Sales

12 Must-Have Customer Onboarding Software Solutions for 2023

Published on November 17, 2021 • Updated on February 3, 2023 • About 15 min. read

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No matter how great your product is, if customers can’t figure out how to use it (or where to go for help) they won’t stick around. That’s why having the right customer onboarding software is so important. It helps you automate certain tasks so you can focus on the more personal aspect of giving a great customer onboarding experience.

We spoke with Chadhlia Mazouz, Customer Success Manager (CSM) at Livestorm, to get her perspective on why customer onboarding software is about to be your new best friend. We’ve also reviewed the 12 best tools, so you can set your customers up for success.

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What is customer onboarding software?

Customer onboarding software helps you efficiently introduce new customers to your products and services. It helps them set up accounts, access educational materials, and get personalized support. It’s like a wingman for new users.

"When you're handling multiple clients, it can be difficult to remember where everyone is in their customer journey," says Chadhlia Mazouz, CSM at Livestorm. Software can help you build a robust customer onboarding process, minimize human errors, and focus your efforts on resolving common customer success challenges (like showing them how your product is about to change their lives!).

12 Best customer onboarding software to look out for

Using video for sales is your ​​secret weapon for closing deals. It's all about that human connection, face-to-face communication, and building rapport with your customers.

That’s why a video conferencing platform like Livestorm, ideal for virtual sales meetings and client shadowing sessions, has made it to the top of our list. But you need a few other tricks up your sleeve to automate your onboarding process and showcase your value to customers.

Here's our selection of the 12 best customer onboarding software solutions to help boost your ROI:

  1. Livestorm: Best all-in-one video conferencing tool
  2. Inline Manual: Best customer education platform
  3. Loom: Best asynchronous video onboarding software
  4. Whatfix: Best digital adoption platform
  5. Userpilot: Best for behavior-triggered experiences
  6. Appcues: Best user onboarding tool
  7. Maze: Best user testing tool
  8. Mixpanel: Best product analytics tool
  9. Nickelled: Best product tour software
  10. Walkme: Best interactive guidance platform
  11. Pendo: Best product experience platform
  12. Hopscotch: Best code-based interactive product tour platform

We’ll cover each of these in detail.

1. Livestorm: Best all-in-one video conferencing tool

Team hosting a live customer onboarding session on Livestorm

Livestorm is a browser-based video engagement tool that lets you host engaging virtual sales calls, live client onboarding sessions, and software product demos. "We host our client training on Livestorm so they can get a sense of the look and feel as end-users," explains Chadhlia. "We involve them as participants by using our engagement features."

Livestorm integrates with 1000+ widely used apps like Salesforce, HubSpot, Zapier, MailChimp and Slack - to become a seamless part of your existing workflow. It’s ideal for customer success teams of all sizes that want to run live customer training, deminars, and any virtual events where audience interaction is key.

Livestorm’s key features

  • The Transcript app gives you a recorded written summary of your onboarding calls so you can easily share meeting recaps after the fact.
  • Customizable virtual meeting rooms let you change background colors, edit call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and add your company logo to emphasize your branding.
  • CRM integrations like HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Google Sheets, and Zenkit let you add new users as customers and create lead-nurturing campaigns.
  • Engagement features like live polls, chat, and Q&A sessions make your customer training sessions more interactive.
  • Scheduling tools like the Google Calendar integration mean you can organize virtual sales meetings directly from your calendar — and attendees can join from the meeting invite.
  • ISO 27001 compliance with Transport Layer Security (TLS) ensures that all your voice, video and customer data is encrypted.

Livestorm’s pricing

Livestorm offers a free plan for up to 10 registrants per event. If you want to host 100 to 500 attendees, you can opt for the Pro plan at $88 per month. Or, if you want to host up to 3000 live attendees, you can request a quote for the Business and Enterprise plan.

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2. Inline Manual: Best customer education platform

Inline Manual automated workflow for customer onboarding

Inline Manual is a customer education platform designed to make walk-throughs and task lists scalable, customizable, and easy for your users to access. It also supports 70+ languages and translations, so your onboarding is global. It's best suited for established small businesses that aren’t likely to have a sudden increase in user base.

Inline Manual’s key features

  • In-app walkthroughs embedded into your product help users quickly learn about features.
  • Automated workflows like form filing, task lists, and checklists take repetitive manual tasks off your hands.
  • Collect instant feedback through Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer satisfaction surveys within the application.
  • Customize the onboarding experience with fully branded templates.
  • Integrated analytics help you track user engagement and measure the success of your onboarding program.

Inline Manual’s pricing

You can test the platform for 14 days for free without giving your credit card details. After the trial period, the Standard PRO plan starts from $158/month for 250 monthly active users (MAUs). You can customize your package as you grow and add more users.

3. Loom: Best asynchronous video onboarding software

Send video messages efficiently with Loom

Loom is a screen-share recording tool that’s useful for creating short video tutorials. It's great for remote client onboarding because you can walk new users through specific product features and demonstrate how to complete tasks within your product. These quick videos can be shared asynchronously to allow customers to watch in their own time.

Loom’s key features

  • Browser-based platform so your customers don't need to download any software.
  • Share videos instantly with colleagues and customers via email or links.
  • Edit videos easily with built-in tools for trimming or stitching two recordings together
  • Automatic captioning of recordings for improved accessibility.
  • Viewers can leave comments, likes, or questions directly on the video page.
  • Analytics like view count help you measure engagement.
  • Integrations with Slack, G Suite, Salesforce, Notion, and Dropbox to play embedded or inline videos.

Loom’s pricing

You can record up to 25 videos with the free plan. But if you want unlimited recordings, then you can opt for the Pro plan at $8/month/user. And if you want features like advanced content privacy and Salesforce integration, you can request a custom quote for the Enterprise plan.

4. Whatfix: Best digital adoption platform

Whatfix customized analytics widgets dashboard

Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that helps you scale customer success, onboarding, and sales enablement initiatives. It's ideal for small and medium businesses for user onboarding and support and enterprises for digital adoption, employee training, and change management.

Whatfix’s key features

  • Interactive Walkthroughs ensure users can navigate your application quickly and understand how to use the product efficiently.
  • Contextual clues and micro-learning modules enable users to discover features independently and get help when needed.
  • In-app surveys and polls help you collect user feedback and measure product usage.
  • Integrations with popular web applications such as Salesforce, Oracle, and ServiceNow make the transition to Whatfix easier.

Whatfix’s pricing

Whatfix offers fully-customized pricing and can vary based on your application of their product, user, or customer base and the number of walkthroughs you need. You can request a quote or a free demo to test its capabilities.

5. Userpilot: Best for behavior-triggered experiences

Userpilot in-app messages based on user behavior

Userpilot is a no-code tool that automatically detects the user's behavior. It then uses this data to analyze customer action within the product and points them in the right direction. It can also search for relevant training content based on a user's role or segment, making onboarding simpler. Userpilot is best for medium to large businesses as its pricing is higher than other tools like Maze, Walkme, and Hopscotch.

Userpilot’s key features

  • In-app messages can be triggered based on user behaviors.
  • A/B testing allows you to experiment with different onboarding workflows.
  • Create user personas and tailor experiences for different roles.
  • Collect feedback instantly to increase your NPS.
  • Goal completion tracking measures the success of your onboarding program.

Userpilot’s pricing

You can test the platform with a 14-day trial without giving your credit card details. After the trial period, the Traction plan starts from $249 per month for up to 2,500 MAUs, and the Growth plan starts from $499 per month for up to 10,000 MAUs. If you want advanced features like security audit and compliance, and priority support, then you can opt for the Enterprise plan starting from $1,000 per month.

6. Appcues: Best code-free user onboarding tool

Appcues custom onboarding workflows

Appcues is a code-free product adoption platform that lets you create interactive onboarding experiences. It's a great tool for non-technical product managers as it reduces dependency on engineering resources and pushes quick tests. Appcues is best suited for large enterprises because its price soars as the number of MAUs increase.

Appcues’ key features

  • Drag and drop builders let you create custom onboarding flows with ease.
  • Segmentation and user targeting based on persona, role, and usage help you personalize onboarding experiences.
  • A/B testing lets you optimize user experiences without any coding.
  • Advanced analytics measure metrics like time-to-value, user adoption, and event tracking.
  • Integrations with apps like Salesforce, HubSpot, Zendesk, and Slack for improved user experience.

Appcues’ pricing

You can opt for a 14-day trial limited to 3 users before you commit to any pricing plan. The Growth plan starts from $859 per month for up to 2500 MAUs, but if you need a plan for 20000+ MAUs, you can request a custom quote for the Enterprise plan.

7. Maze: Best user testing tool

Maze user testing screen

Maze is an online testing tool that helps you validate your product concepts, roadmaps, and designs. It's intended for unmoderated user testing but you can also sit with your customers while they take your tests and moderate their progress. Maze is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses as the price point is affordable and flexible.

Maze’s key features:

  • Card sorting helps you understand how users navigate your product and group information
  • Build tree testing workflows to measure user comprehension and efficiency when discovering new features in your product
  • Create surveys to collect feedback from users and generate shareable reports.
  • Integrations with design and prototyping tools like InVision, Marvel, Sketch, and Figma ensure a seamless user experience.

Maze’s pricing:

The free plan is limited to 1 active project and only 300 viewable responses a year. The Pro plan starts from $79 per month for up to 10 projects and 1800 reach email sends and viewable responses a year. If you require additional features like SSO, password protection, unlimited projects, and custom templates, you can request a custom quote for the Organization plan.

8. Mixpanel: Best product analytics tool

Mixpanel analytics based on user behavior and segmentation

Mixpanel is an analytics tool that uses an event-based model to gather user data. It's ideal for SaaS businesses that want detailed insights into user behavior and are confident building their own dashboards using its drag-and-drop interface. In theory, anyone can do it, but having some technical expertise might help you get more out of the platform using APIs (it helps to have a developer on-side for troubleshooting too!).

Mixpanel’s key features

  • Analytics system gathers metrics like the number of active users, exit rate, bounce rate, and retention rate.
  • Customizable dashboards let you monitor and set alerts for the metrics you’re most interested in.
  • Data integrations with tools like Snowflake, Redshift, and BigQuery make it easy to import data.
  • Advanced segmentation capabilities allow you to break down user behavior into granular traits like devices and locations.

Mixpanel’s pricing

The free version lets you track 100K monthly users, while the Growth plan at $25 per month lets you save unlimited data reports, modeling, and email support. You can also build your plan based on the number of monthly users or request a custom quote for expert advice.

9. Nickelled: Best product tour software

Nickelled user interaction analytics of your customer onboarding process

Nickelled is a simple product tour software that lets you add interactive guides, customized tooltips, and dialogue boxes to nudge new users and facilitate their onboarding journey. It's best suited for small to medium-sized teams looking for an all-in-one platform to handle product tours, help desk, and customer success initiatives.

Nickelled’s key features

  • Dynamic guided tours help highlight important features, provide context and explain the value proposition of your product or feature.
  • Hotspots and tooltips provide contextualized help for users so they can navigate knowledge base articles, FAQs, and customer support channels.
  • On-page help assistants offer direct access to learning resources and customer support channels.
  • Custom templates let you create consistent branding across different product tours.
  • Integrations with JavaScript installations and workforce browser extensions provide a unified experience.

Nickelled’s pricing

Unlike other tools in this list, Nickelled isn’t limited by MAUs and is tailored to your application landscape and user usage. You can request a custom quote or a free demo before committing to any pricing plan.

10. Walkme: Best interactive guidance platform

Walkme user session recordings

Like Whatfix, Walkme is another digital adoption platform that offers contextual training, onboarding, and support solutions. It's best suited for SaaS businesses with 150 users or less who want a holistic approach to digital transformation.

Walkme’s key features

  • Dynamic guided tours help users familiarize themselves with a product quickly.
  • Smart walkthroughs provide contextual clues, hints, and prompts to help guide the user through their journey.
  • AI-backed systems help improve retention and find customers likely to churn.
  • User recordings make it easy to monitor behavior and improve user experience.
  • Integrations with popular third-party apps like Zendesk, Salesforce, and ServiceNow for seamless integration into your workflow.

Walkme’s pricing

Walkme offers a complete custom pricing plan based on the size of your user base. You can request a quote or a free demo to explore its capabilities.

11. Pendo: Best product experience platform

Pendo A/B testing functionality dashboard

Pendo helps SaaS businesses increase user engagement and retention with real-time product usage insights. It uses this feedback to automate and tailor onboarding and other in-app communications. Pendo is ideal for enterprise-level businesses as the insights are better suited for a higher customer base.

Pendo’s key features

  • In-app guides let you communicate with customers in real-time and automate the onboarding process.
  • Analytics and user paths provide insight into user behavior, product usage, and customer health scores.
  • Instant feedback with NPS surveys helps you measure customer satisfaction and identify areas of improvement.
  • A/B testing functionality allows you to test different versions of your mobile app or website and measure the impact.
  • Integrations with 30+ tools like Jira, Snowflake, Figma, and Webhooks make connecting and sharing data easy.

Pendo’s pricing

You can opt for the free version if you have 500 MAUs but don't mind limited access to analytics and in-app guides. If you're ready to move to the next step, you can request a custom quote based on your MAUs, analytics and the support required.

12. Hopscotch: Best code-based interactive product tour platform

Hopscotch enables developers to build interactive product tours tailored to a user's specific needs. It helps developers insert custom content like images, text, and videos into product tours using JSON inputs and APIs. The code-based approach also allows developers to customize tours using CSS and JS files. Hopscotch is best suited for SaaS businesses that don't mind getting hands-on with code.

Hopscotch user segmentation based on conditional logic

Hopscotch’s key features

  • Conditional logic lets you target segmented audiences and apply rules to the customer journey.
  • Customize product tours with drag-and-drop builders to add text, images, and videos.
  • Full browser software development kit (SDK) allows developers to create code-based frameworks.

Hopscotch’s pricing

The Start plan, at $99 per month, supports up to 3000 MAUs, so this is ideal if you're an early-stage startup. If you've got up to 20,000 MAUs, you can opt for the Growth plan at $249 per month or request a custom quote for the Enterprise plan.

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Why is customer onboarding software so important?

Onboarding software helps you gain a better understanding of how users interact with your product and identify areas of improvement. Its benefits include:

  • Improved customer retention
  • Reduced churn
  • Boost referrals
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improved product adoption
  • Accurate customer insights
  • Reduced risk of errors

How to choose your onboarding software

When choosing onboarding software, there are some essential things to remember.

1. Top-quality video conferencing software

Your customers need to have a great online user experience, even if it’s virtual. Whether it's virtual sales calls or a product demo, the video conferencing software should be reliable and user-friendly. For example, Livestorm's rooms have a maximum of 1080p resolution.

2. Personalize user experiences

Your customers have different needs, learning styles, and preferences. Look for onboarding software that allows you to build interactive, personalized tours and walkthroughs that allow them to choose their journey. Appcues, for example, lets you segment users and provide unique experiences based on persona, role, and usage.

3. Automation

Automated workflows like emails, tasks, notifications, and surveys help you streamline and scale up onboarding processes. Maze, for example, integrates with design tools like InVision and Figma to allow continuous user testing. Similarly, Userpilot's A/B testing feature lets you check how effective your onboarding is.

4. Analytics and Reporting

User engagement metrics like time-to-value, user adoption, and event tracking help you understand user behavior. Tools like Livestorm, Appcues, Inline Manual, and Userpilot have in-depth analytics to measure user engagement.

Which client onboarding software is right for you?

Choosing the right onboarding software is a matter of knowing your MAUs, budget, customer segmentation, and analytics needs.

If you're looking for a product analytics tool, Mixpanel is the best choice. If you want to improve your user onboarding, Appcues or Whatfix are good options as they offer detailed analytics based on user behavior, events and actions performed. Similarly, if you love coding, Hopscotch will give you ultimate control over product tours.

But hands-off customer education will only get you so far. To really build a rapport with your customers and make sure they understand the value of your product, you need a well-rounded video engagement tool. Livestorm will suit you best if you're looking for a high-quality customer communication app with automated workflows and interactive features like live chat, polls and surveys.

Frequently asked questions about customer onboarding software

What’s the best way to onboard new clients?

The best way to onboard new clients is to create a personalized journey tailored to their individual needs. Here are a few essential steps to onboard new clients:

  1. Send the welcome email
  2. Create an onboarding questionnaire to assess their goals
  3. Host live training sessions
  4. Sign-post additional resources like ‘How to’ videos and manuals
  5. Shadow the client’s first project

Who handles customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding is handled by a combination of different teams and individuals within a company. It can include:

  • Sales or business development team
  • Customer success or account management team
  • Training or onboarding team
  • Operations or implementation team
  • IT team

What are the benefits of onboarding?

The benefits of onboarding include:

  • Reduced churn
  • Boosted referrals
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Improved product adoption

What is the difference between customer onboarding and customer success?

The difference between customer onboarding and customer success is that customer onboarding involves getting new customers set up and familiarized with a company's products or services. Customer success is the ongoing process of ensuring that customers are achieving their desired outcomes and getting value from the products or services.

What are the four phases of customer onboarding?

Introducing a new user to a product or service isn’t a one-time event. It’s a journey that aims at long-term engagement and success. Not all businesses will have the same onboarding phases, but here are the four common ones:

  1. Pre-onboarding: This is the first phase of onboarding, where the customer receives an introduction to your product or service and sets expectations for the journey ahead.
  2. Activation: At this stage, customers will often learn how to use your product or service through guided tutorials. They will also be introduced to the customer success team or customer support.
  3. Retention: This stage focuses on engaging and retaining customers by providing them with meaningful content, information, and resources that keep them actively using your product or service.
  4. Expansion: This is the last stage of onboarding, and it focuses on upselling and cross-selling new products or services to further their success.
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