Getting started with a new software service or platform can be intimidating, especially when the service has an extensive variety of features and integrations. We’re proud of how robust FormAssembly is, but we understand that the learning curve can feel a bit steep for a beginner.
Not knowing where to begin or what step to take can frustrate your users, which could get them considering other options. Or worse — your users might feel discouraged enough to jump ship altogether.
It’s our top priority to help everyone get the most out of FormAssembly, whether they’re novices or experts. We’re always striving to meet the significant challenge of connecting with users across all different levels. It’s essential to deliver the right messages at the right time, so we use a number of engagement strategies to ensure that our users are warmly welcomed to our app. Here are the onboarding best practices that work for us:
1. Be Proactive
Don’t wait until your users contact you with a problem. At that point, it’s likely that they’ll already be grumpy and confused.
Instead, start a conversation early. Say hi at the very beginning of a user’s journey and follow up periodically, particularly when they’ve just begun to explore. Offer multiple opportunities for them to ask questions and to learn more about how everything works. Reach out before your users hit a hurdle, and you’ll set a friendly foundation for any future interactions.
2. Onboarding Calls
With FormAssembly, we offer every new Professional, Premier, and Enterprise user an onboarding call with us. Once a user has logged into our app a certain number of times, we send an automatic message to let them know they can schedule the call whenever they like.
We’ve designed these 45-minute calls as a helpful introduction to FormAssembly, where we encourage users to ask whatever questions they might have. It’s a one-on-one call with a member of our Customer Success team, though often users will include one to two other people from their organization. During these calls, we cover the basics of the Form Builder and talk about our integrations and common workflows, depending on users’ needs.
After the call, we always follow up with additional support materials, including video tutorials and demo forms, to ensure that our users have everything they need to get started with FormAssembly.
It’s good to note that onboarding calls aren’t intended for troubleshooting, and they’re not meant to take the place of a product demo. We recommend our users ask Support if they need help with a particular issue, or get in touch with Sales for a product tour.
Onboarding calls are perfect for users with specific questions about their use cases. That way, we can tailor the call to the integrations and features they’ll be using, and help them customize their FormAssembly setup.
3. In-App Check-Ins
To make sure our users know how to reach our support team, and to check in from time to time to see how they’re doing, we’ve set up automatic in-app messages through Intercom. The messages let users know that we’re here for them (with a first response time of 2 minutes) and that we’re happy to help walk them through any issues they might run into.
Whether users reply to the auto check-in or not, it’s a small but important gesture that boosts their connection with our Support team. And, since each message is from someone on our team (with their name and friendly face), it helps users get to know us and confirm that we’re human beings they can easily contact, not robots!
4. In-App Guides
In addition to our in-app messages, we use Pendo to create in-app guides that help walk our users through our features. Currently, we have over 20 guides, designed to help users familiarize themselves with the app, learn key features, and explore form building possibilities. We also add guides when we release new features.
We’re continually fine-tuning our guides, and we’ve found that they’re most effective when they’re easy to understand, to-the-point, and visual. Many of our guides have interactive components, which allow people to try out features and see them in action.
Note: It’s essential to make sure your users can easily exit the guide if they don’t need it! We set up the guides and tips to maximize their usefulness, but sometimes the timing isn’t perfect, and we don’t want these guides to get in anyone’s way.
5. Free Online Classes
Each month, we offer one to two free online classes for our users. These classes cover everything from getting started with Form Builder basics to creating advanced workflows and integrations. Each live class is about 30 minutes long, and users are more than welcome to stick around afterwards and ask questions about specific use cases.
Our users love these classes, and we have upwards of 150 people register for our most popular topics. After the class is over, it’s added to our documentation library, which houses over 35 video tutorials to help our users with an enormous variety of setups.
6. Resource Center
We understand that some people prefer videos, others like reading in-depth documentation, and some learn best through interactive guides. Since there are different learning styles, it’s our goal to provide all kinds of resources to our users.
Here’s a sampling of the variety of content types available:
- Step-by-step instructions with screenshots
- Videos with real-time screencasts of FormAssembly
- Online classes (or webinars) with plenty of opportunities to ask questions and get answers
- Best practices guides with guidelines and examples
Our Knowledge Base is under constant revision to ensure that all help topics are not only easy to find, but also easy to understand. We avoid technical jargon and complicated wording because we want our documentation to be as accessible and friendly as possible. Regardless of technical level, anyone can easily understand and get the information they need from our Resource Center or our other support options.
User feedback is a crucial part of our onboarding practices. We’re always listening to the seasoned pros who use FormAssembly every day and the newcomers who experience our app with fresh eyes. Ratings and reviews are incredibly valuable to how we improve and refine all of our messaging and resources.
It’s important to ask for feedback early and often. Guesswork will only take you so far, and user insights help us understand what could help them get more out of FormAssembly.
We pride ourselves on the onboarding experience we provide to our customers. We want to make sure every single FormAssembly user has a smooth experience from the first moment they log in, to their thousandth form and beyond.
We’ve found the strategies above to be incredibly helpful in accomplishing this, but we’d love to hear what other companies find effective and what other customers have seen. Share your insights in the comments below, or tweet us @FormAssembly!