B2B Customer Onboarding
Increase conversion rates, reduce manual labour and improve customer experience with a digital and automated B2B customer onboarding!
With Roaring API services you can create a quicker and churn-free flow for your potential customers to make purchases, create accounts or become members.
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Why are customers abandoning your onboarding flow?
Between 40 and 60 percent of B2B prospects abandon digital customer onboarding processes. Why? We dug a little deeper in the latest research to find out that most common reasons for abandonment are:
- Onboarding takes too long
- Contains too many steps to go through
- Requires more information than prospect is willing to give
So how do you create a customer onboarding process with as little churn as possible? Below, we will give an introduction to customer onboarding, how to get started on your flow and a few downloadable examples of B2B onboardings.
Customer onboarding explained
Customer onboarding is a term that is commonly used to describe the process that users/prospects/potential customers/leads go trough to become a customer and beyond. The process contains various interactions with your brand, designed to trigger purchases or signups, affect the ongoing relationship and/or increase loyalty to your brand or product.
However, there are different definitions of customer onboarding being used. In most cases it can be summarized as "all activities involved in introducing a new customer to your product or service". Our own definition is slightly different, as we see the signup - or point of actual acquisition if you like - as the most important part in relation to what we offer. When a company or person has decided to become a customer, it should be "smooth as silk" to push the button and get started!
The playing field for customer onboarding has changed rapidly in the last few years. The progress of digital customer onboarding or checkout processes, especially in B2c e-commerce, has changed what customers expect to find when trying to become a customer digitally. That has created a separation between customer expectations and what most B2B companies offer today.
Companies who fail to keep up with demand and expectations, we find have a tendency to stick to analog, slow and time consuming onboarding processes. This generates significant friction and churn. According to recent studies, customers expect the following from a customer onboarding process:
- Speed - It has to be fast and simple;
- Digital - 100% digital without requirements of physical bransch or store visits;
- Flexibility - Mobile, tablet and computer compatible without exceptions;
- Paperless– Needs to be 100% paperless, with zero documents or forms to fill out physically.
"We automated our loan application process with Roaring API:s, reducing manual labour by approximately 650 hours yearly."
Seamless, fast and simple
In other words, creating an onboarding experience that is fast, simple and seamless has never been more important. Despite this fact, an average customer onboarding process with companies in B2B financial services - for example banks - takes 24 days!
Far to often we stumble upon onboarding flows where the prospect is required to fill out dozens of documents, identifying themselves multiple times and wait weeks for manual assessments before being approved or denied as a new customer. This process is time consuming, complex and expensive, and the result is a process that has high levels of churn and poor customer experience.
Safe to say, the onboarding experience can be a "make it or break it" for the relationship between you and your customer! Therefor, surpassing customer expectations to create loyal customers over time, is crucial.
Compliance & KYC
Increased compliance requirements over the last few years, have affected customer onboarding process negatively, according to studies. Laws and regulations causes new information needing to be gathered from customers, which causes customer experience to be impacted in the wrong direction, as the customers are asked more and more questions and in some cases even required to send documents and files to the company. This leads to an increase in churn and impairs customer experience and loyalty.
The increased legal requirements - often related to AML and KYC - has also led to more manual labour in managing and assessing customer data. By extension, this increases costs for onboarding new clients, even more so when your company is affected by compliance requirements.
Automated data collection is therefor best practice for a digital customer onboarding, avoiding to negatively impact the customer experience. Information such as PEP (and RCA) status, sanctions lists, company information, signatory rights, beneficial owners and much more can automatically be collected and checked today through API's, through Roaring for example.
Guide: Creating a customer onboarding that converts
- Customer journey mapping
- Identify needs of customer data
- Audit of digitization and automation opportunities
- POC & Testing
- Maintenance & Development
1. Customer journey mapping
A mapping of the customer journey is a visualization of all steps that the customer goes through, in their experience with your company, and should include all "touch points" i.e. moments of interaction with the company.
The more understanding you have for the customer's journey before, during and after conversion, the better experience you can create for the customer all the way through the process. Mapping the customer journey is therefore a good first step.
2. Identify needs of customer data
During an onboarding process various customer data is required or desired to be collected, often due to legal perspectives or a pure sales perspective. So first off, you need to analyze or audit what data you need to gather about your customers in the onboarding process, before looking at how you can collect it. Common information to collect includes your customers name, social security number or company id, address and billing details. Other information like financial information, signatory rights (in B2B), PEP and sanctions list status are also common data to collect in certain industries, especially in financial services like banks.
To get your customer through the onboarding process as quickly and smoothly as possible, while ensuring compliance and the retrieval of accurate data, you should consider automatically collecting, verifying and populating data in the customer onboarding process.
3. Audit of digitization and automation opportunities
In order to assess opportunities of digitization and automation you can perform an initial audit. Do you currently have the tools, resources and skills in-house to automate and digitize the onboarding process? What's your budget? Do you need to bring in consultants? What systems need to be built or integrated? These are just some of the questions you will need to answer before getting started.
To avoid costly manual labour and create a great customer experience, you should try to digitize and automate as much as possible of the process. Data collection, identification and signing are just some of the things that you can digitize and automate to great effect.
4. POC & Testing
Before getting started, you should already have defined the need for a solution, ideated it and defined your POC success metrics. You should also be looking at different options when it comes to systems and tech that need to be used, in order to properly calculate estimated costs for development.
Once the above is done, it’s time to start building! A POC is a presentation of the proposed product and its potential viability. POCs describe the idea and proposed functionality of the product, including its general design or specific features, and how achievable they are. Keep things simple at this stage, don’t overdo designs and features that have don’t have large implications to your POC.
In most cases, you will need to present some proof of concept higher up the corporate hierarchy, in order to get the green light to go ahead with the project. Focus on building a flow to show stakeholders the benefits of your proposed onboarding. Examples of benefits might be:
- Less manual handling (in addition costs)
- Simplifying the way your potential customers become customers (reduced churn)
- Increased conversion or more customers
After completing thorough testing, you are ready to launch your new onboarding flow! We suggest you work form an MVP-perspective, where your first release only contains the bare minimum for a useable and attractive product. Make sure you iterate several versions of your flow in the first project, because the results of version one or release one is probably what you will be judged upon first by stakeholders. Learn from your first version and trim your flow consistently over time!
6. Maintenance & Development
Your flow has been implemented, seems to be working fine and your customers are loving it! So what now? Well, to be honest, nothing can ever be considered ”the finished article” when it comes to customer onboarding and acquisition. Evaluate, iterate and create ammunition to complete a second version or release of your flow.
It is estimated that Swedish companies’ customer records suffer from an error margin of up to 40% when it comes to relevant customer data. In addition, about 20-25% of relevant information changes each year. Monitoring data changes after the customer has signed up or purchased from you is therefor a good idea, and something that can easily be done via webhooks for example.