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7 SaaS Customer Onboarding Mistakes You Should Avoid!

Customer retention is an essential component of any successful B2B SaaS firm. While keeping your clients satisfied can feel like a challenge at times, churn is frequently caused by mistakes in the onboarding process. The initial few interactions a customer has with your firm are crucial to their overall satisfaction with your product. You’ll see higher retention and upsell with a good and well-planned onboarding strategy in place. Be aware of what and how to avoid these 7 SaaS customer onboarding mistakes to optimize your customers’ journeys.

Suggested Read: The Ultimate Guide to Customer Onboarding

What should a good customer onboarding process look like?

Before understanding the mistakes, let’s have a look at what a good customer onboarding process should look like. 

Set realistic expectations 

Discussing and agreeing on expectations early on can benefit both parties and will help to avoid unpleasant surprises later. 

Present a solid future plan

From the start of your customer engagement, you should present a strategic plan that lays out where you want to go and how you’ll get there. This can also be used to keep everyone in the loop during the process.

Customer Onboarding Template

Establish precise goals and deadlines

You should clearly define your objectives that are quantifiable against your goals and a timeframe. You’ll also want to engage with the customer to obtain statistics on previous performance, if it’s available, so you know where to start.


Collect information from Sales and conduct research before speaking with the customer to ensure that the entire experience is tailored to their goals and wants, which have already been discussed during the sales process.

7 SaaS Customer Onboarding mistakes to avoid. 

Now that you know what the onboarding process is all about, identifying and rectifying the following mistakes will be easy. Typically, not defining the onboarding process clearly is the starting point of trouble. Any ambiguity surrounding customer onboarding will lead to the potential risk of churn. 

Having trouble transitioning from sales to customer success.

Your customers will easily spot any brewing trouble in the transition process. The handoff from sales to Customer Success brings with it a lot of risks. This could be the first point of a potential churn. 

A poor transition upsets CS professionals. Sometimes critical information is lost. Miscommunications occur, resulting in damage to customer relationships. However, if your teams are aligned and the handoff is seamless, you will be building a solid foundation for your partnership. But, if done poorly, the client loses interest in using the product.

The onboarding process should begin as soon as possible after the sale is finalized. The goal of customer onboarding is to reduce time to value. You’ve completed a significant portion of the handoff if you nail this phase.

Assuming that all users require the same thing. 

Don’t confuse your enthusiasm for your product with true knowledge of your customers’ requirements. Even organizations that have done significant research and profiling often make the mistake of feeling so thrilled about flashy new features that they neglect to inquire whether customers actually want them.

The best way to avoid making this mistake is to prioritize communicating with your clients on a regular basis. Send them an email, call them on the phone, or ask for their feedback on social media. Then, as you make adjustments to your product, consider what people say as well as your own personal observations.

Resource: Everything about Customer Onboarding Specialist

Customer Onboarding Framework that pushes customers to work hard to realize their ‘first success.’ 

When the SaaS customer onboarding framework is long, strict, or overly technical, it turns people off. After all, the majority of people use SaaS products to make their jobs easier; don’t make them struggle for it. They will be less impressed if it takes way longer to realize early value. This creates doubt and the impression that they squandered their time and money on your product.

To avoid this mistake, minimize the time to early value. But how would you do it?

  • Tell customers what’s in it for them – emphasize the advantages and rewards, and show them how they can attain their first success. 
  • Only include what is really necessary. Do not overwhelm them with facts.
  • Develop content that will help customers solve their problems on their own. It will assist them in progressing toward their first success without requiring too much assistance.

There are too many items competing for the users’ attention. 

Consider a welcome screen with numerous elements competing for your attention: a product tour, tutorials, hotspots, email subscription pop-ups, blog post notifications, CTA buttons, and so on. That’s simply too much at one go!  When faced with too many options, most individuals become overwhelmed. They will either skip or postpone the entire customer onboarding procedure. 

Just don’t overwhelm your customers with too many details. Focus only on your core features at this stage. As simple as that. 

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You don’t track KPIs around Onboarding 

As silly as it sounds, many customer success professionals do seem to skip measuring KPIs and other metrics relating to onboarding. Simply doing things doesn’t matter. What matters is ‘how well or poor’ are they going–measuring! If you have that number, you can assess whether your process is working and break it down into parts to see where you might have to make changes.

Start by identifying which KPI suits them best and track the numbers at regular intervals. This will help you redesign your customer onboarding strategy if required.

Check out the 10 Customer Success KPIs every SaaS company should track

You’re not updating the progress to Customers.

Customers lose motivation easily if they don’t see any value in continuing with your product. They love to know how they fare in their journey with a product. Hence, it’s your responsibility to demonstrate the same.

You’re probably tracking metrics to monitor progress, but make sure you’re designing measures that are targeted toward your customers’ success. Always tell your customers about it when they reach certain milestones. Sharing these small wins will encourage them to continue on their path to success with your product.

Missing Onboarding Framework/Playbook

If you don’t have a proper SaaS customer onboarding framework, you’ll find yourself in big trouble sooner than later. Without such a playbook, you’ll lose track of your customers. It won’t be possible for you to provide updates to your customers regarding their progress in the journey. As a result, it will take time for customers to see the value they expect.

Create a playbook and document the steps, timeline, etc. after discussing with the customers.  This is the best way to avoid such mistakes. 

Key takeaways

  • Track your sales to customer success transition process. Ensure that the process is smooth and that no vital information is lost. 
  • Don’t assume anything. Discuss with the customer about their business, demands, expectations, etc., and define everything clearly. 
  • Avoid overwhelming your customer with too much information to handle. They’ll consider it to be highly improbable to grasp all information in one go.
  • Track Customer Onboarding KPIs.
  • Update the customers with their progress at regular intervals.
  • Have a proper customer onboarding framework in place. If you already have, make sure it is not rigid and difficult to follow. 

P.S. – The main image has been taken from pexels.com

Content marketer at CustomerSuccessBox | An avid reader, a passionate writer and a life long learner | Writer @ Hacker Noon | B2B SaaS & Customer Success enthusiast |