7-Step Onboarding Checklist

First impressions are everything. Onboarding is the most important moment in a relationship with a customer. We get asked all the time how financial institutions can improve their onboarding. This onboarding checklist – slimmed down to the bare necessities from a Financial Brand list – will get you started.

Here are the most important things to do during the onboarding process. If you can check off each of these points then you’re well on your way to having one of the best onboarding strategies in the business.

Here’s the checklist in detail.

 7-Step Onboarding Checklist

full onboarding checklist

Keep these words in mind when outlining your onboarding strategy.


include onboarding checklistInclude Everyone

Onboarding isn’t something that should only be for new customers. If a current customer opens a new account with you, you should leverage that relationship. There’s never a bad time to show customers what makes your institution unique. Onboarding is your window of opportunity to do just that. Especially if a relationship has grown stagnant, be sure that you’re including all your customers – new and old – with some type of onboarding.


collect onboarding checklistCollect Insights

Your customers want to talk to you, so listen to them! Don’t be afraid to ask them for feedback or if their needs are being met. Collecting insights allows you to target customers with what they’re interested in. It’s extremely important to avoid pitching a product, but when you collect customers’ insights they’re open to speaking up about their financial needs. You don’t build a relationship by being the only one who talks. Listen to what customers are saying.


communicate onboarding checklistCommunicate Early

Don’t wait to say thanks. You should be at your most active in the first few days after you onboard someone. For example, sending a hand-written thank you postcard or note is a great way to communicate early on a personal level. It’s not something people expect, but something they will appreciate. Really make an effort to open communication channels with customers early on. Set the precedent that you care about your customers.


connect onboarding checklistConnect Often

Connect often without spamming customers. Make sure that when you connect it’s for an important reason. Try not to focus on products since customers learn to ignore that type of messaging. Set up a schedule for communication that allows you to connect often without alienating customers. They don’t need to hear from you everyday; just enough to keep in contact. Content can play a really important role for connecting with customers.


personalize onboarding checklistPersonalize Dialogue

Customers are individuals. Try to think beyond ‘one-size-fits-all’ communications. Leverage your data so that when you get in touch with a customer it’s about their specific needs. All it takes are little touches like using a customer’s name in an email, or mentioning how long they’ve been banking with you. Work with the information you have to single out customers as individuals.


engage onboarding checklistEngage Before Selling

The crux of engagement is something we call “teach to sell”. The idea is to avoid a product focus and provide customers with content that can help them save money and avoid mistakes. It’s paramount that customers see a direct benefit to engaging with you. When engagement comes first you are able to sell by not selling. Engaged customers ultimately represent a 23% increase to share of wallet and profitability (Gallup Research).


learn onboarding checklistLearn

Some say that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Try out different onboarding ideas to see what works and what doesn’t. Change what doesn’t work and learn from your mistakes. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You won’t flip a switch and suddenly have an onboarding process that’s perfect for your institution. It takes some work, but if you’re following these steps you’ll see the results.


We hope you found this onboarding checklist helpful! If you have a something to add that no onboarding strategy can be without then leave a comment!

Check out our next workshop for an in-depth look at onboarding!