Founders: Are You Making This GIANT Costly Mistake in Getting Traction?

Hilmon Sorey
August 5, 2023

As an expert startup advisor with a vast experience of investing in over 100 startup companies, I have witnessed a recurring and costly mistake that many founders tend to make when trying to gain traction for their ventures. The mistake I'm referring to is underestimating the significance of effective customer onboarding and its direct impact on retention. In this article, I will delve into the critical aspects of customer onboarding, emphasizing its role in establishing a strong and lasting relationship with your customers.

The Power of Customer Onboarding

Customer onboarding is the process of guiding new customers as they begin their journey with your product or service. It is the first touchpoint where you have the opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression on your users. A well-designed onboarding experience not only helps users understand your product better but also ensures that they find value in it from the very beginning.

1. Comprehensive Training

The first step in successful customer onboarding is to provide comprehensive training. This training should not be limited to just the initial group that made the purchase; rather, it should extend to the end customers as well. Offer easily digestible and ongoing training sessions that allow users to become comfortable with your software.

Your training material should be both informative and engaging, catering to users of all skill levels. By doing so, you empower your customers to make the most out of your product, increasing their satisfaction and reducing the chances of them feeling overwhelmed or lost.

2. Set Clear Expectations

Transparency and honesty play a crucial role in building trust with your customers. During the sales process, make sure to set realistic expectations that are directly tied to the pain points your product aims to solve. Avoid exaggerations or over-promising, as this could lead to disappointment and frustration down the road.

When customers know exactly what they can expect from your product, they are more likely to appreciate its value and continue using it in the long run. Remember, trust is a valuable asset in any business relationship.

3. Provide Value Regularly

To forge a strong and enduring bond with your customers, you must go beyond occasional check-ins. Instead, roll up your sleeves and actively contribute to solving your customer's job-to-be-done and real-world problems. Strive to be more than just a vendor; become a partner in their success.

Regularly providing value can involve various approaches, such as offering personalized recommendations, sharing industry insights, or providing tips and tricks to enhance their experience. Show your customers that you genuinely care about their success, and they will reward you with their loyalty.


In the fast-paced world of startups, it's easy to overlook the importance of customer onboarding. However, neglecting this critical aspect can lead to missed opportunities and a high churn rate. By investing time and effort in comprehensive training, setting clear expectations, and consistently providing value, you lay a solid foundation for a successful and enduring customer relationship.


  • What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding is the process of guiding new customers as they start using your product or service. It involves providing them with the necessary training and information to ensure a smooth and successful experience.

  • Why is customer onboarding essential for startups?

Customer onboarding is crucial for startups as it sets the tone for a long-term relationship with customers. A positive onboarding experience increases customer satisfaction and retention rates.

  • How can startups provide comprehensive training?

Startups can offer comprehensive training through various means, such as video tutorials, interactive guides, and one-on-one sessions, tailored to the customers' specific needs.

  • What role does transparency play in customer onboarding?

Transparency is vital in customer onboarding, as it helps build trust with customers. By setting clear and realistic expectations, startups can avoid misunderstandings and foster stronger relationships.

  • How often should startups provide value to customers?

Startups should consistently provide value to customers through regular interactions, personalized recommendations, and ongoing support to ensure customer success and satisfaction.

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