Is Your Onboarding Process Repelling Your Customers?

So you’re excited your onboarding program is off the ground. Your staff is following up with new customers or members after two weeks and beyond. If your onboarding program is anything like what we see at many financial institutions, it may resemble one of these two hapless scenarios:

  1. The Passive, Marginally Effective Courtesy call – Your staff calls and asks “is everything OK with your new account and are you happy?” The customer says “yes, I’m fine and all is well”. Not knowing how to engage the customer further, your friendly banker or FSR quickly exits the call.
  2. The Hard Sell, Annoying Product Dumping call – Or you may have an assertive banker or FSR ask, “is everything is OK with your new checking account?” If they get a yes they say “great” and immediately go into pitching a product with something like “Our rates are low right now so if you ever thought of refinancing and saving money now is the time”. The customer response is cool.

If one or both of these scenarios is what’s happening at your organization, ask yourself, “Are we getting the best ROI on our staff’s time making these calls? Have we really built more trust with the member? Have we engaged the customer or simply created another interruption for them? How do we do onboarding right?”

In either case, your relationship banker routinely crosses off another completed task: “Make weekly onboarding follow up calls”. But have we really accomplished anything? In either approach above, “the courtesy call” and “the product dump”, they haven’t taken the time to learn more about our customers’ or members’ anxieties, concerns, financial goals or to build trust. In fact, it’s possible we even weakened the relationship that took so much skill and effort to create in the first place.

How engaged and welcomed would you feel as a customer with either approach? In the courtesy call, maybe somewhat. In the product dump, probably not so much. We may have just confirmed their perception that we are not a financial partner interested in their financial well-being – we’re just going through the motions and/or only interested in selling them more. Here’s an example of a scenario that works.

Today I facilitated a second telecoaching call with a group of FSR’s and branch managers for one of our credit union clients. Two months ago, all of these folks were in my onboarding training class. When sharing their successes I smiled when one of the participants enthusiastically shared this real-life experience:

“At first I was very hesitant making my follow up calls thinking I don’t want to bother my members. Today I needed to make my two-week call with a new member. I looked at her profile in our CRM system including my conversation notes from our first meeting and her accounts and did some pre-call planning with specific questions to listen carefully to her concerns. I began by asking about her recent trip to the Grand Canyon that she told me about when we opened the account. She enjoyed telling me about some of the highlights. We then discussed how her online banking experience was going and she admitted she needed help. So we made an appointment for next week and I will help her get comfortable with paying her bills online”.

“In my pre-call planning I noticed she had quite a bit of debt on her credit report and also noted she hopes to travel later in retirement. As I felt I had earned her trust, I mentioned, ‘Many of our members like you are hoping to enjoy their retirement years and travel as you mentioned in our first visit. I’m curious how happy you are with your current retirement planning?’

This opened up a ton of information and the member admitted she had a 401K and was not at all confident she was on track. I then suggested an appointment with our financial advisor after she comes in to visit with me. She was very appreciative, kept thanking me for calling her back and said she was going to bring her mother in as well! Learning how to pre-call plan, review the member profile and anticipate questions to ask has boosted my confidence. I love helping our members and know that I make a difference.”

Does your onboarding process truly demonstrate you care about and listen to your customers or members? That you are interested in their financial well-being? Does it lay the foundation for relationship building and partnering? Or is it nothing more than a series of transactional or routine telemarketing calls?

Contact us to ask your questions regarding Onboarding Effectiveness Training, Relationship Management Training, Coaching and Reinforcement.

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