Customer Experience Featured Article

Improving the Customer Experience Key to Successful Onboarding

August 29, 2014

Client onboarding is a critical time for any business. This is one of the customer’s first real introductions to the company, which means it is a time to form impressions that will likely last for the duration of the customer’s time with the business. As such, it’s important for companies to have a standard procedure in place that is not only easy and efficient, but also makes customers feel like their business really matters to the company. Businesses have known for years that the customer is king, and when it comes to onboarding there is no exception.

Pegasystems commissioned a survey earlier this year, conducted by Forrester (News - Alert), which looked at how banks in particular approach customer onboarding. Forrester discovered that banks are all too aware of the ways this stage in the process can go wrong, and are in many ways struggling to fix the issues. Eighty-eight percent of the 140 banking decision-makers surveyed acknowledged that the onboarding experience has a significant impact on the lifetime value of the customer. And, realizing this, 98 percent of banks admit that they believe they’ve lost deals and revenue from poor customer service during client onboarding. Why?

It appears that, of the banks surveyed, the area of onboarding most lacking was that of performing due diligence on clients—a process known as "know your customer" (KYC). Lengthy wait times were a major driver in clients dropping out during the onboarding period. As such it is clear that understanding the customer experience is a challenge for banks today; poor customer experiences seem to have a direct impact on the retention of new clients. In addition to long wait times, other key issues with customer service noted by banks include a lack of open communication with customers throughout the initial onboarding stages, repetitive and redundant applications, and difficulty collecting data while maintaining customer experience.

But while it appears banks are struggling to get the customer experience right, there are plenty of tools out there to help get them on the right track. Of the means available for measuring onboarding success, customer experience metrics ranked highest at 35 percent among banks, followed by quality/error measures (28 percent) and identifying cross-selling opportunities (25 percent).

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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