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Meet Ted. He wants to apply for a home equity loan at a national bank. First, he tries to do this while at a coffee shop using his mobile device, but the bank’s forms aren’t mobile-friendly. Later, he completes the form at home on his desktop but discovers at the end of the process that he still has to print it out and will have to use his lunch break the next day to take it to the bank’s local office. Uh, no thanks.
Instead, after a little more searching online, Ted finds another bank that lets him complete the entire loan application online on his mobile device and offers the same great rates. After submitting his application, Ted can even opt to receive his welcome kit digitally — including offers personalized for his preferences. Ted’s only regret is that he wasted so much time on the first bank’s application.
Like the first bank in Ted’s story, many organizations overlook that the digital enrolment process is a critical piece of the customer experience. In fact, since it may be the first real interaction your customer has with your brand, it could be the most important experience of all. And when it doesn’t go effortlessly, customers like Ted will decide to take their business elsewhere. Across all industries, the rate of abandonment of online forms is 76.9 percent, according to SaleCycle.
Given that online forms have been around for decades, it may seem surprising that the process can still be so challenging for organizations — and for their customers. But it doesn’t have to be. Digital enrolment has matured to the point where it’s possible to do it much better than in the past. The key is having the right tools and processes in place.
Why digital enrolment can be so frustrating.
Even if you’ve accepted that the enrolment process is a critical component of the customer experience — and therefore essential to winning and retaining customers — achieving digital enrolment success can still be a challenge.
Some of the biggest stumbling blocks you might encounter to improving your online forms and applications may include the following:
Siloed data across channels.
You have data and forms scattered across the organization, which makes it challenging to centralize and efficiently manage the various forms and enrolment processes. And because data is disconnected, you often don’t have the full picture of who your customer is, making it hard to personalize the experience.
Poor mobile experiences.
Your website may be mobile-responsive, but not your forms. Mobile forms need to limit keystrokes, pre-fill information as much as possible, and adapt to several screen sizes. When digital forms don’t meet these mobile expectations, customers either abandon the form entirely or switch to cost-intensive in-person or phone channels.
You may have taken one form online or even half a dozen. But when it comes to modernizing tens to hundreds of forms, you have to repeat all the costly and time-consuming IT effort to author forms, develop data integrations, and manage the customer experience. What’s more, when you try to push a branding update across the entire collection, you discover the only option is chasing down forms one by one for updates.
Lack of visibility.
With numerous steps and checkpoints in a digital enrolment process, being able to measure and monitor what is happening is critical. Yet if you can’t answer basic questions like what percentage of forms were completed, how many errors are occurring and where, or what the cycle time is from application submission to each subsequent step, it’s hard to identify areas of friction and take action to improve the experience.
Fragmented technology toolsets and legacy systems.
Fragmentation across enrolment and onboarding processes leads to a disjointed customer experience that’s hard to scale and hard to secure. Customers demand a single seamless process, where each interaction throughout the process feels consistent and personalized.
Outdated communication tactics.
The end of enrolment is the beginning of customer communications. But many communications are still print-centric, sustaining manual processes that are slow, error-ridden, expensive to execute, and difficult to secure. The lack of relevant and timely communications ultimately results in higher operating costs, lower productivity, and greater compliance risks.