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Glossary of Marketing Terms

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What is customer onboarding survey?  

A customer onboarding survey is a questionnaire sent to new customers to gather information about their needs, goals, and expectations. This survey is designed to ensure that businesses understand the specific details that are important to the client and to align their team's efforts with the client's objectives.  

The primary goal of a customer onboarding survey is to facilitate a smooth and effective onboarding process, keeping new customers engaged with the business and ensuring that their needs are met from the very beginning.

What are the benefits of using a customer onboarding survey?  

Customer onboarding surveys are a powerful tool for businesses to gather valuable feedback from new customers during the crucial onboarding process. Here are some key benefits of using them:

Improved customer experience:

  • Identify pain points: Uncover any difficulties or frustrations customers encounter while setting up or using your product/service. This allows you to address these issues and smooth out the onboarding journey.
  • Personalized onboarding: Insights from surveys can help tailor the onboarding experience to different customer segments or needs. This personal touch can increase customer satisfaction and engagement.
  • Measure onboarding effectiveness: Track key metrics like completion rates for onboarding steps or time taken to complete the process. Surveys can help identify areas where the onboarding process can be optimized for efficiency.

Increased customer retention:

  • Boost customer satisfaction: By addressing onboarding pain points and providing a smooth experience, you can increase customer satisfaction from the start. Satisfied customers are more likely to stay with your business.
  • Reduce churn: A well-designed onboarding process can significantly reduce customer churn. Surveys help ensure customers understand the value proposition of your product/service and feel confident using it.
  • Identify at risk customers: Surveys can help identify customers who are struggling during onboarding. This allows you to provide them with targeted support and prevent them from churning early on.

Enhanced product development:

  • Gather feature feedback: Surveys can be used to gather feedback on specific features or functionalities. This helps identify areas for improvement and prioritize future product development efforts.
  • Understand customer needs: Gain deeper insights into customer needs, expectations, and pain points. This information can be used to refine your product roadmap and ensure it aligns with customer requirements.
  • Benchmark performance: Compare your onboarding experience against industry benchmarks or your own historical data to track progress and identify areas for improvement.

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How to create a good customer onboarding survey?  

Here's how to create a good customer onboarding survey to gather valuable feedback and optimize your customer journey:

Define your goals:

  • Identify what you want to learn: Before crafting questions, determine your specific goals. Do you want to assess onboarding experience, identify pain points, or gather feature feedback?
  • Align with onboarding stages: Consider tailoring questions to different stages of the onboarding process (e.g., initial sign-up, core feature usage).

Craft effective questions:

  • Focus on the "why": Move beyond "satisfied?" and delve deeper with open-ended questions like "What challenges did you face during setup?".
  • Actionable Insights: Frame questions to yield actionable data for improvement, like "Which feature was most helpful?".
  • Mix of question types: Use a variety of formats like multiple choice, Likert scale (strongly disagree-strongly agree), and open-ended questions.
  • Keep it concise: Limit the survey length (5-10 minutes) to avoid overwhelming new customers.

Design and delivery:

  • Mobile-friendly: Ensure the survey is optimized for mobile devices, as many users access email on their phones.
  • Clear instructions and progress bar: Provide clear instructions at the beginning and a progress bar to show how much longer it takes.
  • Thank you message: Express gratitude to customers for their time and feedback.
  • Multiple channels: Offer surveys through email, in-app pop-ups, or within the onboarding flow based on your goals and customer preferences.

Post-survey actions:

  • Analyze the data: Don't just collect data; analyze it to identify trends and common themes in customer feedback.
  • Action: Develop action plans based on feedback. Communicate these actions back to customers to show you're listening and taking their concerns seriously.
  • Close the loop: If a customer expresses a specific issue, follow up with them directly to address it and demonstrate responsiveness.

Additional tips:

  • Personalize the survey: When possible, personalize the survey with the customer's name and specific onboarding stage.
  • A/B Test different versions: Try out different versions of your survey to see which one gets a higher completion rate and yields better data.
  • Incentivize participation: Consider offering a small incentive for completing the survey, like a discount code or loyalty points.
  • Maintain anonymity: Assure customers that their responses will be anonymous to encourage honest feedback.

What to include in your customer onboarding survey?  

Here's a breakdown of what to include in your customer onboarding survey:

1. Introduction and context:

  • Briefly introduce the survey and its purpose (e.g., "Thank you for signing up! We'd love to hear about your onboarding experience").
  • Mention the estimated time to complete the survey (keep it concise, ideally under 10 minutes).
  • Assure anonymity of responses to encourage honest feedback.

2. Understanding the customer:

  • Include a question or two to understand the customer's background and goals (e.g., "What are you hoping to achieve with our product/service?").
  • This helps segment the feedback based on user types and tailor the onboarding experience accordingly.

3. Feedback on specific stages:

  • If your onboarding process has distinct stages (e.g., sign-up, initial setup, core feature walkthrough), ask targeted questions for each stage.
  • For example, after sign-up, you could ask: "How easy was it to create an account?"
  • After core feature introduction, you could ask: "How well did the tutorials explain how to use [feature]?"

4. General onboarding experience:

  • Include questions to gauge the overall onboarding experience.
  • Use a mix of question formats:
  • Likert scale (e.g., Strongly Disagree - Strongly Agree) for statements like "The onboarding process was clear and easy to follow."
  • Multiple choice for selecting the most helpful resources (e.g., knowledge base articles, video tutorials).
  • Open-ended questions to delve deeper (e.g., "What was the most challenging part of getting started?").

5. Feature awareness and usage:

  • Assess customer awareness of key features by asking if they're familiar with specific functionalities.
  • Gauge initial usage by asking if they've tried certain features and how comfortable they feel using them.
  • This helps identify areas where customers might need additional support or guidance.

6. Net promoter score (NPS):

  • Include a single NPS question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?"
  • This provides a quick and valuable metric for customer satisfaction and loyalty potential.
  • Follow up with an open-ended question to understand the "why" behind their NPS score.

7. Closing and thank you:

  • Thank customers for their time and feedback.
  • Briefly mention how their input will be used to improve the onboarding experience (demonstrate that you value their feedback).
  • Offer an optional open-ended question for any additional comments or suggestions.

Additional tips:

  • Personalize the survey with the customer's name whenever possible.
  • Consider A/B testing different versions of the survey to see which one yields better results.
  • Maintain a conversational tone and avoid overly technical language.
  • Offer a small incentive for completing the survey (e.g., discount code, loyalty points).

What are the customer onboarding survey best practices?  

Here are some best practices for creating a good customer onboarding survey:

1. Capture holistic data:

Aim to capture holistic data that provides a comprehensive understanding of customer expectations and experiences during the onboarding process. This can help in shaping exceptional user experiences and solidifying long-term customer relationships  

2. Strategic timing:

Time the survey strategically to gather feedback at critical touchpoints in the customer journey. This can help in identifying issues early and preventing churn, ensuring a smooth onboarding experience  

3. Leverage multiple feedback channels:

Utilize multiple feedback survey distribution channels to optimize the onboarding strategy and craft a seamless customer experience. This can enhance the effectiveness of the survey and provide a diverse range of insights  

4. Personalized experiences:

Use the data obtained from onboarding surveys to provide personalized experiences to new customers. Tailoring the onboarding process based on customer feedback can lead to enhanced satisfaction and reduced churn  

5. Measure key performance indicators (KPIs):

Include questions that help measure the effectiveness of the onboarding process and customer engagement. Understanding the goals of the customer can aid in measuring KPIs during the onboarding process  

6. Continuous feedback culture:

Foster a culture of continuous feedback by using onboarding surveys to make data-driven decisions, improve processes, and enhance productivity. Well-executed onboarding surveys can lead to enhanced productivity and improved customer satisfaction.  

7. Align with customer goals:

Ensure that the survey questions are aligned with the customer's goals and objectives for using the product or service. Understanding their specific needs and desired outcomes can help tailor the onboarding process to their requirements.

8. Include both quantitative and qualitative questions:

Incorporate a mix of quantitative questions (e.g., rating scales) and qualitative questions (e.g., open-ended questions) to gather both structured data and detailed insights. This provides a well-rounded view of the customer's onboarding experience.

9. Seek suggestions for improvement:

Encourage customers to provide suggestions for improving the onboarding process. This can lead to actionable feedback and innovative ideas for enhancing the overall customer experience.

10. Offer incentives for participation:

Consider offering incentives, such as discounts or access to exclusive resources, to encourage participation in the survey. Incentives can increase response rates and demonstrate the value placed on customer feedback.

11. Cross-functional collaboration:

Involve various teams, including customer success, product development, and marketing, in the design and analysis of onboarding surveys. This cross-functional collaboration can lead to a holistic understanding of customer needs and drive meaningful improvements.

12. Iterate based on feedback:

Continuously iterate and improve the onboarding survey based on feedback received from customers. This iterative approach ensures that the survey remains relevant and effective in capturing evolving customer expectations.

What are the customer onboarding survey questions?  

here are some examples of customer onboarding survey questions:

General information gathering:

  • What are your primary goals in using our product/service?
  • How did you hear about our product/service?
  • What specific features or functionalities are you most interested in?

Purchase intent and satisfaction:

  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how likely are you to continue using [specific feature] in your regular workflow?
  • How satisfied are you with the onboarding process so far?
  • What motivated you to sign up for our product/service?

User experience and feedback:

  • How would you rate the ease of the onboarding process on a scale of 1 to 10?
  • What improvements would you suggest to enhance the onboarding experience?
  • Are there any specific challenges you encountered during the onboarding process?

Understanding user goals:

  • What are your main objectives in using our product/service?
  • What specific tasks or activities do you hope to accomplish with our product/service?
  • How do you envision our product/service fitting into your daily workflow?

Feedback collection for improvement:

  • What aspects of the onboarding process do you think could be enhanced?
  • Are there any additional resources or information that you feel would have been helpful during the onboarding process?
  • Do you have any suggestions for improving the overall onboarding experience?

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