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Onboarding is a Smart Place for Banks to Start When Improving Customer Experience

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The first 90 days are critical to the customer experience

Banks need to create better onboarding experiences, warns ABA Bank Marketing.  In a recent article citing retail banking data, Sean McDade writes, “Your newest customers are the most unhappy and the most at risk.”

McDade, who is CEO and founder of PeopleMetrics, uses two key data points to back up his statement:

  • “Of customers who reported an issue [with the customer experience], 17% of them were in their first year as a customer.”
  • “Customers are nearly three times more likely to churn during the first 90 days of opening an account.”

The stats should serve as wake-up calls for banks, which are known for being go-getters when it comes to acquisition marketing but may be falling short at nurturing customer relationships out of the gate.

We encourage you to read McDade’s article in full, since it includes five ways to approach onboarding improvements, including “take a walk in your customer’s shoes,” ensure “ease of use” for your bank’s online interface and stay up-to-date on data about customer onboarding.  The two remaining tips really resonated with us:

  1. “Make it enjoyable.”


  1. “Consider how preferences change by customer segments.”

What’s the biggest driver of a great customer experience? Enjoyment. Here, McDade provides an onboarding example from Simple Bank. As we’ve noted in the past, Simple’s customer experience matches its brand promise, and it makes chores, like privacy policies, fun. We think customer delight – in a way that’s true to your brand – is a great way not only to enhance the onboarding experience but also differentiate you from your competitors.

And finally, we agree that there is no one-size-fits-all onboarding solution. Audience targeting isn’t just for acquisition. Use what you know about new customers to build an onboarding experience designed for what they need.

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