14 Apr 2011

Customer Onboarding Optimisation: The Final Piece of the Puzzle To Completing SOA & BPM

Many businesses have used SOA and BPM to streamline their processes. But without effective optimisation of the customer onboarding process, even effective systems can fail to produce profitable results.

Although SOA and BPM continue to become more mainstream in the business world, there is still a learning curve associated with these disciplines that can intimidate business stakeholders from quickly embracing it. For this reason, competent SOA consultancies now work hard to effectively educate and indoctrinate both business and IT professionals at organisations ramping up their business processes so that the executive and managerial teams are all fully invested in the new approach. We’ve written about this in our article on the SOA Maturity Model.

However, there is more to implementing new SOA– and BPM-inspired practices than simply getting the executive team on board: an organisation also needs to have the knowledge and vision to effectively optimise their processes and the customer onboarding process is a great place to start.

How Customer Onboarding Gets Lost in the Shuffle

A new service oriented architecture and business processes not only affect the organisational and operational aspects of a business – the changes can also be felt at the customer level as well. For established clients and customers, a change in the system can be jarring enough to even consider looking elsewhere for products and services. And for new customers, if the onboarding process is too cumbersome and slow, prospective customers might be lost in the process.

The reason for this is that, while many businesses have worked hard to streamline their processes, the customer onboarding process still remains dominated by many manual steps, such as credit scoring and entry into a plethora of IT systems that can be confusing and intimidating to the customer. Here at Integrella, some businesses we have consulted with in the wealth management area have complained that they often have to turn away business because of the associated risk of bringing on more staff to manually process transactions.   An efficient onboarding process allows organisations to scale their business units according to demand.

Just in the same way that business processes can be automated to streamline data sharing and other critical operational considerations, so too can the customer onboarding process be automated in a simple, user-friendly way that not only maintains customer relations, but also makes believers out of both new and returning customers who will need to interact with new systems.

Bringing Prospects & Customers Into the Loop

Typically, the process of onboarding involves a comprehensive set of tools and tutorials to educate and indoctrinate users of a new system. This can include formal meetings, lectures, videos, printed materials, or computer-based orientations to introduce newcomers. For the purposes of onboarding customers to a new business solution, however, an SOA consultancy will naturally look towards automation.

As part of its approach to helping organisations retool their business processes using SOA and BPM, Integrella works with businesses to help identify and automate the customer onboarding process. The end result not only streamlines the process for customers, but also allows businesses to cut processing costs and increase efficiency, since manual manpower and intensive hands-on customer relations is no longer necessary to educate customers.

There’s no doubt that automation is the next generation of business processes. But in order for automation to be effective, it needs to be implemented into the onboarding process as well as operational processes.

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