Enterprise Blog

Equality for women in healthcare: Where are we today? 

Dr. Aaliya Yaqub, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Thrive explains the gender gaps that are still inherent in the healthcare industry and how mental health awareness is improving 

Over 60% of employees in healthcare are women, according to McKinsey, and represent just under 50% of entry-level healthcare jobs. With such a high percentage of women in the healthcare space, the assumption would be that the industry has better equality than other less female-dominated industries. However, that is not the case. 

“There is a huge opportunity to make things more equitable for women in healthcare. We know that female physicians make about 27% less than male physicians in 2023 [according to the American Women’s Medical Association]. We also see trends of female physicians being burdened with greater administrative tasks and being promoted less than their male peers with the same number of years of experience,” explains Dr. Aaliya Yaqub, MD, Chief Medical Officer at our partner, Thrive

The healthcare industry has a long way to go to reach gender equality, from entry-level healthcare jobs all the way to the top doctor level. Dr. Yaqub noted that one of the key things she would like to see is fair and equal pay across the board, something that many professional women across all verticals still do not have. However, the needs of women in healthcare also extend to additional parental needs and flexibility. 

“It’s also important to see childcare benefits, paid maternity leave, and greater flexibility with start and end times. Physician burnout is, unfortunately, occurring at unprecedented levels, and many physicians are considering leaving clinical medicine,” Dr. Yaqub noted. 

Burnout and mental health 

The field of medicine tends to also still categorize women into the archaic fragile, emotional stereotypes that they have worked so hard to overcome for so many years. 

“Stereotypes still exist within our very hierarchical medical training institutions, academic centers, and even in private practice settings. However, we have started to see a societal shift in how we view wellness, self-care, and mental health. Organizations and employers within healthcare are seeing the impact of burnout and unregulated stress. Both men and women are impacted, so the female stereotypes are less relevant. However, we do know that women, on the whole, experience higher levels of stress and burnout as compared to their male counterparts. Women often bear the brunt of caregiving responsibilities for children, disabled or chronically ill family members, and aging parents,” said Dr. Yaqub.  

This greater awareness around burnout and mental health risks in the healthcare industry has led to new programs in a variety of healthcare systems that address nurse burnout risk factors and, according to Dr. Yaqub, there is an investment in making physical spaces in hospital environments more conducive to self-care and breaks that can be rejuvenating during a difficult shift.  

“We also see the incredible impact of the Thrive Global Foundation, which through its partnership with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Creative Artists Agency, and the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation launched ALL IN: WellBeing First for Healthcare to invest in solutions to improve the well-being of the healthcare workforce and eliminate persistent mental health and well-being challenges that disadvantage our health workers, and therefore, the future of public health,” noted Dr. Yaqub.

Thrive is a Markaaz Dashboard partner, offering our small business members access to mental health and wellness resources to help their teams thrive in the modern workplace. Thrive’s initiatives are not just small business-focused, however, and they count industry giants such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Bank of America, and more as clients.  

Learn how to help your team’s mental health in the workplace at 

Talk to our team about becoming a Markaaz Dashboard partner!

Dr. Aaliya Yaqub, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Thrive 

Dr. Aaliya Yaqub is the Chief Medical Officer at Thrive Global. Dr. Yaqub is a Board-certified Internal Medicine physician with years of experience as a leader in tech, medicine, and mental health. Dr. Yaqub received her M.D. from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and completed her residency and fellowship training at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. At Thrive, Dr. Yaqub: Oversees our Scientific Advisory Board; Leads the charge in expanding our offerings into the healthcare space; Champions an upstream approach to well-being with a focus on prevention and habit formation; Serves as a leading facilitator for customer engagements, including workshops and webinars. 

Enterprise Blog

Markaaz for Banking: Onboard more clients faster and more efficiently  

How Markaaz’s automated business verification and decisioning API services ease banks’ small business customer onboarding backlog 


One of the most significant pain points for banks and financial institutions is being unable to accurately verify the small businesses they want to onboard. With limited publicly available small business information and with most business databases focused on more easily accessible public business data, small businesses often get left out, and small business-focused enterprises miss out on providing their services to a host of potential small business customers.   

Another challenge is the time it takes to onboard a small business. With poor match rates, many enterprises are forced to use multiple business data sources or manual verification processes to try and verify their potential small business clients and often fail. Every batch of data searched involves a dollar and a time cost – and let’s not forget about fraudulent and cloned businesses.   

It can be a nightmare to sort the good from the bad business records reliably.   


We can help you verify and make better decisions so you can onboard more compliant, healthy small business customers you want to do business with.  

Markaaz’s business decisioning and verification API services help you get faster answers to whether these small businesses are a right fit with your data criteria and speed up your onboarding workflows with superior small business match rates and answers available in milliseconds, not hours. While other providers take time hunting for data, Markaaz has built an all-in-one, always-available, global data source featuring business health, firmographic, and compliance data to shorten your time to verification and speed up decisioning, meaning you can get right to onboarding your small business clients.   

It’s time to stop wasting time and money searching multiple outdated databases!   

Business Verification API Suite   

Our Business Verification API Suite enables enterprises to tap into the Markaaz Directory in real-time to verify small business applicants. Our Markaaz Directory features over 300 million global small businesses, and the API Suite provides 50 standard data fields customizable with up to 200 elements across firmographic, business health, and compliance data.    

The Business Verification API Suite searches the Markaaz Directory with just a few variables and delivers firmographic, compliance, and business health data. This API Suite comprises multiple API endpoints that can return, in milliseconds, a customized selection of the data points about the business you are attempting to verify based on your unique needs.   

Business Verification API Suite scenario   

A bank needs to rapidly onboard new small business clients: How Markaaz’s Business Verification API Suite increases verification rates and speeds up your onboarding workflow. 

Business Decisioning API Suite   

Our Business Decisioning API Suite enables enterprises to build on the Business Verification API Suite and applies preconfigured rules across over a dozen metrics. These rules will supply an application verification decision in real time and the details behind that decision based on the metrics you set.    

Any decision can be manually audited by requesting the decisioning details to determine which rules were satisfied and which were not. Decision results can be tailored by editing the parameter thresholds.   

Business Decisioning API Suite scenario  

A bank needs to qualify a prospective applicant: How the Markaaz Decisioning API Suite does the work for you 


Our 300+ million business global Directory offers more global business records for broader coverage to verify small businesses, approve more small business applications, and grow your portfolio.   

Our Business Verification API Suite accelerates your approval processes with real-time verification and customizable decisioning – reducing the need for manual approvals and saving you both cost and time in your onboarding workflows.   

Our enterprise customers can also increase regulatory compliance discovery and negate costly AML and fraud risks with better AML and compliance coverage using the Markaaz API Suites.    

Why use Markaaz? 

Markaaz competitive features
Enterprise Blog

Business intelligence data is your key to success

Jim Whalen, CFO in Residence at Markaaz, gives us an overview of the unique small business data Directory Markaaz has built with its proprietary technology and how that data helps you

Like your favorite plant, small business intelligence data needs nurturing to survive, it cannot be left alone, or it rapidly becomes outdated, incorrect, and useless for any enterprise whose target customers are small businesses. The landscape for accurate global small business intelligence providers is minuscule, and most cannot return accurate data in real-time, delaying your onboarding and losing you up to 68% of your customers

“If you’re an enterprise and have a huge bank of customers, many of those lists become outdated or irrelevant. Customers go away; they are not active; they sell. As an enterprise partner, it is difficult to discern what is happening with individual companies because you are carrying all these data bits. Your small business data intelligence file becomes cumbersome and not relevant anymore, your decision-making becomes flawed based on outdated business records leading to more customer attrition, or rejections of strong customers,” said Jim Whalen, CFO, Markaaz.  

Markaaz has a valuable small business data proposition that provides the span, control, and impact necessary for enterprise partners to make better onboarding decisions and monitor small business clients even more accurately. With a data Directory featuring over 300 million global businesses, of which 98% are small businesses, Markaaz is leading the market when it comes to small business data across firmographic, business health, and compliance data. 

With Markaaz’s easy-to-use Business Activity Monitoring solution, its onboarding APIs, or its custom services that include small business engagement, enterprises can view a plethora of accounts at any point in time, understand what is going on in their marketplace, or their customer sets, and tailor their products and solutions to suit.  

Markaaz is becoming the go-to tool for the small business-focused enterprise, supported by the small business community. The multiple data sets the Directory uses are accurate but enhanced by the Markaaz small business members correcting and updating their business information on the Markaaz Dashboard.  

These corrections made by the small business enable Markaaz enterprise partners to offer them better rates on loans, mortgages, credit card expansion, or other financial services.  

“We just met with a bank, and they loved our ability to poke at our data because they’re trying to focus on family-owned businesses. Nobody else can do this. We can do it,” said Whalen. 

Markaaz is in a rapid growth phase and is investigating what the market needs and developing features and functions in its product suite to address those pain points across small businesses and enterprises globally.  

With its Series A growth funding round underway, Markaaz is further investing in its expansion and growth across global markets.  

Enterprise Blog

What is the customer onboarding process? 

Have you ever heard that it costs up to 25 times more to bring in a new customer than to keep an existing one?

It’s a pretty crazy figure, but that doesn’t make it any less accurate. Even when you push numbers to the side, anyone with a small business knows how important customer loyalty is. These customers write great reviews, try new products, and share your products with others. 

Keeping small business customers can be a challenge, especially in some industries. For instance, one study about apps shows that only one in four users open an app more than a single time.  

Knowing that, you might wonder what it takes to keep small business customers coming back. The answer starts with the customer onboarding process. This article will delve into the process to onboard users and keep them as customers for the near future, something that is sure to lead your enterprise to success.  

What is customer onboarding? 

Small business customer onboarding is the process of bringing in your target new users and setting them up for success using your service or product. This stage of customer experience lets the users learn how to use your products, how the product fits into their lives, and what value the product offers them.  

Depending on the industry, your small business customer onboarding process may be different from the next business. However, this guide will focus on those who work with credit and may have small business customers who purchase small to very large product subscriptions.  

When does onboarding begin? 

There’s some debate over the answer to this question. Many people say that onboarding begins the first time you ever talk to someone who might be a customer in the future. Others will assert that onboarding only begins when someone signs up for a service product. In either case, things get rolling after a small business customer provides you with their information. 

Whether you consider onboarding to start when someone sends your brand a chat or when they start to pay for a service, it’s an important moment for both the customer and the company. We would like to take the middle argument in this case. Onboarding starts when someone makes an account, as they are showing interest in being a customer. 

Reasons onboarding is important 

Onboarding is the moment that sets the stage for the rest of the small business’s interactions with your company. Onboarding is the opportunity for companies to create a positive first impression of their business to the customer. It is also the best chance to communicate the values and benefits associated with the product or service. By taking the time to provide small business customers with the information they need to make an informed decision, it can lead to long-term customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Onboarding is also the best time to set proper expectations and ensure that customers have a good understanding of what they are getting out of the product or service they are signing up for. This effort can also help to reduce customer turnover since customers are more likely to stay with a company if they have a positive first impression.

Even before someone signs up with your company, they often have heard of you from users, seen your website, and read some reviews of your offerings. When they come to you, that’s the time to show them they made the right decision. 

One of the most important parts of onboarding is indicating that you can solve a problem for the user. This is the time to show that you can make life easier and add value to someone’s everyday life. 

However, onboarding is also a time for you to learn more about your customers and who they are. You might be providing educational information, but so should the small business customer. The more you know about the customer, the better equipped you will be to meet their needs.  

Since that is the case, many companies benefit from sending out a market research survey either during or directly after the onboarding process.  

What do small business owners need during onboarding? 

The purpose of customer onboarding is to bring someone on to use your products. The series of steps in onboarding can vary but will often include account activation, welcome emails, video tutorials, product introductions, and customer service options. 

Teaching your small business customer how to start is an important part of onboarding. However, there are also things you may need from the customer yourself. For those who offer credit to customers, whether individuals or businesses, several pieces of information should be supplied to you during onboarding. 

Credit scores 

The time you spend with new customers will depend on what they plan to order and how important they are to your business. This factors into how much credit bureau information you acquire, what financial disclosures are needed, and whether a background investigation is needed.  

There are three classification levels for customers that should be considered in onboarding. These include the following: 

  • Small limits: A decent credit score and application will be enough in this case. Asking for credit card-based payment can also be used instead of having open terms for those with small accounts. The credit card fee is small and can avoid collection issues in the future. 
  • Medium limits: References checks and a standard report are useful for people with a medium limit at your business. Look at whether they tend to pay bills on time. If not, consider whether you want to put other contingencies in place, such as smaller order sizes or upfront partial payments. 
  • Large limits: A financial statement analysis and thorough credit examination are important for customers who make huge offers. The key things to look at are debt burden and liquidity. A credit bureau report and checking supplier references through an application are a good start. 

As you go through this information in onboarding, consider whether the credit is on the low or high end in comparison to the company’s risk tolerance. 

Business data 

It’s also important to look at business data when onboarding a client for credit. Business information encompasses several factors about the customer as a business. It includes things like the company name, address, and identifiers (such as EIN and business license number). Business data also includes the type of entity, contract information, owners’ names and percentage ownership, and other affiliated companies. 

When you onboard someone for credit, it’s best to have them fill out an application through your digital system. This lets you learn all the information you need about a customer before you move forward to making a decision. This application is often the first step of onboarding and will include all the business information you need. 


The third important piece of information needed for onboarding when credit is involved is documentation. This is proof that all the things being provided to you in the application are true. The actual documents you need will vary based on your company, industry, and what products or services you offer.  

However, several things are common to include. Estimated initial order amounts, estimated annual purchases, several trade references, and banking relationships are crucial to get information about. An attorney can review all of the documentation provided before you decide and take someone on as a customer. 

Documentation, business credit scores, risk scores, firmographic data, as well as compliance and risk scores are available for your business in the Markaaz onboarding API, which uses the Markaaz Directory of over 300 million global businesses, 98% of which are small businesses to provide accurate onboarding data to your team.

With the custom integrations available that link into the Markaaz Dashboard, the small businesses you are working with can enable consent-based document sharing from the Markaaz Vault, meaning your enterprise has all of the data it needs to successfully onboard your small business clients.

Contact our team now to learn more about our onboarding APIs.


Final thoughts 

The customer onboarding process is one of the most essential parts of the customer journey. The main goal is to ensure new users are set up to use the product or service, which may include moving data from one form of software to another where customers learn to use the item they have chosen to purchase. There are many types of information involved in onboarding, and it’s important to keep these things safe and secure. 

Customer onboarding is crucial because it helps reduce the number of customers who stop using your service or product. Remember that a great onboarding process is the first step to creating a successful customer experience. Be sure the process is uncomplicated, streamlined, and capable of addressing all the needs of your customers. 

Enterprise Blog

How can enterprises use firmographic data?

Accurate firmographic data on businesses drives better results for enterprises

You might already be familiar with demographic data – data that is based on individuals. Demographic assets can be very beneficial to a business.

Examples of these assets include purchasing preferences and contact names for potential customers and current users. This data can help drive various marketing campaigns and sales approaches. 

Firmographic data is similar to demographic data. However, it focuses instead on company data. It goes into depth with data about organizations and businesses.

Our Markaaz firmographic data Directory features over 300 million global businesses, 98% of which are small businesses. With our data, your business can boost its small business onboarding and monitoring rates.

Firmographic data is collected and analyzed to understand how enterprises operate. It can help your enterprise reduce risk, increase profit margins, and provide better services to your target market. We will discuss this in this article. 

What is firmographic data? 

There are many types of firmographic data available. Data fields range from information about a company’s industry to how much growth is expected and where its headquarters are located. Below is a list of many of the commonly used types of firmographic data: 

  • Growth trends – Learn whether a customer business is maintaining growth, downsizing, or growing based on market position with growth trends. Each metric is helpful, but different approaches are needed for each. 
  • Industry type – Whether professional, legal, financial, or logistics, it is essential to understand the industry vertical. Remember that some companies will have more than one vertical, which may make them comparable with customers in various segments. 
  • Ownership framework – Knowing whether an organization is an NGO charity, a nonprofit, a private enterprise, or a public business gives you insight into what market approach is needed. 
  • Organizational size – The company’s size, including staff and physical location, can be helpful to be aware of. 
  • Current location – Knowing where the business headquarters are and where other offices are can help meet customers’ needs. 
  • Revenue and sales – Annual and quarterly sales information is helpful. These can be used for sales strategies, with quarterly data giving insight into current needs. 

The importance of firmographic data  

There are several reasons for enterprises to pay attention to firmographic data. Firmographic data is used to make observations about a company. These observations can be turned into practical actions.

For example, you can review the firmographic data of companies you want to onboard. This will help to verify they are a strong business with the potential to pay for and use your services.

When your onboarding teams, monitoring teams, or executives access firmographic data, it is easy to classify customers.

The classification can be based on growth trajectory, revenue, location, size, or other factors. There’s no need to go in and organize these things specifically before moving forward with a decision. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, all customers are known and sorted. The data fields and alerts are tailored to meet the business’s unique needs. 

Below are several benefits available for businesses that use firmographic data. 

Customer onboarding 

One of the most common reasons to delve into firmographic data is customer segmentation. Data about a customer company can be used to:

1. Retain customers

2. Improve products and services

3. Create better customer success processes

4. Accelerate the adoption of clients and customers.

This all plays into the onboarding process and ensures every customer has what they need when accessing your brand’s services. 

User segmentation is all about grouping customers based on different factors. Examples of these factors include uncompleted goals in the customer journey, product usage, session duration, and NPS scores. Segmentation allows you to understand better customers to tailor your products and services to appeal to them. 

There are many benefits to using firmographic data for user segmentation. For instance, it can boost the loyalty of current customers and help you retain them for a longer period. Businesses can choose from types of segmentation based on need, with options like behavioral, technographic, geographic, demographic, or firmographic. 

You can introduce a personalized onboarding experience for every customer using firmographic data. Segmenting users into groups lets you boost product engagement while improving the use of features and the adoption of your product. Personalization focuses on showing relevant features to customers to be more engaging. 

For example, you could have a segment of your small business customers brought in through welcome screen surveys. All customers in this segment have answered a specific question in a certain way. If there’s an important product feature that will be useful to them, personalized onboarding can provide information about it. 

Business verification 

Business verification is essential for any enterprise that works with other companies. It reduces financial risk and fraud while ensuring a business complies with important rules and regulations.

Compliance and risk officers will have many uses for business verification details in firmographic data. Compliance teams can use it to ensure they know essential data about their customers and clients. Risk officers can use it to onboard and validate additional prospects. 

While it’s possible to manually dig deep into every company to find important details, it can be highly time-consuming, and expensive. Many providers offer firmographic data which will meet your needs. A few of the things provided include: 

  • Verification of business identity 
  • Fraud detection 
  • Verification of tax ID 
  • Regulatory compliance information 
  • Due diligence 
  • Data used for risk assessment decisions 

Due diligence is essential for any business to succeed by onboarding the right companies as clients. Having an easy source of firmographic data is a great place to start. You can easily confirm who your customers are through various types of data on your target business profiles in any industry. The verified data comes from trusted places, so you can feel secure when creating a new business relationship. 

Business activity monitoring 

According to Gartner, business activity monitoring is “the processes and technologies that enhance situation awareness and enable an analysis of critical business performance indicators based on real-time data.”

Business activity monitoring is used to improve the effectiveness and speed of company operations. It does this by constantly being aware of what is occurring within a business and knowing when issues crop up.  

If you’re already making use of firmographic data for other reasons. It can also play into your business activity monitoring process. Not only can you log into a dashboard and get data about your business, but you can also find out about potential and current customers and how their businesses are running.  

The reason business activity monitoring is so crucial comes down to it being available in real time. Unlike other standard reporting tools, this type of monitoring is always up to date. Instead of looking at things monthly, on Markaaz’s Business Activity Monitoring service, you can immediately access information updates about a company and its situation. 

Consider upselling or cross-selling for an example of how business activity monitoring can enhance your business. When you have information about a company, its challenges, and its goals, you can activate your sales team with proof-point and can offer solutions. 

Final thoughts 

Having access to firmographic data is critical for marketing and sales. It offers a way to build personalized content for customers of all types. This data can be found and compiled manually. However, it is easier to work with a company that stores it, always makes it available, and provides relevant data alerts.  

Markaaz helps you access the data you need and can give you a better understanding of how to improve the customer onboarding experience. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more about how firmographic data can help your brand. We can answer your questions, set you up and get you ready with all the data you want. 

Enterprise Blog

How to create a frictionless customer onboarding experience

For enterprises today, one of the most critical facets of remaining competitive is offering the best possible customer experience

If you have a product or service that doesn’t meet these increasingly high expectations, it can be a problem. This is why enterprises should focus on creating omnichannel, personal experiences that go above and beyond. 

It’s common for a business to lose customers because of slow or inefficient onboarding. This can result in a loss of revenue and may be hard to come back from. Many customers who undergo a bad onboarding experience will move to another brand. Creating a frictionless onboarding experience can prevent that issue. 

Why onboarding matters 

If you aren’t sure why onboarding is so important, HubSpot has several statistics that back up that fact. For instance, 40 to 60% of people who use a free trial try the product once and never return to it. In addition, most company revenue comes from existing customers, while those who are the happiest act as excellent sources of referrals.  

Retaining your small business customers saves money on acquisition costs and can experience increased revenue. When you build a great relationship with your small business customers, you can share your vision, mission, and values.

A great onboarding process lets customers know who you are, what your products and services do, and why you’re dedicated to their success. 

Personalization should be a priority 

Looking around the market today, you’ll see that modern customers want to experience personalized digital experiences. These include bundled offers, hyper-personalized ads, end-to-end customized journeys, and relevant content. When you put customized onboarding into place, it outperforms generic content considerably. 

Personalization involves taking the insights you have about your small business customers through their business data and leveraging it. Any data you have about your small business customers or potential users should be a part of creating the perfect onboarding experience. 

Thankfully, small business owners have become less wary about sharing information with enterprises. If you ask for it, you’ll likely get great data that helps you create an onboarding experience that speaks to them as small business leaders.  

The Markaaz Dashboard engages small business owners and provides them with a place to correct and update their public-facing data. Our custom APIs can tap into this resource, providing you with the most up-to-date small business information.

Omnichannel experiences are needed 

You may already have personalized journeys for your small business customers. If that’s the case, the next thing to consider is whether you offer an omnichannel experience.

With so many businesses offering online and mobile presence, you must keep up with your competition. It’s even better to offer something beyond what other companies offer. 

A mobile-first strategy is a must, something that is spreading to all sorts of countries. Your onboarding platform or website needs to be modern, with virtual assistant compatibility and mobile apps that can be used on any smartphone.

These technologies will become more highly adopted as time passes, so consider them in your onboarding strategy. 

You need to provide onboarding and access to your services that your small business customers can work with, no matter where they happen to be in the world. If someone starts onboarding using a phone and then moves to a computer to complete it, that should be easy for them to do. Your platform should allow synchronization across face-to-face, phone, chatbot, mobile, and online channels. 

User experience is crucial 

Your small business customers want an omnichannel experience. They also want things to be customized to meet their needs and desires. However, that’s not the end of what you need to provide for frictionless customer onboarding. Most people also expect things to be quick and intuitive. People want to be quickly onboarded and have immediate accounts to use. 

The way to do this is by streamlining, automating, and simplifying the customer experience. However, it’s also essential that this process is intuitive, secure, and robust. If you aren’t sure about which features are useful for these purposes, consider the following: 

  • A user-friendly and human-centered interface is an excellent place to start. This helps ensure that onboarding is frictionless and it’s simple to pass through the sales journey for your customers. 
  • Machine learning and advanced artificial intelligence technologies can also be helpful. These provide a way to upload and update documents to quickly verify customers for your industry’s needs. 
  • Using available information to create pre-populated forms speeds up onboarding. It can move the customer along and avoid the frustration associated with forms. 

Markaaz has a data Directory of over 300 million businesses, 98% of which are small businesses. Data for each company features firmographic, business health, and reputational data, so you can know who you are doing business with.

We offer customer onboarding via easy-to-use APIs and can provide custom services that utilize our small business-focused Markaaz Dashboard to offer direct small business engagement and document sharing.

The back office is essential to consider 

There are many factors associated with customer onboarding that the users see. However, you also want to think about your back office. While customization is critical for customers, the configuration is often more important for the workers at your enterprise. 

When you focus on configuration rather than customization, there’s no need to create personalized code and handle all the maintenance associated with it. This is crucial when you need to quickly update the platform based on analytics discovered as you watch over the customer onboarding process. 

Plus, if technology or requirements change, making fast updates is easier, so you can continually improve the customer onboarding experience. Some other things to be aware of to make the back office flow toward customer needs include: 

  • Customer service should provide workers with all the required information when and as needed. This allows them to move from task to task to help with onboarding, sales, and other vital processes. 
  • The back office should have the means to configure multiple processes for different sectors, segments, and channels. This creates an omnichannel experience that customers can trust. 
  • Low-code workflows with drag-and-drop options to make an order change a cinch are helpful. You can set up custom fields, add or delete steps, and more as needed for the perfect onboarding process. 

Customer service to wrap things up 

Several things create a bad customer experience, such as waiting for a long time on hold, having bad experiences with employees, or not being able to purchase a service or product. It’s your job to ensure the customer journey is smooth so they’re more likely to purchase. 

Customers expect a smooth and straightforward process to get what you are selling. If the process is derailed or there are distractions, it could lead to losing potential customers. Having excellent customer service is part of onboarding that cannot be ignored. 

Think about the ways you can create extra value for customers while ensuring the things they do are easy. Then, simply put those things into place to create a better experience. Remember to go back and check on things on occasion so you can make additional changes as needed. 

Final thoughts 

Part of your small business’s company culture should be prioritizing modern customer success. This means you need a customer onboarding experience where everyone in your business plays a part. Everyone in the business should know the proper steps to frictionless customer onboarding and be ready to support that priority. 

When it comes down to it, customers are the most valuable asset for your small company. When you build a streamlined, functional, and frictionless onboarding process, you start your relationship by showing customers that you care about them and want to see them succeed. This is a great way to increase retention and keep users happy. 

Learn how Markaaz can help you create a frictionless small business customer onboarding experience with our low-code APIs.

Enterprise Blog

Firmographic data explained: What is firmographic data? 

One of the most basic methods for enterprises to find and approve small business customers is using firmographic data

This data gives insight into a small business’s attributes, operations, and growth potential. Understanding what firmographic data is all about can give you ideas of how to use this info in small business onboarding, monitoring, and beyond. 

Today, we’ll be looking into exactly what firmographic data is, including where it comes from, what it is composed of, and what unrelated data combines well with it for the needs of your enterprise. Regardless of the industry or the products you provide, having access to accurate firmographic data is essential to be successful. 

What makes firmographic data unique? 

Sometimes known as ‘firm demographic data,’ firmographic data is information that pertains to the fundamental characteristics of a business or organization. It is mostly used to research prospects, find a target audience, or monitor already onboarded clients. It includes a variety of points of information, including the organizational structure, number of employees, location, industry, market cap, and performance details of a company. 

As mentioned, much firmographic data is designed as clusters of information that define different segments of a small business’s market segment. Market segmentation can be used for everything from B2B marketing to sales, market intelligence, onboarding and monitoring, and more. 

Where does firmographic data come from? 

The good news about firmographic data is that it’s not always difficult to gain access to it. In most cases, small businesses will have a lot of that information on their online profiles and website.

For public businesses, you’ll find firmographic data on news websites, on their website, in press releases, and throughout earning call reports. It’s a form of self-reported data. It can often be found in tax declarations and public company registers. Social media can also be a method to get some of the data. 

Another source of firmographic data is available from third-party sources. It may be listed or interpreted by other parties and is considered derived data about an organization. 

Finally, some data sources provide what is known as verified data. This is manually verified by an individual or organization. For instance, one person might send questions to personnel at the company in an email or a phone call, and the person working for the company confirms the data. While anyone can go through this process, it can often take up a lot of time and be expensive in practice. 

As an enterprise, you don’t need to waste time becoming a data expert.

In the case of private companies such as small businesses, firmographic data may not be available in the public domain. This requires someone to collect it from other places. Information from social media, press releases, and news articles may be pulled together to get all the needed information about an organization. 

Markaaz’s data Directory features verified businesses to take the hours of research off your plate.

What is firmographic data composed of? 

There are many different data points included under firmographic data. Below is a list of some of the most common attributes associated with this type of data:  

  • Structure of company: Parent companies, delivery centers, headquarters, and subsidiaries. This information can be used to determine the objectives of an organization. As an example, a nonprofit, religious organization, or charity will have very unique objectives compared to a government or profitable organization. 
  • Size of company: Number of employees, the scale of operation, annual revenue in millions, employee range, and revenue range. This is an important part of market segmentation and can be used for marketing, sales outreach, investment purposes, and market intelligence. 
  • Web and social media presence: Website, Twitter page, Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and website grade. 
  • Contact details: Country, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address. 
  • Data about customers: Demographic data, target market, potential customers, client domains, number of clients, and type of clients. 
  • Industry: Primary industry, primary SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) code and description, and NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code. Industry information is often used as a starting point for market segmentation. 
  • Technology: APIs, operating systems, coding languages, hardware, software, services, tools, and other applications. 
  • Revenue: Revenue range, balance sheet updates, and quarterly or annual turnovers. This provides information for outreach and sales cycles. It can show whether a business is downsizing or expanding and what might happen in the future. 
  • Performance details about the company: Credit rating, annual and quarterly profits, sales numbers, and sales cycle length. 
  • Geographic data: Location of clients, including address, zip code, state, city, country, and region, location of company headquarters, and delivery centers. Data on location can point toward business opportunities, challenges, or growth. 

You can see exactly how much important information is included in firmographic data. However, this isn’t the sole source of crucial data that may be needed. Product views, sentiment, and mentions are not typically included in firmographic data but can give insightful information about how an organization is doing and what problems it may be facing. 

What is not included in firmographic data? 

Small business security woman

As mentioned, firmographic data is important, but it isn’t the only data to be aware of. There are many types of data that you usually will not find when searching for firmographic data. Whether you’re doing manual research or paying for compiled data, make sure you’re aware of what is provided and what might not be. 

Compliance data 

One of the many things that typically isn’t included in firmographic data is information about organization compliance. Data compliance is a form of governance that a business puts in place to ensure it meets all standards, regulations, and laws. It focuses on the management, storage, organization, and possession of information to prevent compromise, misuse, theft, or loss.  

The standards and regulations used by a company will determine what pieces of data should be protected and how this should be done. Compliance information is essential as it shows whether a business is moving forward and keeping things safe and protected or might be cutting corners. Make sure you have this information along with firmographic data. 

AML data 

AML (anti-money laundering) data focuses on the processes, regulations, and laws that a business needs to comply with to avoid financial crime. Money laundering is a method used by criminals to try to hide funds from illicit services, such as terrorist financing, human trafficking, and drug dealing. Any business that moves money needs to comply with AML regulations, part of which means having a compliance program in place. 

Agencies like OFAC, FATF, and FinCEN constantly refine and expand AML laws to ensure companies stay ahead of those who act in bad faith. While it might seem that banks are the only ones who need to comply, that isn’t true. Gaming platforms, financial technology companies, cryptocurrencies, and online marketplaces also need to have the right AFL program available to avoid fines or worse. 

PEP data 

PEP (politically exposed people) are those who are government officials, heads of state, or similar, such as board members of international organizations, central bank governors, high-ranking military officers, high-ranking judges, and senior government executives.

These people have all been entrusted with some sort of prominent public function. Businesses should integrate information about these people as part of their due diligence database. 

PEPs often have a power of influence and power, which makes it more likely for others to target them for bribery and corruption attempts, including terrorism financing and money laundering. As such, using AML measures to manage, mitigate, and identify these risks is important. Unfortunately, this isn’t information you’ll find in firmographic data.  

Business health data 

A final type of data that is crucial but not incorporated into firmographic data is business health data. Many different key performance indicators give insight into how well a specific business is doing. Some of the most common include revenue, direct expenses, overhead, gross profit margin, and net profit margin. Some of these factors are listed in firmographic data, but you’ll need to do the work to put it all together to gain an idea of how a company is doing. 

Of course, these are only the most relevant factors related to business health; the number of clients, amount of growth, market growth, number of employees, and more can also be a part of the equation. Searching out this additional information (or choosing a provider who compiles it for you) is the best way to ensure success. 

Final thoughts 

As you can see, firmographic data offers a ton of benefits to an enterprising business. But it’s important to be sure you have all the types of data you need, firmographic and otherwise. Whether you are in manufacturing, retail, e-commerce, consumer goods, insurance, technology, or something else, data is the key to success. 

There are numerous ways to access firmographic data, such as requesting self-reported data, researching data, or inferring data from public reports. However, the easiest way is to work with a provider who makes the process a cinch. At Markaaz, we offer firmographic data, as well as business health metrics, compliance data, and more. 

Reach out to us today to learn more about our firmographic data options, as well as how we can help streamline customer onboarding for your business.  

Enterprise Blog

What is business health data?

As an enterprise, you likely already know the importance of data

Firmographic data and demographic data are both priorities for the average successful business. However, there is another kind of data that you should be aware of – business health data.  

When you work with a new small business customer, one of the things you likely look at is their business credit score. This is one form of business health data, but it doesn’t entirely define this sort of information. It’s all about being able to monitor how a business is doing in real time through various types of data. 

This article will go into what business health data is, the different types of information it consists of, and why you should be tracking these things. We’ll also share how you can easily access this data so you can use it in whatever way matters for your enterprise business. 

What is business health data?

small business health data


There are a variety of types of information that make up business health data. As mentioned earlier, one of them is a business credit score. As an enterprise operation working with small businesses, it’s important to be able to easily see the credit score of potential clients.  

However, this isn’t the be-all and end-all of business health data. A business credit score is only one piece of the pie, showing you how well a small business is doing. Other information, such as a risk score and risk class, are also essential to be aware of. You can browse this information for a more nuanced look at the health of any company. 

Each of these scores is essential for B2B enterprise companies. You have to know whom you are working with so you can make knowledgeable decisions as you move forward. The scores give you an idea of whether a business can repay its debt, loans, or credit.  

While all sorts of businesses can make use of business health data, it’s especially imperative for financial companies. After all, part of the process is deciding on rates for lines of credit, loans, and other financial products. The right health data on a company can help you make intelligent decisions when moving forward with new clients. 

Business credit scores 

A business credit score is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a credit score, but it is connected to a company rather than an individual. In most cases, a business credit score is determined by using the small business’s financial information and some of its firmographic data. This could include everything from amounts owed to past payment history, account information, historical business data, and how many employees are working at a certain company. 

One of the things you’ll notice with a business credit score is that they don’t have the same range as an individual credit score. Instead, most credit scores for businesses range from zero to 100, while those using the FICO Small Business Scoring Service will range from zero to 300. 

Several things distinguish a business credit score from a personal credit score. As mentioned, these scores are more compressed than individual scores, which may range from 300 to 850. In addition, anyone is capable of checking a business score. This is not the case for a personal score, which can only be assessed in specific situations. 

Beyond that, a business credit score uses different factors to be calculated. These include company size, industry risk, debt, and debt usage, age of credit history, and payment history. With an individual credit score, the factors include average length of credit history, credit mix, new credit, amount of debt, and payment history. 

Business risk scores 

Another facet of business health data is a company’s business risk score. These are designed to give you the information you need to make excellent decisions about credit across the small business customer lifecycle. Different brands will have different risk scores based on business failure and business credit. 

One of the most prominent providers of business risk scores is Equifax. The scores are built on pre-recession, recession, and post-recession data. Consumer data, scoring criteria, scorecards based on business size, and tons of attributes play into the business risk score a specific company gets. 

Business risk scores are useful for answering some of the most common questions an enterprise may have when it comes to risk management associated with small business customers. For instance, it can help you answer the following questions: 

  • How likely is it that I will be paid? 
  • When can I expect to be paid? 
  • Is the client having financial problems? 
  • What amount of credit should I provide? 

Depending on the company you use to access business risk scores, you can get a quick and simple glance at risk indicators or dig deeper into more detailed scoring factors.   

Business risk classes 

Finally, as the last piece of the financial puzzle, companies, including small businesses, are sorted into a business risk class. These classes are provided by FICO, Equifax, Experian, and Dun and Bradstreet. Using Equifax as an example, information from the Small Business Financial Exchange and public records is used to look at a company’s payments to vendors, banks, credit card providers, and more. 

One of the main things to look at when it comes to business risk classes is the payment index. This gives you a quick way to see how likely it is for a small business to make its payments on time. It ranges from zero to 100, with higher numbers associated with companies that are more likely to make payments on time. 

In addition, failure and delinquency scores are used. This gives you an idea of whether a small business will go bankrupt or stop paying bills within the next year. The scores vary, but typically a higher one is better as that means it’s less like a small business will fail or get behind. 

Business risk classes may be used with or in replacement of business credit scores. They range from one to five and have a less detailed view of the risks associated with a certain business. In this case, a lower score is better for an enterprise that is vetting customers. 

Each provider of business risk classes may have nuances, so make sure you check out the details. A five-point scale is typically used, but this may not always be true. Learn about the provider and how they set up this information to get the best results as your business grows and changes. 

Final thoughts 

Business health data is essential for enterprises. It delves into business credit scores, business risk scores, and business risk classes. Some of all of this information can be used to quickly gain information about a small business before offering them credit or being certain they will continue paying for services. offers business health data, so there’s no need for you to seek it out on your own. For enterprise customers using its enterprise onboarding and monitoring services, Markaaz offers a business credit score, business risk score, and business risk class from Equifax. This helps its enterprise customers make the best decisions about their small business prospects and existing customers.

Data is essential for enterprises like yours. Make sure you have all the data you need on your small business prospects, including business health data, firmographic data, and compliance data, to inform your onboarding and monitoring processes. This will ensure you make the best possible decisions and can move forward with confidence. 

Enterprise Blog

Customer onboarding pain points and how to fix them

Enterprises across the business and consumer sectors believe customer onboarding must be improved to increase onboarding success. Hany Fam, Founder and CEO of Markaaz, talks through customer onboarding pain points and how to fix them 

Ninety percent of customers think that companies can make the onboarding process quicker and easier, and we agree.  

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, business and individual customers have wholeheartedly adopted fully digital services, particularly in the banking and finance sectors. However, while this adoption has surged some 80-90%, according to Visa, onboarding processes have lagged, causing enterprises to lose customers before they can complete their onboarding journey.  

Enterprises lose customers due to poor onboarding processes that lead to significant customer attrition and exorbitant costs to the company for each customer. Dollar losses are high for enterprises every time customers don’t complete their onboarding journey.   

In addition, enterprises struggle with poor quality, incorrect and outdated firmographic data, compliance data, and business health metrics sources when trying to verify and research their potential customers to onboard. This complexity is only added to when enterprises try to onboard new businesses or solo entrepreneurs with less holistic data history available and whose credit scores may be in their infancy.   

“Time to onboarding and onboarding complexity are two biggest reasons customers abandon an enterprise service part-way through the onboarding process. Trying to create a parallel onboarding process where onboarding time for the customer is shortened and complete customer checks are completed has been almost impossible, up until now,” noted Hany Fam, Founder and CEO of Markaaz.  

Currently, there are no data companies that enable a truly frictionless customer onboarding process or enable better holistic data sets and checks to speed up the verification process. Today’s onboarding processes are filled with silos and roadblocks that must be addressed and cleared, and Markaaz is here to clear them. 

Onboarding time concerns  

According to a whitepaper by Visa, if the digital onboarding process takes longer than 20 minutes, 70% of customers abandon their attempt to open an account, so a significant portion of enterprises today lose most of their potential customers during their onboarding process.    

“Onboarding today takes too long for the modern consumer. They are used to downloading apps and using them immediately, and most do not have the time or the patience to wait for minutes, hours, or days to use the service they are onboarding with,” explained Fam.  

Slow onboarding is, in part, caused by a lack of access to a single, verified firmographic, compliance, and business health database, with many companies relying on several datasets of significantly incorrect and outdated data. To check a potential customer’s business, the enterprise must check the business against all the datasets it has access to, many of which have conflicting data for each company. This contradictory data means onboarding companies must manually verify businesses, which delays onboarding by hours, days, or indefinitely.   

“Bad data means slow onboarding and customer attrition. In our experience, over 80% of data from well-known firmographic data sources is incorrect, outdated, or duplicated, and most do not provide business health or compliance checks. If your focus as an enterprise is small and medium business data or new business data, the large well-known data providers severely lack in this area where we excel,” said Fam.  

One of the solutions to slow onboarding is finding a single source of verified business firmographics, compliance data, and business health metrics. Access to a single good data source can dramatically shorten the enterprise verification process. Even better if the data source has developed real-time APIs that integrate with the enterprise’s back-end onboarding process. Good business intelligence data fed to the enterprise through an API means the customer’s business can be verified almost immediately.  

Documentation gathering is another roadblock to rapid onboarding. It is time-consuming for the business you are onboarding and your onboarding team to gather the correct documentation for the onboarding process. Approximately 68% of documentation must be re-acquired at some point during the onboarding process, adding an unnecessary layer of complexity to an already challenging process.   

Markaaz’s digital small business engagement tools can support collecting and managing documents needed for onboarding new customers. This reduces the need to re-acquire documentation and removes another roadblock to customer acquisition. Markaaz’s onboarding is also offered at vastly superior cost to any alternative available in the marketplace today. 

Cost of onboarding  

Data sources and vendors for onboarding processes cost money. Having to rely on multiple data sources and multiple vendors is even more expensive. Data can cost from $0.25 per business record to thousands of dollars per month for unlimited record access. Multiply that by having to use several vendor datasets, and you are looking at significant annual costs just to try and find correct data on your customers.  

“Finding the right data to do business is not your core focus as an enterprise; you want to be out there selling your products and services. Unfortunately, due to inaccurate firmographic datasets, your teams have had to spend time and resources learning about data and fixing it instead of doing their jobs,” noted Fam.  

There is a high cost to doing roadblock-free customer onboarding using flawed data because your team also has to become experts in data and onboarding, diverting them from your central business function.  

“Your business may focus on selling cards or low-cost international payments, but your team spends all of their energy and time on solving for better onboarding because that’s where you lose out on customers or on servicing them,” explains Fam.  

Onboarding currently costs 5-25 times the amount it costs to retain customers, and in some cases, this cost makes it a challenge to onboard better.  

With Markaaz, you can drive a dramatic reduction in onboarding costs by using our single data source, the Markaaz Directory, which is plugged into our enterprise services, which do the onboarding and monitoring for you.   

Your team can finally get back to doing their jobs and allow our systems to provide the information and decisioning they need when they need it.  

Poor data quality  

From a data perspective, the lack of high-quality and accurate small business data in the datasets of the majority of well-known data providers means that onboarding those businesses is the most challenging for those that wish to target this segment.   

The prevalence of incorrect data in the small business segment means that enterprises and small businesses are missing out. If data is missing about a business, or the business cannot be found entirely due to outdated or inaccurate data records, the heavy lift required by enterprise onboarding teams, faced with dozens of customers, to try and verify and onboard is not worth the financial return.  

This means that many small business-focused enterprises are forced to use multiple data providers to try and get accurate information, driving the cost of small business acquisition up exponentially – and still fail. While the cost to onboard a simple small business is much lower than opening a big account with significant credit limits and services, the data is much harder to get right. Since small businesses do not generate as much income for enterprises as large businesses, for many enterprises, the difficulty of small business acquisition is simply not financially worth it.  

“With a single accurate small business data source, Markaaz is opening up more profitable revenue small business streams for our enterprise partners. Small businesses are now a realistic and easily acquirable source of revenue. With real-time verification and a single data source, you are cutting small business acquisition costs and improving your ability to find, verify, and onboard small businesses,” noted Fam.  

Markaaz aims to bridge the current canyon between enterprises and small businesses with the data they need through a better user experience and user interface that brings them together into a single ecosystem. Through our custom solutions, there is the opportunity to request monitoring consents for non-public data from your small business customers during the onboarding process via the Markaaz Dashboard. 

Drive accurate frictionless onboarding  

With a proprietary dataset that draws from global sources of firmographic data, compliance and AML checks, and business health metrics on over 300 million businesses, 98% of which are small businesses, our technology surpasses what is currently available in the data marketplace.  

“We have reduced the amount of data sources needed for monitoring and onboarding small businesses, created agile automation processes, as well as pre-population and verification behind the scenes of enterprise onboarding and monitoring applications with our integrated APIs, and engaged the end-user in contributing data with a slick UX UI. We have developed the way for our enterprise partners to increase their sales and lower operational costs and burden, and we have done it simply, quickly, and at competitive rates,” said Fam.  

Markaaz’s mission is to bring enterprises and small businesses together at the same table to do business better.  

On the onboarding side, the ability of Markaaz’s customized onboarding solutions to help our enterprise partners have immediate onboarding verification results while being able to tell small businesses what they need for the onboarding process and for the small business to have everything to hand on the Markaaz Dashboard means we have created the single-solution answer to enterprise onboarding challenges.   

We also have monitoring solutions that bring the data you need to check your small business customers’ business health with daily updates of businesses with compliance flags, including Potentially Exposed Person’s lists, sanctions, negative news, and adverse media lists (24/7/365), and monthly notices of updates to firmographics, and business health information.   

Get our Business Activity Monitoring Service in a no-code solution for simple plug-and-play on our Enterprise Portal (link to Enterprise Portal), or talk to our team about our Decisioning and Verification APIs for onboarding and custom solutions.  

Hany Fam, Founder and CEO, Markaaz

Hany Fam is the CEO and founder of Markaaz and a transformational leader with a track record of building global platforms and businesses. He is an Official Member of the Forbes Business Council and a Member of The World Economic Forum’s Global Innovators.

Fam is focused on creating a positive and sustainable impact for small business owners through the world’s first global platform to verify and connect small businesses and the network of partners that support them. Before founding Markaaz, Fam held global leadership roles in business transformation, value creation, and technology, gaining depth of experience in payments, B2B platforms, enterprise partnerships, and SaaS.

He served as CEO of AXA Global Enterprise & Partnerships, Founder & President of Mastercard Enterprise Partnerships, and President of Mastercard UK & Ireland Markets. He also held roles in Applied Technology, including as the CTO of Toshiba International’s Heavy Industrial business in Australasia. Under Fam’s leadership, Mastercard Track was launched, the first and only global trading platform connecting every supplier and buyer on the planet to simplify and automate the exchange of payments and related data. 


Enterprise Blog

How can you improve your customer onboarding process? 

As someone running a business, you likely know the importance of customer onboarding

No matter what kind of business you have, frictionless customer onboarding is an essential process to starting your relationships with customers and clients off on the right foot. 

First impressions matter, and this applies to business as much as personal relationships. When someone first encounters your business, that initial perception of the brand to going to have a huge impact on how you’re seen in the future. In some cases, it may even impact how long someone stays with the company. 

Talk to our team to learn how we can help you onboard better.

What do customers want from onboarding? 

Customers want an onboarding process that teaches them to use a service or product while gaining value from it. They also want it to be quick and painless. It’s as simple as that. However, it can be more challenging to define depending on your specific business, which products and services you offer, and the customers who come to you for a solution. 

The main goal of an onboarding process is to get your customers to continually use your product. You want your product to be so much a part of everyday life that people need to use it. After you create that level of value, the customer’s lifetime value increases, and customers can turn into advocates. 

Reasons customers step back from a business 

Reduce customer onboarding churn

You could have the best possible product available, but if you can’t show that value to customers, they’re going to move on to something else. Reducing churn is important, but you also need to be aware of why it occurs in the first place. In many cases, that relates to the customer onboarding process, as seen in the following: 

  • A bad customer experience occurs. 
  • Customers are unsure how to use your project. 
  • Poor user experience or unneeded features overwhelm customers. 
  • They don’t experience value from using your product. 
  • Bugs or features that don’t work cause frustration. 
  • The onboarding process is too long or cumbersome 

Not all customers will stick around. Some will move to competitors, while others may no longer need what you have to offer. However, decreasing churn is important while also bringing in new customers through marketing and sales.  

In addition, the tips below to improve your customer onboarding can help. It keeps customers interested in what you are selling and ensures they succeed through the help of your products and services. 

#1: Start onboarding early 

Some companies don’t begin onboarding until after a lead is a customer. However, that’s too late for many. The moment someone downloads a free tool or signs up for a trial is time to start the onboarding process.  

Even if the free tool has little to do with your paid products, automated onboarding is quick to set up and lets you introduce your business. The sooner someone has access to the success possible with your product, the more likely they are to become a paid customer. 

Product tours are one method of sharing the services or products that you offer. Make sure you loop in a way for customers to get answers to questions or consider sending out a series of tips to their inboxes, so they have support whenever it’s needed. 

#2: Introduce customer success 

As you work to get payments from potential customers, you should also prepare users to work with customer success. There should never be a moment when a user doesn’t know what to do next. A formal handoff in a meeting with a member of sales can introduce the customer to the product and the team behind it. 

It’s best to have this occur as early as possible. However, if nothing else, this meeting should occur when a contract is signed by the customer. If you use excellent customer success management software, this transition is simple. It can be booked automatically, and all the information sent out to those who will be a part of the introduction. 

#3: Personalize processes 

As you move a user through the process of becoming a customer, they often answer questions through surveys or web forms about themselves or the company they represent. This information, as well as any other data you have about customers, can and should be used to personalize the onboarding experience. 

Let’s say you have a dozen features incorporated into your product or service, but one customer only needs three of them. Your onboarding process for that person can focus largely on the features they are most likely to use. After they know how to use those features, you can provide insight into how to use other features with the ones that are already in use. 

#4: Offer a self-serve onboarding option 

Some users prefer to learn about things on their own rather than having someone teach them. It’s a great idea to facilitate that through a checklist in the product or an email. This lets them work through things on their own but leaves the option open to reach out if they need additional help. 

Many people like to find answers on their own. For instance, about 90% of consumers will watch a video to learn about an app or product. Some of the support sections to include on your site are: 

  • How-to videos for features in your product 
  • Useful articles through a knowledge base 
  • A search function 
  • FAQs to find answers to the most common questions 

#5: Reach out  

Every small business has different products and services, so we can’t say what your milestones are. However, you can come up with them on your own if you know what customers expect and want to achieve using the products you offer them.  

Let’s say you have an email app, and it’s used to send bulk messages out to clients. You might use that as a way to determine when to reach out. After they send out that first mass message, you could send them a message of congratulations for making it that far. These messages can delve into extra features that will be useful in the future.  

#6: Acquire feedback 

As you work to create a better onboarding experience, it’s crucial to know what’s working well and what’s not. Asking customers about these things is a good place to start. You could call them for check-in, send them a survey about features they use, or email them asking for feedback. 

Once you have feedback available, make sure you use it. This shows customers that you care what they think. If you can quickly do something to improve onboarding or answer a question, make that a priority.  

Even customers who have stopped using your products may have great input for the future of your small business. Reach out and see what these people have to say. You may find out new ways to retain customers or learn about features that people want to see in our services. 

Final thoughts 

When you have an excellent onboarding process, it gets things off to a fantastic start with customers. It can be the start of a beautiful relationship where the customer is happy with you. With so much emphasis on first impressions, improving your onboarding experience is a great way to improve your business and ensure its success in the future. 

Even if you already have an onboarding process, there’s nothing to say that you shouldn’t make changes to improve it. While this can take some time, it will help things run more efficiently and could save time in the future. If your onboarding process is something you haven’t put a lot of thought into, now is a good time to change that. 

Markaaz has developed a customer onboarding API that is powered by our proprietary database of over 300 million global businesses, 98% of which are small businesses. Our low-code API plus directly into your onboarding flow to give you real-time verification of your potential customer’s firmographic data, business health metrics, and compliance and AML standing.

Talk to our team to get a walkthrough of our enterprise onboarding solutions or to learn more.

Enterprise Blog

How you can help to empower the Black workforce 

Access to education and training is essential to empower the Black workforce and drive more Black leadership,” said Brye McMillon, DMin, Senior Security Manager, and engaged Leader of the Black Excellence Council at Lockheed Martin

Despite racial achievement gaps significantly shrinking since they first started being measured in the 1970s, there is still a long way to go for Black students in the USA before they have the same access to education as white students across all states. Racial achievement gap analysis is crucial to determine whether students of all races have good access to education, and Stanford University drives the research.   

Brye McMillon, DMin, Senior Security Manager, and engaged Leader in the Black Excellence Council at Lockheed Martin, says that he has seen a considerable change in education and access to opportunities for the Black workforce since he first joined the workforce in the late 1970s, but despite this, the USA has not quite reached equal opportunities for all.    

“I think there has been a significant move to the right for good concerning inclusion, equity, and diversity in the workplace. It has been monumental. Education, opportunities, promotions, advancement, all those things have improved, and you see more diversity now in the workplace. We’re almost where we ought to be, although there is still an underpinning of folks who do not support diversity, equity, and inclusion,” McMillon noted.   

Equal opportunity access 

Opportunity and education access has significantly surged since 2010, allowing more Black students to gain better opportunities and career paths to leadership roles. However, one of the biggest challenges is that those areas that can pay more taxes have better schools and options for students. In contrast, lower-income areas with more public schools have reduced growth opportunities, fewer experienced teachers and equipment access, and more.

“I graduated high school in Orrville, Alabama. The level of education was not very good, and I still succeeded. If you are motivated and push, you can succeed despite poor education, but it is more of a challenge. Education has moved a long way, but there are still locales that don’t have a great school system,” explained McMillon. “How do we fix that? If we truly want a diverse workforce, we must figure out how to not just level the playing field but offer an equitable education level for every child. Then the cream will rise to the top. But what is left on the bottom still must be drunk. What you want is a system that educates everybody but allows those who are advanced and moving fast to still move without leaving others behind.”    

During the Bush era, he had the slogan, “No Child Left Behind.” According to McMillon, this sounded good but didn’t impact the Black child living in Orville, Alabama, because nothing changed. Politics at the national level must result in change at the local level when it comes to education. The next step for our states to focus on is getting every child through the education system from first grade to finishing high school.    

“We must motivate Black children in high school to become Black leaders. In the Black community, everyone wants to be Michael Jordan or Kobe. Very few will ever get close to that dream. They get to college, cannot make the basketball team, and leave college because they have nothing to aspire to. I believe corporate America must take some responsibility to help educate and develop people. Personally, I’m called to engage with schools at every level to grow corporate leaders, starting in middle school to make sure they see that Black leadership is attainable, admirable, and something you ought to aspire to,” said McMillon.  

Corporate America must step up  

Corporate America at the executive level must make changes and develop Black leaders. To do that, corporate America’s leaders must figure out what level of recruitment they need at the bottom. According to McMillon, they need to understand what qualifications, what education, and how many students they need to bring in at the bottom to ensure that a certain number succeeds through to mid and high-level management.    

Corporate America must have education and development that is equal across all functional areas and that allow equality and equity in advancement so that when the Black workforce gets to mid-level management, there is sufficient representation of qualified candidates for senior-level management, which allows for equitable representation at the executive level.    

“Once one person succeeds, it opens up more opportunity for others who look and act and sound like that person who succeeded,” said McMillon.    

It is also essential for businesses or leaders to have a presence in the community.    

“You must be seen and engaged. You must be caring and concerned. Just your presence and building relationships will inspire someone to want to know more about you and why you do what you do, which can change and advance the entire community,” explained McMillon.   

The Black Excellence Council is one of Lockheed Martin’s Business Resource Groups (BRGs). The company’s BRGs and employee networks are key components of workplace inclusion programs, providing a direct benefit to both employees and the corporation through professional development, awareness, and education. Lockheed Martin’s BRGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that foster a diverse and inclusive workplace aligned with our organizational mission, values, goals, and business practices.

Brye McMillon, DMin, Senior Security Manager, and engaged Leader in the Black Excellence Council at Lockheed Martin

Brye McMillon, DMin, Senior Security Manager, and engaged Leader in the Black Excellence Council at Lockheed Martin

Brye McMillon is currently serving as the Senior Security Manager, Southern Region, for Lockheed Martin Space Company, Huntsville, Alabama. In this role, Brye provides security management,  leadership, and oversight for a team of Security Professionals throughout the Southern Region. He is a leader of leaders and is focused on the development and well-being of his team. Brye is a leader in every aspect of life. When not leading at Lockheed, Brye is the President of a Not-for-Profit entity dedicated to caring and development of the individual and community in which he lives. Additionally, he serves as Pastor at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, Athens, Alabama.  He is a 30-year retired Air Force Veteran and holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree from Liberty Theological Seminary. He is a Graduate of the FBI National Academy and holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Educational leadership from Northcentral University, Scottsdale, Arizona.

Blog Enterprise Blog

Beating burnout: Insight from Thrive’s Arianna Huffington

We sat down with Thrive Global’s CEO and Founder, Arianna Huffington, who is bringing mental health awareness and tips for beating burnout to companies across the globe after her 2007 collapse from sleep deprivation


Why is burnout at an all-time high?   

The pandemic accelerated a mental health crisis we were already facing. Now, we’re in a period of profound transformation. Everything about the way we work, and the place of work in our lives, is being questioned, challenged, and redefined.   

Everywhere we look, we see the signs of a continuing crisis of stress and burnout – not only in our work but every aspect of our lives. According to the CDC, nearly one-quarter of American adults are now taking prescription drugs for mental health conditions. Eighty-four percent say their workplace conditions have contributed to at least one mental health challenge. People everywhere are looking for a sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging — to be a part of something larger than themselves.   

At the same time, I’ve never been more confident that we can fully deliver on our mission to end the stress and burnout epidemic. We’re in the middle of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to truly change how we live and work. We know people want change. We can see it in trends like quiet quitting — a rejection of burnout and hustle culture, but not a solution.  

The answer is to use all the tools at our disposal — cutting-edge AI, ancient wisdom, storytelling, Microsteps, connection, and community — to create a world where people are engaged in their work but not defined by it.  

How can managers and team leads recognize and address burnout in their teams?   

It starts with recognizing and addressing their own signs of burnout. There’s a reason why airline attendants always instruct us that, in the case of an emergency, we’ll be most able to help others if we secure our own oxygen masks first.   

Managers and team leads need to move beyond the misguided belief that in urgent times leaders need to be always on and drive themselves into burnout to meet the challenges. What is expected of leaders is judgment, not sheer stamina.   

Then, managers and team leads need to emphasize employee mental health. In the past three years, leaders have seen firsthand the growing mental health crisis and responded to the urgent need for employers to support the well-being of their employees.  

As we continue through challenging times, including, in many cases, massive layoffs that are also leaving remaining employees with a sense of survivor’s guilt, we need to reaffirm this commitment and prioritize the well-being and mental health of our employees. We must support them through the uncertain times that lie ahead and maintain our investments and commitments in this critical area. Because it’s in times like these that organizations most need to nurture their collective resilience.  

At Thrive, our approach to behavior change is all about Microsteps — small, science-backed steps we can take to build better habits.  

One of my favorite Microsteps as a leader is to open a meeting or one-on-one with a personal question rather than a work-related one. It allows us to go deeper, be more authentic, and forge a deeper connection. 

Have you reached burnout yourself, and how did you cope?  

Thrive grew out of my own experience with burnout. After I collapsed from sleep deprivation and exhaustion in 2007, I became more and more passionate about the connection between well-being and performance. In 2016, I launched Thrive to help individuals, companies, and communities improve their well-being and performance – and debunk the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.   

One of my favorite ways to minimize and address burnout both within Thrive and with our customers is with Thrive Reset, which allows us to course-correct and lower our stress in just 60 seconds. Thrive comes preloaded with 60-second Resets on themes including breathing, stretching, gratitude, and more. You can also create your own personal Resets with images that bring you calm and joy — your children, pets, landscapes — as well as quotes that inspire you and music you love.  

At Thrive, we’ve even brought Reset into our meetings, beginning each of our All Hands with a different team member sharing their personal Reset with the rest of the company. Instead of launching straight into updates and announcements, we get an intimate glimpse of our colleagues by being brought into their world — the people, the music, and the quotes they love.  

It’s incredible how much we can learn about each other in 60 seconds. I’m passionate about meeting people where they are and embedding these moments of well-being and connection into people’s workflow via tools like Thrive for Microsoft Teams and Thrive for Slack.  

What is Thrive’s whole-human approach to addressing burnout, and what results have you seen from companies using your methods?  

Our whole-human approach brings together the six key aspects of our lives that intersect with each other to create healthy habits and a healthy life: Recharge, Food, Move, Focus, Money, and Connect. We bring this behavior change together with the cultural activation that embeds well-being into the fabric of our customers’ employee experience and workflow. We’re building cutting-edge products used by companies like Accenture, Pfizer, Microsoft, Salesforce, Bank of America, Cisco, Hilton, P&G, Paramount, and Walmart.   

However, even the most innovative and sophisticated software can’t transform a company’s culture if it’s not integrated into employees’ daily lives. It then needs to be paired with leadership that role models and inspires behavior change and an acknowledgment that we are more than our work.  

That’s why I’m so grateful to be working with forward-thinking partners who are leading the culture shift, bringing Thrive’s whole human approach to their companies so that we can support their people at work and at home — as parents, as caregivers, with their sleep, food, and movement as well as in their relationships (including their relationship with their phones!).  

Again and again, we’re seeing clear evidence that helping employees reduce stress, connect to their larger sense of purpose, and make time for the things that bring them joy, in turn, helps drive greater business performance.  

Six years after our launch, we now have a data engine that proves the idea I founded the company on: that taking care of our well-being actually improves our performance. Employees engaging with the Thrive platform have seen the following:  

    •  76% increase in productivity  

    •  102% increase in engagement  

    •  104% increase in burnout prevention  

    •  233% increase in stress management   

What does the partnership with Markaaz bring to Thrive, and what do you hope to bring to our audience?   

Companies can no longer afford to see employee mental health as a warm-and-fuzzy perk. It’s a strategy for success. What I love most about this partnership is that we’re bringing this shift to life for businesses together. Now, the small and large businesses that Markaaz connects with will also be able to connect to the Thrive platform and its full range of real-time stress-reducing tools, inspirational storytelling, and science-backed Microsteps to help people build better habits.   

It’s happening at the perfect time. According to Gallup, seven out of ten people globally struggle with mental health issues. We’re facing an epidemic of stress and burnout. In times of constant change and uncertainty, employees are clamoring for more well-being and mental health support. I’m thrilled that our partnership will be meeting people where they are by embedding Thrive’s solutions into their workflow through Markaaz’s Dashboard.  


Enterprise Blog

Frictionless customer onboarding – what is it? 

When a business acquires new customers online, the onboarding process is a crucial part of the journey.

Someone might be interested in your products or services and want to move forward, but they aren’t yet a customer.  

If there is unneeded friction or a reason that the decision should be rethought, this person might walk away and choose another company for what they need. If your onboarding process is inconvenient, complex, or slow, the chances of someone abandoning the company will increase.  

As a business, many industries need to verify who their customers are and ensure they meet all regulatory requirements. This cuts the risk of fraud and money laundering, but it also makes a potential customer jump through hoops. 

The best thing you can do is offer a frictionless customer onboarding experience. However, it’s also essential to have oversight and security functions to protect the business itself. 


What is frictionless customer onboarding? 

 Everyone has heard the phrase “the customer is king.” Business owners know that keeping customers happy is an integral part of success. This means giving them an experience they can count on. According to Oracle, over 85% of customers will pay more to get a better experience. 

When you create a frictionless onboarding process, you take time to discover and eliminate all points of friction that a customer might run into ad reduce customer churn. This isn’t a simple one-and-done process, however. It’s something ongoing and prioritized to reduce customers’ frustrations and make it easier to onboard. 

The number one reason to create frictionless onboarding for customers is so there are no obstacles in the way of them taking their desired action so you can improve your customer retention. You make the process comfortable and simple, which lets them share their details, expectations, and goals without anything popping up as a challenge. 

The most important reasons to have a frictionless customer onboarding experience 

As you likely expect, making changes to your onboarding process takes time and effort. That’s why you want to ensure that the work to reduce friction is worth it. Creating a frictionless customer onboarding experience is an intentional effort that continues throughout the life of your business.  

If you aren’t sure why it’s worth creating a frictionless customer experience, the points below will give you some helpful insight:  

    • Exceed expectations: Customers expect a specific experience when onboarding with a business. Hitting that level is required but going beyond shows that you genuinely care about your potential customers. Investing in a frictionless experience for customers ensures you exceed expectations time and time again. 

    • Improve satisfaction: When a potential customer wants something from you and chooses to onboard, you want to be sure that the process is seamless. If it isn’t, the person might walk away and never become a customer. When you work to create a frictionless experience, there are no roadblocks, and people are happier. 

    • Enhance retention: Providing a seamless onboarding experience pleases customers and gives them a reason to stick with your brand. In addition, frictionless onboarding can lead to better brand loyalty and word of mouth, which creates additional customers. 

What causes friction during customer onboarding? 

The purpose of onboarding is to identify customers who could be fraudulent while providing an excellent user experience. Businesses with complex and time-consuming onboarding processes often experience the loss of potential customers. This causes customers to abandon the process before the account is created. 

 It may not be immediately apparent how big of an issue account abandonment is. However, the numbers give you a better idea of why a frictionless experience is essential for your business. Most organizations have around a 65% completion rate for the onboarding process. That is calculated at 35% of customers who never complete the account creation. 

Striving for a frictionless experience can bump up your numbers and ensure that your system has as many customers as possible. Below, we’ll share a few of the best ways to create this seamless experience so you can enjoy the benefits of providing an experience that customers appreciate. 

How to get started with a frictionless customer onboarding experience 

Customer onboarding is all about welcoming new people to your platform. It is also composed of answering their questions, addressing their concerns, and ensuring they completely understand your services. Frictionless customer onboarding lets you engage someone from the moment they learn about your brand until they become loyal customers. 

Make use of data 

The more accurate firmographic data you have about a potential user’s company and leadership, the easier it will be to sell to them and verify their business standing. This speeds up onboarding and is also one of the reasons that personalization is a massive topic in businesses. It’s a great way to keep prospects on track.  

For instance, when you send out newsletters, you can call each person by name. Or you might send out a personalized birthday message on their special day. This shows that you know and care about your users by simply using their names to refer to them. 

Of course, basic information like names and birthdays is only the tip of the iceberg. You want to know what challenges and pain points they experience so you can find solutions. Personalization improves user experience and can increase retention by 5%, according to Invesp. 

Focus on your users 

Most customers aren’t going to care very much if you have the latest technology. However, they do care about what experience you provide and the value it offers. Technology is great, but it doesn’t matter unless it creates that seamless customer experience people desire. 

To ensure users are happy, use a minimalist platform without unnecessary elements with a professional, sleek layout. Incorporating whitespace can be a great start, as it gives the user’s eyes somewhere to rest and can prevent the person from getting overwhelmed. 

Another thing to incorporate is transparency. This applies to what the business is, the processes used, and the services and products offered to customers. Even if you encounter a problem, do what you can to own it rather than make an excuse. 

Prioritize mobile 

Almost everyone today has a smartphone. When you do not optimize for mobile, that can cause you to lose many potential customers. Mobile optimization is a crucial element that can be used to build a robust platform and gain credibility.  

Many things go into mobile optimization, such as responsiveness on various screens and devices, the page speed of the platform, and more. If videos and images are part of the package, these should be compressed as much as possible while offering outstanding performance. 

This plays into a frictionless customer onboarding experience since the user needs to do less to get things done. If friction is at any of these junctions, it can frustrate users, and they may leave and never come back. With mobile users soaring, make sure they have a fantastic onboarding experience. 

Think customer service 

Creating a great self-service experience is essential for frictionless customer onboarding. It helps reduce friction as customer service is always there to help. Everything related to your business hinges on including excellent customer support services. 

Consider methods to increase the value of the customer journey and simplify every process you can. For example, you could include a live chat or user knowledge base. Rather than waiting for a call, let customers know that you can call them back at a specific time of their choosing. 

Customers want a smooth, simple, and fast experience. Distractions and roadblocks can prevent them from continuing their journey. You can expect more revenue, a better retention rate, and an improved bounce rate when you get this right. But remember that this is ongoing, and it takes effort to keep things running smoothly. 

Add automation 

When you incorporate automation into your onboarding, it can save you stress and improve the customer experience. This could be as simple as integrating things like chatbots. No matter what solution you choose, fine-tune as needed to get the best outcome. 

When running a business, there are many things you can automate to ensure users are engaged at all times without ditching your brand. Plus, users enjoy automated payment systems, which can play into making a better profit than you might otherwise.  

Final thoughts 

There are many reasons to prioritize a frictionless customer onboarding experience as the head of a small business. This customer journey stage is the most important since it takes interested parties and turns them into customers. Once that’s complete, repeat sales and referrals could be at your fingertips. But that will only occur if onboarding is short, clear, and manageable. 

Understanding the customer onboarding experience, thinking about ways to make it less complicated, and implementing methods to improve onboarding can offer various benefits for your business. There’s great power in a seamless and smooth onboarding process, so it’s worth putting effort into.

Learn how you can enable frictionless customer onboarding using Markaaz’s firmographic data APIs. Talk to our team to learn more.

Enterprise Blog

Frictionless onboarding: Turning a myth into reality 

Frictionless customer onboarding is a buzzword in the Fintech community that has not been achieved – yet. We talk to Rob MacColl, Chief Commercial Officer at Markaaz, to get his expert perspective 

Frictionless customer onboarding is the ability for enterprises to bring on a client in a minimal amount of time, with the least possible effort. The longer the onboarding time is, or the more complicated it is, the higher the cost of onboarding per customer and the greater the customer attrition.  

“The theory in the marketplace goes that if you can say yes to a customer in three minutes, they’ll always respond with a yes; if you wait five minutes, you lose a certain percentage; if you wait seven minutes, you lose a larger percentage. If you make them wait 10 minutes, you’ll never get them onboarded,” noted Rob MacColl, Chief Commercial Officer at Markaaz.  

Today’s small business client is used to downloading apps on their phone and being able to start using the app immediately. This puts companies that need proper onboarding procedures at a disadvantage, for example, lending companies, insurance, banking, and more, because their potential customers are used to immediacy.   

“The whole point of the Fintech revolution is speed and agility. You need to bring customers on in a way that is not too burdensome. If a small business customer has too many clicks and must provide too much information when being onboarded, they’re just not going to buy the product,” explained MacColl.  

The quicker and more agile your business onboarding is, the better your retention rates and product uptake is. The frictionless customer onboarding premise is that multiple technical onboarding processes are done in the background as the potential customer fills in their information. So, while the customer experience is seamless and frictionless, the back end is incredibly complex.  

“In the current world, a business may have to go back three or four times with more documents to get underwritten for a bank account. In this new world, the process would be very tight and automated, and the business can get access to the services they need without much time and effort,” stated MacColl.  

Frictionless customer onboarding: Enterprise benefits 

Frictionless onboarding

Frictionless customer onboarding is a no-brainer for enterprises; they can scale up more quickly, onboard more clients in a shorter timeframe, provide a better customer experience, less risk, lower the cost of onboarding through fewer resources, and ultimately bring in more revenue. However, getting to the point of frictionless customer onboarding is still not easy, and only a few companies are truly addressing the problem in a simple way.   

“If you can create a frictionless, well-communicated way of onboarding your clients, it means less cost to the enterprise. Frictionless customer onboarding can also ease regulatory burdens by automating or reducing touchpoints of documentation as well as ensuring client access is minimized. So, you need to develop a tool that enterprises can show to their regulators that indicates that they’re doing the right thing from an oversight point of view,” explained MacColl.   

Simplification and ease 

Frictionless customer onboarding applications must be able to create a positive experience for the consumer that signing up for a product or service is simple. In the background, the processes that make it seem simple might be complicated. The internal team might have done five or six document checks and then cross-checked them. If something came up incorrectly, they went back and asked for more information. However, what you want to see for the consumer is an easy experience.   

“Credit cards are a great example of the seamlessness needed in onboarding. With your credit cards, you go into a store, swipe, you take home your goods. That’s all you know. In the background, transactions are going back and forth. There are authorizations clearing the settlement. A lot is going on in the background to make that happen. But for the consumer, it’s just great and simple,” stated MacColl. “Markaaz is a great example of what’s out there in the frictionless customer onboarding space. It’s a great solution because we give you better information from the start of the interaction between the enterprise and the small business. So, that is why the Markaaz Dashboard is so cool.”

Simplification and ease of onboarding are what the enterprise Fintech sector needs to take its customer acquisitions to the next level quickly.

The Markaaz Dashboard is where small businesses can easily store all the correct business information they need to be onboarded and directly access the enterprise services they need through applications embedded in the Dashboard. This is designed to provide a seamless and frictionless onboarding experience for Markaaz’s partners and its small business Members. It also helps build a strong, ongoing relationship as business owners’ needs evolve and they require new services.

We have also developed low-code, automated APIs to help you verify your customer lists and help you onboard faster.

Talk to our team to learn more about our customized frictionless customer onboarding solutions and become a partner.

To keep our enterprise partners in the loop, we have developed a new enterprise-focused newsletter, Markaaz Moments. If you are interested in receiving our monthly newsletter featuring exclusive Markaaz updates, news, views, and global enterprise interviews, sign up here.