User onboarding helps ease users into a new product—showcasing how a product works and demonstrating its value. It’s what creates a user’s first impression of your product—and your brand—so it has to be impeccable. 

Thanks to the seamless onboarding experiences delivered by Facebook, Netflix, Instagram, Amazon and Google, user expectations are high— which means smaller companies have to be on par with these standards of usability. Research has shown that users become less and less forgiving when it comes to clunky product interactions. 

One study showed that 49% of users would switch to a competitor due to a poor user experience—whereas back in 2017 only 32% of users would do so. Remarkably, only 17% of consumers experiencing a problem with a digital service are likely to contact the service provider for help in the first instance. This means that 4 in 5 customers will experience problems with digital services without notifying you, and giving you a chance to put things right. 

User onboarding surveys are your gateway to seamless digital experiences and personalization. In this post, we’ll explore the value onboarding surveys can bring, the types of questions you can ask and the data you can collect. Plus, we’ll analyze 5 best practice examples from the world’s top SaaS brands. 

What are the 4 main benefits of conducting user onboarding surveys?

Show users you care:

A winning customer success strategy means nurturing users at every stage—not just before they buy. A user onboarding feedback survey gives you insight into what went well in the onboarding process, and what areas you should prioritize for improvement.

Segment new users

Not all users are identical. You’ll have a variety of people using your product in a range of different ways. Asking the right questions at the start can help you break down your single user base into subgroups, and address their individual needs more effectively. 

Reveal key pain points:

As well as general feedback on the process, onboarding surveys are an invaluable tool in helping you focus on the specific aspects of your product that users might be struggling with—which is vital knowledge for your product development team.

Customize the user experience:

Personalization is crucial to maintaining engagement—and an onboarding survey that records user preferences is a strong start. From tweaking the interface, signposting key functionality, or simply addressing them by name—users appreciate a custom approach.

What are the best practice questions you can ask after user onboarding?

You’ll want to make your initial survey brief enough (up to 3 questions) so that new users don’t drop off, but detailed enough to give your team usable data. Keep your business goals in mind when picking the survey questions. You may want to focus on questions around the onboarding experience, personalization, or segmentation.

Example #1 Gauge satisfaction

“How would you rate the onboarding experience?”

“How can we make it better?”

Ask two quick questions to measure and analyze how satisfied new users are with your service. This survey gives users the option to inform you about any issues or ambiguities they experienced during onboarding.

what's your onboarding experience

Example #2 Uncover users’ pain points

“What made you try our service?”

Ask users what motivated them to register and try your service to understand the problem they are trying to solve by using your product. This open-ended question will help you prioritize product development initiatives and polish your marketing copy.

what made you try our sevice

Example #3 Analyze value perception

“Which features are the most valuable for you?”

Asking a short question about the most valuable features will help you understand what users perceive as important. Checkboxes make it easy and simple to answer the question, which helps to guarantee high response rates.

which features are the most valuable for you?

Example #4 Identify your top marketing channels

“Where did you find out about us?”

Ask this question right after the onboarding experience—because users will still remember the channel that led them to your product. This gives you a better understanding of user attribution which will help you invest your marketing budget effectively.

where did you find out about us?

Example #5 Refine your personas

“What’s your role?”

Find out more about your user to tailor their product experience. For example, a graphic designer might appreciate a different layout or different feature shortcuts to users in product development or sales.

what's your role?

5 user onboarding/registration survey examples from top SaaS companies

These companies are using surveys to great effect, across a variety of use cases. Our UX researcher Anna has road-tested each of the onboarding surveys and given us her take on why they are so effective. 

Asana

asana onboarding survey questions

The team at Asana does a great job at asking questions that let them customize their users’ experience. Once I responded that “I’m planning to work on a marketing project”, everything which follows has been tailored to this use case. This level of customization gives me, the user, the feeling that the product meets my specific needs, and that I’m being catered to at an individual level.

Slack

slack onboarding surveys questions

Slack’s onboarding is not quite as customized as Asana’s. Nevertheless, they asked about the project I’m working on, and even prompted me to invite colleagues to the workspace with: “Who do you email the most about feedback surveys?” The way the question is phrased makes you automatically think of the colleagues you work with regularly.

Freshbooks

freshbooks onboarding survey questions

Freshbooks asked 7 questions to segment my profile, which is relatively long for this type of interaction. Having said that, the clear layout and dropdown question type made it easy for me to answer the whole questionnaire in less than a minute. 

Zendesk

zendesk onboarding survey questions

Zendesk keeps it simple—they asked me to name my company, enter my team size, tell them my plans for using their product and pick my preferred language. Within only 4 fairly standard questions the team at Zendesk gets a sense of what type of person I am and know how they can customize their interface to meet my needs. 

DocuSign

DocuSign onboarding survey questions

DocuSign is the only company of the 5 we tested that asked onboarding customization questions in a separate survey after I completed the registration. Interestingly, they’re also the only company that asked about integrations I might need, which gives them an informed idea of what features to prioritize for their next version upgrade.

Closing thoughts

User onboarding surveys are a vital tool for learning more about the people who interact with your product at a critical time—when they’re just getting to know you. The information you can gather at this stage is invaluable, both on an individual level—learning preferences, needs, etc—and at a macro level—understanding which features are most popular, what common roadblocks persist, etc.

If you want to create a professional and engaging onboarding survey that rivals some of the best practice examples we’ve discussed, then Appzi is precisely the tool you need—no coding knowledge or design skills required!