Onboarding Loyalty

Financial institutions spend more money acquiring new customers and members than they do marketing to their current clientele. According to 1st Financial Training Services, a front-line training organization for banks and credit unions, it costs approximately six to eight times more to gain new customers than it does to keep current customers.  Approximately 25 percent of new account holders will leave their bank or credit union within the first year, and less than half of a financial institution’s current customer base considers itself “loyal.” That’s why onboarding platforms are pivotal for financial entities. They provide solutions to both attrition and retention. The most crucial timeframe a financial institution has with its new customer or member is within the first 90 days – considered the “honeymoon period.” The only onboarding platform that doesn’t work is the one you DON’T have in place.

The strategy needed to create, implement, manage and maintain an onboarding platform can be intense and feel overwhelming. Driving a platform’s success are tactics such as the need for omni channel marketing triggers that are personalized and executed at key time intervals along the courtship. However, tactics aren’t the only ingredients you’ll need; authentic interactions with your new customer/membership base are an absolute must. Brand representation (not to mention reputation), product and service education, and incentivized promotions need to be part of the strategy as well.

I have seen so many clients suffer the pitfalls of poorly designed onboarding platforms, and have helped them restructure and tweak the platforms to ensure results and secure loyal customers and members.  Some of the areas that needed improvement were relative to design, list management, trigger work flows, timing and weak incentive offerings.

While there are definitely standards for messaging, processes and formats, those elements are all completely customizable to every financial institution. I can’t stress enough the importance of creating a differentiator that is unique to your organization and then shouting that from every rooftop your market space has to offer.  Something that has also proven successful is the adaptation of trigger sequencing strategy that operates under the KISS (Keep It Simple “Silly”) mentality.  Chartwell can help streamline your OnBoarding Platform so that it is seamless and effective from the initial “welcome to the family” communications, on through to “how are we doing?” trigger at 120 days.

We also suggest creating a list of business goals and outcomes you want to achieve, and always keep that visible as you’re developing your onboarding platform. Think about marketing tactics that you’ve encountered as the consumer, jot down ones that missed the mark and steer clear of including them within your platform.  OnBoarding platforms are meant to be outsourced and automated yet enhance your current welcoming tactics.  Infusing personalized, authentic and human touches are important as well – write a thank you note upon account establishment and pick up the phone to touch base around the 45-day mark.  There’s nothing wrong with leaving a voicemail. That display of customer service speaks volumes.

Whether you are a one-person show or part of a motley crew, establishing loyal relationships with your new customers and members should be your top priority and that’s a two-way street. Buy-in at all levels throughout your organization is incredibly important.  Chartwell would honor the opportunity to talk one-on-one with your organization – about your experiences, your needs and the journey your organization should embark on!