Nearly 60% of B2B customers abandon onboarding processes in digital channels. While the B2C e-commerce market has exploded and forced an acceleration of customer-centered solutions, its B2B equivalents haven't been able to keep up at the same pace. The gap between B2C and B2B e-commerce experience levels, has left a customer with expectations higher than what most B2B organizations offer.
According to recent surveys, the customer onboarding process require the following components in order to meet todays customer expectations.
- Speed - onboarding has to be fast;
- Digital - It has to be 100% digital with no physical store/branch visits required;
- Device flexibility - It can be done on a mobile, tablet or laptop;
- Paperless - It’s 100% paperless, with no paper forms or contracts to sign.
Still, we tend to find a lot of examples where the digital experience is substandard or put frankly, poor. Far too often we find digital onboarding processes that include filling out dozens of forms, identifying yourself multiple times, printing and physically sending documents and awaiting manual assessment for weeks before being approved or declined as a new customer. Simple, low cost, intuitive digital experiences are what is required to meet todays customer expectations and ultimately fueling business growth.
We've put together a step-by-step-guide to go through, which enables you to create a friction-free B2B customer onboarding that converts more. Enjoy!
Build a friction-free customer onboarding
- Customer journey mapping
- Customer data needs
- Opportunities of digitization & automation
- POC & Testing
- Maintenance & development
1. Customer journey mapping
A customer journey map is a visualization of all of the stages a customer goes through during their experience with your company, and should include every touchpoint in the process.
The better you understand your customers’ journeys toward (and beyond) conversion, the better you’ll become at providing an excellent experience the entire way through. Mapping that journey is the first step.
2. Customer data needs
In an onboarding process you can collect all sorts of data, a process that can be crucial to your business, either from a legal perspective or from a sales perspective. A lot of B2B onboarding flows include collection of basic company information, contact information and billing details.
However, a rapidly growing number of industries - for example banking, finance, auditing, accounting, real estate and insurance – are now forced by new legal requirements to collect more data about their customers, in order to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism.
3. Opportunities of digitization and automation
Do you have the skills and resources to digitize and automate already in your organization? Or would you need to bring in outside help? If so, how deep are your pockets in terms of this project? What systems do we need to integrate (or build!)?
To avoid costly manual labour and create a smooth customer experience, you should consider digitizing and automating as much of the onboarding process as possible. Collection of data, identification and signing are just a few of the key ingredients you can automate/digitize with great effect on your customer experience, reducing churn and increasing conversion.
Case - Svea Banks digital bank for entrepreneurs
Svea Bank wanted to create a bank application process for entrepreneurs that was smooth and seamless. The goal was clear: to improve the everyday lives of small business owners, so that they can spend more time on their core business - and less on branch visits, bureaucracy and forms.
By automating data collection and other parts of the onboarding flow, the user could become a customer in less than 10 minutes.
By automating data collection and verification, we made the KYC process fast and easy in the new digital corporate bank. In other words, no more forms to fill out or long periods of assessment and handling!
Victor Ramström, CEO
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.
Create a PoC, start experimenting and test your way through the customer onboarding flow, preferably with test subjects from your target groups. This will not only give you an idea of how your onboarding would work in practice, but also opportunity to collect valuable insight and feedback from potential customers.
Focus on building a flow to show stakeholders the benefits of your proposed onboarding. Examples of benefits might be:
- Less manual handling (cost reduction)
- Increased conversion (more customers)
- Improved customer experience or loyalty (increased customer lifetime value)
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 onboarding and acquisition. Evaluate, iterate and create ammunition to complete a second version or release of your flow.
Curious to know more about customer onboarding? Read more in our in-depth e-book below.