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4 Ways Marketing Can Help Improve the Customer Onboarding Process Here's how effective marketing can build trust, enhance brand reputation and reduce customer abandonment during onboarding.

By Dawn Crew Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Digital identity verification is a critical step in customer onboarding, especially for businesses operating in highly regulated industries such as financial services or payments.

However, the traditional methods of identity verification, such as a person reviewing government-issued IDs or conducting manual background checks, can be time-consuming and expensive. Onboarding is an opportunity for businesses to make a strong first impression, but those methods can lead to poor user experiences and customer abandonment. Yet if onboarding processes are not well-designed, they can open the door for fraudsters and lead to significant financial losses.

In the current economic environment, companies are striving to onboard the right customers at the right costs. That requires help from all areas of the business, and it's where marketing can play a role.

Marketing is all about understanding customer needs and behaviors and using that information to create strategies that help businesses achieve their goals. By applying marketing principles to identity verification at user onboarding, businesses can make the process more efficient and create positive customer experiences that build trust, enhance the brand reputation and reduce abandonment.

When responsible, ethical marketing intersects with identity verification at onboarding, customers and businesses can reap the benefits. Here are four ways that can happen.

Related: 7 Strategies to Revamp Your Customer Onboarding

1. Simplifies the verification process

The marketing team can help its colleagues simplify identity verification by providing clear, concise instructions to users so they know exactly what to do and are more at ease during onboarding. That can be especially helpful for those who may not be familiar with the verification process or who may have limited access to technology. The right tone and voice from marketing can help a user through a daunting process while leaving a positive association with the brand.

Recent research from Trulioo, for instance, found that 53% of payment service providers consider empathy — showing an understanding of customer needs, concerns and values — a top factor in building trust through identity verification. The same research showed that 92% of consumers consider empathy to be as important or more important during onboarding, compared with how they felt two to three years ago.

Marketing also can support product design teams as they create intuitive user interfaces that guide customers through the verification process step by step. For example, businesses can use visual cues, such as progress bars or check marks, to indicate to customers their progress in the verification process. Those cues can create positive experiences that encourage customers to complete onboarding. When the cues use a visual system that aligns with a company's brand promise, yet another strong positive association is made between the company and customer.

2. Creates a sense of urgency

Marketing can help create a sense of urgency around the verification process. For example, businesses can use messaging that emphasizes the importance of verifying identity, such as highlighting how it helps prevent fraud.

When it's appropriate, businesses can use techniques such as countdown timers or limited-time offers to give customers a stronger sense of engagement with the onboarding journey. Offering incentives for completing the verification process can encourage users to continue through the onboarding steps. This may not make sense in all industries, but it can help reduce the number of people who abandon the onboarding process.

Related: 7 Common Customer Onboarding Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

3. Builds trust

Identity verification is a critical element in building trust between a business and its customers. By verifying digital identities, businesses create a safer environment for customers.

Marketing can convey that message clearly throughout onboarding to enhance the brand reputation and ensure customers understand exactly why they're providing information for verification. The messaging can emphasize the security benefits or leverage social proof, such as customer reviews or testimonials, to demonstrate the process is secure and efficient.

That type of communication can pave the way for positive user experiences and customers who believe the company is taking steps to ensure their security and data privacy. When companies showcase their commitment to a secure digital environment, customers are more likely to trust the process and provide the necessary onboarding information.

Businesses also can use branding elements such as logos or color schemes to create a consistent and recognizable user experience. That can help reinforce the business's brand identity and create trust with customers.

4. Builds personalized and customized experiences

Businesses can leverage marketing tactics to personalize and customize identity verification workflows. When a company understands its customers' needs and behaviors, it can tailor onboarding steps to each person, striking the balance between security and meeting consumer expectations for speed and convenience.

Personalization can also give people the feeling that a business really knows them, such as when it greets them by name or uses messaging specific to their industry or interests. Those nuanced techniques can create more engaging experiences that encourage users to complete the verification process.

Related: How to Turn Strangers into Loyal Customers With User Onboarding

Marketing forms the foundation of long-lasting relationships

Harnessing best-in-class marketing techniques for the identity verification process can create a more positive onboarding experience and strengthen the relationship between businesses and their customers.

When businesses truly leverage this type of holistic approach, they can realize the benefits of increased customer satisfaction, retention and trust. Clear communication, an engaging process and personalized experiences help ensure businesses onboard the customers they want while building trust and confidence in the brand.

Dawn Crew

CMO of Trulioo

Dawn Crew has more than 25 years of experience defining and leading global marketing strategies for technology companies in the identity verification, authentication and human resources industries.

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