A Strategic Method to Achieve Financial Services Consumer Onboarding

Categories: Financial Services

In a world of eight-second attention spans, your onboarding experiences must be at their best to delight customers and members.

These five steps will not only provide the framework for your onboarding program, but will also help you proactively improve your customer/member experience.

1. The Welcome Stage

The welcome stage is quite simple. When a customer/member obtains one of your products or services, send them a warm, simple welcome such as, "Welcome! Here’s how you can contact us." You want to avoid overwhelming the customer/member with emails or letters that they likely won't read.

2. The Activation Stage

Messages at this stage are tailored to the product or service the customer/member requested. If a customer/member recently opened a checking account, for example, you could ask, "Did you get your debit card and PIN in the mail?" or "Have you logged in to online banking and downloaded the mobile app?" You want to ensure the customer/member understands all the ways they could and should be using their account.

3. The Engagement Stage

This stage should happen in the first 30 days and is crucial to retaining customers. At this stage, you will send messages about online and mobile banking, and the other available features. A particularly "sticky" product is the bill-pay feature offered with many accounts. We call this product “sticky" because once a customer or member sets up their online account, they are unlikely to switch to another bank or credit union. So, the quicker you can get your customers/members to use these features, the better.

4. The Cross-Selling Stage

Your chances of cross selling are highest 30 to 90 days after sign up. Now is the time to take the opportunity to promote your other products or services. Strategically, it is wise to recommend and describe complimentary or "next most likely" products. For example, if the person opened a checking account, you might promote a credit card.

5. The Retention Stage

Retention is when you can build long-term loyalty and add value! This is a step that many onboarding programs ignore after the most-effective 90-day period ends. However, this stage is important for long-term loyalty. Over the course of the year, you will want to have multiple touchpoints where you can highlight other features and services you offer, and stay top of mind.

Examples you can offer include:

  • Providing customers/members with access to a financial education and management site.
  • Setting up a customer/member benefits program such as a friends and family referral program.
  • Sending out non-promotional, friendly and personalized messages to build loyalty such as "Happy Birthday!" and "Happy Anniversary!"


There are many benefits to developing and maintaining a customer/member onboarding program including higher customer/member satisfaction, and increased loyalty and retention.

 The deeper your engagement with the customer/member in each of these five steps, the greater customer/member satisfaction with your business, the more customers/members will utilize your products, and the greater your customer/member retention and loyalty. Bluespire’s Financial Services Strategy Expert

Additionally, mapping out and planning your onboarding program will help you identify gaps in the consumer experience. Taking advantage of these internal opportunities and proactively addressing these gaps will improve the onboarding process and consumer experience overall.

Bluespire’s financial strategists have developed some of the best consumer onboarding programs in the country. Connect with us and see how we can help your business today.


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