How to Create a New Customer Onboarding Checklist: 2024 Guide

New customer onboarding checklist

New customer onboarding is a pivotal journey that can transform initial interactions into long-term relationships.

In the onboarding process every step matters—the way you welcome your users to the platform, educate and navigate them through it, how you react in cases of friction, and how you engage with them along their journey.

If you manage to provide each customer with an unparalleled user experience, there’s a great chance they will stay with you for a long time, drive continual revenue growth, and help you expand your reach through referrals. Still, it is not an easy task to indulge everyone’s preferences, but with the right team, tools, and checklist, it is more than possible.

In this article, we will present you with step-by-step instructions on how to create a new customer onboarding checklist and its benefits for a SaaS business, so stay with us!

What’s Customer Onboarding?

First, let’s go over the definition of customer onboarding and its key segments.

Customer onboarding in a SaaS business refers to the process of guiding new users through the initial stages of product adoption and integration into their operations and workflows. The main aim of customer onboarding is to ensure customers understand the software’s key features quickly so that they can engage with and gain value from it in the shortest amount of time.

The main segments of customer onboarding for a SaaS business include:

  • Introduction to your service or product — This is the time to familiarize users with the software’s features, functionalities, and benefits.
  • Training and guidance — Offering walkthroughs and tutorials to help customers understand so they can navigate the platform easily.
  •  Account setup — Assisting users in setting up their accounts and configurations based on their needs.
  • Encouraging engagement — Motivating user interaction by underlining software’s key features and functionalities relevant to their goals.
  •  Ensuring customers recognize the product’s value — Helping users achieve their desired goals ensures value realization early on. (Value realization is when a customer experiences the value of your service or a product.).
  • Collecting feedback — Gathering user feedback helps you understand their overall experience, satisfaction, and challenges.

Why Do You Need a New Customer Onboarding Checklist?

The key objective of a customer onboarding checklist is to ensure that every customer has a consistent and standardized onboarding experience.

The customer onboarding process checklist helps you cover all the crucial steps and minimize errors and oversights. When you have a clear roadmap and a streamlined onboarding process for both teams and clients, the whole onboarding process becomes more efficient.

Finally, a well-structured onboarding process guided by a checklist provides a smoother experience for your users, which increases customer satisfaction.

Steps to Creating a New Customer Onboarding Checklist

If you wish to set up the onboarding process for success, you need to prepare it even before the first sign-up. Therefore, let’s see what a checklist for onboarding new customers should look like in each onboarding stage:

Pre-onboarding stage

  1. Welcome bundle creation — Create welcome emails, videos, and guides to properly introduce new users to your platform. 
  2. Data collection — Make sure to gather user information to personalize the onboarding experience.
  3.  Internal team briefing — Ensure sales, product, support, and other teams are briefed on the onboarding process.

Onboarding stage

  1. Customer segmentationPerform customer segmentation to categorize users into cohorts based on their similar traits. This allows you to create a personalized onboarding experience for each customer segment. With customer success platforms like Akita, you can perform customer segmentation based on any trait you find important, track their activities and interactions, get metrics, and analyze customer data to adapt onboarding strategies to each client.
  2. Welcome email — When welcoming a new user to your platform, the best option is to send a personalized welcome message immediately after a sign-up (or subscription).
  3. Orientation materials — Ensure your clients have access to various materials, like guides and video tutorials, within the platform.
  4. Setup assistance — Assist users by offering step-by-step instructions to help them set up their profiles or accounts.
  5. Key feature introduction — Introduce key features and emphasize their value to new customers through resources or tutorials.
  6. Configuration assistance —  Help users run through the initial configuration smoothly.
  7. Interactions — Check in and offer assistance, if necessary, by initiating personal outreach via email, chat, or call.

Follow-up and support stage

  1. Collecting feedback — Gather feedback manually or automatically for insights. 
  2. Response — Ensure prompt responses to user issues or queries during onboarding.
  3. Check-ins — Schedule periodic check-ins to make sure that users are progressing as planned.
  4. Additional resources — Provide support resources like FAQs and help centers for self-assistance.

Post-onboarding stage

  1. Key metrics evaluation — Frequently evaluate key metrics to assess the onboarding process. 
  2. Identifying areas for improvement — Use gathered information to enhance the onboarding process continually. 
  3. User engagement plan — Create a plan to maintain user engagement in the post-onboarding phase.
  4. Upselling or cross-selling — Offer opportunities to upgrade or expand services based on your customer’s preferences and needs.
  5. Retention strategies — Implement retention strategies to nurture loyalty and engagement beyond onboarding.

Carefully go over the steps for creating a good customer onboarding and then create a strategy.

customer and customer service on a call

What to Do After an Onboarding Call

After an onboarding call, it’s crucial to take certain actions to ensure a smooth transition for a new user. 

To recap the key points discussed over the phone, send a follow-up email that outlines them and suggests the next steps. Don’t forget to share relevant self-learning resources, like guides or video tutorials, and set clear expectations when it comes to timelines for steps or task completion. Schedule future calls to stay tuned or address any challenges or queries, and make sure to collect feedback on the onboarding call experience or provided information. 

It’s vital to record call details in your CRM or internal documentation so that everyone on the team can stay updated. Once you get familiar with the user’s preferences and needs, make sure to send personalized content

Finally, it’s important to track user progress or interactions to identify areas in need of support and to offer additional assistance if necessary. Also, to motivate clients in their onboarding journey, make sure to celebrate their milestones or achievements within the software. 

How Can a Checklist Improve Your Client Onboarding Workflow?

A customer onboarding process checklist can enhance client onboarding workflows by providing consistency, structure, and efficiency throughout the process.

A checklist serves to outline all crucial steps and actions required for successful onboarding, ensuring that everything, including tasks, is in the onboarding process. Teams can work more efficiently when the workflow is streamlined, and this is precisely what this checklist serves for. It allows team members to focus on executing tasks instead of guessing and determining which comes next, and it facilitates communication with team members and clients.

When it comes to the enterprise customer onboarding checklist, the key benefits are scalability and consistency. A checklist ensures scalability by maintaining consistency in the onboarding process, no matter the size of the client base. It ensures that each new client gets the same quality of service — every time!


Implementing a new customer onboarding checklist is essential for a SaaS company aiming to provide exceptional experiences to all its new customers. The first step toward successful onboarding that can answer every client’s needs and demands is understanding the user’s persona and behavior. This is precisely where Akita can help you. By serving as a hub for all your customer data, metrics, and activities, it allows you to get a full overview of each customer, understand their requirements and challenges, and create a personalized onboarding approach for everyone!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should a customer onboarding checklist be updated or reviewed?

The customer onboarding checklist should be reviewed after each onboarding stage. By analyzing user feedback, you can determine whether the checklist needs to be updated to remain effective and relevant.

Can a customer onboarding checklist be automated?

Absolutely! Many aspects, like reminders, special tasks, customer segmentation, collecting feedback, and email sequences, can be automated to streamline the process.

What impact can a new customer onboarding checklist have on customer retention?

The checklist ensures that each onboarding process is well-structured and standardized, which contributes to higher user satisfaction and, ultimately, potentially enhanced customer retention rates.

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