The necessity of customer onboarding

Author: Mart Vissers

Last updated: August 1, 2022

Last week, we introduced a series of blogs addressing different topics all related to; how to intensify customer onboarding. Today: why should customer onboarding be a top priority?

Argument 1: A digital customer is more valuable than an offline customer knows better what books you like than yourself. Spotify can introduce new songs to you based on your listening behaviour and KLM Airlines surprises customers with gifts based on the consumers social media activity.

Who still remembers the 70 warehouses of V&D in The Netherlands? V&D is, unfortunately, a classic example of what happens when a company responds to digitization too late. V&D started in 2008 with an online shop, unfortunately with no specific omnichannel strategy. At the moment of bankruptcy, only 5% of sales were gathered via online channels. V&D failed to recognize, engage and activate their customers in time. Coolblue, founded in 1999 and originally built from bites, knew the importance of gaining a complete customer image. The more characteristics you know, the better you can service your customer. Coolblue combined these insights with a clear proposition and a strong brand and an excellenct (online) customer service. The result is a high growing curve in terms of sales, customer satisfaction and loyalty and a turnover close 1 billion in 2017. 

Onegini is proud to help Coolblue at providing knowledge and software to create an even better intuitive and seamless journey. Onegini understands the importance of a customer image.  

Argument 2: The battle between banks is about digital customer experience & services

ING’s most recent television commercial isn’t about interest rates or credit cards. It’s about making omnichannel mobile banking easier. Paying with a QR code or splitting the bill on the fly. New concepts like Knab and Bunq fully focus on serving customers digitally. Online scales better and provides more insights. Banks build up a true customer relationship by providing digital services like valuable notifications on the customers app and insights in future payments. And the innovative banks don’t limit their customer offering to only self-made solutions. Banks are increasingly collaborating with fintechs, knowing that there are better ways to serve customers and to keep the relationship warm.  


How banks are financing the battle? Closing offline shops, digitizing the operations department and starting with charging customers still wanting to do transactions offline. 

Argument 3: A digital customer is cheaper than an offline customer

Not only is digital the most preferred channel for the customer of tomorrow, it is also the cheapest owned channel for companies for providing services. In order to invest in digital services and customer onboarding programs, companies have to save costs in their value chain. Insurance companies can easily save millions on stamps by sending insurance letters digitally. Or by letting customers download their green card from their mobile app instead of via post. And ideally by seducing customers to use a self-service platform instead of sending emails. 

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Insurers are next in line. Insurers follow banks follow retailers

As mentioned in an earlier blogpost,  Aegon decided in 2011, to invest into digitization. Onegini provided expertise and software to improve customer onboarding. Thanks to Onegini, Aegon was an early adopter. Smart major insurance companies started similar programs soon after. As of today, Onegini estimates an onboarding percentage of only 30 % in this industry. A small percentage compared to the banking industry, where even the late majority is already banking online or the retail industry, where even the laggards buy books and computers online. 

The insurance industry has been behind due to specific developments and challenges which we will discuss in upcoming blog posts. However, we see customers have come to expect the same online experience in insurance as they encounter at Coolblue or ING. The insurance customer wants to be connected, social, informed, self-reliant and is seeking for experience and wants to use its voice. Consumers want to be able to contact insurers 24/7, via all available digital channel.  To be able to have an up to date insight. You could say they want to have the insurer in their pockets. At the time of writing of this blogpost in 2017, the battle between insurers is still on digitizing product characteristics. And less on top tasks, customer needs, claiming or life-cycle planning. Those who manage first, to really add customer value to their self-service platforms and channels, might be the digital frontrunner of tomorrow.

To sum up

From a commercial and cost perspective, many reasons support the statement why customer onboarding should be a top priority for companies. Not knowing where to start or how to intensify? Use Onegini’s knowledge to accelerate your digital transformation or our assistance with the Onegini’s onboarding assessment and help your customers out there!