Digital lending continues to proliferate as banks and credit unions partner with Fintechs or implement their own cloud-based loan origination software (LOS) to originate more mortgages and consumer loans online.
Being able to originate loans online is a major achievement for lenders but, if you’d like to build a long-term relationship with these new customers whom may never step foot in your branch, effective onboarding is crucial to keeping in communication with them and cross-selling. This is one of the recommendations in The Future of Digital Lending report by Jim Marous – owner and publisher of the Digital Banking Report. The 2021 report was sponsored by MeridianLink.
As the report notes, “the accelerated shift to digital channels for the application of credit changed many of the components of value."
Personalized Onboarding for Digital Loan Customers
For one thing, it’s no longer necessary for loan applicants to interact directly with loan officers as they opt to bank online or via mobile apps for speed and convenience.
Although some traditional lenders might prefer a return to the past when branch-based borrowing was the norm, consumers appear to have little interest in doing so. Relationship building in this environment must start with the post-sale onboarding process. This requires financial institutions to properly gather and use borrower data and analytics to establish personalized digital relationships with consumers. centered around their needs.
The majority of financial institutions across the globe fail to sell even an additional loan or other financial product during the first six months of a new, digital client relationship, according to research conducted by the Digital Banking Report.
This is more than a missed revenue opportunity; it’s a missed opportunity to establish the long-term customer relationships that financial institutions are built on. That’s why industry leaders say that personalized onboarding processes are more important than ever in the digital age.
"Banks don’t make it easy to form relationships online," according to Novantas. "The emotional attachment and information exchange that is driven by a personal new relationship development experience just hasn’t been replicated in the digitally-led environment."
Lenders focus primarily on speed, convenience and standardization and fail to consider the importance of providing personalized experience and consumer education, Novantas noted.
Digital Onboarding Best Practices for Relationship Building
Organizations must ensure that onboarding processes include:
- A deep level of communication
- Personalized service recommendations using data and analytics
- Timely engagement
- The ability to combine physical and virtual channels to sell and distribute products and related post-sales services
Organizations should also consider assigning existing branch employees to supplement the onboarding process and be a person to speak with if your customers have questions or prefer human interaction at any point.
Although it's important for banks and credit unions to continue connecting with new customers after the initial sale, many organizations don't have formal onboarding processes, according to the Digital Banking Report.
As more consumers opt for digital loan processes, this lack of personal communication will leave customers responsible for building any relationships with their financial institutions – and they could easily choose to obtain other loans and other financial products elsewhere if they’re unaware you offer them.
Download the Future of Digital Lending Report
As sponsor of the publication, MeridianLink is making a limited number of copies of the Digital Banking Report available at no charge here (a $495 value).
To learn more about how MeridianLink can help you implement a post-sale onboarding system, contact one of our digital lending experts today.