Jun 2017 | Credit Decisions

Digital onboarding challenges

For organisations that want to use a high-quality digital platform to reliably turn prospects into customers, the future can’t come soon enough.

Customer feedback has suggested that some current onboarding systems could be considered not fit for purpose and restrict the ability of both business and the customer to go fully digital.

Currently, sign-up is often too lengthy for the customer and, for large purchases like a car, fulfilment can often take weeks or even months.

If difficulties around sign-up and fulfilment were the only barriers to improving the onboarding process, they would still represent quite a challenge. The problem is that, for customers at least, there are many more additional challenges that need to be dealt with.

During a recent survey, we explored what people thought were the barriers to receiving excellent customer service:

  • Failure to identify the customer during the application process.
  • Processes take too long, or are boring and confusing – caused by having to key in information manually
  • Lack of availability – service is not 24/7 or in real-time and no mobile-optimised version exists
  • Legal terms and conditions and regulatory requirements can slow or stop the process
  • The inability to provide child, joint account applications and business onboarding options
  • A physical signature is required
  • Processes must be completed in a single sitting as no save and return features exist

The challenge to create a great onboarding process is significant.

It is evident from the customer feedback above that there are various areas which are causing friction in the application process. Simplicity and personalisation are two of the main areas which will undoubtedly improve the experience and relieve that friction.

One of the main problems with some current designs of digital onboarding processes is that ‘exceptions’ cause the majority of people to not even get passed the starting point of application. Because of this, customers become disillusioned with the process and providers struggle with the high cost of the manual interventions needed to save sales.

A further obstacle in correcting the onboarding journey is that businesses have traditionally built bespoke and linear solutions. Each business believes its problems are unique, so they need a unique platform. These high-cost systems are then built on legacy designs.

According to an Oxford University study: delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value, large IT projects (those costing $15m+) on average run 45% over budget, and 7% over time, while delivering 56% less value than predicted.

It gets worse: 17% of IT projects go so badly wrong they end up threatening the very existence of the business they were designed to help – often running over by up to 400% of budget.

Given the scale of potential waste and even endangerment of a business, very few organisations are brave enough to properly tackle challenges like this for a second time, resulting in simply digitising face-to-face paper processes that lack real-time execution.

The future is about building a complete digital infrastructure that can create simple, individual digital journeys for onboarding that gather appropriate information with the least friction possible. Slick, agile and flexible systems that are available on multiple channels are important. As customer expectations continue to grow, businesses should be looking to develop a customer onboarding infrastructure that considers change. Being able to adapt lending strategies and create a single customer view is important for any organisation that wants to offer a digital platform for their customers to use. Both of these will complement each other and offer the ability for you to make changes according to the individual’s needs.

Content in this blog is an extract from our ‘digital onboarding’ whitepaper.

Resources used:

Oxford University & McKinsey & Company. (2016). Delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value. [Online] Available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/delivering-large-scale-it-projects-on-time-on-budget-and-on-value

Whitepaper: Customer Digital Onboarding