Customer satisfaction and success is paramount to having a successful business. Making sure your customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product helps you decrease the chances of churn and increase upsell opportunities.
Keeping your customers happy starts with onboarding. That’s where product tours come into play. In this blog, I will break down the value of product tours and how they actually improve your overall customer success efforts.
The Value of Product Tours for Customer Success
Long and boring user manuals or even minutes of walkthrough videos won’t get the job done anymore. Interactivity and gamification have been on the top of both design and education trends for the last decade, and they’re here to stay. You need a product tour that can show your customers around in a single experience.
Product tours allow you to present more in-depth demos. They can be used to bring your users closer to their “Aha!” moment, thus, increasing product activation, adoption, and retention rates. This will increases the chances of your customers better understanding your product and actually being successful while using it.
All software involves some kind of learning curve or friction that users must overcome before they can experience its true value. That’s exactly why onboarding is such an important step.
Customer Onboarding - An Essential Part of Any Customer Success Rep’s Job
As a SaaS business owner, one of your main goals should be to get your customers over the learning curve as quickly and efficiently as possible. This will help them get more out of what you’ve sold them, and out of their business relationship with you. You don’t want to run the risk of losing potential customers because they can’t figure out how to use your product from the get-go.
This is where product tours come into play. They introduce users to your software and help them navigate its features to discover its value. Product tours can serve as a great introduction for new users, as they can show the product UI and help the users come closer to understanding how everything works.
OneDrive keeps their product tour experience super short, while also providing a “Finish later” option.
Making sure your users understand your product from the start is essential to having your customers succeed. Therefore, user onboarding is crucial to improve the overall success of your product. Building a long-lasting relationship with your customers and retaining them right from the moment they onboard is the only way you can make sure you boost customer success.
Product Tours and How to Use Them During the Onboarding Phase
Having your users understand your product by experiencing it first-hand maximizes your chances of retaining those customers. Effective product tours are a crucial step in the onboarding phase. Instead of providing your customers with passive tutorials or key features highlights, you invite them to take meaningful actions and learn by doing.
Obviously, the way a user goes through product tours differs greatly if they’re a prospect versus if they’re already your customer, as their expectations from the product tour are different. If a prospect goes through your product tour, their main focus is to see if the product suits their needs and if it will help them reach their goals. Post-sale, though, the customer clearly wants to understand every bit of the product and how to efficiently use it.
Either way, by making your users become accustomed to your product by themselves through product tours, you reduce some of the inevitable friction that might occur. Besides, when the first experience users have with your product goes smoothly, they’ll be more likely to recognize its value and keep using it long-term.
Product tours are also helpful if you’ve made recent changes or brought relevant updates to your product that need to be introduced and explained to your users. They will be able to further experience your product’s value by interacting with it by themselves and seeing all improvements being rolled out.
Grammarly uses animated modal windows to guide new users through their product.
Sometimes, after the user goes through the onboarding stage and your initial product tour, they might have additional questions about certain features of your product. In this case, you might need to create different product tours, catering them to the different customer journey stages in which your users are situated:
- one for the pre-sale stage
- one for the onboarding stage
- maybe an advanced one for the adoption stage
Dumping too much info on a customer too fast is a surefire way to make them feel overwhelmed and raise their anxiety while interacting with your software. That’s something you never want to do.
Tumblr’s fun product tour is full of hotspots, tooltips, and many other tactics that are widely applicable for SaaS businesses too.
How Product Tours Improve Your Customer Success Efforts
The benefits of having product tours for your customer success efforts are plenty, no doubt. Here are some of the most notable ones:
A. Increased Adoption and Conversion Rates
Product tours are a foolproof way to give your users the virtual guidance they need for their first hands-on experience with your product. It’s a simple matter of show, don’t tell. By using interactive walkthroughs, you show the value of your product instead of just telling them about it. This will in turn increase your conversion and adoption rates, and provide more spaces to tease upsells.
B. Improved Engagement and More Upsell Opportunities
Guiding your users through product tours helps you display the real value of your product in an easy and engaging way. But for a SaaS company, that’s merely the first bite of the cake.
After your users become accustomed to your product, the goal is to keep them interested, so they keep using it. For example, you could deploy a product tour that shows premium features, so your free-version users could get a taste of the paid subscription, thus also increasing upsell opportunities.
C. Faster Customer Support
Besides reducing customer support expenses in general, a product tour will also save you lots of time otherwise spent on similar tickets.
Also, if you’re looking into implementing a product tour tool, like Apty, even your customer support team can easily build specific product tours that cater directly to different common customer questions.
Customer Success Is Your Success
Deploying a product tour that efficiently drives “Aha” moments for your users is close to an art form. There’s always the fine risk of it being a disruptive experience for your customers.
By designing your product tours with an in-depth understanding of how you can help your customer go through their journey, you can make sure they’re successful.
The benefits of running an engaging onboarding experience are immense for driving further customer success. A happy and loyal customer is what we strive for.
This is a guest blog by Philipp, CEO, Custify.