Customer Onboarding: How to Make the Right First Impression


There’s no denying it…customer expectations are at an all-time high. A recent Forrester report highlighted that empowered customers expect a seamless experience, improved efficiency and heightened responsiveness in all interactions with your brand. So how are you going to deliver this highly personalized experience?


The answer lies in your customer onboarding strategy…

Onboarding is so much more than just a process to welcome your new customer. It is an opportunity for you to capture vital information and build up a picture of that individual and their unique concerns and interests that you can use to tailor and optimize the rest of their customer journey.

Put simply, first impressions count. The onboarding process is particularly important in industries such as financial services and insurance where onboarding and renewal are the defining moments in the journey every customer takes. The onboarding process to establish an initial quote and check eligibility and initiate a service will often be the only interactions that a customer has with the organization (unless there’s a problem or in the case of insurance – the need to make a claim).

The customer information collected during onboarding then feeds through to the renewal process, which is the critical experience for reducing churn. In the digital age, customer churn is higher than ever, so it’s vital to use the onboarding process not only to make a great first impression but assess how you can make a lasting impression on your customers (and a positive one at that). Companies can take strategic measures to improve the renewal process such as offering highly relevant promotions in the lead up to renewal time. A mere 1% difference in churn can have a 12% impact on company valuation in 5 years, according to SaaS Capital, so being able to satisfy customers and turn them into brand advocates is a sure-fire way to secure future success.

But as with any digital strategy, if your onboarding process doesn’t transcend your internal silos, your customer analytics strategies likely won’t either. As Forrester’s Vice President Research Director, Michael Barnes observed, “Most firms still operate in silos: marketing, sales, service, production, and other teams all focus on optimizing their on functions, including the use of data and analytics. But the customer lifecycle cuts across all of these internal organization boundaries.” It’s more important than ever to present a unified approach to customer service.


Enter: Digital Process Automation

The best way to ensure that customers are receiving the optimum experience is to set automation in place across your core processes. Automation can quickly move you beyond merely satisfying customers to turning them into advocates by providing great experiences every time. Allowing for highly personalized, contextual multi-channel experiences will then also provide opportunities for cross-selling.

Putting Digital Process Automation in place is even more vital for companies with a global presence, as operations can vary greatly by region. This can lead to inconsistent and inefficient experiences for customers, inconveniencing them and, worse still, losing money. Automation allows you to establish a single approach to onboarding whilst allowing flexibility to adhere to local laws and regulation, enabling you to derive cost and speed efficiencies as well.


These are the three steps you need to take ensure that your customer onboarding is first class:

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Step 1: Learn from your churn

As well as preventing attrition in the first instance, Digital Process Automation can also help you to learn from those who have left by identifying similarities in their data and identifying abandonment points. This was the case for a leading FTSE 100 bank who were struggling to approve loan applications in a timely manner, which led to their customers abandoning them for competitors who could provide a quicker service. The initial onboarding process was proving difficult as the bank had 11 disconnected systems – with cards, mortgages and general loans all siloed meaning there was no single view of the customer.

Bizagi helped them to introduce Digital Process Automation, which led to customer onboarding time being reduced ten-fold. When it came to the loan origination process, loan advisors could gain a holistic view of customers’ individual circumstances with contextualized information readily available. Point of contact resolution was consequently improved by 30% and customer wait times were nine times shorter.


Step 2: Meet data privacy needs

Effective onboarding requires complex orchestration between both systems and data; and staff and customers. As well as coordinating all these moving parts, the handling of sensitive customer data is a complex and highly-regulated area. With automation, you can achieve peace of mind that you are meeting your regulatory responsibilities and adhering to all the legal data privacy and security requirements.

Healthcare is an industry where the onboarding process is of paramount importance, as not only are you handling sensitive data, but the patient signing up to your service because they have a need which is directly effecting their health – so onboarding is a matter of urgency. It’s vital to ensure a smooth onboarding process that will reduce their stress and get them to treatment faster.

A leading US provider of neuro-rehabilitation care found that by implementing Digital Process Automation with the help of Bizagi they could ensure that sensitive patient data was secure whilst at the same time reducing the number of patients who were abandoning them for competitors who could provide faster treatment. With an industry as sensitive as healthcare, personalization is paramount, so by carrying out a comprehensive onboarding programme, the patient experience was vastly improved to provide a contextualized 1:1 experience, where only the necessary staff were able to view confidential patient information.

Using Bizagi, this healthcare provider reduced their onboarding process time by 90% in just 90 days and were able to serve 21% more patients across 5 sites as staff with specialist experience were freed up to deliver rehabilitation treatment.


Step 3: Map out your process

In a recent survey of CEOs by KPMG, 45% said they could better leverage digital means to connect with customers. So where do you start leveraging digital? The first step is to strategically map your customer onboarding requirements and model it to the organization’s business goals. This can then provide the basis for an established roadmap for subsequent onboarding or retention based processes aligning to your strategic goals i.e. reducing your customer churn.

Many customers already have onboarding projects underway, however, most still struggle to connect the systems, data and people that are needed in order to provide personalized and intelligent experiences. Automation helps you tackle these issues head-on.


What makes a good experience?

When optimizing your onboarding experience, put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What do you expect when you’re signing up for a new service?

Progress: Consider elements such as the endowed progress effect, i.e. a progress bar to show how many more steps of the onboarding progress they have until completion. This will reduce the abandonment rate as users can see how long until they finish their onboarding.

Only ask for essentials: Don’t ask for any information that you don’t need. If it doesn’t deliver value for you or for them, then there is no point. Until the onboarding process is complete, every step is a chance for abandonment.

Videos: If there’s a complicated element to your product or service, then why not present it in video format? Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, so a video can help the learning process.


How Bizagi can help…

If you want to see how Bizagi can help make all this advice into actionable steps to improve your customer onboarding strategy, you can watch our webinar: ‘How to Improve New Customer Onboarding’.