Interview with Frederick Duodu, Regional Manager at Wiraya
In the utilities industry, digital transformation is essential in order to keep up with your customers’ evolving wants and needs. Many organisations work to ensure a smooth transition for new customers, and it’s important to examine how best to engage with customers during the best time and with the best platforms that they prefer. By modernising and digitalising the customer onboarding process, companies are able to reduce friction, relieve the pressure off of customer service and improve customer satisfaction. No need for a complete overhaul; by making incremental improvements, companies can improve efficiency, increase customer success and retention, and better improve the data process & accuracy of their customers.
We sat down with Frederick Duodu to discuss the onboarding process within utilities, practices that can help ease and streamline the process to create a better CX, and more importantly, the long-term benefits of digitalising onboarding communication.
Utilities Customer Lifecycle
Why is it important to assess the onboarding process in the customer lifecycle?
The utilities industry has various touchpoints that are important to examine. One of the most important being the onboarding process. Why should companies focus their resources and efforts on the onboarding phase? To start, it is proven that it is much cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. You can have high spend on marketing to acquire the customer, but if there is no care and attention to detail in providing a smooth onboarding for the customer, the customer experience will be poor and set the tone for the rest of the relationship. This will affect customer loyalty and will eventually lead to churn, which is even more crucial to address because of the high churn rate in the utility industry. Without a smooth onboarding process, you risk losing money by losing a customer from the start, when in fact, this could have been prevented.
What are some practises that can help streamline the onboarding process of new customers?
To begin, one of the foremost steps that companies should take in order to improve their onboarding is going digital. Modernising your communication with new customers gives your brand a competitive edge, as nowadays, a majority of customer experience stems from the ease and efficiency of your customer support. This could include for instance, easing the process of submitting customer data also known as the KYC process, making it easy for customers to submit their information through an app. This goes onto my next suggestion that can help streamline the onboarding process – focusing on data collection. The start of your relationship with a new customer will easily set the tone for the future of the relationship. So ensuring you have all the correct and relevant information surrounding the customer is key. As a result, this will make it easier to communicate with the customer through different avenues, via app, mobile phone, text, email, etc. The ease of identity verification with pre-populated customer information will also create a seamless and efficient way for customers to fill out forms, adding onto an improved customer experience.
What are the benefits of digitalising your onboarding communication?
By digitalising your onboarding process, companies can have a standardised solution for customer data sharing. This is important as it can provide a consistent process for the company and in the long-run, increase the company’s CRM maturity. The customer onboarding and KYC process can reach a level of maturity with the collection of improving customer data. This may not be seen as a tremendous short-term gain however in the long-run, provides a sustainable competitive advantage to your company. Additionally, by easing the onboarding process, this reduces friction between you and the customer, resulting in the opportunity to drive more positive customer experiences. All of these benefits will trickle down and lead to an improved and efficient customer service, ultimately relieving the pressure off customer service teams during critical times and boosting higher service levels, better average handling times, lowering number of waiting calls and overall strengthening your net promoter score. If the onboarding process is made as smooth as possible for the customer, that would increase the likelihood of the customer’s loyalty and would eventually positively impact other touch points (such as contract renewal, move renewal etc.), that would otherwise be difficult in retaining the customer.
Click here to get in touch with us and find out how we can improve customer loyalty and reduce the risk of churn with your onboarding process!