Doing it digitally – client onboarding in the new millennium

girlAtLaptopClient onboarding remains one of the most critical aspects of any sales cycle. While many strive for an integrated, seamless onboarding process, most financial services companies have to agree that it is still laborious and/or requires manual intervention. A swift, intuitive and all-inclusive onboarding process will not only guarantee a happy client, but also greatly increase the possibilities of on-going purchases. We all know it is not only cheaper, but far easier to retain existing customers than finding new ones.

A digital onboarding system is the best way to achieve this. The client can go through the well laid out and carefully designed process in the comfort of his/her environment, while leisurely browsing through company profiles and product offerings. Financial institutions will find themselves empowered to take control, and build a relationship with the customer from initial registration to welcome kits and subsequent cross-sell and up-sell activities.

The road to success

Building a digital onboarding system is not an easy task. From the onset, financial institutions need a true, extensive view of their clients to enhance their experience throughout the organisation. An efficient customer strategy to winning the hearts and minds of our clients is essential and not a complex thing to achieve, as most customers just want to feel that they are valued and wanted.

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Besides the customer strategy, financial institutions need to invest in a suitable IT system, as the absence thereof has become a major roadblock leading to operational breaks in the client onboarding flow according to the ‘Efficient client onboarding’ whitepaper published on www.cognizant.com.

The next step in building a successful digital onboarding solution lies in good data. Matching and merging existing data into comprehensive records and ensuring that new data is true and complete will offer the insight required to improve customer loyalty and lifespan value. The wealth of information that can be obtained is only priceless when it is accurate and can be transformed into business intelligence.

Shifting the focus

While the central focus of a digital onboarding solution is to give customers a satisfying experience and so ensuring retention, there is a far greater value in it for financial institutions. The effectiveness of sales and targeted marketing campaigns is increased dramatically as they know their clients so well that they can offer the products and services best matched to their needs. This in turn leads to increased effectiveness through customer profiling and more revenue through cross-marketing.

Another aspect that is gained is improved risk management and governance, especially when taking the governmental reporting and disclosure requirements into consideration. It is vital for financial institutions to know their customers and to centralize and maintain high data quality with rigorous validation standards.

Next week we will look at client onboarding using social media…

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