Checking account acquisition is a top priority for most financial institutions and it’s expensive. The average cost of acquiring a new account is now nationally over $450 including incentives, and north of $250 even where no incentive is factored in. Worse, the national 1st-year attrition rate is hovering around 25% and the first 90 days of a new account holders’ time with the FI represents half of that attrition.
A properly designed and executed onboarding solution can protect that investment and accelerate relationship engagement and growth to ensure that you realize the full potential of your new checking customers.
Here are a few ideas to make an impact:
1. Centralize and automate program execution.
Most bank marketing teams understand the importance of structured communication to engage new account holders, but often leave the execution of this critical step to chance; tasking branch staff to execute a series of actions such as phone calls or perhaps a “Thank You” card a week or so after the account has been opened.
Centralizing the data processing and communication flow ensures proper execution. What’s more, it also makes it easier to quantify program performance.
Impact: You’ll boost your productivity and reduce your spend.
2. Engage early, in a defined cadence with prescriptive, value-oriented messaging.
Research from J.D. Power has found that the optimum number of communication messages during the first 90 day period from both a customer satisfaction and relationship growth perspective is at least seven ‘touches’ across various communication channels. Proprietary data also shows a 70% successful communication rate when that first communication occurs in the first 24 hours of opening the account. Be prescriptive in your messaging, providing the customer with an easy path to get the most from their banking relationship, while building trust.
Early stage content should focus on securing core checking-related services to complete the shift from the former FI before advancing to core product cross sell.
Impact: You will increase the likelihood the new customer views you as their primary financial institution.
3. Leverage many channels.
Today’s consumer uses many channels to run their lives and your onboarding program should offer the same —not limited to just a branch touch or direct mail, or solely digital marketing. Consider text, email, direct mail, social media, and retargeting (while & where still an option) as all playing a role to more effectively engage your customers.
Impact: Increases the engagement level.
4. Offer a feedback loop.
Provide your customers with an easy way to offer their input on their experience and preferences, which in turn gives you valuable insight to improve the service levels across all of the financial services you provide.
Impact: You will have increased awareness of how your customers see your FI and provide insight to make better decisions.
How does it look when an FI successfully executes these strategies?
A successfully onboarded new account has engaged with the financial institution within the first 24 hours. They have consumed information helpful and relevant to them in their first 30 days and have remained engaged for another 60 days beyond that. They have increased their checking account balance, added ancillary services, and opened additional accounts to fit their specific needs. And as a result, unlike the norm where every dollar spent in new customer acquisition nets just $3 in deposit balances, every $1 spent in an effective onboarding solution yields $157 in new balances. And— critically — new account attrition is cut by up to 30% from its baseline rate.