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The importance of customer onboarding

The term “onboarding” is often used in the context of inducting new employees.

But it’s increasingly being used to describe the process of familiarising a new customer with a business’s products or services. 

Yet it goes beyond that. Onboarding is also your opportunity to really get to understand your customer and their needs.

Why is it so important to get it right?

Choosing a mortgage broker will have been a big decision for your customer. 

You want to reassure them that they have made the right decision straight away, as first-time buyers in particular may be confused by the process and unsure what to do next.

The onboarding process should therefore start as soon as they’ve signed up with you, so provide plenty of follow-up support and ensure you’re being seen to deliver what you’ve promised.

You also want to capitalise on their experience while it is fresh in their mind in the hope they will recommend you to others. 

Build on the excitement of the early days before it just becomes about monthly mortgage repayments. Encourage them to think of what you’ve enabled them to do, so they share positive comments with their family and friends.

Be a listening broker

Don’t just throw random information at your new customer. Listen to their needs and concerns and tailor your offer around what you’ve heard.

You can also reiterate the point that you’re offering bespoke advice based on each client’s individual circumstances by making sure your communications are personalised.

communicate regularly

The customer shouldn’t feel that the last they’ll hear from you is when they sign on the dotted line. If onboarding is done correctly, it should be the start of an ongoing relationship. 

They need to feel that you’re accessible and that they can ask you any questions they may have. Think about your communication strategy and set up regular touchpoints, perhaps by sending out a monthly newsletter or using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to set up reminders for renewals.

Learn more: Keeping in Contact in Today's Climate

Make them feel special

The onboarding process must be genuine and meaningful. We’ve all experienced it when you go out for a meal and at some point are asked, ‘How is your food?’ by a harrassed waiter. 

They don’t always give the impression that they really want an answer, so it’s important that you don’t look like you’re just going through the motions. 

This is your chance to make your customers feel special and for you to stand out from your competitors.

If you’ve heard about the ‘attract, convert, close and delight’ marketing tool, make sure you’re not abandoning the process at the ‘close’ stage. 

You need to be ‘delighting’ your customers once they’ve signed up with you. It’s often the small things that will make a big impression. 

Referrals

Delight your customers and they will become your biggest advocates, and may also come back to you if they’re moving again or thinking of remortgaging.

When you think about how much time, money and effort it takes to get a new customer, it makes lots of sense to ensure you onboard them well, so that you’ll not only get repeat custom, but also referrals to their friends and family.

Learn more: The Impact of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

We’ve all had our own personal experiences of brands that have delighted us and those that haven’t.

What was it on those occasions that made you happy with the service you received?

Was it the fact you enjoyed a smooth process, with clear lines of communication? Or maybe you simply felt confident that the business understood your needs and made you feel like you matter.

As you build a proposition for your firm, put yourself in the client’s shoes and think about what you’d demand or expect from a brokerage.

By building a client-focused offering, you can be optimistic they’ll come away with a smile on their face.

Learn more: The Brokers' Guide to Customer Experience

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