When the pandemic started, and the worldwide lockdowns began, our behaviors drastically shifted from in-person to doing everything online at a faster rate than ever before.

From WFH, to shopping and banking. As a result, companies want to make client account openings leaner and quicker than ever.

Clients only want to spend one to two minutes filling out their personal information for account openings - like for grocery deliveries or an Amazon account, and they prefer to be able to do this via a mobile app.  

Keys to success

However, in the area of personal wealth management, besides adopting a lean onboarding process, the following factors will determine the success of client onboarding.

  1. Pricing – How the price is competitive compared to other platforms. Many self-directed investing platforms now offer zero-fee transactions, with zero annual fees for the account.
  2. Cost of switching – The cost of switching is low for the client.
  3. Features of the platform – The platform fully supports the service or product of the customer’s needs.
  4. Good user interface – Users can navigate easily throughout the mobile app or website.
  5. Client support – Ease of getting professional help when needed.
  6. Brand of the company or relationship – The company has a good reputation and a strong brand (users expect the bank will not disappear overnight!)

Timing over perfection

Recently, I rolled a 401k to an IRA account. The cost of switching was zero. I expected standard features associated with an IRA account and put on a derivative position, but the position gave me a settlement error.  

When I called their support team, they informed me it was a known error and a false alert.  Whilst this has no impact, it is worth noting that without a full roster of faultless features, it is still worthwhile for the company to launch.

Timing is a huge factor and the pandemic rapidly raised demand to have things done online.


Using login metrics to track client onboarding success is key.

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) such as increasing market share by x% would be the entire team’s goals.  

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as client retention rate, churn rate, and customer satisfaction rate are all insights into how good the platform is.  

Product feature adoption metrics provide insights into the ranking of the product features that are not login-based (I will be elaborating on this in a later blog, so keep your eyes peeled!).

Along with the metrics data, I predict we will see more AI strategies used in client retention by matching training materials with client behaviors to keep them engaged and interested.

By providing a repertoire of resources and a sense of purpose, clients are empowered to tune in and take actions for themselves.    

For more on metrics, check out the PLA’s post product-led growth metrics.

A time to review

There are no short cuts to building a successful client onboarding experience.  

For many, the pandemic is the catalyst for reviewing the digital onboarding process. This is a good time to map out that end-to-end journey and review your client’s pain points.  

A long-term focus on client needs is the success to innovation and client satisfaction because  even with the vaccine and the final end to the pandemic, we will not be going back to the ‘old normal’ any time soon.  

Shake things up!