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Onboard your corporate banking clients like your favourite airline.




Don't make your corporate banking onboarding practices the same as your worst airline experiences advises Dr. K T Upadhyaya.


Hurried through the entire check-in process at the airport, just to find yourself sitting in the lounge waiting indefinitely for your flight departure to be announced?


Siting in your window seat of the plane, peeping outside and wondering when will it take off?


Had such an experience? At best, it’s boring. At worst, it’s frustrating.


Do you want your customer to have similar experiences while onboarding them for the services they have decided to avail from you?


The onboarding process is your customers first real experience with you beyond the sales pitch. You don’t want them to start rethinking their decision to bank with you, and it is important that you make this experience smooth.


We all can learn some do’s and many don’ts from the airline companies.



Best Practice One - Be clear on the charges for individual components of the service: The last thing customers like to hear is that such and such thing is not the part of their offering package, and they would have to pay extra – be it baggage at the airport, or some service.


Customers may implicitly assume somethings to be part of their package, which may not be so. The golden rule is “Implicit inclusions should be explicitly excluded”. Remember the airline specifically mentioning permitted baggage as check-in and as cabin. They even mention the size in terms of L x B x H of the bag that can be carried as cabin baggage.


Lessons can be learnt from this for client onboarding too. Everything should be precisely explained. Be clear in your communications and document everything, leaving no room for ambiguity.


Best Practice Two - Requirements for the onboarding process: If there are any facilities, documentation, software, personnel, etc. required for the onboarding, let the customers know upfront and in good time.


You may have noticed people waiting in the onboarding queue at the airports with their passports open at the exact page showing their identification. This is because airlines tell their customers to carry some form of identification document upfront.


This can avoid unnecessary delays in the onboarding process, or even denial of service for lack of proper documents.


Best Practice Three - Transparency: Let the customers know the exact process, and the expected timelines for each step. Customers may probably be OK with knowing it will take them X no. of days, than not knowing when their services will be activated.


The only thing worse than knowing your flight is delayed, is not knowing what is going on at all.



Best Practice Four - Avoid changes to the process unless absolutely necessary: You never liked it when airlines suddenly announced the gate change. It leads to lots of huffing and puffing to reach the new gate, more so with all the baggage you are carrying.


Easiest way to have a grumbling customer is to keep changing the onboarding process, asking for documents, or facilities that were not part of the original communication to the customer.


Best Practice Five - Set ground rules of operations clearly: Once the customer is onboarded, they need to perform certain operational tasks on a regular basis. Make them aware of that during the onboarding process. Train them, make a operations playbook, reiterate the ground rules and expected behaviour.


Don’t the airlines tell you the safety procedure, and the entire evacuation drill and ask you to listen – even if you are a seasoned flyer?


A great onboarding experience is the beginning of a “Customer Delight” journey. Any negative points won't be forgotten. Make onboarding a time your customers will love to recall. Remember – “First impression is the last impression”. Make it a great one.



Starfish Digital is here to make your corporate banking onboarding experience a seamless process. Starfish Connect – Our SaaS (software as a service) platform provides the connectivity between a corporate and a bank’s API Banking services. Speak to our experts today at hello@starfish.digital


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