Digital Adoption
June 6, 2024

Transform Employee Onboarding and Retention with In-App Guidance

In-app guidance aids SaaS employee onboarding with walkthroughs and prompts, cutting churn and boosting retention.

Transform Employee Onboarding and Retention with In-App Guidance

What is In-App Guidance?

In-App Guidance is an interactive aid incorporated within the software's interface, designed to facilitate onboarding for users by offering real-time support. This modern alternative to outdated user manuals and separate training sessions helps users navigate their way through an application by employing interactive components like tooltips, guided tours, interactive instructions, and to-do lists.

These instructional elements come to life by presenting cues, messages, or sequential directions in response to the actions a user performs or at a particular stage in their application experience. The guidance materializes as an additional layer on top of the current user interface, enabling users to learn and carry out actions simultaneously within the app. Familiar instances of this are the pop-up tooltips that draw attention to certain features, the step-by-step interactive guides that lead users through specific processes, and the checklists that help users monitor the steps they have completed during onboarding.

Benefits of In-App Guidance for SaaS User Onboarding

One of the main advantages of in-app guidance is its effectiveness in enhancing user onboarding and adoption for SaaS products. Through tactics such as onboarding checklists and interactive walkthroughs, inexperienced users are swiftly familiarized with crucial features and workflows, which helps them realize value from the product sooner. Contextual tooltips and prompts offer real-time training that is integrated into the app interface.

In-app guidance sidesteps the reliance on external documentation or training resources, offering a more customized and immediately relevant learning experience. It can be tailored to fit the needs of different user roles, use cases, and levels of expertise, providing specific support that drives higher user adoption across various demographics.

Moreover, in-app guidance is far more scalable than traditional support channels like live training sessions, documentation websites, or help centers. Once set up, it can autonomously assist an unlimited number of users without adding to the workload, making it a cost-effective option for SaaS products looking to efficiently scale user onboarding and engagement.

Reducing Churn with In-App Engagement

One of the primary benefits of in-app guidance is its ability to keep users engaged and reduce churn. By providing timely assistance and support directly within the product experience, in-app guidance can prevent frustration and ensure users are able to effectively utilize the full capabilities of the software.

As highlighted in Stripe's guide on reducing churn, proactively offering guidance based on user behavior and analytics can be a powerful retention strategy. In-app prompts and walkthroughs can share best practices, tips, and recommended actions tailored to each user's unique needs and usage patterns.

By keeping users engaged and preventing roadblocks, in-app guidance increases the perceived value of the product and makes users more likely to continue their subscription long-term. This contextual assistance translates to higher retention rates and reduced churn for SaaS businesses.

Best Practices for Implementing In-App Guidance

To enhance the impact of in-app guidance, adopt these best practices:

  1. Pinpoint crucial tasks and workflows that are essential for user onboarding and engagement. Direct your in-app guidance toward these aspects to encourage the right actions and results. Provide directions that are relevant to the features users need to engage with.
  1. Keep the messages brief and to the point. Do not bombard users with excessive information. Instead, use succinct calls-to-action and clearly indicate what they should do next.
  1. Provide an option for users to opt-out of the guidance. While in-app guidance is useful, some users might want to discover the product on their own. Offer them the choice to bypass or turn off the guidance.
  1. Evaluate and adjust based on user interaction data. Review how users are interacting with your guidance to pinpoint where it can be improved. Continuously enhance your strategy based on this feedback.
  1. Offer guidance in multiple languages. Cater to an international user base by making sure your in-app guidance is accessible in the native languages of your users.
  1. Schedule guidance to align with the user work cycle. Offer pertinent assistance at the most appropriate times throughout a user's journey.
  1. Integrate additional onboarding resources. For the most effective user experience, synchronize in-app guidance with other educational content like tutorials, help centers, and instructional videos.

In-App Guidance Tools & Examples

There are several tools available to help SaaS companies implement in-app guidance effectively. Some products like Salesforce and Appcues offer built-in options for creating walkthroughs, tooltips, and other interactive elements directly within the app UI. Common types of in-app guidance include product tours, interactive walkthroughs, native tooltips, and onboarding checklists.

There are also dedicated third-party tools like GRAVITY that specialize in providing robust in-app guidance capabilities. These allow companies to build highly customized user onboarding flows, contextual self-help resources, and advanced user analytics.

Leading SaaS companies like HubSpot, Amplitude, and Intercom are notable examples of effective in-app guidance implementation. They use tools like product tours and tooltips to highlight key features, drive adoption of new functionality, and provide training directly in the product experience.

Evaluating the Success of In-App Guidance

To assess how well your in-app guidance strategy is performing, it is important to track a set of relevant metrics. Consider focusing on the following benchmarks:

  1. Interaction rates with guidance content: Keep an eye on the frequency and level of engagement users have with your guidance prompts. Increased activity suggests that guidance is beneficial.
  1. Success rates for in-app guided actions: Observe how well users complete essential tasks when they use your in-app guidance compared to when they do not.
  1. Retention comparison between guided and non-guided users: Look at the difference in retention rates for users who have received in-app guidance versus those who have not. A successful guidance strategy should typically lead to better retention.
  1. Direct user feedback: Gather firsthand feedback on the effectiveness and user-friendliness of your in-app guidance through swift user surveys and incorporate this feedback for iterative improvement.

By continually monitoring and tweaking your approach based on these indicators, you can ensure your in-app guidance has a significant and positive effect on user onboarding and ongoing engagement with your product.

Getting Started with In-App Guidance

Initiating in-app guidance begins with understanding your product's unique requirements and identifying key scenarios where such guidance could significantly enhance the user experience. Common scenarios include:

  • Welcoming and educating inexperienced users about the main functionalities
  • Informing users about latest updates or added features
  • Offering step-by-step assistance for complicated procedures or tasks
  • Promoting features that are not frequently used

Implement in-app guidance progressively, starting with the most critical areas. Use feedback from users and analysis of how they interact with your guidance to refine and adjust. The key to effective in-app guidance lies in ongoing experimentation and improvement.

It is also essential to get support from major stakeholders within your organization, such as the product, engineering, and customer service teams. Emphasize the advantages of incorporating in-app guidance, like boosted user engagement, decreased support expenses, and higher customer satisfaction levels. Engaging stakeholders early in the planning and design phases helps ensure that the strategy is well-integrated and receives the necessary attention.

Save up to 90% on learning costs. Significantly reduces corporate learning and support costs.
2× speed of digital adoption. Accelerating user adoption and promoting faster software rollouts.
Reduce support efforts by up to 40%. Reduces support efforts by answering most user questions directly within the application.
No-code required. Easy implementation within just couple of minutes.

Embrace the digital adoption platform of tomorrow - GRAVITY

Christoph Müller

Christoph Müller

For years I used corporate Intranets in the workplace, experiencing firsthand that traditional learning formats for IT rollouts and employee onboarding do not work. I developed GRAVITY software to tackle this challenge. Employees are happier because learning is simple and effective; businesses are happier because their IT rollouts are successful and cost a lot less than before.