Common Reasons Why Your Customers Leave During Onboarding

Are you experiencing churn while onboarding new customers? Find out what's going wrong.
March 9, 2022
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A McKinsey study shows that poor customer onboarding, engagement, and customer service are the main reasons why customers churn.

Onboarding is never easy. There are many components involved in the process, and a failure in any one of them can bring the whole ship down.

In this blog, we'll look at some of the common reasons why customers leave within the first 90 days. Hopefully, being aware of these pitfalls will help you avoid them and navigate your onboarding journey better.

Reason #1: Mismatch of expectations

Your sales team might have oversold the product and maybe promised a feature that wasn't ready yet. Or your customer might have misunderstood some key functionality of your product. Whichever the case, having unmet expectations could make customers lose interest.

This is why it's essential that you clearly define what success means at both ends. Understanding your customer's needs, setting a clear, realistic roadmap to achieve them, and ensuring everyone knows who's responsible for what is critical. Doing this upfront will ensure nobody's disappointed later on.

Reason #2: Cognitive overload

In other words, your customers will leave if they feel overwhelmed by your onboarding process. While it's important for your customers to understand the full range of functionality your product offers, it's equally important to know their use case and only focus on the aspects of your product that caters to this use case.

Upselling to your customers, talking up features that don't matter to them immediately, or dumping too much information on them could make them stop using your product altogether.

Instead, focus on delivering small wins initially. Ease them into your product and build a good working relationship with them. You'll get plenty of opportunities to showcase all the other things your product can do once you build that trust.

Reason #3: Lack of engagement with your customers

The post-sale period is crucial in making or breaking the relationship you have with your customers. Yes, they've purchased your product, but they're still not completely sold yet. Regardless of how easy or difficult your product setup is, customers will always require some hand-holding and support from your side initially. And if you're not proactively engaging with them and helping them reap value from your product in the first 90-day period, they'll leave.

We're not saying you've to be available 24/7, but having some communication channel that allows for frequent interaction is essential.

If you're interested in learning how you can start showcasing value to your customers right from the get-go, read this guide.

Reason #4: Lack of personalization

Every customer is unique, and so are their reasons for using your product. It is, therefore, vital you understand what your customer is using your product for and tailor the onboarding process according to their needs. Let's face it. Your customer wants to feel like you care about them more than 100 of your other clients. And the only way to do this is by personalizing their onboarding experience.

"But how do we personalize the onboarding process if we have a lot of clients?"

Well, this is where using a dedicated onboarding platform could help. For instance, Rocketlane allows you to create a master template for your onboarding needs and then personalize them on the go based on your customer's needs at scale. Plus, every customer gets their own unique portal, which shows them that you care and gives them that feeling of exclusivity.

Reason #5: Lack of visibility in the process

The onboarding machinery has many components to it. When new customers come on board, they're usually clueless about the journey from the initial kickoff to the final go-live. Hence, the onus is on you to keep them in the loop at all times. Your customers deserve a solid walkthrough of the entire process and visibility at every step of the way. Complete transparency during onboarding helps build trust and cement a long relationship with your customers. While this might sound daunting to you, it's quite easy to achieve this level of transparency with a dedicated onboarding platform like Rocketlane. With a complete view of every ongoing and upcoming process on their portal, and regular status updates and reminders, your customers will always be in the know with Rocketlane.

We hope this guide helped shed some light on why your onboarding process isn't where you want it to be. If you need some assistance or tools to transform the way you conduct your onboarding, feel free to reach us at

More resources

  1. Creating Early Wins with The First Value Delivery Framework 
  2. Value Realization for SaaS Businesses: Framework and Tools
  3. Top customer onboarding metrics to track

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Rahul Sridhar
Content Marketer @ Rocketlane

Content Marketer at Rocketlane. Former teacher turned tech writer. Occasionally dabbles in comedy and rap music.

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