ONBOARDING CUSTOMERS: THE INS AND OUTS

Proper onboarding of your customers is a major step in setting your bank up for success. Not only can you use this as an opportunity to showcase your stellar customer service, but you can also prove just how responsive you are to your customers’ needs and to changes within the broader financial environment.

As a financial company, your long-term goals include customer retention, and because onboarding is an integral part of the client journey, this is your time to shine and stand out against your competition.

Make a great first impression with the following tips so you can attract and retain customers while building your brand.

Prepare for Some Challenges

Before implementing an onboarding protocol within your organization, you should be aware of some of the challenges that you might face. For example, it could be difficult to differentiate your offerings from your competition if you are selling similar products and services. It could also be harder to attract and retain Gen Z customers who are more satisfied with big banks.

On top of that, there is a limited number of customers who are available to acquire in the first place. Only a small percentage of customers today will decide to make a switch, and many Gen Z consumers will merely go with the bank that their families use.

In order to overcome these challenges, your company needs to figure out ways of improving every customer’s experience from the beginning of your relationship. And it all boils down to your onboarding process.

Onboarding as a Differentiator

Despite changing markets, overhead costs, competition, and regulations, client onboarding will give you the chance to establish stronger relationships with new customers, as well as expand your brand while offering a more customized service for clients in different markets.

Also, because only about 30% of U.S.-based firms actually view onboarding as a differentiator, according to the Aite Group, you can begin taking steps that other banks are ignoring when it comes to acquiring more loyal customers. In the competitive financial sector, differentiation is key, and proving your worth to customers from the very start of your interaction with them will help you increase profits.

Ways to Enhance Your Onboarding Process

Whether you are ready to establish a brand new onboarding process or improve an existing one, implementing the following strategies could help your financial business stay ahead of the curve:

  • Analyze each customer’s needs. Thanks to online and mobile banking, there are fewer opportunities for your staff to actively interact with customers face-to-face. So when a new customer visits your branch to open an account, take that as a chance to really get to know them, their needs, and expectations.

    Once you’ve collected this information, the key will be to actually give your customers the help they need to fulfill their expectations. So don’t just gather the data; instead, make it a point to approach your customers with solutions that your bank can provide to make their lives easier.
  • Show your appreciation to new customers. A simple “thank you for your business” can go a long way when it comes to making a positive first impression on consumers.

    Whether you mail new customers a handwritten note or you send a text or email, this is an impactful way to show your clients that you care, but you should do it within a couple of days after a customer opens an account.

    Within the “thank you” note, include the customer’s name and the type of account that they opened, along with the perks that they can expect to enjoy as a result of working with your bank.

    You can even personalize these messages by including the name of the employee who worked with the customer, and you can also embed a link to a welcome video or introduction site that has been personalized as well.  

 

  • Keep the lines of communication open. After that initial thank you note, you should continue communicating with your customers in order to improve satisfaction and showcase your other offerings to suit their needs. Generating automated messages that are needs-based and consumer-specific will help you engage with customers rather than merely sell to them.

    Following up on a consistent basis, even when done several times, can be helpful, especially since not all of your messages will be read or remembered. These messages can be sent via statement inserts, email, direct mail, SMS messaging, and social media, as a few examples, based on how a customer prefers to receive communications.

    Personalize your messaging to cater to each customer’s needs, based upon data that you have collected from the onboarding process and from their interactions with your bank since they opened an account. You may, for example, promote your mobile deposit app, your rewards program, or your account alerts as you work on building more trust.

Achieve Growth with Improved Customer Satisfaction

When you are able to increase customer satisfaction, you’ll put your financial organization on the track towards increased profits as well. Focus on improving the onboarding process to not only get to know your customers better, but also to make a lasting impression. Saying thank you, communicating regularly with your customers, and ensuring all of their financial needs are met, especially as their preferences change over time, will help you retain their loyalty, which is an integral part of your success.

Do you need help coming up with the right messaging and the right marketing plan for both new and existing customers? Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about onboarding and other promotional strategies that work.