Sooner or later, businesses will have to turn their operations, if not all then some, digital. It is because people, their customers, have their hands on the technologies that compliment digital transformation of businesses.
Smartphones, for example, pass our eyes thousands of times each day. Let alone others’ smartphones, we tap, swipe, and click our own smartphone an average 2,617 times a day as per a research. Yes, you read that right. A little startling but a fact.
Similarly, there are a multitude of digital tools that have become the new normal.
Set aside the threats for now, for businesses, many opportunities arise out of it. Knowing that your prospects are surfing through their smartphones is an opportunity to have them surf your offerings instead of other things.
That’s what many but not so many businesses are already focusing on digital transformation. For instance, while surfing through Instagram, a social networking platform, we usually get lured by clothing brands’ ads, and later find ourselves surfing through their products catalog.
As we head towards industry 4.0, many things getting digital can be forecasted. From finance to HR, many of the business operations can be digitally transformed.
One such transformation that comes with a lot of benefits is digital onboarding. You probably know what it is, but you must be skeptical to replace the traditional onboarding with it.
After having a sneak peek into it (for those who want to be crystal clear of this concept), we will see the reasons why digital onboarding solutions are essential for you.
So, first things first, let’s make your vision crystal clear about digital onboarding.
Digital onboarding is the process of making your products or services accessible to your new customers who have just purchased or decided to use them.
Let’s take an example of Facebook, a social networking platform. The user onboarding process of Facebook is digital so it best illustrates the concept.
It’s service to the users is social networking. However, one can’t just access this service by putting Facebook’s URL into the browser or by downloading its application.
The users are walked through a digital onboarding process that includes inputting their personal information and verification.
Only after that, they get all set to enjoy Facebook’s service. It is what digital onboarding is, but what’s essential is that the process must also be as welcoming as just mentioned.
Facebook, for instance, can make its user onboarding process complicated and rigorous for safety or whatever reason, but it will only repel its potential users.
So, it settles at the generally accepted rule that digital onboarding must be simple, fast, and easy.
Although digital onboarding must be implemented by any business that can potentially implement it, there are some industries where it is a must-have.
Many of them already have it in place, but some are lagging behind, and they are the ones at the verge of adversity.
Some of those industries where user onboarding must be digital are as under.
The nature of this service delivery model makes digital user onboarding necessary. When your business is entirely web-based, as in SaaS, you don’t want to remain restricted to a limited geographical region unless mandatory or impossible to go beyond geographical limits.
Hence, the business operations of the SaaS sector are spread throughout the continents usually. Due to this nature of the business, the traditional onboarding process where users must be called on-site for onboarding isn’t workable.
The only workable option that lets SaaS businesses reach multiple frontiers is digital onboarding. Hence, user onboarding for SaaS is not a choice but a must-have thing.
Also, following the generally accepted key elements, you must ensure that the user onboarding is simple, fast, and easy to the extent that you are not compromising security and safety.
As of 2021, 75.4% of the US population is using digital banking services. Three-fourth of the population using digital services is signaling digital transformation of traditional banking.
So, when going digital, they must ensure a simple, easy, and fast digital onboarding process as well.
If you belong to any of these two industries, or others that require digital onboarding but are not mentioned here, you must have a keen emphasis on it. Why? The five reasons why digital onboarding is essential for any business follow.
Businesses thrive to grow, and growth comes with new customers.
As mentioned in the beginning, people have already been used to a lot of digital products. As the time is passing, more digital products are getting normalized.
Not too far, just look a few decades back. Tangible letters were a prevalent means of business communication. Contrastingly today, they have been replaced by the intangible, digital form, email.
The digital product, email, brought multiple benefits such as prompt communication, saving resources (paper, fuel consumption during transportation), and more. These benefits were so enticing that emailing for business communication quickly became a new normal.
Similarly, digital transformation has already taken over a lot of life facets, and it hasn’t stopped yet. The noteworthy thing is that, with the enticing benefits digital products offer, the things won’t go pristine. Hence, you must evolve accordingly.
If you are a business that has been onboarding on-site although digital onboarding is possible or your competitors are providing it, you are missing out on customers.
There must be a group of your potential customers who are not availing your service just because it does not compliment their lifestyle.
For instance, remote workers live in an ecosystem of digital products, such as laptops and smartphones, most of the time. Oftentimes, they don’t get time to go outdoors due to the nature of their work.
So, if they are your target market but you are providing on-site onboarding to your product or service, they may not be able to avail it. Ultimately, you will be the one at the loss of losing potential customers.
If your service or product is of their interest, they must be looking forward to digital onboarding. Hence, you can attract them just by having digital onboarding.
A cluttered space of tangible confidential documents or a secure, web-based clutter-free space of intangible confidential documents, what’s better?
For sure, the latter one.
Why have the headache of hefty documentation and that, too, manually for each customer when it can be digitized?
In digital onboarding, you can be simpler.
When onboarding digitally, you will be able to eliminate the tangible documents from your workplace because it will be done and saved online.
Also, you won’t ever see the queues of customers again at your workplace because the process will be done remotely.
Furthermore, you won’t be required to repetitively guide each of your customers because you’ll have created a comprehensive digital guide once for all.
In a nutshell, your user onboarding process will become much simpler than it used to be.
Where a human resource for on-site onboarding process will require, let’s say, 30 minutes to onboard one user successfully, a lot of users can be entertained at the same time in digital onboarding.
Because the process will be digital, it is possible to onboard as many users as we want simultaneously.
So, the reason that a lot of precious time can be saved makes digital onboarding essential.
Where will the saved time go? It can be utilized to spend more on brainstorming for bringing innovations.
Before digital onboarding, a major chunk of your time was allocated for designing and re-designing the on-site onboarding process, resolving the issues arising out of it, or supervising the human resources for onboarding.
After digital onboarding, you will have all of this free time which you can utilize to think on innovations.
Hence, the reason that digital onboarding compliments innovation makes it essential for you.
For on-site onboarding, human resources are involved.
Just to mention a few, there must be a person who designs training, if any, necessary for new users.
Then, there must be a person who interacts with the users and initiates the onboarding process.
Then a person who looks after the security of the documents, if any, collected during the on-site onboarding process.
At last, a person who is always at the help desk to entertain the queries of new or existing customers.
On the flip side, many, if not all of these, human resources can be saved and utilized elsewhere. For instance, there is no need for physical interaction, so no human will be required for this position.
Also, the person sitting at the help desk can be replaced with an AI chat bot that can answer frequently asked questions.
So, saving human resources to utilize them elsewhere is just another reason why digital onboarding is essential.
We hope you enjoyed our article mentioning the reasons why digital onboarding is essential. Although it may seem like a small detail of your business, it can have a significant impact on your overall success.
First impression is the last impression. In human life, this sentence may or may not make real sense, but it is indeed true for businesses.
With hundreds of substitutes available to your product or service, only your first impression can make you stand out in the crowd.
Philip Kotler, a marketing guru, has also mentioned in his book Marketing Management to work on all of your business’s touch points.
The reason is the same—to stand out in the crowd and to have a strong first impression.
Simply put, digital onboarding is essential for your business in this digital era, and you must have it in place if you don’t have one already.
Also, don’t forget to instill the three essential ingredients of digital onboarding: simple, easy, and fast.
About the author:
Saifullah Napar is a content writer working in this field for the past three years. He has been writing on topics such as business technology, blockchain, fintech, and digital marketing. (LinkedIn)