The customer on-boarding process gives any organization a chance to make a great first impression with a client. The financial services marketplace is competitive and therefore the focus is on providing an unmatched customer experience. The reality isthat
customer on-boarding is not only document-intensive, but also compliance-driven and therefore has traditionally been a slow and bureaucratic process. Adding to this challenge is the need to provide consistent customer service across the web and mobile channels.
Fortunately, there are technology solutions that can provide template-based processes that can access information across the organization to ensure a smooth and hassle-free customer on-boarding experience.
Automation of processes is essential for a good customer on-boarding solution which involves capturing and validating customer data and documents, verifying compliance information, and opening accounts. In addition, master data should be stored in a single
repository that can be accessed by various departments of the organization. Invariably, the information is collected in different documents duringthe time the product is sold to the customer. Therefore, it isvery important that irrespective of the product
involved, standard data should be available easily so that there is minimal manual or repetitive data entry. While the number of regulatory and compliance checks continue to become more stringent—including verification of 'know your customer' (KYC) documents—anti-money
laundering and similar requirements can be business rules driven. The solution should be able to collate customer data anddocuments from diverse sources and consolidate them seamlessly. This will then enable streamlined and optimized processes through either
business rules or business aligned data fields. When straight-through-processing is maximized, manual inputs are reduced as are the accompanying error rates. These measures willin turn result in lowering processing costs and significantly improving control
over the process. When all data fields are aligned, the resultant dashboards and reports will provide a comprehensive overview of the customer relationship. This integrated view will allow for better monitoring and analysis. Thereafter, banks can engage in
omni-channel communication with customeracross e-mail, mobile or letters.
Apart from being scalable, customer on-boarding solutions need to be flexible to meet ever-changing business requirements. Invariably, the implementation of a new solution entails migration of existing data in thesystem, and a fair commitment of resources
for its deployment.The ideal solution is one that streamlines customer on-boarding and simultaneously reduces manual intervention, optimizes theexisting resources available and results in an overall superior customer experience.
According to a Forrester Research report on customer advocacy[i], "when customers feel that a financial services firm acts in their best interest, they are willingto invest more, borrow more, and buy more products from that firm. We call this corporate trait
'customer advocacy'—the perception on the part of customers that a firm does what's best forthem, not just what's best for the firm's own bottom line." Itis well known that customer advocacy has positive implicationsfor sales and can be a differentiator in
[i]Forrester Research, "Customer Advocacy Q2 2012: How US Consumers Rate Their Financial Services Firms," July 30, 2013