SAG_Twitter_MEME_Dynamic_Apps_May17.jpgFirst impressions count. To be successful with bringing on new customers and keeping them loyal, you need to make the onboarding process as easy and smooth as possible.

People are busy, and they don’t want to be kept waiting when they’re trying to complete a transaction or sign up for a new service. They also don’t want to have to deal with complex processes that can lead to inaccurate data gathering and further delays.

In this ultra-competitive business environment, how well companies onboard their customers is more important than ever. At the same time, companies are looking to keep their onboarding costs down and maximize efficiencies.

The process of onboarding varies from business to business. It can range from simple online account creation (for example, on a social network) to a more complex procedure such as a financial services account that requires multiple validations and approvals. It can take a couple of minutes, a few days, or – if you are really unlucky – weeks or even months.

In many cases the process is inefficient, handled largely through outmoded, manual workflows that are slow and prone to errors. This leads to delayed processes, something no company wants when it’s trying to bring new customers aboard.

Another key challenge is the integration of customer onboarding workflows with existing infrastructure and applications. This is still largely a manual process and often relies on antiquated technologies.

Meanwhile many organizations have undergone dramatic changes in their IT environments, including the adoption of cloud-based services and support of numerous new mobile apps to accelerate processes. Customer onboarding needs to be built on top of these new applications and services—as well as legacy applications—to keep pace with customer expectations.

As business consulting firm McKinsey & Company noted in a 2016 report, most companies are simply not naturally wired to think about the journeys their customers take.”

“Thinking about customer journeys—instead of traditional touchpoints—can require an operational and cultural shift that engages the organization across functions and from top to bottom,” McKinsey said.

For companies that master this shift, the reward is higher customer and employee satisfaction, revenue and cost improvements, and an enduring competitive advantage.

Businesses appear to be taking notice. Industry research has shown that more than half of businesses are reengineering customer onboarding.

Any CIO or business executive who is looking to enhance the customer onboarding experience at his or her organization—and at the same time add efficiencies and reduce costs—should explore technology that will make the process faster, more accurate, and less costly.

Far too much is at stake for enterprises to be taking chances with their customer onboarding processes. All it takes is one bad experience when trying to do business and a customer might never come back.

With technology such as Software AG’s Dynamic Apps Platform, companies can make the first impression an excellent one for all customers.

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