How to Utilize SMS for a Better Onboarding Experience

MS messaging, the preferred method of communication for consumers, offers a new way to connect better with your members through a traditionally tedious process.

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A new member joining your financial institution is always an exciting prospect, but the process of properly introducing yourself and your institution can be a hassle. Onboarding new members comes with playing email or phone call tag to collect documentation, get accounts set up, introduce your suite of offerings, and so on. This hassle is felt by members, who are becoming less and less likely to chat over email or phone call, and for agents who are trying to communicate in the best way possible. But this process doesn’t have to feel like a hassle. Onboarding new members can be an incredible opportunity to introduce your FI in a way that makes that member excited to be a member. The best way to introduce yourself is by the best method of communication, text messaging. It has been documented that consumers prefer text messaging by 48% as their preferred method of communication, compared to just 22% via email. The future of onboarding members in an enjoyable and engaging way for both parties is here. With that being said, here are some best practices to use when onboarding new members via text.

First Impressions Count: Act Accordingly

Sending an automated welcome text is a solid best practice that is guaranteed to get results. Whether it’s a congratulations text on a loan approval, or a general welcome message after someone has just signed up to your FI, these touchpoints are great ways to communicate with members on a more personal level. Text messages are opened at a rate of 98%, compared to just 20% of emails, so sending a message that is almost guaranteed to be read is a great way to make that first impression. Keeping the messaging concise, yet light, is crucial in not overwhelming members, but showcasing personality. 

Keywords that Get Responses

Setting up automated keywords is a great addition to any welcome/onboarding message. The inclusion of automated responses to said keywords allows your members to explore, self serve and onboard at their own pace. This leads to more comfortable conversations & more knowledge members. We recommend setting up keywords to respond to inquiries such as checking balances, enrolling in auto pay, or checking business hours. The addition of a ‘HELP’ keyword is also highly useful, as it allows members to get instantly connected with a live agent for more help, just by typing in four letters.

The Importance of Opt In & Opt Out

Including an opt in/opt out section during these processes is essential for two main reasons. First, the use of Texting is meant to make the conversation more personal by giving it the feel of a ‘two way street’ of communication. If the member doesn’t have the option to opt in or out, that street now feels one way and can pressure said member into not completing processes, nullifying the benefits of Text in the first place. Emails have the option to unsubscribe, and Text Messaging needs to have a similar feature to reap the full benefits. Second, having these opt in’s/out’s assures TCPA compliance when sending out SMS messages. Without them, these messages are more likely to be flagged as spam and never reach their intended recipient. For the most seamless conversation, don’t forget to put an opt out line in the message itself.

Onboarding only truly ends when your FI runs out of opportunities for your members to learn more. And if your FI is consistently growing, adding new features and innovations, there are always opportunities to share/onboard more. Continuing message threads to build off of prior conversations or introduce new services to members who may not be as active is a solid way to re-engage those members for better account utilization. 

Onboarding members with SMS messaging, the preferred method of communication for consumers, offers a new way to connect better with your members through a traditionally tedious process. To find out more about how Eltropy is enabling our partners to onboard their members with Text Messaging, along with all of our omnichannel offerings, book a demo today.

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