Too often, consumers abandon their onboarding process due to lengthy paperwork and demands for too much personal information. Consumers are turning to companies that offer digital, fast, and painless onboarding processes. Now more than ever, a short, remote, and automatic process is essential to conduct a good user experience. Companies are trying to balance compliance with regulatory requirements - which requires collecting a lot of data from customers - and offering new customers a fast, easy onboarding experience. Finding the best solutions for onboarding clients can be challenging. However, the right technology can help tackle any obstacle.
What is Customer Onboarding?
Customer onboarding is the process of gaining new customers for your company. The initial start of this process is significant, as it sets the tone for the relationship between your company and the client. By offering an excellent initial experience, your company increases the opportunity to develop a lasting customer relationship.
During this process, it is your responsibility to address any questions consumers may have, offer ongoing support, and provide a strategy for each step moving forward. It is up to you to ease the client’s transition and reassure them that they made the right choice in choosing your company.
Client onboarding should be a crucial part of your business strategy, and when done effectively, it can have multiple positive effects:
- Reducing client turnover: According to a McKinsey study, 52% of customers leave in the first 90 days due to poor onboarding, engagement, and customer service. It’s essential to build lasting relationships and provide value to the consumer at the initial start of the relationship. This could help lead to less client churn and happier clients.
- Improved efficiency: Not only does the onboarding process help the client, but it also helps your business. You should gain valuable access to crucial data that is needed to complete the onboarding process. This will create a more efficient operation and help prevent issues in the future.
- Client happiness: Consumers want to work with companies that have clear expectations and a well-established strategy. They want to know a company cares about their clients, puts their clients first, and is willing to build strong relationships. If your company can prove this to clients, not only will clients be happier, but you could potentially increase your Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Challenges With Customer Onboarding & The Digital Solutions to Help
If your company's onboarding process results in turnover or unhappy and unsatisfied consumers, then it's probably time to reevaluate the process. Here's a look at some of the top onboarding issues.
#1. The Process is Too Lengthy
The biggest challenge with running a successful onboarding process is the length of time it takes a consumer from start to finish. It may take weeks to complete the process, which results in a delay in revenue and consumer dissatisfaction. Multiple documents, a tremendous amount of data, and multiple departments throughout the onboarding process make it very time-consuming.
For example, a bank may have three sectors that include retail, corporate, and insurance that cater to a specific customer. Say their customer enrolls in all three sectors of the bank, now that customer has to go through the onboarding process three times over. This is not an efficient process for the business and especially not for the customer. There has to be a way to make this challenge less of a pain. Luckily with digital banking tools like conversational AI, there is.
Conversational AI can be used to automate the request for documents from a customer. Before digital solutions, document handling was a time-consuming process. Staff members were constantly running back and forth with customers to collect the proper documents to finalize the onboarding process. As complications arose, customers would drop off and abandon the onboarding process because it was inconvenient. Intelligent virtual assistants can help assist customers throughout the entire onboarding process and re-engage if they drop off. The AI assistant can also answer any queries and hand over the more complex questions to human agents.
#2. Onboarding Isn't Convenient for Customers
Traditionally, customers have to complete onboarding on a 9-to-5 schedule, completing paperwork on the company's time. Signatures and physical hardcopies have to be mailed out. This way of conducting business makes it very inconvenient for the customer. Simply missing a customer's email could mean another day's delay, causing more headaches and worsening the overall customer experience.
AI Virtual Assistants can help customers onboard on their time. They can be used for 24/7 support; they never sleep. Customers no longer have to depend on the 9-to-5 time frame to get documents completed. These conversational robots help in providing self-service solutions to customers, through natural and user-friendly interactions. They can also access data from a variety of sources within your company, allowing a more personalized experience that doesn't include redundant requests for information.
#3. Customers Don't Get to Choose Their Communication Channel
Consumers, now more than ever, want the choice to select the communication channel of their preference. When a company does not offer multiple communication channels, it makes it very hard for the consumer to have a personalized experience. Without the proper messaging channels, your consumers may fall off, and retention rates could decrease.
Messaging apps and chatbots have opened a door of possibilities by navigating the best way to interact with customers and establishing a new way for onboarding customers. With the option of multiple messaging channels, consumers can sign up for a subscription quickly through their mobile devices instead of speaking with representatives through the web. The more opportunities you can provide for your customers, the better the user experience can be, and in turn, good word of mouth can spread about your company.
AI-powered chatbots aren't just for your website anymore. They can also be deployed across other communication channels, including SMS/text and social media. A chatbot can be used to authenticate the user, answer queries, gather required documents, automate user journey, and even send reminders to retain customer attention. This option will allow the user to complete the onboarding process on their terms with whatever messaging channel they prefer. A chatbot is available 24/7 and is always there to support the user. Conversational AI bots continue the conversation right where they left it, and they know when to pass the information to a human if more complex situations arise. Providing a user’s preferred communication channel will improve the user experience and help a company onboard customers more efficiently.
Want to learn more about using AI virtual assistants for customer onboarding? Check out our recent infographic.