User onboarding


User onboarding is the initial introduction and training to a new process or digital tool. User onboarding is targeted towards new hires and new software users. In a digital adoption platform, user onboarding takes place within the tool using interactive guides to facilitate user autonomy. User onboarding must be based on pedagogy so that users learn to master their tools in the long-term.  

When to do onboarding? 

Within a company, three situations require user onboarding. 

  • The arrival of a new employee.

New employees need user onboarding to adopt company tools and processes and acquire the right skills to carry out their roles. 

  • The deployment of a new tool.

Users require training on core software (e.g. CRM, HRIS, ERP, etc.) to carry out their tasks effectively, boost confidence, and facilitate user autonomy for adoption.

  • Additional features within a tool.

Cloud software evolves frequently over time, in addition to selecting new features and modules. User training allows users to continually exploit software transformation.

Why is user onboarding essential?

Without user onboarding, users risk poor handling of digital tools, or worse, abandoned tools, resulting in additional and unplanned company costs.

If the user experience is negative, it can result in a series of events that prevent the digital adoption of tools:

  • Users can develop digital-related frustrations 
  • Abandoned tools result in skill gaps between users and the wider workforce 
  • Skill gaps lead to employee attrition when people subsequently leave the organization because of low satisfaction, low confidence, and frustration

Onboarding can be a standardized or personalized process that helps increase the time to value of software. It is a vital process that ensures users are not left to their own devices, since negative onboarding can severely impact the long-term use of software. Guiding users towards the right digital practices during onboarding facilitates training and confidence in their ability to use tools. 

What are the different steps of a successful user onboarding?

User onboarding can be customized according to a company’s needs, departments, and roles. Below are a few steps to ensure effective onboarding:

  • Consistent communication on the new tool.

Communicating about a new tool and user expectations clarifies how it will integrate into the day-to-day task of users.

  • Software training.

Training with a digital adoption platform allows users to understand relevant functionalities of a tool in real-time. It is a way to accompany users through day-to-day and less frequently used functionalities.

  • Onboarding that integrates into the day-to-day life of users.

Accessible onboarding resources, long after the introduction to a tool, will help users in the long term, reducing support requests and accelerating adoption. 

  • Personalized onboarding according to user profiles.

Onboarding adapted to different user departments, operations, or roles enables personalized user support. While users might receive the same standardized training, they also require individual skills specific to their roles.

How do you know if your user onboarding is effective? 

Selecting performance indicators to measure the impact of your user onboarding will give you an idea of its effectiveness. 

Here are a few indicators to take into account: 

  • The effectiveness of training (e.g., user autonomy on their tools).

Analyze the number of support requests since implementation, time spent on training modules, repeat training modules, number of support questions asked, etc. Successful user onboarding will reduce support requests.

  • The amount of software training deployed.

Count the number of annual training sessions provided, as well as the number of extra training sessions taken by users. Facilitate qualitative feedback to measure user satisfaction with their performance. Once your users master their tools, there will be less training on the same subjects and higher rates of satisfaction.

  • Optimization of internal processes.

Onboarding trains users on their company’s digital tools. As a result, the tools and functionalities deployed by the company are correctly used, and the processes are standardized. 

  • Better user experience.

User support leads to better user experience and employee satisfaction (effective use of the software, fewer digital frustrations, job satisfaction etc.).


Sarah C

Sarah oversees all things inbound marketing, exploring the many business uses and topics surrounding digital adoption. Her previous experiences include B2C and product marketing in the social listening space, uncovering emerging industry trends.
User support

User support

User support is the assistance provided to software users when encountering technical issues or questions regarding the product or service.