Hiring the Right Online Platform for Account Opening
Looking for an account opening platform is a lot like hiring a good loan officer. Sure, you expect competence. You want someone who recognizes that most customers will be applying online or on their phones. You want that new loan officer to have mastered the technical skills to handle applications from walk-ins to mobile devices. But on a deeper level, you know that your business demands someone who listens to your customers, remembers them and is considerate. Good manners go a long way.
You also want loan officers to be adaptable to the peculiarities of your business and your brand. And when conditions change, you want them to be able to adapt—quickly. You want them to work well with the team. When they learn something important, they need to share that information appropriately. You don’t need people building more information silos after you’ve spent so much effort breaking down the old ones.
In essence, you want many of the same things from your technical tools as you expect from your employees. Your technical tools should reflect your values, especially when they touch your customers. There are key qualities to look for in picking an account opening tool:
Whether your customers are reaching you on their desktop, a tablet or mobile phone, you need to gear what they see and how they interact with the device they’re using. If the account opening process is the first time this person has come through the virtual doors of your financial institution, make sure the experience is pleasant, and you’re more likely to gain additional customer business.
Your customers are telling you things all the time, but are you savvy enough to understand them? What steps require the most time? At what points in the process do they drop off? Are mobile users less likely to complete an application than those using a computer? These questions can be answered if the account opening module has performance tracking. It’s a tool you must have to quickly and accurately tune your platform. More advanced platforms offer the ability to develop and “test” alternative workflows and then make A-B test comparisons.
Sophisticated cross-selling is understanding your customers well enough to know when they might need another product. After they have completed the online process for one product, it might be a good time to ask them about another. With analytics you’re able to pose informed questions. You’re showing your customers that you care enough to remember them, and that you respect them enough to ask about things they might need—rather than just the things you want to sell.
The market and your marketing campaigns are always evolving, so your platform must be future-proof. You should be looking for a system that can be easily configured without hiring an army of IT professionals.
No employee would ever ask a customer in their branch to repeat their name and phone number three times. The online equivalent is asking customers to enter their user names and passwords multiple times within the same session. Single Sign-On provides a way for your constellation of systems to verify the user’s identity from one entry of a user name and password. Protect, but don’t hassle.
Integration With Core System
The other side of single sign-on is making sure your account opening system is able to extract information from the core system. Better yet, make sure it can also share relevant data safely and securely. After the extracted data is populated on the screen, customers should be able to quickly verify that data or easily make changes where necessary.
Good loan officers know that doing their job well means happier customers and better profit margins. That principle carries over to the systems your institutions use. Having tools that treat your customers well is essential to opening an account online. As you canvass the field, be sure to ask the right questions of the candidates.