Self Serve Client OnBoarding

  • 27 July 2023
  • 4 replies

Anyone care to share their thoughts or experiences with self-serve client onboarding? Essentially, this entails creating a digital platform that allows the client (Emerging/SMB) to input much of the configuration items thru a guided module.  


  • Frees up essential time and resources for onboarding team members
  • Allows client to get familiar with self-serve platform
  • Allows onboarding team members to devote time and effort to more complex task and take on other more demanding projects


  • Limits client interaction
  • Familiarity with client self-serve platform may be challenging based on technical proficiency of client
  • Potential risk of error creation or inaccurate configuration due to lack of familiarity with self-serve platform

Ultimately, if layout is intuitive and helpful, this could be prove beneficial for both the client and the onboarding team.


Best answer by rondeaul 27 July 2023, 21:01

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4 replies

Userlevel 5

@ttemoney Self Service can be such a game changer when used well. You really have called out some of the pros and cons but I think there are some other considerations that need to be clarified or structured first.

If there is potential for complexity, then there needs to be a structure around what can be sold as self-service. There will need to be requirements a potential self-service client may need to meet to be eligible and this can be in the area of:

  • Integrations - is there a native integration that does not require additional configuration
  • Data uploads - is that structured enough that it can be done without errors
  • Simplicity - is it “Turbo-Tax” simple so anyone can do it
  • Support - what is the client’s recourse if they are stuck
  • Follow-through - who checks to make sure the self-implementation is on track

One thing I recommend with self-service implementations is to have a recurring office hours call where clients can join and ask questions, perhaps the first half is a how-to and the second half is a Q&A to help with specific questions. This gives the client the opportunity to have that direct communication with a person rather than just looking through community help posts.

Also, having someone follow-up and check in gives them the “personal” touch so they realize that while they are driving they are still being observed and checked in on.

Glad to see you join our happy group!


Userlevel 7

Hi @ttemoney! Welcome to the ON and GREAT first post!!! This is a topic near and dear to my heart!

Self-guided onboarding experiences are quickly gaining a lot of traction (maybe due to PLG strategies that are getting more common than ever). 

You hit the nail on the head with the pros and cons. It’s a powerful strategy that when used correctly can provide the user value (almost immediately) AND allow onboarders to guide customers who may need more hand holding.

A couple of things that I think about when seeing if I should implement a self-serve onboarding experience:

  1. Is the service/product intuitive enough that a customer can truly self-implement? (Tools like canva, mailchimp, and google docs) pass that test. However, tools like Salesforce or other things that require technical implementation aren’t good candidates)
  2. Who is the user getting onboarded? Is this a new account that requires implementation? (Remember you implement products and onboard people) We use an in-app checklist that serves as an individual user onboarder.

I think my main point is if the onboarding require integrations or data dumps and unless you have a “turbo-tax easy” way to get that up and running it’s not worth having the customer self-serve, HOWEVER you could serve them up automated tasks/emails that guides them through getting data ready and have them submit it where an onboarder can jump in and get the technical parts taken care of!


**Update: I had this written up but didn’t post until just now and I realize that the great @rondeaul beat me to it!

Userlevel 7

Another thought that came to mind:

A 100% tech touch/self-serve onboarding approach, while cool, if implemented improperly may turn the software into shelf-ware. Having a dedicated team onboard a new customer and someone who guides them on adopting the software can have a higher chance of the customer adopting the product, developing brand loyalty and decreasing churn!

Userlevel 4

I think a hybrid approach already exists, and the possibilities are pretty intriguing. 

I agree on the value of the hands-on approach from a relationship and adoption perspective. There are also steps in any implementation process that are “color by number”. Apps like WalkMe allow you to create little guided tours to teach a client admin how to do simple things like…

  • Add a New User
  • Edit Company Preferences
  • Add / Edit Metrics
  • Add New Project
  • Access Reports / Dashboards of Projects

If you have an extensive enough library of “tours” your implementation working sessions can focus on topics that need more intensive thought, versus simply “check the box” type steps which can be learned outside of working sessions.