Case studies in customer onboarding: how customer onboarding should be done

Onboarding

When you think about B2C companies that provide truly outstanding customer onboarding experiences, there are a few that come to mind. But none have changed the game quite like Apple.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how Apple delivers the consummate B2C onboarding experience, and then we’ll dip into how Glance is helping B2B companies create these sorts of experiences in their own rights.

The genius of Apple’s warm, welcoming customer onboarding

Everybody knows how Apple changed the game with their products: the intuitive, aesthetically stunning design of their hardware and software – all coming together in the iPhone. (Maybe you’ve heard of it?)

But what’s perhaps less appreciated is how they fundamentally changed the process of onboarding their customers, too. 

In May 2001, Apple launched their first two Apple Stores. As this article from Forbes explains, this wasn’t necessarily a popular move at the time, either from the perspective of company outsiders or insiders. Why did they need their own shop? What was wrong with selling in electronic retail stores?

Actually, the strategy turned out to be exactly what Apple called their multi-certified in-store product experts: genius. Forbes summed it up in an early review of the Apple Store experience:  “This was nothing short of pure retail theater. A melding of space, brand, and product display.”

In the first weekend alone, over 7,700 people visited the two stores, spending just shy of $600,000 in the two days. And from there, Apple Stores took over the world.This wild popularity can be explained in part by the beautiful design of the stores, but just as important was the presence of the aforementioned “geniuses”.

Customers who needed help with fixing and using their Apple products simply visited the store’s Genius Bar – where Apple’s affable experts were on hand to help customers come to grips with their iPhones and Macs. And because they occupied the same retail space as Apple’s products were sold in, the geniuses would routinely assist customers in taking their initial steps toward many happy and productive years of use (while simultaneously escorting them around the frustrations that typically plague new technology users so they could instead engage joyfully with their new devices).

This was face-to-face, personalized onboarding that recognized the variability of the user base – from avid Apple fans to tech-shy newbies – and, crucially, welcomed them all.

This was a far cry from an instructional video. It was a warm, reassuring hug of an onboarding experience. Not an anonymous instruction manual, but a face-to-face experience that got users up and running – and reflected glowingly on Apple’s brand.

Of course, while Apple stores are still open and thriving, many customers now expect to be able to buy and learn how to use products without taking a trip to their nearest branch. Many actually prefer the digital experience (no driving, no wait times) – and, over the years, Apple has done a variety of things to ensure that personal touch in the digital space.

How B2B companies can offer in-person onboarding via digital channels (with a little help from us)

Over on the B2B side of things, onboarding is equally important – that’s where we come in. Our Guided CX technology is perfect for enabling our clients to onboard users onto products. (Especially SaaS companies, where onboarding is notoriously continuous due to constant updates.)

We’ve built Glance to be easy for your customers and agents alike to use – all from within your digital properties. It’s fast, secure, and recreates the in-person attention you can get in a physical store inside the more convenient digital space. (Glance Video lets you talk face to face with customers in-context with their online or in-app experience, without having to send them a separate link.)

And if an issue requires a more hands-on approach? Glance lets your own company’s support “geniuses” take control of a customer’s screen (with their permission), and show them exactly how to progress or clear up a navigational roadblock.

One B2B client whose onboarding and upskilling processes have been markedly improved by Glance is MindBody. MindBody is a SaaS company that provides cloud-based business software for gyms, spas, and yoga studios. 60,000 businesses run on the MINDBODY technology platform.

MindBody uses Glance to give brand-new users guided tours of its technology to deepen their understanding of how they can best use it – creating memorable, personalized interactions that go way beyond the welcome tour.

Another example of a company that leverages Glance for support and onboarding is a well-known company offering restaurant PoS (Point-of-Sale) systems. They noticed that their support centers were spending a longer-than-average amount of time on onboarding calls when it came to their PoS and related systems. Via audio alone, agents couldn’t really tell how helpful they were being.

The company launched a small pilot program to test out how their agents and customers responded to Glance’s visual and co-browsing solutions. How’d it go? Well, fast forward to now and all of the company’s onboarding interactions use visual engagement.

They later added mobile camera sharing to help with hardware technical issues. Now, agents can see if the right cabling is connected, for example, without having to play 20 questions.

The company sees a 20% increase in CSAT when it comes to Glance-supported interactions (over interactions that don’t use Glance). And in their own words: “We also got amazing feedback from our agents on how much easier it was to help customers through difficult situations with both configurations and troubleshooting.” Happy employees and happy customers? What more could a B2B company ask for?


It all adds up to this company being able to streamline operations for their restaurants, increase revenue, and deliver amazing guest experiences.

Insights into improving your own customer onboarding experience


So, as you can see — having a more personalized, visual, guided onboarding experience makes a huge impact. Even if your customers aren’t in the same physical space as your agents, Glance helps them occupy the same digital space through face-to-face connection and visual engagement solutions. And that makes a massive difference.

Want to bring your customer interactions to an exciting new level? A great way to start is to read our ebook on the Glance Guided Onboarding experience. You’ll learn exactly how companies like yours can use Glance to deeply and effectively train new (and old) customers.

Check out the ebook here: Guided customer onboarding