Do more business; Keep more business from onboarding

In today’s market we have to do whatever we can to retain our current members, drive deposits, and increase our loan portfolios’. An effective onboarding strategic plan will do just that. Successful onboarding not only drives your business it lets your members know you care about them and appreciate their business. Consistent communication is the foundation for any onboarding program. Once you gain their loyalty you will become their preferred financial institution. A common misconception is that onboarding is used for the “new” member only. In actuality onboarding is a great tool to use for your current members. It is always good practice to continually build upon the relationships of the people who do business with you.

When onboarding your new members your focus should be on gaining their loyalty and trust while gaining insight on how your customer service team is handling the account opening process. Chances are your new members still have accounts and loans elsewhere. You should have a planned communication schedule for new members. You want to nurture the new member. Thank them for choosing you. Ask about the account opening process; let them know you are there for them. Listen for clues that other services are needed. It is a great time to mention bill pay, debit cards, telephone banking and any other perks your institution may have. The more services members have with you, the stronger the relationship. As your communications continue over time, other loan and deposit opportunities will arise. You have to maintain consistent well represented communication throughout the life of the relationship with a strong focus in the first three months.

Many institutions hesitate to reach out to their current membership. This is a grave mistake. Never assume just because a person has been your member for twenty years that they do not have other loans and deposits elsewhere. Nurture your current member just as you would your new member. You appreciate their business and they need to hear it. This is also a great opportunity to get feedback from your long-term members. Feedback from the people who you are doing business with on a daily basis is valuable for your institution. Having true data about what your members want and how they perceive you will help in making any necessary changes or enhancements in the future to increase your business.

Onboarding does not stop after three months. You should always keep in touch with your member base because there are other institutions out there trying to reach them. Gain their loyalty and trust with consistent communication to build relationships with your members and your business will continue to grow.

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