Creating a better customer experience with Userlane

“What's exciting is that in addition to using Userlane for the onboarding of our e-commerce customers, we can find many different applications for the tool. As an example, we used feature announcements, which were used to introduce the redesign of our Forto platform.”
Philipp Heller
Product Manager, Forto
The outcome
“Forto's implementation of Userlane reduced the average onboarding time by 33% and it's just the beginning”
The results:

reduction in user onboarding time


increase in conversion rate

Contact sales team

As Europe’s first digital freight forwarder, Forto gives its customers the opportunity to make online bookings and manage global shipments with their software platform, which gives them a clear overview and real-time insights into their logistics operations. By having the logistics in one place, customers can optimize their supply chain end-to-end. 

Forto caters to different customer personas, each with their own needs and expectations. Apart from the German SMB sector, the e-commerce customers, who are mainly online sellers importing goods from Asia aiming to re-sell them on Amazon, make up one of Forto's largest customer segments.

Re-assessing the approach to customer onboarding

From various internal discussions, Forto discovered problems connected to user onboarding and user engagement in their software platform. Account managers were spending approximately 30 minutes onboarding each customer while also having to answer repetitive questions. With a rapidly growing customer base, it was clear to Forto that this approach was no longer scalable and wasn’t giving their customers an optimal customer service and experience.

The challenge for Forto, therefore, was to streamline customer onboarding and make it more scalable while still maintaining all the aspects of an outstanding high-touch onboarding experience. To address these challenges, Forto needed to a) reduce the time it took Forto’s account managers to onboard each customer and b) scale the onboarding process effectively and efficiently without expending internal resources to achieve this.

As a potential solution to these problems, Forto decided to implement Userlane with the following goals in mind:

  1. Increase the conversion rate from sign up to quote request of their e-commerce (online sellers) customer segment
  2. Reduce the overall time spent on onboarding individual users
  3. Give customers an improved and more streamlined user experience
  4. Ensure that using the platform requires minimal effort.
(…) The idea was if we could onboard customers with less effort, the improved onboarding would result in a better conversion rate.
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Philipp Heller 
Product Manager and Userlane Implementation Manager, Forto

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Implementing Userlane: A guided journey to success 

In the initial phases of the company’s growth, customers could use a messenger tool for asking onboarding questions, such as, “How to request a quote?” Forto also used this tool for educational and informational content. However, this approach was neither intuitive nor efficient, particularly because Forto's sales team needed to invest a lot of time and manual work into the onboarding process. Further, the content was linked to a landing page outside the platform.

“Before Userlane, I first tried to use what essentially was a Google slide which was sent out automatically via email. We didn’t really know if users opened the emails or clicked the links, so these were our first steps to try and automate the onboarding process. And what was worse, it was painful to create and re-create these resources.”
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Klara Claudel
Innovation and Technology Manager, Forto

“Previously, we also used to have a webinar where all our FBA customers could join to learn the basics, but we eventually stopped it because it didn’t scale well for the customer growth that we were experiencing in this segment.”
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Philipp Heller 
Product Manager and Userlane Implementation Manager, Forto

Once Forto decided to implement Userlane, Userlane’s customer success team supported Forto by providing them with best practices and constant support via multiple channels. According to Philipp Heller, Product Manager and Userlane Implementation Manager, and Klara Claudel, Forto Innovation and Technology Manager, Forto could rely on Userlane to come up with solutions from the very beginning. As is typical with any new roll-out, there were one or two challenges along the way, but having access to immediate support played a crucial role in the success of Forto’s deployment of Userlane.

“What was most laborious at the beginning was the creation of the userlanes and making the wording as impactful as possible. At first, I created some 30-step userlanes but then Tatiana, a customer success manager from Userlane, helped me tremendously with Userlane best practices.”
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Klara Claudel
Innovation and Technology Manager, Forto

“We noticed in our specific scenario that we are using a Single Page Application (SPA) with dynamically-generated identifiers and classes which broke our guides at first. By  talking to the Userlane customer success team, we were able to find a low effort workaround quickly, and this was just one example of the proactiveness and creativity of service at Userlane.”
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Philipp Heller 
Product Manager and Userlane Implementation Manager, Forto

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When goals become a reality 

“We are disrupting an industry where people are not always proficient with technology, and making them use a software application where there was none before can be very difficult.”
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Klara Claudel
Innovation and Technology Manager, Forto

In order to measure the success of an improved onboarding experience, the conversion rate, as opposed to activation, needed to be tracked instead. In the FBA customer segment, Klara and Philipp decided that the time taken from sign-up to first booking needed to be shortened.

Thanks to interactive guidance, which decreases time-to-value and significantly improves the user onboarding experience, Forto managed to achieve their goals. When comparing user groups who were onboarded via Userlane to those who were not, Forto saw a marked difference in the conversion rates within its customer base. After implementing Userlane, Forto increased their conversion rate 81% to 91% and reduced customer onboarding time by 33%.

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Moving forward and tailoring experiences with a digital adoption platform 

As a result of their successes with Userlane, the team decided to continue implementing Userlane at a larger scale in order to streamline Forto’s onboarding and customer success processes.  

Customer-facing teams at Forto are now creating even more specific interactive guides in order to tailor the experience further for their customers. 

Forto was also a Userlane beta customer for Userlane’s new promotions feature, which they now use successfully within their platform. 

“The exciting thing is that, in addition to using Userlane for the onboarding of our e-commerce customers, we can find many different applications for Userlane, such as feature announcements and using it to introduce our Forto platform redesign!”

Klara & Philipp

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