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Customer enrollment wrongly favors acquisition over customer experience

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When you take on the task of onboarding customers, are you still putting paper or static web forms in front of them? Are you processing forms information manually, or requiring wet signatures? Removing this friction from onboarding is key to delivering a great customer experience.

The process of onboarding customers, business partners or even employees must be fast and seamless in today’s digital age. Too often, enterprises focus their digital transformation initiatives on customer acquisition. Yet once signed up, customers expect a smooth enrollment and onboarding experience, too, regardless of the channel (digital, mobile, call center, etc.) used.

With this in mind, here’s a closer look at some common challenges that banks, payment companies and financial services institutions face when onboarding new customers and why forms transformation should be a strategic imperative.

According to a PWC study, today’s financial institution executives view onboarding as inefficient, problematic and costly. Why? It’s because they’re underinvesting in onboarding technology. Since many institutions are built on outdated technology instead of modernized solutions, many are now relying on quick fixes. Unfortunately, these antiquated systems can no longer support the speed to market that’s demanded in today’s competitive landscape.

Not to mention the looming threat of digital disruptors entering several markets – especially banking and financial services. In fact, according to Bain & Company, 54 percent of customers reported trusting at least one tech company more than banks in general. Many of these upstarts are targeting mobile users because they represent the future of customer interaction.

Within 12 years, Gartner predicts that 80 percent of financial services firms will become obsolete or swallowed up by new competition, evolving consumer behaviors, and digitization advancements. With an increasing number of non-traditional players gaining greater market share, banks and financial services institutions have no choice but to ramp up investments in new digital technologies just to keep up.

By switching from old ways of presenting static forms to next-generation digital forms that drive adaptive experiences, you can avoid being disrupted, or even worse, displaced.

As part of the onboarding process, many businesses – especially those in highly regulated industries like financial services – still require customers to complete paper forms and scan, fax or mail them back. This tedious and time-consuming effort is cumbersome for all parties involved.

Furthermore, many financial transactions require customers to provide backup documents. Some legacy banks still require new customers to present an ID in person before opening an account. Time-starved customers may not be able to complete the signup process in one session, much less have the patience to visit a branch in person simply to verify identification. Ideally, the onboarding process should be simple and seamless, built so that customers can easily submit identity information, track their progress and quickly pick up from where they left off.

The bottom line is, today’s customers want to interact in real-time, so they expect nearly instant responses to the information they share with you. They’re less likely to wait for your back-office staff to manually process form data and respond later. When this happens, you risk losing customers.

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