3 Steps to Better Onboarding Customers

Intelligent Document Processing can record information from every channel and standardize it seamlessly, creating a much-needed layer of centralization.

A man and a woman smiling at each other while sitting in a home at a table with a laptop in front of them

Over 90% of customers feel that the companies they buy from could improve their onboarding processes. The same study reveals that 63% of customers say that onboarding—the level of support they’re likely to receive post-sale—is an important consideration in whether they decide to purchase in the first place. While statistics like these may shock business leaders, they are a wake-up call that it’s never too late to innovate and optimize the onboarding experience. 

Many companies focus too much on the lead generation and conversion processes without thinking about what happens after closing the deal. This especially applies to insurance companies, whose complex onboarding operations can take two or more weeks. Today, experts recommend customers review their insurance plans every six to 12 months and make a switch every two years—but this can be challenging in the midst of verification, processing times and the endless heaps of paperwork being passed back and forth between agents and customers. Industry leaders must make changes to prioritize the customer experience and increase profitability in tandem.

Onboarding new insurance customers can be challenging, but building solid foundations for your clients to thrive is crucial. Providing a smooth and efficient onboarding experience for your customers will help you gain their trust and loyalty, and it sets the tone for a positive long-term relationship. Intelligent document processing (IDP) solutions are a great way to simplify the onboarding process internally, so your employees can focus on providing better support.

By optimizing the onboarding process, business leaders can ensure that customers feel valued and informed and are more likely to stay with your insurance company for years to come.

Streamline The Paper Trail 

When insurance companies onboard a new customer, they face an onslaught of documents. These documents come in different formats—PDF, paper, image, etc. There is no “standard” for how these documents are structured or formatted, and this means agents must manually compile emails, PDFs, physical copies and more into their data collection platforms, skimming each document to find the most important information amid numerous fields and disclosures. 

Lack of organization creates serious risk for insurance companies and the customers they serve. With agents manually reviewing and uploading documents, important customer information can slip through the cracks or be captured incorrectly. Manual document processing relies on human eyes to catch important data, identify errors and spot the signs of fraud. With insurance fraud costs in the U.S. reaching $308.6 billion annually, obviously manual document processing isn’t cutting it. 

Intelligent document processing (IDP) takes the burden of document management off of insurance agents. IDP can record information from every channel and standardize it seamlessly, creating a much-needed layer of centralization to the onboarding process. IDP solutions also improve security, with some options providing role-based access restrictions, complete audit trails and data encryption to ensure that customers’ data is kept safe from security breaches.

See also: Why Is Onboarding So Hard?

Embrace Digitization in Customer-Facing Processes

As an insurance company, you want your customer-facing processes to be as simple and streamlined as your internal operations. By digitizing the front end of your processes, your clients can fill out applications that will give insurance agents the information they need to create a personalized experience and provide them with the information they need regarding their new insurance coverage. 

From the customer’s perspective, self-service options make things faster, easier and better—and, according to HubSpot, 77% of customers say they view brands more positively if they provide self-service options for customers looking for support. From the insurance agent’s perspective, it is easier to retain customers and boost loyalty through these digital transformations, thus improving the revenue cycle. 

Digitization can go beyond the early application stages. You can empower customers to navigate your policies independently via your own online portal or mobile app. Include tips, tricks and tutorials to help guide them through the onboarding process without the need for time-consuming email threads or frustrating call-center wait times.

Employ Automation 

Automation is a great way to enhance customer service and save agents' and clients’ time and money throughout onboarding. At my company, ibml, we pride ourselves on delivering solutions that automate capturing, classifying, validating and exporting customer information. 

Research shows that 41% of consumers are likely to change their insurers due to a lack of digital capabilities. If you want to strengthen the relationships between your company and your customers, transforming your onboarding processes for the digital era is the first step. I urge all insurance companies to show their policyholders that they are ready to support the customer experience before, during and after they convert. Just like any other partnership, these relationships are a two-way street, and your onboarding process is the first impression to creating a valuable relationship that lasts.

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