Greg Potter

Do you spend much time thinking about customer onboarding? I’m guessing probably not.

It’s not always top-of-mind, but it’s a really important part of a customer journey and something that can have a huge impact on customer satisfaction, organisational reputation and brand loyalty.

In this blog, explore customer onboarding; what it is, how it works and the benefits to both parties. So, get onboard as we dive into onboarding!

What is customer onboarding?

The term can often be misinterpreted or misunderstood. Customer onboarding is the process of integrating a new prospect into your organisation as a customer. This could also be referred to as customer registration or a sign-up.

It’s an area that’s ripe for digital transformation, offering opportunities to streamline data collection from customers and improve reporting on your first formal interaction with them.

What sectors does this relate to?

Customer onboarding is most prevalent in the financial services sector, specifically banking, due to the extensive checks required. However, sectors like insurance and legal services follow suit.

But remember, customer onboarding is relevant in any sector that requires customers to provide details to sign up or register. Whether it’s opening a bank account, or taking out a gym membership, the aim is data collection. The types of data and level of complexity may vary.

What do our customers think?

Contrary to the popular belief that ‘it’s just the way things are,’ our research shows that customers in the financial sector often have significant pain points with the onboarding process. These issues can have a damaging impact on how they feel about the organisation, and that’s not a great start.

How do we know?

Our extensive research includes assessing current banking processes, conducting customer surveys and interviews, and engaging in prototyping and user testing. Through this, we’ve identified typical onboarding pain points such as:

  • Frustration with data input
  • Data errors
  • Lengthy processing times

Why does it matter?

I think this is a really important point that’s often overlooked. It matters because, in a lot of cases, this will be the first proper experience the customer has had with the organisation and will play a big part in shaping their first impressions. It’ll also form part of their expectations and perception of the capabilities of the business.

If the customer gets frustrated in the sign-up process, then they’ll feel that they’ve had a bad customer experience and it will start the relationship off on the wrong note. They haven’t even started working together at this stage, and already the customer may be feeling frustrated and disappointed. You can see how that could have an impact on customer satisfaction and overall lifetime value.

Know Your Customer (KYC)

You may be familiar with the concept of KYC, but if not, these are the regulatory checks that certain organisations have to carry out to verify that a customer is who they say they are. These can be complex but are important from a practical, logistical and legal perspective.

There could be multiple layers to the verification process, a legal structure may not always be clear and there is a lot of room for error. Often mistakes are made with data entry during the process, causing issues for the organisation, creating more manual work for staff and delaying the overall process. There can also be online security implications, as a lot of the documents will often be sent or uploaded online.

For a lot of organisations, this process is fragmented, disjointed, manual and long. You might also say, painful. In addition to collecting data for KYC and AML (anti-money laundering) purposes, the data must also have regular audits to ensure that it’s correct and up to date.

So the ease of collection, maintenance and editing is fundamental to ease the laborious and time-consuming tasks of fulfilling these requirements.

What’s the solution?

You may be thinking “That’s just the way it is, it has to be that way”, but the reality is that it doesn’t. The answer lies in UX and customer research. A robust UX approach can often resolve most, if not all of these issues.

The first stage is to understand the current process and users. We need to identify the challenges, the pain points and what the customers want. We can then start to map out where the process is failing and improvements need to be made. This can involve:

  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Expert reviews
  • User interviews
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • User testing
  • Biometric testing

The next stage is to design a new process that addresses these issues and delivers the user experience that customers want. This can involve:

  • Wireframing
  • User journey mapping
  • Prototyping
  • User testing
  • UX design

The final stage is to either build and/or implement the new solution. This can be a complex process, with lots of requirements and integrations, not to mention costly and time-consuming. However, there is a solution to this.

Our incredible onboarding solution

Using our extensive research and years of experience in this area, we have pre-built a fully customisable, flexible, and integrated end-to-end API-led solution.

Our onboarding platform can seamlessly integrate into your existing systems and is an ideal solution to overhaul an onboarding process. This would usually be in conjunction with other aspects of UX research and testing. The Platform can be configured specifically to meet your exact requirements while delivering a world-leading user experience.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased data accuracy, i.e. less mistakes
  • More automation, i.e. less manual processing
  • Seamless integration with:
    • Virtually any database in the world, such as Dunn & Bradstreet
    • Third-party verification tools, such as ID Now
    • Almost any other API system
  • Better audit logging and compliance
  • Improved security
  • Reduced onboarding time
  • Better user experience and customer satisfaction

What if we already have our own platform?

No problem. Our platform can either function as a standalone system or integrate with your current setup. It starts by identifying where the bottlenecks and inefficiencies lie. This means we can either assess and improve what is already there, provide a completely new platform, or create a hybrid solution. So, whatever the situation, we can always find a solution.

How our solution has helped our clients

We’ve carried out this process for global organisations and international banks, here’s an example:

A client approached us with a range of challenges, the main being the amount of time it was taking to set up an account for and onboard a new corporate client. In the worst case, this process could take up to three months!

We built the client a new onboarding platform that significantly improved the process and reduced the onboarding time from up to three months to as little as just two days, significantly improving customer satisfaction.

The future of onboarding

Given the advancements in technology and growing customer expectations, the need to deliver seamless customer experience is inevitable. Operations and compliance teams have bloated significantly in the last 10 years as a consequence of increased regulation, so streamlining out-of-date systems and poor data management will become more of a focus.

Ready to Transform Your Customer Onboarding? Let’s Talk!

Facing challenges with your onboarding process? Whether you’re looking to enhance your current system or considering a complete overhaul, we’re here to help. Our experts in UX, onboarding, and Digital Transformation are just a click away.

Start your journey towards world-class onboarding with us. Get in touch today to find out how we can elevate your customer experience.

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