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How can Analytics drive Customer Onboarding with immediate activation as the Goal?

At banks, the customer onboarding process is the lowest hanging fruit. You need to make sure the entire organization understands how important it is to prioritize an onboarding program, and how the existence of this program relates to the bank’s ability to grow. Just because one financial institution has success with a program does not mean yours will – onboarding programs must be tailor made for each bank. Instead customers most often witness an undifferentiated experience during this journey. This is solely because products and service cross sell are often seen as afterthoughts in the user experience, and not being dependent on data and personalization. Let’s always keep in mind that a great onboarding experience will have to lead to engagement and immediate activation.

Why financial marketers need to be data hungry?

Firstly, gone are the days when marketing was all about writing an email to 100 people. As technology has spared no industry, Marketing has become all about technology now. Technology that can automate processes combined with tools that capture customer behavior data. Many firms have even been vigorously hiring marketers with such set of skills and tools knowledge for a reason.

The reality of customer onboarding processes at banks today is a combination of fragmented processes and poor collection and management of consumer data. This makes things more difficult for financial marketers as their key role is to understand the customer outside – in. And this is why financial marketers need to be data hungry. They need to view the onboarding process as a way to understand their customers in an individual manner but aggressively. While you map the entire onboarding process and experience from a customer’s point of view, marketers need to identify areas where data can be captured from customers to offer them personalized experiences. For example -

How old is your customer? How many dependents does he/she have? What do they do for living? Where do they live? How often do they visit a pharmacy, a theatre, a coffee shop?

Bad data, no data, and/or the lack of data analysis are the three things that hamper the growth opportunities that an effective onboarding can provide. Banks continue to function in product silos and don’t do a good job of looking at each consumer relationship. You need to start leveraging data for fruitful real-time marketing interactions that can aid faster onboarding. An active check has to be done among all data sources to see if the new customer is already using any other bank’s services. If yes, you can auto populate his/her information everywhere possible to accelerate the entire onboarding process. More the data, more the personalized the onboarding journey can get.

What’s next?

Data, data, everywhere,

What do I do with them to be called fair?

How do you give back to customers when they have trusted you with all their data?

This is a step where most banks get stuck. How do you churn data that you have captured into actual insightful actions? Way before you get started on churning the data for insights, you need to make sure if customer data is consistent and the latest. You need a build a central repository system that manages all kinds’ of customer data across all services and products you are selling. This is where an integration solution can come in handy. An integration solution can latch itself onto  your data sources, suck in data and load them into the customer analytics engine – after which you will be able to retrieve insights about your customers in real time. Signicat released a report that claimed that 40 percent of customers had given up on the online onboarding process when they had applied for an account. The most common reasons given for abandoning were lengthy delays (39 percent) and being asked to give too much personal information (34 percent). Make sure to retrieve information conversationally, along not back to back in a long form format.

Make use of Pre-built customer segments while Onboarding

No customer needs are the same! With the help of an analytics engine, you will be able to segment different kinds of customers. Imagine how easy it would be if you could create a segment for older millennials with kids or how about creating a segment for Gen Z customers in college or even younger millennials who have just jump started their career?

The reason to segment them based on age and preferences is so that you can serve them better with tailor made advice and offerings during the onboarding process. Based on the pre-built segment they fall in, communication and the following steps can be made dynamic proving that your bank is able to personalize their journey one –on – one and hence improving customer experiences drastically.

Most financial marketers often are led to this one question:

“What is the most financially relevant thing I can say to this customer at this particular point in time?”

Profitable relationships are not acquired, they are earned, and focusing on a more customer-centric onboarding strategy is one of the easiest ways for banks to grow their balance sheet. The real payoff comes when financial marketers motivate new account holders to adopt additional account-related services that can drive both engagement and long term profitability. For example, you can identify cross-selling opportunities based on a new account’s credit report to provide additional value based on third-party loans/credit cards.

The whole idea is obviously to know your customers not well, but very well. Once they are onboard, you can drill down to specifics to fit them into a more branched out segment.

Digital Account Simulator before the Real Onboarding – A sneak peek into what Banks can offer

This is especially for digital only banks that do not have a venue to connect with customers face to face. Customers need to know what they are signing up for with your bank. You need to give them confidence that this is the exact product/service they are looking for and showcase how they can benefit from this. The key value here is to bring in a concept called trial where banks allow customers to use a trial version of the product filled with dummy information for them to navigate and understand how the product can really work for them. Banks can give a trial credential set valid for a week to 10 days for customers to evaluate the platform. It’s just like building a trading simulator but a lite version. The main goal is designing an effective free trial flow that allows users to go from zero to hero in the shortest time. By providing them a trial version, their onboarding experience will in fact set the mood for the relationship between the customer and the product while heavily influencing conversion and churn.

The key value in this case will be converting your trial users to customers. This difficult step, is more about knowing what to do with all the data and in particular,

  1. Identifying unique correlations
  2. Define characteristics closely related to an already existing segment of customers
  3. Personalize and optimize customer journeys for a very specific segment of customers

With their trial data, you will be able to identify users who don’t even engage with the product or never return after using a trial version indicate either they are a wrong target group who were enticed by inexact promises or promotional messages or are undergoing a confusing onboarding process that doesn’t effortlessly brief customers through all the essential steps and features that lead to success.

The Influence of Analytics on Fallouts during Onboarding

With proper analytics in place, you will be able to nudge a customer to finish the sign up process in an automated method. There are tools that can provide exact data about where the customer is in the sign up journey. This can be converted into an automatic push notification or an email informing them that they are only 2 steps away and is likely to take them 5 more minutes to open an account with your bank. Having an analytics engine in place can help monitor your customer behaviors with which you will able to guide them with personalized communications during this process and reduce fallouts. Also, by inspecting onboarding analytics collected, you will be able to identify those steps which generate perplexity and that could potentially lead users to exit the platform during the onboarding journey. The addition of real-time intelligence for exploring why customers are abandoning the onboarding process, through insights, has the potential to transform the way your bank takes on new customers in the future.

So to sum it up, with the right analytics set in place, banks will be able to see a decrease in the number of abandoned account applications and an increase in the amount of customer satisfaction rates. Apart from looking on the inside, banks also need to make sure they find the right technology partner to implement an analytic infused customer onboarding solution.


Comments: (2)

Ambrish Parmar
Ambrish Parmar - Independent Contributor - London 23 August, 2018, 11:561 like 1 like

Hi Malavika

Thank you for sharing. I would be interested in your view of how well organisations actually understand their customers and are able to develop actionable insights from data retrieved/ collected.

Many thanks, Ambrish

Diana Da Silva
Diana Da Silva - Data Ladder - Suffield 31 August, 2018, 14:19Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Great post. I see this a lot in many industries. It's hard for a lot of companies still because they don't fully understand where we are going with data and how to actually regulate it, clean it and understand it. Even if they have a data scientist or IT person of some sort on payroll. Unless you have a bigger technical team, creating your own data cleansing tool might not be a great idea - even that could take a long time and still not be good enough. As part of your total data quality management program check out data cleansing tools like this one:

Malavika Kumar

Malavika Kumar

Business Growth Consultant, BFSI

Aspire Systems

Member since

15 Feb



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