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Published January 9, 2024

User onboarding is a critical aspect of any digital platform. It directly influences user satisfaction and retention. However, many businesses fall prey to common onboarding mistakes that hinder the user experience.

In this article, we’ll explore the six most common user onboarding mistakes that companies often make. 

We’ll provide explanations and actionable strategies to maximize the best onboarding software to help businesses transition from sales-led to product-led growth (PLG) and fine-tune their onboarding processes for success.

6 Common mistakes user onboarding mistakes

User onboarding has become crucial for business success. It’s no wonder the global client onboarding software market is anticipated to expand from a million USD in 2022 to a multi-million USD scale by 2033, exhibiting a 7.2% compound annual growth rate from 2023 to 2033.

Surprisingly, even big-name brands can make obvious mistakes in their product onboarding. 

Common mistakes often stem from a failure to understand the customer base, poorly planned customer journeys, and lack of customer feedback. No matter the cause, the important thing is to set things right.

Here are some common mistakes in user onboarding.

1. Complex sign-up process 

A seamless onboarding experience is all about making things easy.

Many companies make a crucial mistake by making users fill out a long sign-up form with unnecessary information. It’s too time consuming and often avoided by users who prefer a straightforwrd registration process. 

Provide various Single Sign-On (SSO) options.

Keep the onboarding process as simple as possible. Users want to see the value your platform offers as quickly as possible. Maintain a sharp focus on speeding up the users’ access to your app.

To help speed up the process, consider to implement SSO options that are convenient for your users, such as Slack, Google, or Facebook.

Use progress bars into the sign-up onboarding process.

While SSO is a logical choice for many products, particularly those with a straightforward learning curve, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. There will be instances when data collection is necessary.

In such cases, distribute questions across multiple screens in your user onboarding flow. This will facilitate a swift completion and include a progress bar to maintain user motivation.

2. Assume a one-size-fits-all user onboarding procedure

One prevalent error in user onboarding is assuming a single onboarding experience will suit all users.

Users have unique needs and specific “jobs to be done”. Therefore, its natural that each user will prefer one onbaoridng journey to another, depending on their goals and role. 

Your objective is to facilitate their journey as swiftly as possible.

In a recent case study, a company effectively used customer segmentation to bolster its profitability. This study exemplifies how tailored marketing efforts, driven by customer segmentation, significantly impacted the company’s bottom line.

Take a peek at how Keboola managed to increase conversion rates with the right onboarding segmentation strategy

Implement a diversified user onboarding experience.

Start by thoroughly understanding your primary user groups and their respective personas. To create an optimal onboarding experience, work backwards from the specific task each user aims to accomplish.

Help users to customize their onboarding experience by providing opportunities for self-identification. This option is handy if you’ve employed SSO and lack specific user data. Moreover, you can automate this onboarding process by using custom rules or survey branching

Try different onboarding approaches to find what works best for each user type.

Understanding user behavior patterns enables proactive assistance. As product managers or onboarding teams, analyzing these patterns allows us to anticipate needs and provide timely resources.

Then, crafting adaptable materials is vital, catering to various expertise levels and problems across different media formats.

Creating dynamic content that adjusts to users’ expertise and issues is key. Versatile formats, from quick videos to comprehensive tutorials, ensure users access support tailored to their preferences and needs.

3. Overwhelm users with too many product tours

An extensive, dull, and unrelated product onboarding tours that delves into every detail and feature is a guaranteed method to disengage users from your product.

Users will find it overwhelming to be bombarded with information, leading to frustration over the lack of control in managing their progress.

Opt to guide users through one specific action depending on their goal. 

Direct users to the following most suitable action, providing clear instructions on how and where to begin. Each step brings them closer to activation and reaching their “aha moment”.

Present an onboarding checklist to acquaint them with core features initially.

User onboarding checklists offer an excellent alternative to product tours, it allows users explore the platform indepentenly and to understand the order of actions.

With checklists, you guide users through the necessary order of steps to reach their goal. This approach allows them to explore the app at their own pace, but also feel supported with additional information the checklist provides.

Remember, avoid replicating the pitfalls of a lengthy product tour: keep it straightforward, centered, and specific.

4. Skip the crucial step of collecting feedback from new users

Customer feedback should be the ultimate decision when it comes to product and onboarding improvement. 

To craft a user onboarding experience that exceeds expectations you need to understand their specific pain points, such as struggling with account setup or finding specific feature. And, you need to align the onboarding process to their goals, like learning to use advanced functionalities.

Some product managers only gather feedback once customers have been onboarded for a considerable period. However, it’s crucial to shape your onboarding strategy based on data collected throughout the customer onboarding lifecycle.

Gather and complete the user feedback loop for continuous improvement.

Use various survey types at different touchpoints in the journey to pinpoint opportunities for improvement. User feedback is precious to both understand their needs and their challenges during onboarding.

Concentrate on identifying trends in the data to pinpoint obstacles hindering users’ success and devise strategies to eliminate such friction. The goal is to comprehend the factors that contribute to the satisfaction of existing users, allowing you to replicate that success for new customers.

female cartoon filling out surveys for feedback on orange background

5. Forget to deliver helpful tips tailored to users’ specific journey

New platforms can quickly feel overwhelming, and according to Wyzowl, around 80% of users admit to uninstalling an app because they don’t understand how to use it.

It’s not merely about the need to familiarize themselves with an app during onboarding, as may be expected. One reason behind potential uninstalls is users’ frustration when they cannot easily navigate the app’s interface or find essential features in their first use.

The harder your app is to understand, the more likely you’ll increase churn rates.  

Employ automated onboarding workflows.

By leveraging automation, you can enhance your product’s ability to offer contextual assistance throughout the user experience. Use advanced segmentation during onboarding to create user segments and initiate in-app guidance at crucial moments.

Each onboarding feature should work together in an onboarding ecosystem. Once one feature is deployed, it triggers the next to ensure users get support continously.

For example, if a user clicks on a hint for a new page, that should automatically deploy a walkthrough. Becuase, if a user is clicking for moreinfromation, chances are thehy need extra support — and a hint will not be enough. However a product walkthrough would be helpful educational material.

Incorporate various onboarding flows.

Different users will have different goals in your app. Creating flows that are esy to follow and quick to hihglight key features is key for user engagement.

To guarantee users are getting the right message tailored to them, use custom rules and segementation. This provides users a tailored an personalized user journey to reach theit goals as fst as possible.

Incorporate intuitive graphic design degree elements, and provide step-by-step guidance throughout the onboarding journey.

6. Neglect the importance of in-app assistance and customer success support

Continuous support is crucial for your users.

Lifecycle communications like post-purchase email campaigns see 90% higher revenue per recipient than emails sent before a purchase. These emails capitalize on existing trust and interest, making recommendations or offering related services that are more likely to resonate and drive additional sales.

A prevalent error made by product managers is emphasizing support predominantly in the post-sales phase, such as through demo calls and one-on-one sessions. However, support and customer success tend to be less emphasized after users achieve activation.

A strategic focus on customer retention helps increase customer loyalty and company’s bottom line. In fact, Invesp states that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by 25-95%. 

Offering 24/7 support means users are constantly a click away from solving their problems. Constant and accessible support makes users less likely to abandon the app to seek help elsewhere. 

orange background cartoon man on support computer

Provide self-service customer support

Quick access to a Knoweldge base, Life ring button, and chat are tools that support users at ech stage of their journey. In turn, this self-serve approach avoids user frustartion and reduces support tickets for the support team.

reate content such as support resources, video tutorials, and guides, along with direct access to your support team.

It’s good practice to seamlessly integrate support resources within the app, potentially facilitated through the utilization of widgets like the Life Ring Button, an in-app help center, to ensure users have immediate access to assistance.

The complexity of your product determines the level of assistance your users may need from the customer success team. When developing your customer success playbook, carefully assess the onboarding your users require.

Embrace Strategies for Seamless User Onboarding and Lasting Satisfaction

Mastering user onboarding requires a strategic approach that addresses common mistakes and embraces user-centric design.

Whether you’re implementing employee onboarding solutions or seeking the best onboarding software, incorporating these strategies will lead to a more seamless and engaging user experience. By avoiding overwhelming information, simplifying processes, and embracing continuous improvement, you’ll create an onboarding journey that delights users and sets the foundation for long-term satisfaction and loyalty.

Moreover, platforms like Product Fruits offer a comprehensive suite of tools and resources specifically designed for Product Managers. With its array of features tailored for user-centric design and strategic onboarding, Product Fruits equips PMs with the necessary resources to sidestep these common mistakes. By leveraging Product Fruits, PMs can streamline processes, gather valuable user insights, and iteratively refine onboarding experiences, fostering seamless user journeys, long-term satisfaction, and brand loyalty.

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Daniel Musialek

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