In the fast-paced and highly competitive world of banking, the process of onboarding new customers/members plays a vital role in the growth and success of financial institutions. However, traditional one-size-fits-all approaches to customer communication and engagement are no longer sufficient. Today, mastering personalized communication has emerged as a key factor in driving successful bank and credit union onboarding. By delivering tailored messages, targeted content, and individualized interactions, banks and credit unions can enhance customer engagement, build trust, and ultimately increase customer/member satisfaction.

According to our national Peer database, annual churn is at a staggering 10%, while new household growth stands at a mere 9%. This stagnation indicates that attrition is playing a significant role in limiting growth. To combat this challenge, banks and credit unions must prioritize establishing rapport and trust with their new customers/members during the onboarding process.

Establishing Rapport and Trust

Establishing strong relationships and trust with new customers is essential for maintaining their loyalty in the long run. Research indicates that customers who have fewer than three products with a bank are more likely to churn compared to those who have made multiple purchases. In fact, a staggering 81% of customers with less than three products are prone to leaving, while only 13% of customers with three to four products exhibit a similar inclination.

To enhance trust, it is crucial to leverage customer data insights in communication throughout the onboarding process. By utilizing personalized communication strategies, such as addressing customers by their names, acknowledging their unique needs and preferences, and providing relevant information, banks and credit unions can establish a genuine connection. This approach not only fosters a sense of rapport but also demonstrates the institution’s commitment to meeting the individual requirements of each consumer. By leveraging customer data insights, banks and credit unions can build stronger relationships based on trust and better cater to their customers’ needs.

Unveiling the Customer Journey

Statistics reveal that a significant portion (45%) of all accounts opened throughout the entire customer relationship are established within the first 90 days. Therefore, it becomes critical for banks and credit unions to onboard customers swiftly and efficiently across multiple channels. Understanding the customer journey is paramount to identifying opportunities for personalized communication.

Typically, customers open checking and savings accounts first, followed by various consumer loans, real estate accounts, and finally, long-term deposit accounts. By mapping personalized communication strategies to this journey, banks and credit unions can optimize engagement and satisfaction. Identifying the right moments to reach out, whether it’s welcoming a new customer, providing guidance on account activation, or offering relevant product recommendations, creates a seamless and customer-centric experience.

Tailoring Messages and Content

Crafting customized messages and content is a powerful way to captivate customers and ensure their attention. By leveraging customer data and insights, banks and credit unions can deliver relevant and impactful communication that resonates with individual needs and interests. This approach has yielded impressive results for organizations like the Louisiana-based CSE Federal Credit Union.

By implementing a personalized communication program, the credit union achieved a remarkable 12-month direct response rate of 13%. Moreover, for every dollar invested in the program, they received $8.77 in marginal profit. Over a 12-month tracking period, this initiative generated over $23 million in total new balances. These remarkable outcomes demonstrate the tangible benefits of tailoring messages and content to meet individual customer requirements.

Segmentation and Targeting

Effective customer segmentation strategies are crucial for personalized communication. By dividing customers based on their needs, preferences, demographics, and generational differences, banks and credit unions can tailor messages that resonate with specific groups. For example, customers in Generation X and Y may have different priorities than those in the Silent and Boomer generations.

Segmentation also allows banks and credit unions to identify patterns and trends related to attrition. Analysis has shown that the largest generation experiencing attrition is Generation Y, with a 34% attrition rate. Surprisingly, tenure does not appear to be a significant factor in attrition, although customers with a tenure between three and five years exhibit higher attrition rates compared to other segments. By understanding these insights, banks and credit unions can refine their personalized communication strategies to effectively address attrition risk.

Clear and Concise Communication

During the onboarding process, clear and concise communication is of paramount importance. Providing personalized instructions, tips, and relevant information in a seamless and easily understandable manner helps customers navigate the complexities of banking services. Furthermore, it is essential to stay true to the bank’s brand identity and values throughout the onboarding journey.

Materials shared with customers should establish the bank’s vision, values, key messages, and aesthetics right from the start of the relationship. By ensuring consistency and alignment with the brand, banks and credit unions can instill confidence and trust in their customers. For instance, the materials used by 2023 MAC Award Winner, CSE Federal Credit Union, are a perfect reflection of their brand, strengthening their connection with customers.

Embracing Multi-Channel Personalization

To engage customers effectively, banks must implement personalized interactions across diverse channels. This includes direct mail, email, SMS, outbound phone calls, and more. By integrating these channels seamlessly, banks can provide a consistent and cohesive experience, ensuring that customers receive relevant messages through their preferred communication channels.

Automation and AI-powered Solutions

Harnessing automation, AI, and machine learning technologies is essential for scaling personalized communication efforts. At Marquis, we have developed two Journey Orchestration tools that aid in creating an optimal onboarding program. These tools optimize efficiency while maintaining a human touch in customer interactions. By automating routine processes and utilizing AI for data analysis, banks can focus their resources on building stronger relationships and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Showcasing Success Stories

Real-life examples and case studies serve as powerful testimonials, highlighting the positive impact of personalized communication in bank onboarding. By sharing success stories, banks can inspire and educate others in the industry, encouraging them to adopt similar strategies and reap the benefits. These stories demonstrate the significant impact personalized communication has on customer satisfaction and onboarding outcomes.

Measuring and Analyzing Results

To evaluate the effectiveness of personalized communication, banks need to measure relevant metrics and analyze data. Key performance indicators such as customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and retention rates provide insights into the success of personalized communication efforts. By monitoring these metrics and continuously refining their strategies based on data-driven insights, banks can drive continuous improvement in their onboarding processes.

Continuous Improvement and Future Trends

Personalized communication is a dynamic field that requires ongoing optimization and enhancement. Banks should continuously seek opportunities to improve their strategies by incorporating customer feedback, staying abreast of industry trends, and leveraging emerging technologies. As the banking landscape evolves, exploring future trends and advancements in personalized communication will be crucial for staying ahead of the competition and meeting customer expectations.

In the ever-evolving landscape of banking, mastering personalized communication has become essential for successful onboarding. By establishing rapport and trust, unveiling the customer journey, tailoring messages and content, implementing segmentation and targeting, ensuring clear and concise communication, embracing multi-channel personalization, leveraging automation and AI-powered solutions, showcasing success stories, measuring and analyzing results, and continuously striving for improvement, banks can deliver exceptional customer experiences during the onboarding process.

By adopting these strategies and staying customer-centric, banks can foster long-term relationships, drive customer loyalty, and ultimately achieve sustainable growth in the highly competitive banking industry of 2023 and beyond.




Invaluable customer insights from 2023 Marquis peer data are derived from a diverse collection of account records from 75 reputable financial institutions nationwide. This data covers a wide range of asset sizes, ensuring a representative sample. By utilizing predictive modeling attributes, the peer database analyzes financial behaviors, profitability, and risk factors. It enables a comprehensive evaluation of the potential within 4 billion retail and small business banking households across critical segments such as generations and profitability. The peer database also examines product usage behaviors among 6 million account holders, encompassing various financial aspects such as loans, accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and more. This thorough analysis serves as the foundation for assessing financial performance and shaping future strategies. Copyright Marquis.