How Monday.com creates a Personalized and Goal-Oriented New User Onboarding Experience
As a four-time founder with three successful exits, my experience has taught me that people don't merely purchase products or services; they "hire" them to address a particular need or overcome a specific challenge. Because of this, the success or failure of your product is intrinsically linked to how quickly a new user can discover how they can use your product to solve their need, aka your onboarding experience.
The best onboarding experiences address the users “jobs to be done.”. Identifying the customer's JTBD involves understanding the various tasks, goals, and problems that they face in a specific context. These jobs can be functional (e.g., "I need to complete a project"), emotional (e.g., "I want this to be easier"), or social (e.g., "I want to impress my boss").
In this case study, I'll show how Monday.com does a masterful job connecting a large and feature-rich product with their users' specific jobs to be done so that they can provide value to a new user very quickly.
I’ll demonstrate how Monday.com has successfully invested in its onboarding experience and managed to quickly align its platform with their users' goals. By doing so, Monday.com should serve as an excellent example of how a world-class SaaS company tackles the challenge of effective user onboarding.
Monday.com is a cloud-based work operating system (Work OS) designed to help teams collaborate, manage projects, and streamline workflows in a centralized platform. The tool is suitable for teams of all sizes and can be used across various industries, including marketing, software development, HR, sales, and more.
Monday.com's onboarding process begins with a focus on the user's desired outcome. This even starts with their home page, where they ask you what you would like to manage with the tool. They present Work OS, a big picture thing, and give you very specific tactical options.
This approach prioritizes solving problems rather than merely showcasing the platform's features. For instance, users interested in using Monday.com as a Sales CRM will be guided through a tailored onboarding experience that highlights the platform's capabilities in that specific context. This targeted approach not only makes users feel understood but also helps them envision how Monday.com can help them achieve their goals.
I start by setting up my account and answering a few questions to help the platform get to know me and what I want to achieve.
They ask about my current role, how many people are on my team, and what I want to focus on first. This approach is about jobs to be done, and they use the word "first" to explain that they can solve many things, but let's start with one thing first.
As I progress through the onboarding process, Monday.com collects information about my priorities. This data ensures users receive relevant suggestions and guidance that align with their unique needs.
By asking strategic questions, Monday.com can personalize the user experience and make it more engaging, increasing the likelihood of successful adoption. This personalized approach also helps users feel valued and understood, further strengthening their connection to the platform.
The first thing I want to do is work on lead capturing, and the platform presents me with a customized list based on my prior selections. This makes me feel like I'm getting a better understanding, and I start to get a vision of what it's going to be like on the other end.
They didn't just dump me into this big tool with a couple of tooltips; they're making me feel like this is customized to my specific jobs to be done.
After answering one last question about how I heard about them (which is really just for marketing purposes), a spinning wheel appears, indicating that they're doing some work for me.
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During the onboarding process, Monday.com introduces the option to invite teammates to the platform. While it may seem early to ask users to bring others on board, this tactic plants the seed for future adoption and helps create a sense of community within the platform.
By providing an "escape hatch" like a "remind me later" option, users feel less pressured and are more likely to invite colleagues at a later stage. This strategy aims to increase long-term engagement and create a sense of ownership among users, making it more likely for them to stick with the platform.
Demo videos can be a powerful tool in the onboarding process, but only when they are specific and relevant to the user's needs.
Monday.com's onboarding process includes contextually relevant demo videos that align with users' stated goals, increasing the likelihood that they will watch and engage with the content.
By providing videos that directly address users' pain points, Monday.com helps users better understand how the platform can solve their problems and encourages them to explore further.
Next is a guided tour. Monday.com's guided tours are centered around solutions rather than isolated features.
By showing users how to achieve their desired outcomes using the platform, these tours provide practical, actionable information that can be immediately applied.
This focus on solutions helps users understand the real-world value of the platform and promotes long-term engagement and satisfaction.
I’m now ready to explore the product with a greater understanding of how I achieve my goals.
Monday.com's world-class onboarding experience exemplifies the importance of focusing on user goals, customizing the platform based on collected information, and guiding users through solution-focused learning experiences.
By prioritizing user needs and aligning the onboarding process with their desired outcomes, Monday.com ensures that users feel understood and supported as they begin to explore the platform. This personalized approach not only increases the likelihood of successful adoption but also fosters long-term engagement and satisfaction.
An effective onboarding experience should be tailored to the user's specific goals and priorities, offer contextual and relevant learning materials, and provide guidance on achieving solutions rather than simply showcasing features. The primary goal of a great SaaS onboarding process is to provide value quickly. Solve one specific pain or need quickly.
By adopting these principles, other software companies can learn from Monday.com's success and create onboarding experiences that truly resonate with users, driving higher activation rates and long-term customer loyalty.
Steven Cohn is the Founder and CEO of Winware.
Winware helps SaaS teams drive better trial conversion rates or higher retention rates by optimizing SaaS onboarding to align product features with customer's goals.
If you want a free analysis of your onboarding with specific suggestions on how to improve it to drive faster time to value, please contact us.