Generally the most laborious part of a customer’s relationship with their bank is the application and onboarding process. Filling out countless forms, searching for long-lost documents, and signing each piece of paper multiple times can lead to terrible experiences and high application attrition rates. Avoka are focused on streamlining banking customer experience so that banks and their customers can focus on the transaction rather than the application. A new whitepaper on “Seeing the Application and Onboarding Experience Through Your Customer’s Eyes”, outlines 4 opportunities banks have to improve their customer experience during this critical phase of the customer journey.
Move From Business-Centered to Human-Centered
The first questions to ask yourself when designing an onboarding experience are:
- Why is my customer applying for this banking product?
- What goals do they have?
- What needs do they have?
The answer to these questions will impact your presentation as well the content you put on the application pages. It’s also important to think about what questions your customers are asking like:
- How long is this going to take?
- What information will I need?
- What if I get stuck?
- What if I run out of time?
- Will my sensitive information be protected?
These questions are a way to plan an onboarding experience. For example, if your customers are confused or intimidated with how long the application process might take, adding a note about where they are in the process (for example: “Step 1 of 4”) can help ease that anxiety. If they are concerned about getting stuck and trying to pick the application back up on another device, provide information about how to continue the application across devices.
Solicit Direct Customer Feedback
Data analysis can only go far when providing insight into human behaviour. At some point, it can be more helpful to solicit feedback directly from customers in the form of a survey or even dedicated user testing. Questions to ask in the survey, or observe during user testing, are:
- Where are customers getting hung up in the application process?
- Are customers getting confused about a certain question or information request?
- Are they spending too much time on certain fields?
The answers to these questions, combined with data analysis, can be extremely useful when iterating on your onboarding experience. Remember, you should constantly be changing and updating your experiences depending on how your customers are behaving—the application process is not a “set it and forget it” system.
Minimise Customer Effort
Lowering the effort required to complete an application or transaction is directly linked to higher customer satisfaction and customer loyalty levels. This can come in many different forms—and it starts with understanding what effort that customers are exerting for different requests. These can be categorized in 3 main ways:
Low Effort: Do they know the information off the top of their heads, like birthday or Social Security number?
Medium Effort: Do they need to look it up, but it’s easily accessible? Or do they have the information but it will take a while to write it all out in the application? Examples could be a driver’s license number or work history.
High Effort: Do they need to search for it, such as retrieve it from a filing cabinet or online storage? This can include tax returns or pay stubs.
For example, asking a customer for their work history might be considered a “medium effort” question since your customer likely knows the information, but it will take a bit of time to write it all down or remind them which title they had at which company. A solution for that question might be creating integration with LinkedIn where all they need to do is login and their work history is pulled automatically.
Another way to reduce effort is by understanding exactly what information is required to move forward with an application or onboarding, and save the rest for later. Asking easier questions first helps get the process started and allows for you to ask more difficult lessons further along in the process once they’ve already become invested in the onboarding. Big barriers to entry at the beginning of the application process can yield high abandonment rates that will ultimately affect your institution’s customer acquisition targets.
Calculate Your Transaction Effort Score™
Avoka work with a variety of banking and financial services organizations to reduce their application abandonment and improve their overall onboarding process. Because so many customers have struggled to understand exactly how their onboarding process is hurting their customer acquisition, we developed the Transaction Effort Score™ in order to help banks understand exactly what, and how, their onboarding needs to be modified. If you haven’t tried it yet, get your own free analysis today.