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How to Deliver Seamless Onboarding Experience in Financial Services Sector

Benefits of stakeholder onboarding in Financial services (finserv) sector

Efficient merchant onboarding in the financial services sector translates into higher revenues for banks, NBFCs, and fintechs. Read this blog to know how technology can help automate onboarding and measure key metrics such as TAT, NPS, and lead conversion rate to accurately predict customer action.

This PoV was authored by Shashank Khanduri, Senior Solution Engineer, Salesforce and Harpreet Singh Dhariwal, Principal Solution Engineer, Salesforce

India’s vision for financial inclusion can only move forward with speed when the financial services (finserv) sector digitally transforms every single process along the spectrum of services on offer. One important area that can be digitised to offer efficiency, cost and customer experience benefits is stakeholder onboarding.

Onboarding is often the first real experience that merchants, customers and partners have with a bank, NBFC or fintech. Onboarding refers to the entire process a stakeholder goes through when they start a relationship with the financial institution. This includes completing know-your-customer (KYC) documentation and other formalities before the first transaction.

Finserv companies onboard several partners, merchants, agents and customers (referred to as customers throughout this article) to expand the outreach of their products and services, and grow their revenues. They can lose customers if the onboarding experience is poor or inefficient. So, focusing on customer experience during onboarding is critical.

How traditional methods of onboarding lead to missed opportunities

Current onboarding methods don’t really offer a fast and seamless customer experience. They are paper-based and manually intensive; and involve multiple, complex and iterative steps to be taken, before initiating a transaction with a customer. Today’s customers – expecting a seamless experience like that offered by new-age, tech-enabled companies that onboard in minutes – are disappointed by companies that take a few days to achieve this. Onboarding turnaround time (TAT) is often a differentiator in the competitive Finserv sector. And poor TATs can adversely affect revenue in the long run.

Coupled with insufficient communication and poor engagement, customers could be left frustrated with the entire process. This results in a loss of interest in pursuing the relationship even before the first transaction can occur.

Since manual processes do not lend themselves to tracking metrics like dropout rates, there is a lack of quantifiable data on customer satisfaction. Consequently, Finserv providers don’t just miss out on the crucial opportunity to create a good first impression on their prospective/newly acquired customers, but also to build the foundations for strong engagement in the future.

Role of technology in re-engineering onboarding

The onboarding process comprises several steps, such as:

  • Precise and targeted profiling of prospective customers
  • KYC process, document collection and management
  • Identity verification
  • Merchant/ Partner/ Agent / Customer onboarding
  • Merchant/ Partner/ Agent / Customer engagement

Technology can streamline and expedite these processes, onboard new users efficiently, and enable faster legal compliances. Here’s how you can use technology to re-engineer the onboarding process:

  • Automate certain parts of your  onboarding journey: Eliminate paper-based and manual steps by building custom apps to digitally replicate your unique onboarding process. While you can enable assistance via chatbots or calls, also allow for customer self-service to save time and cost. Steps such as KYC, document management, verification, and e-signing can easily be taken care of via an app. Intuitive and well-designed self-service processes can also bring greater transparency to the onboarding process, which is critical in the finserv space.
  • Map your onboarding journey to increase customer satisfaction: The onboarding steps and the support needed by different customers can vary. By personalising this journey for each of your customer personas, you will expedite the onboarding process and offer customers optimum support. Map the journey from the first customer interaction touchpoint (through web, emails, mobile and advertising, etc.) till their first transaction with you post-onboarding.
  • Sync onboarding with sales, marketing, and service channels: Integrate customer data gathered during onboarding with sales, marketing, and service channels for a complete Customer 360. A single, unified view of customer data allows all teams to engage in smarter and more personalised and contextual interactions with the customer, while also leveraging up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
  • Keep customers and agents updated and informed: Simplify appointment scheduling with tools like Lightning Scheduler to fix in-person or audio/video customer appointments to answer their queries.Use learning and skilling platforms like Trailhead to disseminate information about products, offerings, and policies to your customers. You can also use Trailhead to upskill your agents. Personalising and gamifying this entire training process can motivate your stakeholders to broaden their knowledge faster.
  • Measure key indicators: Track metrics such as onboarding TAT, lead conversion rate, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) to gauge customer’s satisfaction level with your onboarding process and to predict customer action.

The key to success lies in looking at onboarding as a critical aspect to accelerating the sales channel, so design your onboarding process keeping your customer expectations at the centre.

Transform the digital onboarding process with Salesforce to provide your user with a superlative experience. Build a 360-degree view of your customer from the first touchpoint for faster customer acquisition, higher customer engagement, and stronger customer retention.

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