Web Forms: A Bank’s “Face” Online

By Katrina Garza

Are your web forms in good shape? Are you sure? It’s a little question with big consequences.

More and more of today’s consumers expect to be able to complete all their banking tasks in the digital channel just the same as if they were in a brick-and-mortar branch. According to PwC’s 2017 Digital Banking Consumer Survey, nearly half of consumers now only interact via digital channels with their financial institutions, skipping physical branches altogether. This means your web forms need to be just as responsive, intuitive, and efficient as your tellers. It is very likely that your customers’ first—and possibly only—interaction with your organization will be online.

Let’s assume you’ve invested in digital marketing that has been successful at bringing a potential customer to your website and they are ready to purchase.

When they are ready to take an action, are they met with a clunky and somewhat tedious onboarding form? Sixty-four percent of banks have reportedly lost deals and revenue due to problems with their onboarding, so it’s likely that the answer is, “yes.”

Industry research also shows that 43 percent of those who had low satisfaction during new account opening indicated they would “definitely or probably” switch banks as a result. This sad fact should tell you that even if a new customer makes it through a poor onboarding experience, that relationship is already on shaky ground. You may end-up losing them to competition that better understands how to engage customers with web forms in the digital channel.

Web forms as part of a bank’s digital strategy.

A web form leaves a lasting impression—not unlike the smile on a teller’s face when a customer walks into a branch. Therefore, ensure that your web form is clean, uncluttered, aesthetically pleasing, easy and intuitive to use. Your web forms should match the look and feel of your website and other marketing collateral.

They should carry the voice of your brand, because online, they are the face of your organization.

That said, there are a few tricks that web forms can deploy that even the most skilled teller would be jealous of. For example, web forms can use conditional logic to save customers valuable time by only showing them form fields that are relevant to them. If a customer answers “yes” when asked if they are a single income household, then a web form using conditional logic will automatically skip any questions relevant to dual/multiple income households.

Not only do web forms provide a better customer experience but they can streamline your back-of-house operations as well. Dharma Merchant Services is a San Francisco-based provider of credit card payment solutions that was able to improve customer experience and save valuable resources by simply switching from paper to web websorms for digital onboarding. Previously Dharma would have a 30-45 minute call with a client to get them enrolled. Then the client would mail in the appropriate trailing documents, and finally an employee would re-enter all the client’s data into their database before the account could be finalized. Dharma implemented web forms for its new customer onboarding, and cut its pre-application process time by 78 percent. The company also saw an enormous lift in data accuracy when it reduced the opportunities for human error.

Use online forms to strengthen customer relationships.

Of particular interest to marketers, online forms allow banks to easily connect their web forms to a customer relationship management (CRM) system, enabling them to strengthen client relationships and build engagement. By using pre-fill connectors, banks can make sure that their customers do not have to enter the same information multiple times, providing customers with a personalized, simple experience.

No bank can afford to give the impression that it doesn’t know its customers, doesn’t remember them, and/or isn’t listening to them when they provide information.

Banks can also collect valuable customer feedback by sending them pre-filled information in survey forms. This shows customers that you value their time and opinion, and may prompt them to fill out the survey, further building engagement. Pairing such surveys with the CRM can even allow banks to gain a quick snapshot of the health of each account, helping maintain strong client relationships.

Opting for a web form solution doesn’t mean sacrificing the personal touches your clients have come to expect. Once a form is submitted, banks can take the client to a customized thank you page with a unique message, with personalized data pulled directly from the form itself. Redirect pages are another option, allowing banks to send the user back to their company website or to another step in their form process.

Creating an effective web form is easy.

There’s no need to feel overwhelmed thinking about the time it would take your IT team to bring your web forms to where they need to be. Most leading web form building solutions offer drag-and-drop functionalities, along with the flexibility to customize and easily create web forms that manage the entire customer lifecycle. With built-in security and compliance features, your organization can easily use web forms for any of the following functions:

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As banks continue to move further towards digitization, web forms become an increasingly essential component of your digital strategy, not an afterthought. Financial institutions are under tremendous pressure to quickly improve their digital operations and web forms are often the first “face” your customer meets when it comes time to interacting with you in the digital channel.

Don’t let a poorly designed web form be the reason customers walk away.

Katrina Garza is manager of customer success at FormAssembly.

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