7 Steps to Building a Killer Onboarding Program

For retail banks, customer acquisition costs are high, and often don’t generate a positive business return. In fact, more than 40% of new customers will churn before costs are recovered, resulting in a negative value for the bank. This puts a lot of pressure on banks to make sure their customers are hooked from the get-go. The customer experience starts with onboarding, and the first 90 days can make or break your customer relationships.

There’s a lot that goes into making your onboarding program as effective as possible. Keep these seven steps in mind to ensure your customers stick around for the long run.

1. Set Goals and Targets

Determine who you want to target and the touchpoints you’ll need to use to reach them, whether direct mail, email, social media, or phone. You’ll also want to have a clear understanding of the goals for the program, so you can tailor it accordingly. For instance, is there a new product or service you want to promote? If you know your goals upfront, you’ll have a clear focus for the entirety of your program.

2. Orchestrate a Quick Win

Don’t let the first 90 days pass without initiating communication with your new customers; they need to feel valued and taken care of by their bank as soon as they sign up. Consider sending a welcome email or a hand-written thank you note to kick off the relationship. Or, you could even give them a call to ask how everything is going so far.

3. Personalization

Your customers need to know that you view them as people, and not numbers. It’s important to be aware of their life stages and personal needs, so you can offer appropriate services at the right time. For example, if your customer has been renting for several years, he or she may be interested in mortgage loans. If you know their housing situation, then you can share valuable information to help them take the next step.

4. Utilize Multiple Marketing Channels

You can strengthen your onboarding program by incorporating multiple marketing channels to contact your customers. Well-timed text messages, short surveys, and gift cards are just a few ways to reach out and make your customers feel heard and appreciated. Also, be sure your marketing and sales teams are on the same page about targets and goals. Organizations that aligned marketing and sales operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth than those that did not.

5. Turn Your Ideas into Actions

The only way to realize real value from your onboarding ideas is to turn them into action. This starts with formulating a communications plan; be sure to establish a cadence that doesn’t overwhelm your customers, spacing out each touchpoint appropriately. You want to find a workflow that works well for them and your business.

6. Establish Clear Metrics

In order to determine the success and effectiveness of your onboarding program, you’ll need to identify your business goals, establish metrics, and track the progress of specific activities. This also allows for transparency with leadership, so they can address any roadblocks, and you can implement changes, as needed.

7. Leverage a Technology Framework

A technology framework will help you thoroughly execute your onboarding program in a streamlined, efficient manner. With the right tools in place, you can automate touchpoints, ensure consistency in messaging among relationship managers, and maintain a comprehensive reporting system.

Don’t Let Onboarding Be an Afterthought

An onboarding program is an important first step in establishing a customer relationship, and should be a priority for any financial institution. When you incorporate onboarding into your overall sales and marketing strategy, you create a more cohesive approach to reaching and staying in front of customers throughout their tenure with your bank.

360 View’s team is here to help you get started with your onboarding program. Watch our webinar "Building a Killer Onboarding Program that Grows and Retains Relationship" to learn more.


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