Thought Leadership

Digital Dating Game: First Impressions Activate at the Point of Excitement

January 7, 2019
Digital Dating Game: First Impressions Activate at the Point of Excitement
By Bryan Adler

‘You never get a second chance to make a first impression,’ has never held more true than in today’s digital world.

When it comes to mobile apps, banks and credit unions must focus on that first impression to create early loyalty with consumers. Two key components that go hand-in-hand to improve their user experience are digital account opening and a strong onboarding experience.

Digital account creation is about speed and seamlessness for the customer. Deloitte released study on the account opening process, and one of the key findings was that while most customers are happy with the digital onboarding processes of banks, there’s still significant room for improvement. We see it every day. Plus, customers who aren’t happy with the sign-up process are less likely to purchase additional products and are more likely to churn. As digital account opening goes mobile, it adds new benefits for the end user, as outlined by The Financial Brand. Think about how much your customers would appreciate small improvements such as cleaner interfaces, fewer keystrokes and single-channel engagement. It’s certainly something I think about as I go through my routine digital experiences, like grocery shopping, and I’m sure you’ve experienced good and bad interfaces as well.

Once the customer has created their account, we must not stop wowing them. The best experiences include a frictionless and helpful onboarding program. Onboarding programs for financial institutions may require additional steps, but according to Deloitte, customers expect that due to financial regulations. Surprisingly, 81% of Deloitte’s respondents thought these regulations and requirements for additional information were beneficial.

So, how do we onboard the customer? Hubspot has some amazing examples of options for onboarding processes that could prove valuable for the financial industry. Providing a tutorial upon the user’s initial sign-on quickly and simply helps your customers understand how to use your application and mitigate the need for them to contact your support teams. Other successful methods include feature call-outs in your applications, followed by calls to action to engage them in your services. For example, a call-out in a checking account set-up might highlight where your other services are listed. Facebook’s interface is a good example, showing links to a list of all your friends or groups in one place.

While measurable benefits exist to helping a customer early on, they also provide ongoing benefit throughout the customer journey. With digital, data can easily be tied together and analyzed to yours and the customer’s benefit. By leveraging information the customer has provided, you can easily segment customers and provide appropriate offers to them. Running a quick soft pull credit check allows financial institutions to automate loan offers seamlessly, whether in the app or via a follow-up email.

At the end of the day, you have the customer information. Develop insights from it, and act on it to activate new customers at the point of excitement. A solid digital experience offers your best opportunity to impress and engage them in those first moments after they’ve expressed interest in doing business with your bank or credit union. Use your processes to show the customer you’re engaged with them as well. Your initial engagement can reinforce that positive first impression and make it a lasting and valuable one.

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