how to start using your software program. It may also include helping people set up things like preferences or permissions within your system. In general, it’s a pretty quick process to get them up and running. For many companies, it doesn’t require an entire project management software, just some simple automated communications.


Client Onboarding

Client onboarding, on the other hand, is often a longer and more in-depth process than user onboarding. It’s usually going to take several weeks (perhaps even months, depending on the complexity of your product or service), and it’s a time when your onboarding team establishes and builds a relationship with a new client.

Your client onboarding process may include one or more steps to help with user onboarding. For example, if clients are preparing to use your accounting software program, one of the steps in your overall client onboarding process might be to set up all the usernames, passwords, preferences, and permissions within the system for the individual users. However, your full client onboarding process goes far beyond just giving out usernames and passwords.

In order to build this relationship, it’s essential that your team can communicate with the new clients throughout the process, complete all your tasks on time, and provide a five-star experience so the new clients are ready to succeed.



One of the key features that differentiates user onboarding from client onboarding is the concept of time-to-value (TTV). For more complex products or services, part of your onboarding goal should be to help the client see the value or ROI potential as quickly as possible. The sooner you can get clients to their TTV point, the more likely they will be to stay with you for the long term. Every company should know the point where clients achieve that TTV, but if you don’t, take a step back from your onboarding to figure it out using data from past clients who stayed or left, or by reviewing the key benefits and differentiating features of your product.

Successful client onboarding often includes user onboarding, but it’s more about building a relationship than just setting up a user in your system.

GuideCX improves your client onboarding process with a project management software that facilitates effective communication for internal and external teams, automates certain parts of the process for speedier time-to-value, and provides transparency to improve team member accountability. Find out more by contacting us for a demo today.

How GuideCX Can Improve Your New Customer Experience

The traditional processes for onboarding new clients are broken. If you are a company that brings on new clients, you probably already know this, but you continue working with emails, spreadsheets and clunky project management software because there isn’t a better option. The onboarding process is the first impression for many people and the time when new customers cement their opinion of your company and products. In fact, the customer experience you offer during implementation is, in itself, one of your products, so starting off on the wrong foot will affect your ability to retain clients in the long term.

At GuideCX we realized the process was broken and set out to make it better. Here are several ways that our client onboarding software can improve onboarding, and by extension, your new customer experience.


Better Engagement

One of the biggest pain points in implementation can be a lack of engagement and communication. While some onboarding work happens internally, if you don’t keep clients informed through the process, it can make them feel in the dark and result in escalations. How many times has the contract signer called the salesperson who calls the team to find out where things stand? GuideCX ends that. It allows you to add clients and internal stakeholders as users without paying for more licenses, so they can see the entire process. All parties get automatically notified even without logging in on critical matters like overall status, who has the ball and what is overdue, and holding up progress.


Scaling and Automation

You may have someone leading your onboarding team(s) today that is incredible. She or he probably knows onboarding for your products inside and out, juggling the responsibility of each team member and keeping the process moving along. Let’s scale that person’s impact! Creating a standardized process (to the extent that you can) helps you manage all the chaos that onboarding can bring—failure to have a standard process makes it hard for your team to identify bottlenecks and improve your customer experience across the board.

If you have several members of an onboarding team or several departments involved in the process of bringing on new clients, this is essential to keep everyone on track and be able to deliver on time, increasing time-to-value and setting new customers up for success. Templates in GuideCX allow you to do just that. This introduces a level of automation that relieves stress for everyone, accelerates project timelines, and increases your team’s bandwidth. With GuideCX running in the background, assignments and reminders are sent to the right people at the right time with the right information.


Customer Experience in 2020

Your clients and stakeholders are used to having seamless consumer experiences where they can track their packages, flights, and even pizzas. Give them that same experience with their onboarding and it will pay dividends far beyond a successful implementation/onboarding experience. You can significantly decrease the number of calls and emails asking for status updates, requesting information from clients, or requesting reports for high-level stakeholders and decision-makers on both sides. Let clients see the entire process, completion dates, and get automated reports for anyone on their team with GuideCX.

Find out why our clients are reporting faster timelines, more bandwidth, and fewer escalations by scheduling a demo with GuideCX today.

How “Proof of Concept” Helps Sell Your Product During Onboarding | GuideCX

When your sales team first engaged with a client, they were discussing ways that the products and services you provide can meet a need. They may have identified certain pain points or other gaps that are holding a client back from realizing their own potential. Once the sales team convinced the client that your product could give them the things they need or feel they are missing, they signed a contract and handed the account off to you. Now your job as the onboarding team is to prove that the product can do what they want it to.


Proof of Concept in Onboarding

Your clients are going to come into the onboarding process with a lot of ideas about how your product can help them achieve specific goals. The critical role of your onboarding team early on is to identify what those goals and ideas are, demonstrate how your product can meet those needs, and give clients the appropriate tools and training. Your processes need to be structured in a way that gets each client to the realization that your product can do what they want and it is what they thought as quickly as possible.


Best Practices During Onboarding

Structure your onboarding in a client-centric (as opposed to feature-centric) way to help them get to that first “aha” moment as quickly as possible, and to motivate them to keep moving through the onboarding process. That means understanding some of the stages that your new clients will go through and meeting their needs at each step.

  • Stage 1: Initial excitement and intrigue – clients are excited about the prospect that your product offers, so capture that excitement with an initial kickoff meeting and some initial communications to get them connected to your product (logins, etc.)
  • Stage 2: Interest and testing – they begin using your software so these onboarding steps should include customized or personalized training to show them the features and benefits that are most likely to solve the issues they have. Have clients do some of the work in this stage so they become invested in the product.
  • Stage 3: Desire to learn more – this is where your clients have seen the benefits that the product can provide and want to dive deeper into how it can help. That means you need to provide more in-depth training suited to their needs.
  • Stage 4: Commitment and success – clients have seen first-hand how beneficial this software can be and have experienced one (or more) “aha” moments where they see the value and potential. Provide them with case studies and best practices to further refine the way they use the product.

The sooner you can get them to Stage 4 the better, because they are more likely to purchase additional products, renew their contract, and recommend your product to others.

Proving your value is critical during the onboarding stage. Clients who don’t see an immediate value or ROI during the onboarding phase are less likely to stick around. Find out how GuideCX can help your team show proof of concept sooner in onboarding and keep more of your clients.

Onboarding Strategies When Your Clients are Medical Companies

Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S., especially when it comes to tech. An industry that was slow to adopt technology has recently started to see the value it can provide for better patient care and cost savings. If you sell products to medical companies, including providers, it’s important that your onboarding process is structured in a way to get the company, clinic, or providers up and running as quickly as possible.


1: Create a Plan

Medicine moves quickly, and since time is important in patient care, most providers, administrators, and clinics don’t have time to waste on a long, drawn-out onboarding process. They purchased your software with the hope of using it to care for patients, and your task is to get them to that point as quickly as you can. Having a clearly outlined plan with realistic timelines can help everyone stay on task.


2: Automate and Streamline

One of the biggest challenges in medicine is the lack of time—on the clinical side providers need to spend their time with patients, and on the administrative side, there are significant time demands for everything from hiring and medical billing to accounts receivable and working with payers. Automating as much of the onboarding as possible, and streamlining the things that you need from their team and yours can help you deliver quickly without putting undue stress on your new clients.


3: Communicate Throughout the Process

One of the best things you can do is set up systems to communicate regularly with your clients about what you need from them, and where the onboarding process is at any given time. With GuideCX you get a tool that:

  • Sends automated reports to anyone on your team or the client’s team
  • Allows you to create tasks for both your internal team and the client
  • Offers transparency for everyone on your team and theirs to see where the onboarding process is today, and what (if anything) is holding you up
  • Creates real-time projections for onboarding completion based on progress

Having all this built into your software means your team doesn’t have to spend time compiling this information manually, waiting for someone on the client’s team to deliver necessary information, or getting frustrated emails from executives who want to know why something wasn’t delivered on time or isn’t done yet.

Technology has the capacity to vastly improve medical care, and if you offer medical clients something that will help them in that space you need to ensure that onboarding goes smoothly so they can use the product to benefit their patients or their operations. Schedule a demo to see the GuideCX platform in action and learn how it can help.

Proven Strategies to Increase Your Client Onboarding Delivery Rate

Delivering on a promise is the goal of every business. While it’s important to deliver on your promises throughout a client-company relationship, it’s especially important at the very beginning during onboarding. Moving someone from excited prospect to effective user as quickly as possible is one of the key factors in creating long-term clients. Here are a few proven strategies to reduce time-to-value and increase your delivery rate during onboarding.


1: Know Your Client’s Goals

One of the first keys to creating value for your clients is to understand exactly why they purchased your product in the first place. What are the short-term and long-term goals they want to achieve, and how can your product help them get there? Once you know that you can effectively tailor your onboarding to meet those needs and help your clients see the value of your software sooner than later.


2: Automate What You Can

Next, automate as much of your onboarding possible. This removes the chance for errors, missed tasks, or things that just “fall through the cracks” when you are doing most of your onboarding manually. An important note here, though, is that you don’t want your clients to feel like they are just a number or an account code, so make sure you have an onboarding software platform that allows you to personalize and customize the process for each client (without losing the efficiencies of automation).


3: Create Standard Workflows

One of the biggest problems in the onboarding process is a lack of standardization. That means each individual onboarding team member is doing it his or her own way. When you’re small you may be able to get away with this, but as you scale up it becomes impossible to deliver an exceptional client onboarding experience if everyone has their own unique way of doing it. It’s also impossible to train a new team member on how to onboard clients because there isn’t just one way it’s done.

This also opens you up to the danger of having a key member of your team leave, which creates gaps and often it’s your clients who suffer the most (and eventually get frustrated and decide to leave) as a result of those gaps.


4: Communicate Constantly

Reducing the time-to-value for your clients and getting through onboarding means communicating in an effective way with everyone on the team. That includes:

  • Tasks and assignments for each team member
  • Status updates for managers and clients
  • Reporting on overall progress for your CEO or executive management
  • Keeping information about the project contained in one place

If your current process involves sending 10,000 emails from the start of onboarding through the end and hoping everyone on the team kept up with every conversation, it’s time to upgrade.

The GuideCX platform was built to help you streamline and improve your client onboarding. Find out more about how it can reduce overall onboarding time by an average of 30% when you schedule a demo today.

How Clients’ Short- and Long-Term Goals Guide Onboarding

In his bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, Stephen R. Covey noted that “most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” That’s not a useful trait in most conversations, but it’s especially harmful when it comes to client onboarding.

When your clients purchase your software or product they do so for very specific reasons. During the sales process, something (or maybe multiple things) made them think your product could solve a problem they are experiencing or have experienced. In most cases, your product probably can, but too many companies fail to listen to the client’s goals and end up not delivering what they need. Listening to your client’s short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals should guide your client onboarding.


Short-Term Goals: The First Win

Knowing your client’s short-term goals can help you get them to the “first win”. That’s the moment when the software you’re selling delivers something of value to the client. The shorter you can make this time-to-value, the more likely your client will maintain a level of excitement about your product. Even in industries where most goals will take longer, setting some short-term goals is essential to keep clients engaged early in the process.


Medium-Term Goals: Training and Data

Getting to the first win is important, but it’s far from the end of your onboarding journey. The next step is to make sure that you are providing the right training to help them hit their medium-term goals. Engagement early on will lay the groundwork for clients who adopt your software and utilize the tools available to learn more. It’s important that you don’t overwhelm clients with too much information or training at the beginning. Instead, create a streamlined and customizable training workflow of building blocks or stepping stones to take them from beginner to more advanced users.

During this time you should also track engagement on the client’s end. Having data on click-through rates for emails, views for videos, completion for training courses, and other things can help you determine whether you are providing the right information. A steep drop-off in engagement could signal that you’re missing the mark with a client and help you correct before they get frustrated and leave.


Long-Term Goals: Partnerships and Lifetime Value

Most people don’t purchase a brand new SaaS platform or software product that they think they will need or want to replace within a few months or a year (it’s a pain to go through the sales, purchase, and onboarding process again). During onboarding, it’s important to know the bigger picture of those long-term goals and help your client see that picture and how your software will get them there. If you fail to meet their expectations for growth in the future, they may leave sooner than you would like. Keeping the bigger picture in mind creates lasting partnerships and lifetime value for your clients.

Learn more with a demo from GuideCX, a client onboarding software that is setting a new standard in getting people engaged and onboard with your company.

How to Avoid Gaps in Client Onboarding with Remote Team Members

Client onboarding is often the first impression for your company beyond your sales team, which is why it’s so important that your onboarding goes smoothly. In most cases where you experience churn (clients that leave), it can probably be traced back to the onboarding process.

Even under the best circumstances, most companies don’t have a great onboarding process, if they have a process at all. They may rely on each individual person to know and remember, what steps to take to make it all happen. When you move from working together in an office location to remote work—as much of the world has in 2020 because of the COVID-19 virus—those disjointed processes are likely to cause serious issues. Since your onboarding can’t grind completely to a halt, here are some ways to avoid gaps when working remotely.


1: Clear Timelines for the Process

First, you need to have a clear timeline for your entire onboarding process, from start to finish, with realistic deadlines for each step. When you’re not connecting face to face, it’s even more critical that all of this is defined in your project management (PM) software. Most software programs have this in place, so use the tools to keep everyone in the loop about the next steps.


2: Assigned Roles with Transparency for the Entire Team

In addition to a timeline for when things will be completed, it’s vital that you have someone who owns each step of the client onboarding process. That includes ownership on the client-side for things that they need to complete in order for your onboarding project to move along. If clients don’t know what is expected of them, and when it needs to be done, they can just as easily hold up the process than someone on your team.


3: Client Visibility into the Process

One of the biggest downfalls of the majority of PM systems out there for client onboarding is that they are entirely focused on your internal team. This is helpful to keep everyone within your company on board, but it does nothing to keep your clients on board.

Rather than trying to remember to have someone update the clients periodically when everyone is working remotely, GuideCX gives clients access to the entire process without extra licensing fees or costs. They see in real-time the work you’re doing, what stage you are in, and what needs to be done to complete the onboarding. That includes notifying them about steps along the way that require them to provide information or take action within the platform.


4: Automated Communications

Many companies will tell you that one of their biggest challenges is communications, and that was the answer they gave before the entire team was working from home workstations, basement couches, and folding tables in the living room. When everyone is remote, communication is not just a bigger hurdle, it’s also critical. Doing it right is crucial to success. That’s why GuideCX has automated emails to alert the entire team about upcoming tasks, overdue items, and even reporting on the current status of an onboarding project. It keeps everyone in the loop without manually compiling reports and sending emails or Slack messages.

If remote work has made an already difficult onboarding process even harder for your team and you’re missing things, fill in the gaps with GuideCX. Schedule a demo to learn more today.

Guiding Your Financial Institution Clients Through the Onboarding Process

A few decades ago, people would choose a financial institution based primarily on location, and bank with the company with the closest branch to their neighborhood. Today, financial institutions face intense competition from across the street and around the country as consumers go online and find options for banking, savings, investing, loans, and more from a wide range of online and brick-and-mortar institutions. Many are feeling the crunch and turning to innovative new solutions that can help them stay ahead of the competition.

If you have a product that you sell to financial institutions to improve the way they attract and retain clients, it’s important to understand how to onboard your financial clients to maximize the use of your products and services so they can maintain that competitive edge.


Adopt Their Successful Strategies

The best financial institutions know that there is a critical window when a new customer decides to work with you that you need to maximize the relationship and demonstrate value. Many reach out to customers within the first few minutes of new account set up and offer information to help the person take important next steps, like setting up an online profile and making the first deposit.

If you sell products to financial institutions, you should have the same process of reaching out right away, developing a relationship, and guiding them through all the steps (like that customer who makes a first deposit) from start to finish. With good onboarding processes that determine how they plan to use your products, how they define success, and how your offerings will improve their business, you can guide them in the right direction.


Be Transparent Through the Process

As soon as your financial institution client signs the contract, it’s important to help them see and understand the entire onboarding process. Transparency is a valuable tool that helps them visualize all the work your team is doing behind the scenes and know when the promised deliverables are coming.

For many companies, transparency during onboarding is a challenge and requires someone to manually compile information about activities and communicate back and forth via email with the new client to show progress. The alternative of no communication is even worse, leaving clients feeling abandoned. GuideCX’s platform is different, giving clients insight and the ability to connect with you throughout onboarding.


Achieve TTV Quickly

Helping your financial institution clients see success early—a short time-to-value—is important to build a lasting relationship. Just like the customers, they work with, your financial institution clients need to see value from your products quickly. The sooner they identify an ROI, the more likely they will upgrade, buy again, or buy more in the future.


Improve Your Financial Client Onboarding

GuideCX offers a new way to onboard that is setting a new standard for companies that sell to financial institutions. To find out more about how it can work for you, schedule a demo today.