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Taking Business to New Heights with Superior Customer Onboarding

4 Mins read

The customer onboarding process is your first interaction with a customer. It’s also your first chance to differentiate between high-risk and low-risk users. This can be a make-or-break type of opportunity. Creating a frictionless, seamless process is key to future success.

As part of this seamless onboarding experience, businesses can use identity proofing – or ID verification – to verify their users in a remote manner to gain trust that they’re doing business with the correct person. The goals are to decrease risk of fraud and to make it as easy as possible for users to prove who they say they are so they can begin using your products and services.

A superior onboarding process that makes this verification easy and simple for customers can go a long way toward building a strong relationship with that customer – and it also paves the way for simplifying future interactions with your organization, like opening new accounts or changing their passwords. It’s important to understand onboarding best practices and the criticality of these procedures, as well as how to implement them.

Tedious and risky onboarding and data practices

Organizations lose out on millions in revenue each year due to unnecessary repetitive onboarding because it causes user fatigue, which leads to abandonment of the process. If your onboarding process is slow or there are many documents that need to be uploaded yet aren’t readily available to the customer, many of them will quit the process entirely. Reusable digital IDs are changing the way people verify their identity online, and empowering your new users to create and save a digital ID while onboarding will save them time in the future and position your company as an innovator.

Building trust with customers is the key to long-term success for an organization. Not only will a seamless onboarding process attract and secure new customers, but it will make the overall experience of customer interaction with the organization more favorable, which leads to a variety of benefits. These include customer retention and satisfaction and repeat business.

Turning the onboarding process into a strategic advantage

To eliminate risks of account takeover or hacked customer accounts, you can use the same digital identity that you already verified throughout that customer onboarding to make sure they’re still safe. For example, asking for a selfie before a user changes their password or mailing address stops account takeover attempts in its tracks with minimal friction for legitimate users. This is where innovation can really come in; it’s an opportunity to go beyond onboarding to also look at the authentication and reverification of users. If the process is set up for success from the start, it only makes maintenance that much easier for the business.

Best practices for building superior customer onboarding

When designing a great customer onboarding experience, make it as easy as possible for the customer. Once they create their identity, being able to reuse it in the future is essential. For example, if they have a mortgage already and then want to apply for a car loan at the same bank, having an established identity that doesn’t require more paperwork encourages further interaction within your organization. Leveraging that information is important.

You’ll also need to build onboarding into multiple risk systems. Onboarding should be part of the security team, the compliance team, the product team – all of the different business units. A company can leverage these reusable digital IDs to improve their overall security and user experience. And leveraging this kind of system can also connect those previously disconnected silos of information where different parts of the bank – for example, different branches – are not necessarily connected in a way where they can share that data. Data sharing and access to the digital identity system across the entire organization are key.

Leveraging different risk signals should also impact how you conduct ID proofing. For example, users which are deemed low risk should be onboarded as fast and easily as possible. While users which rank higher on the risk curve warrant increased scrutiny and step-up verification. Choosing an ID verification partner that augments their data with fraud and risk scores allows you to go beyond the tedious one-size-fits-all user onboardings.

Make sure you have the ability to update information on any user behavior and user identity in real time – not just when the customer is present within the bank, for example, but across the whole ecosystem. So, if a customer tells you their identity has been compromised, the organization can receive that information live and ensure that the attacker won’t be able to use the same stolen identity across the whole ecosystem.

Finally, look for a partner that’s leading on the innovation front. The space is changing so quickly that you need a partner with a track record of delivering innovation and building new use cases with large partners and large customers that need to scale. You want a partner that has zero- or low-code deployment to allow you to be more innovative and make changes to your deployment as the market evolves and as your user’s needs change. Finally, you need a partner that can eliminate the redundancy of human decision making for repetitive tasks and leverage AI and machine learning to unlock use cases and new requirements for speed, scale, and accuracy.

Toward better onboarding

A superior end-user experience in onboarding is an effective way to bolster customers’ good will and secure otherwise lost revenue. Ensuring customers stay engaged and complete authentication processes is key to providing a seamless experience for new customers. And that also ultimately helps maintain a high-standing reputation for a company’s brand. What’s more, organizations are moving beyond just onboarding to user authentication and reverification to more lines of business than just the new account creation team. A great onboarding process re-uses that information for future customer interactions, such as when they seek additional services. Use the four best practices above to design a solid and successful onboarding program.

Domingo Guerra is the Executive Vice President of Trust, Incode.

Customer onboarding stock image by Dmitry Demidovich/Shutterstock

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