Markaaz partnered with a leading alternative small business lender to improve match rates on previously unverified business applicants.
Achieved an 84% verification rate on previously declined small business applicants.
Harnessed the power of a pre-validated database of over 300 million small business records
Delivered a rapid verification time of just 2 seconds per business.
This case study presents the results of a data test performed on a list of approximately 1,500 applications received by a prominent alternative lending provider (ALP) catering to small enterprises.
The primary aim of the examination was to assess the efficacy of our Business Verification and Person-to-Business (P2B) solutions. We implemented these solutions to showcase how Markaaz can optimize the precision of ALP’s business verification procedures, streamline application processing, and refine the overall efficiency of their application evaluation process through better Know Your Business (KYB) data.
The overarching goals included increasing the approval rate for small businesses, mitigating instances of erroneous results (false positives and negatives), and lowering customer attrition, thereby enhancing ALP’s overall operational framework. ALP receives an average of 15,000 applications a month, so increasing verification rates on the 10% of monthly unvalidated business applicants represents a substantial financial opportunity.
Verification tests were segmented into two categories based on the results of the previous verification process:
Declined: These are businesses that failed to pass the verification process. Reasons can include missing information, unverifiable names or addresses, or association with known fraudulent entities.
Incomplete: Some business records lack the necessary information required for verification and, in such cases, would be categorized as incomplete.
Business records are prone to error and inconsistencies, making it difficult to verify business identities against validating data sources and confirm whether an entity is suitable for funding.
The following are some of the challenges that ALP experienced as a result of inefficient verification processes:
A substantial amount (10-20%) of unvalidated cases required manual approval, straining resources and throttling scalability.
Verifying large numbers of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with high confidence was particularly difficult, further reducing efficiency.
ALP risked losing customers due to delays caused by slow, manual verification procedures.
Increased verification rates by using a superior business database that validates more small businesses and their officers.
By harnessing the power of the Markaaz Directory, ALP drastically decreased the need for manual approvals and allowed for a seamless onboarding customer experience.
How the Markaaz Directory helps:
The real power of our Business Verification solution comes from our unique business database. This pre-validated database houses over 300 million small business records from over 200 countries and is the most accurate source of small business information today. We achieve this high degree of accuracy through proprietary data-matching algorithms and advanced analytics that resolve systemic KYB data inconsistency challenges.
Key features of the Markaaz Directory:
Specifically fine-tuned to verify small businesses, which are prone to data inaccuracies.
Supports in-depth checks on all critical data: legal names, “doing business as” names (DBAs), former names, and addresses.
Business records have been created by taking the most accurate and up-to-date data elements from thousands of sources, recognizing and eliminating inconsistencies using a proprietary data matching algorithm.
Regularly updated from multiple public and premium sources.
The results speak for themselves. In both categories, Markaaz’s verification process coupled with our comprehensive small business directory managed to verify 84% of ALP’s previously declined customers, providing ALP with a lucrative stream of potential new business with trustworthy and verified customers.
Previously declined applications: Markaaz successfully verified an impressive 84% of previously unverified applicants. This high success rate demonstrates the accuracy and effectiveness of our matching algorithm in identifying legitimate businesses.
Incomplete applications: Among the incomplete applications, Markaaz verified 71%. This demonstrates our solution’s effectiveness in identifying businesses even when application information is incomplete, enhancing ALP’s ability to make accurate funding decisions without having to manually collect additional information.
Optimize your business verification processes today
The results of this data test are clear: Markaaz’s business identity verification solution can provide significant benefits to companies that struggle to efficiently onboard customers.
With our P2B verification solution, you can rapidly establish connections between applicants and their corresponding businesses, gaining a deeper understanding of applicants’ qualifications and roles within their respective organizations. With this information, you can make data-driven funding decisions while reducing your risk of exposure to fraud.
When used together, our Business Verification and P2B services are ideal for organizations seeking to optimize their onboarding and small business funding processes. To learn more about how our solutions can help you maximize business verification, speak to a Markaaz representative today.
In today’s customer onboarding landscape, preventing fraud, meeting regulatory requirements, and managing risk have become paramount. An estimated $800 billion-$2 trillion is laundered each year. That’s equivalent to about 2-5% of the global gross domestic product (GDP). To avoid costly onboarding mistakes, financial institutions must often verify not only individual customer identities but also small business and corporate entities.
Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) are essential components of a robust compliance and risk mitigation process when onboarding business customers. In this article, we will talk about the similarities, differences, and how incorporating better business data verification in your KYB process strengthens compliance, lowers risk, and captures revenue.
KYC vs. KYB: Similarities, differences, and interdependence
While KYC and KYB serve distinct purposes, they have important similarities and differences. And for certain businesses, they have become intrinsically linked for comprehensive compliance frameworks.
KYB and KYC are critical components of regulatory compliance and risk management, particularly in the financial sector. Their main objective is to follow anti-money laundering (AML) regulations to make financial transactions safer and prevent money-laundering activities. Failing to follow AML regulations in the European Union (EU) can result in fines of up to 10% of their global turnover.
Goals: KYC and KYB both verify identities and assess potential risks, including money laundering, fraud, corruption, and terrorist financing.
Due diligence: Both involve collecting documents, running background checks, and matching with registries, watch lists, and various validating databases.
Compliance: Compliance regulations govern both KYC and KYB.
Industries: They’re both particularly relevant for financial institutions offering personal or business financial services, such as credit cards or loans. They’re also relevant for insurance, real estate, and ecommerce marketplaces.
While KYC focuses on verifying individual customer identities through information like names, addresses, and government IDs, KYB assesses the credibility and risk profile of business customers, delving into business structure, ownership, financial data, and regulatory compliance.
Type of customer: KYC covers individuals, while KYB focuses on SMBs and business entities. Any company offering B2B services will find itself using KYB regulations.
Information: KYC involves gathering and verifying customer identity information, such as name, address, date of birth, and government-issued identification documents. KYB examines a business’s legal structure, ownership details, financial information, industry classification, and regulatory compliance.
Risks: KYC mitigates risks like fraud and money laundering by individuals. KYB uncovers business-associated risks, including less-than-obvious ultimate business ownership and control. It can be several degrees more complex than KYC as it seeks to understand not just the business but also the entities a company conducts transactions with, including cross-border connections.
Industries: KYB can apply to financial institutions, gambling service providers, payment service providers, law firms, and more. The exact type of entity that must conduct know-your-business checks depends on the anti-money laundering regulations of the jurisdictions they operate in.
Relying solely on KYC can leave gaps for your business customers. To achieve a comprehensive compliance framework, many companies seek the combined power of both KYC and KYB, enabling accurate risk assessment, fraud prevention, and regulatory compliance. However, the effectiveness of these solutions heavily depends on the quality and reach of the data sources driving KYC and KYB services.
For robust KYB verification, scrutinizing the business data sources powering your processes is paramount. Without access to accurate and comprehensive data on a broad range of business records, your ability to identify legitimate business customers may suffer, resulting in significant gaps that could cost you customers and potential revenue. Additionally, many KYC and KYB services are challenged to verify business ownership and validate business officers, as this is a common gap in data sources that drive the verification process.
Better KYB solutions start with better data
To comply with leading AML regulations, companies must ensure their KYB processes are leveraging highly reliable data that covers firmographic, business health, and compliance data. Critical details to check and report include business addresses, licenses, registrations, and identification documents of ultimate business owners. Additionally, businesses and individuals should undergo scrutiny against AML, sanctions, and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) lists.
Accurate data is crucial for corporations to avoid approving illegitimate businesses or mistakenly turning away legitimate customers. Static databases with aggregated entity information may not be sufficient for robust entity verification, and self-reported data from companies should only be used in conjunction with enhanced due diligence (EDD) procedures and risk analysis.
Finding a reliable KYB partner with extensive and constantly updated data records is critical to validate as many potential customers as possible. Insufficient or outdated data can lead to falsely rejecting applicants, causing businesses to lose out on valuable revenue. At Markaaz, we’ve observed that anywhere from 25-85% of rejected business customers were improperly turned away due to inaccurate data.
Better business data can validate more customers and lower risk
A more robust KYB data solution can solve a number of verification challenges, including:
Verifying hard-to-validate business customers: This is especially important for small business customers, which tend to be hard to find and verify against validating data sources, as they tend to be new in business and have a shorter financial history. Often, errors in business data sources are due to simple errors. You need a business data provider that has the breadth of data and constantly updated records to ensure that new businesses, or those whose data dynamically change, do not incorrectly pass your verification checks or are falsely rejected.
Automating identity verification: Instead of relying on manual checks, integrated, automated solutions verify the identity of businesses in real time against validating data sources and provide complete and accurate views of ownership, structure, locations, and more.
Customized approval parameters: Set your onboarding decisioning parameters to your business’s custom requirements. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, flexible providers allow you to apply a set of configurable data rules to assess the unique risk factors of each business relationship. This way, you can verify and approve the businesses that you want to work with.
Better regulatory compliance: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), EU, the UK, and other jurisdictions are enacting stricter KYB requirements. Advanced solutions ensure all regulatory bases are covered and that your business stays updated as regulations evolve. Updated data ensures that dynamic changes on AML, sanctions lists, and politically exposed persons (PEPs) are not missed due to out-of-date records.
Ongoing monitoring: Simply verifying a business at onboarding is not enough. Continuous monitoring even after onboarding enables the early detection of changes that may impact risk profiles. This includes screening against watchlists, identifying new affiliations, and flagging adverse media reports.
To be fully effective, business verification data must be integrated into workflows beyond just the compliance team. Most customers need customized services/integrations with different providers to get the best results.
Bringing better business data to your company’s KYB workflows
Markaaz offers unparalleled business data, especially for hard-to-verify small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), empowering enterprises to effectively manage risk and meet business verification requirements. With our extensive Markaaz Directory, comprising over 300 million global small business records, onboarding small business customers and making well-informed risk decisions on business customers has never been easier.
Our comprehensive small business data includes firmographics, business health, credit information, and essential compliance data, all sourced from multiple sources to ensure a thorough analysis of your potential business customers. Leveraging our proprietary matching algorithms and flexible integration technology, we achieve better data accuracy and faster verification to power more confident business customer onboarding.
Explore our business verification services and collaborate with our team to test a sample of your customer portfolio. See how we confidently verify more businesses, especially hard-to-validate small businesses.
Business verification is a crucial step in an enterprise’s onboarding process, but it can also be challenging. Inaccurate results can lead to approving bad actors or rejecting legitimate business customers. While the industry has made progress in data capabilities and technology solutions, enterprises still struggle to verify businesses accurately and efficiently.
One of the reasons for this is that many enterprises still rely on manual verification. Manual verification is time-consuming, expensive, and demanding on resources, and often produces false and inaccurate results. This increases the risk of fraudulent activities and raises compliance concerns for businesses.
Business verification APIs offer a solution to these challenges by automating the verification process and eliminating the need for manual efforts. These APIs source data directly from specific sources, allowing for real-time business identity verification. This not only improves the accuracy of client verification but also streamlines the onboarding process, enabling faster verification of potential clients. In this article, we will explore three benefits of business verification APIs and explain how you can use these tools to transform your onboarding process.
Automation can help catch important data signals that prevent illegitimate business approvals
Not all potential clients can be trusted. Some try to exploit verification processes by providing false information or withholding crucial details needed for a proper risk assessment. For US banks, new account creation accounted for 36% of fraud losses in 2022.
Important data such as business health information (credit risk score, bankruptcy data, failure risk ratings) and firmographic data (legal business name, director information, location, legal status, web address) may be omitted or incorrect. These data elements, however, are essential for making informed decisions when onboarding potential business customers.
Manual verification can leave onboarding or compliance teams struggling to validate business customer information. It becomes time-consuming, costly, and sometimes impossible to cross-reference client information with the data sources needed to validate user identities, detect discrepancies, and identify potential risks. As many as 68% of organizations say they fail to leverage the majority of data available to them.
Business verification APIs enable enterprises to securely and accurately verify the legitimacy of potential clients. These APIs analyze patterns and historical data to identify fraudulent businesses or suspicious activities. By flagging potential risks, these automated solutions help prevent fraudulent transactions and protect businesses from financial losses.
Businesses in all sectors can benefit from business verification APIs to minimize the risk of illegitimate clients and fraudulent activities, especially those involved in monetary transactions and personal accounts. Common use cases include:
Insurance providers: Business verification APIs help insurance providers authenticate customers for insurance policies by validating important business information such as business status, registration details, financial stability, ownership details, and risk indicators.
Financing and credit: Banks and financial institutions can use business verification APIs to increase security and minimize risk when small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) apply for loans or credit. These APIs gather data on credit history, financial statements, cash flow, market and industry analysis, debt obligations, collateral, and more.
E-commerce platforms: Online stores and marketplaces can utilize verification APIs to authenticate third-party sellers, reducing the risk of accommodating fraudulent businesses on their platforms.
Markaaz’s Business Verification API Suite leverages the Markaaz Directory, which contains over 300 million global business records. This API suite searches the directory to gather accurate business health data and firmographic information based on a customized selection of over 200 data points. It also uses advanced algorithms to examine name variations and potential inaccuracies in databases and forms, resulting in a more precise assessment of customer legitimacy within seconds. By flagging any issues in real time, it minimizes the risk of illegitimate clients moving through the onboarding process.
APIs can help ensure compliance and mitigate risk with comprehensive AML database validation
Businesses, particularly those in the financial sector, must adhere to regulations and industry standards when onboarding clients. Compliance requirements such as Know Your Business (KYB) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) are critical. Failure to comply can lead to intervention from regulatory bodies such as the SEC or FTC, as entering into contracts with non-AML-compliant SMBs may unknowingly facilitate money laundering or criminal financing. This can result in reputational damage, loss of trust, severe penalties, and legal consequences. In 2022, fines for non-compliance with financial services regulations totaled $4.17 billion and enforcement actions for AML-related compliance breaches soared globally by 52%.
Business verification APIs play a crucial role in confirming a business’s involvement in money laundering or terrorist financing activities by validating against AML databases. These APIs compare business details with watchlists and sanction lists to identify high-risk entities, enabling financial institutions and other organizations to comply with regulatory requirements and prevent fraudulent transactions. The significance of the frequency and timeliness of compliance data also plays a critical role. Outdated or incomplete information can create gaps, hindering the identification of high-risk entities and exposing vulnerabilities to potentially fraudulent activities.
Markaaz’s Business Verification API Suite helps businesses stay ahead of regulatory requirements by enabling real-time, accurate data verification to ensure the legitimacy of new SMB clients and minimize the risk of fraud. The Markaaz Directory allows enterprises to identify high-risk clients before establishing a relationship, screening applicants against all possible sanction lists, watchlists, Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), and adverse media to reduce the risk of association with fraudulent or illicit activities.
APIs can scale business verification for large portfolios
As enterprises grow, they need the ability to onboard clients quickly and expand their SMB ecosystem. Manual verification and approval processes make it challenging to keep up with the increasing demand, hindering business growth.
Business verification APIs offer scalability and flexibility to seamlessly handle a growing number of clients and data integration requirements. Markaaz’s Verification API Suite applies comprehensive, tailored metrics to provide instant verification results and approval decisioning on whether new business customers should be approved, rejected, or require further due diligence. These metrics are based on preconfigured rules set by your organization, providing personalized recommendations in real-time. Businesses can easily see which metrics were assessed for each client and focus on those that require additional verification. This allows the API to onboard clients rapidly without compromising accuracy, regardless of the increased demand.
Scalability is especially important for businesses experiencing rapid growth or onboarding thousands of new customers daily. Typical use cases include:
Digital marketplaces: E-commerce platforms and online marketplaces, known for their rapid growth, can efficiently onboard businesses in large numbers by validating the legitimacy and compliance of high-volume customer lists.
FinTechs: Business verification APIs help fintech companies manage a growing number of clients while quickly and efficiently verifying critical business information, including registration details, financial stability, and compliance information.
Lenders: Lenders can use business verification APIs to automate the verification of business information, including financial statements, credit history, and compliance checks. This enables them to make informed lending decisions while processing a large volume of loan applications.
Bring fast, accurate verification to your customer onboarding
In conclusion, business verification APIs play a vital role in streamlining the onboarding process and ensuring the accuracy and legitimacy of potential clients. However, it’s important to recognize that the quality of the data that these APIs rely on is equally crucial. The effectiveness of business verification hinges on accessing reliable and comprehensive information.
At Markaaz, we understand the significance of high-quality data. That’s why our Business Verification API Suite leverages the Markaaz Directory, which consists of an impressive collection of over 300 million global business records. What sets our data apart is its unparalleled accuracy in the industry. We have painstakingly aggregated data from multiple authoritative sources and employed a proprietary data matching algorithm, resulting in the most precise and reliable records available.
By combining the exceptional quality of our data with our automated and integrated APIs, we provide a powerful solution that brings together speed and accuracy—the two essential components of effective business verification. With Markaaz, you can accelerate and improve your business verification results while ensuring the utmost accuracy and reliability.
Experience the transformative impact of Markaaz’s Business Verification APIs and our unrivaled data quality. Contact a member of our team today to learn how we can enhance and expedite your customer onboarding process.
In today’s challenging data environment, efficiently verifying the legitimacy and compliance of new business clients is often a difficult, and costly, part of the onboarding process. Even if you already have a business verification solution in place, it doesn’t mean it’s performing as it should.
Many solutions return inaccurate results that generate false positives and negatives, costing businesses millions in missed revenue opportunities, fraudulent transactions, and hefty compliance fines. Other solutions can only verify portions of new customer lists, which often results in the rejection of legitimate businesses. Below, we delve into five reasons why your business verification solutions are slowing your business down.
1. A lack of automated, integrated solutions
Business customers expect a seamless and frictionless identity verification process, so they’re understandably frustrated when it takes days or even weeks to verify and approve their business applications. The current prolonged delay is often the result of manual verification processes, which require requesting documents from commercial registers, checking regulatory and compliance lists, and verifying business officer identities and Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs). All this is time-consuming, tedious, and error-prone. Relying on manual verification often results in:
False rejections or compliance flags from manual data entry
Customer abandonment from lengthy approvals
Deep backlogs on verification requests
Higher costs in staffing, wages, and training
An automated, integrated business identity solution conducts verifications in real time. These application programming interfaces (APIs) seamlessly integrate into your existing workflows, making them easy for developers to set up in your ecosystem. They provide a high-security environment that allows for the smooth transfer of data between systems, which enables teams to validate business and ownership identity against data sources. As a result, this significantly reduces the need for manual data entry in multiple applications, which minimizes the risk of subsequent errors and shortens approval turnaround.
2. Using only web-crawled data
Business verification relies on accurate business data, but according to Harvard Business Review research, only 3% of business data meets basic quality standards.
For data companies looking to provide accurate business information, the process of aggregating data from multiple sources into one database is challenging, and it still results in inaccurate records. Since data inconsistencies and variations are collected and stored in so many places, creating one accurate business record is a considerable feat. It takes time, deep expertise, and dedicated technology investments even to try and tackle this industry-plaguing problem.
To get around this, many of today’s verification services take a different approach — they crawl the web to collect publicly available business data for specific business customers. However, these verification services create business records on an ad-hoc basis from public information, resulting in extended delays, inaccurate matches, or incomplete verification results.
3. Overly focused on data sources
To improve the accuracy of data, some companies have assembled robust databases. Usually, this process is done by pre-aggregating data from multiple sources. This has the benefit of having business information on hand, ready to go for instant data recall, which can speed up verification.
Many companies use similar data sources like Secretary of State databases, registrars, third-party sources, and public information. However, the key to accurate information is not in the source data, but in the ability to handle the inconsistencies and errors that challenge most data companies and prevent them from creating a single accurate business record. If you can’t resolve inconsistencies in data, you’ll have trouble getting good match rates and verifying businesses.
Markaaz resolves this by using a proprietary matching algorithm designed by some of the field’s leading data experts. This unique algorithm matches data elements across multiple sources, assessing all available variations. It then selects the best information across these sources to create a uniquely accurate business record. The result is a database of over 300 million superior business records covering business health and solvency, firmographics, and compliance data. With Markaaz’s Business Verification API Suite, enterprises can directly tap into the Markaaz Directory for instant verification results. This vastly improves the accuracy of verifications, reducing false negatives and scaling approval volumes of legitimate businesses.
4. Access to accurate small business information
For enterprises looking to serve small businesses, finding accurate information is extremely difficult. A single small business might have several different records in a business intelligence database because of data variations that occur from simple errors, like spelling mistakes. Small business records also tend to lack the detailed information needed to verify them, and even if records are available, they can quickly become outdated due to company growth and attrition.
Given these challenges, it is difficult to find a provider who can provide the accurate data needed for confident small business verification and onboarding. Most traditional data companies specialize in medium or large B2B information, which leaves a gap in the market for this important business customer segment.
Markaaz created a database of over 300 small million business records to address this issue. The Markaaz Directory is an unrivaled source of accurate SMB information that provides real time access to the business data enterprises need to verify and streamline their onboarding processes. Enterprises can validate firmographic and business health information, such as legal entity, primary address, business officer, employee counts, and business credit scores, and screen for compliance risks. This superior database provides one source of truth so enterprises can solve the SMB data issues plaguing their onboarding processes.
5. Not finding a scalable data partner
Your business verification solution needs to scale to your business needs. For enterprises with large customer portfolios, you need a business verification partner that can match these growing volumes of customers. This ensures your onboarding process remains efficient, effective, and unique to your business, regardless of size or complexity. For this, businesses need to look for a partner that has the best chance of having access to the business records they need. Without this scale, you might have to reject a legitimate customer.
Alongside that, it’s important that any partner you choose is flexible, offering solutions that you can customize to your processes or build on to design a solution that suits your business best. The best partners rely on cloud-based technology stacks to offer this flexibility and scalability, which allow you to grow your onboarding solution quickly and efficiently.
Bring better business verification to your business
In sum, these five challenges hinder the efficiency and accuracy of an enterprise’s business verification process, leading to the loss of legitimate clients.
The lack of automated, integrated solutions and reliance on web-crawled data contribute to delays, inaccuracies, and incomplete results. Moreover, the inability to source accurate small business information, which tends to be particularly fragmented and outdated, can mean small businesses are incorrectly rejected from vital services your enterprise can offer.
Markaaz’s Directory and Business Verification API Suite help you overcome these challenges, with access to over 300 million small business records to source and validate accurate business data in real time. Connect with our team to learn more about how to integrate a scalable and reliable business verification solution for your business.
5 reasons why enterprises should onboard their small business clients to the Markaaz Dashboard
Small businesses drive the global economy, but they often face challenges when it comes to updating and monitoring their business data. This can make it difficult for them to attract new customers, find financing, and manage their finances.
The Markaaz Dashboard is a powerful tool that can help small businesses to overcome these challenges. It provides a centralized place for small businesses to update and monitor their business data, find financing, find new customers, manage their finances, and access resources and support.
Here are five reasons why enterprises should onboard their small business clients to the Markaaz Dashboard.
1. It helps small businesses update and monitor their business data.
The Markaaz Dashboard is a powerful tool that helps small businesses update and monitor their business data in one place. This includes their contact information, vertical, website, and location. By having all this information in one place, small businesses can easily keep their information up to date, ensure that it is accurate, and share it with chosen enterprise partners to ensure they always have the best services and rates from you.
2. It makes it easier for small businesses to find financing.
The Markaaz Dashboard makes it easier for small businesses to find financing. By connecting small businesses with lenders, the Markaaz Dashboard can help small businesses get the financing they need to grow their businesses. This can help small businesses to expand their operations, hire new employees, and invest in new equipment. All of this is enabled by their accurate and updated business information, which can be shared via a PDF directly with the business they want to work with.
3. It helps small businesses find new customers.
The Markaaz Dashboard also helps small businesses find new customers. By connecting small businesses with potential customers through the global Markaaz Directory, the Markaaz Dashboard can help small businesses grow their customer and partner bases. This can help small businesses to increase their sales and profits.
4. It helps small businesses manage their finances.
The Markaaz Dashboard also helps small businesses manage their finances. By giving small businesses a centralized view of their finances, the Markaaz Dashboard can help small businesses track their spending, identify areas where they can save money, and make informed financial decisions. This can help small businesses to improve their financial health and profitability and, in turn, help your enterprise give them the services they need.
5. It provides small businesses with access to resources and support.
The Markaaz Dashboard also provides small businesses with access to resources and support. This includes business development, marketing, and financing information on the Markaaz Small Business Blog and newsletter. This can help small businesses to learn and grow their businesses.
The Markaaz Dashboard is a powerful tool that can help small businesses to succeed. By onboarding your small business clients to the Markaaz Dashboard, enterprises can help these businesses to improve their online presence, find financing, find new customers, manage their finances, and access resources and support. Onboard your small business clients to the Markaaz Dashboard and help them grow and thrive.
Why is it important for an enterprise to know the business health data of the businesses they are onboarding?
Whether you’ve heard of business health data in the past or it’s a new topic for you, you might be wondering why it matters so much. That’s a fair question and one that will be answered in this article. We’re going to look at what business health data is and why your enterprise should be aware of it for companies you are onboarding into your platform for products and services.
Anytime you onboard a new company, you’re bringing them into your system and expecting them to purchase and pay for certain items. Whether you provide traditional loans or offer a product that is paid for on a regular basis, you want to be sure the customers are going to pay and become long-term customers. It is a beneficial decision from a financial standpoint.
Business credit scores, business risk scores, and business risk classes are all useful for this process in different ways. Each of them ties into financing and gives you an idea of what to expect for each individual customer. Below, we’ll share some insight into why your enterprise should be aware of business health data.
Reasons to pay attention to business health data
For enterprises that aren’t familiar with business health data, it’s a selection of data that gives you a larger view of the financial situation of a customer. By combining information about a business’s credit score and risk score, you can more easily move forward with customer relationships knowing that the small businesses you work with are trustworthy and reliable.
There are several reasons your enterprise should pay attention to business health data as an enterprise working with other companies.
It can help your enterprise:
Decide whether to provide or deny credit.
Give insight into the details of a business.
Provide you with up-to-date credit scores.
Help you choose loan terms.
When you use Markaaz’s Enterprise Services for business verification, decisioning and monitoring, these services access Markaaz’s Directory, which features firmographic, business health and compliance/AML data. This means you have all of the information you need right at your fingertips.
Based on the NSBA Small Business Access to Capital Study, about 20% of small business loans are denied based on business credit scores. When your teams have business health data in front of them, they have the means to decide whether to onboard a new business or provide your products and services to them.
Without business credit and risk scores, your teams could make a mistake that turns out to be costly for your company. Having these types of data on demand creates a situation where it’s easy to move forward with acceptance or denial so you can move on to the next potential customer.
Be aware of who has an acceptable credit score
The Small Business by Demand Media survey indicates that many enterprise companies consider a business credit score of 75 only “acceptable.” Numbers higher than this score indicate a company with even less risk, while lower scores mean that the risk may be substantial in terms of being paid promptly.
Without business health data, your teams might not realize that a company has a score that is lower than what you’d like to work with. Not having this data puts your teams in a situation where they have to make decisions using other information, which may not be as useful as business health data that gives an idea of the company’s financial history.
Quickly decide on loan terms
When your teams look at business health data, they can easily determine what loan terms to provide to a specific company. One that has an impeccable credit score might be deserving of lower interest rates and higher credit limits than one that has only good or acceptable credit. This is something your teams can not know without relevant data.
There’s a good reason that those with the best credit get the superior terms. These are companies that are trusted to move forward and pay their bills. If you take on more risk, that needs to be tempered with less favorable terms in case something doesn’t move forward as expected.
Have a better understanding of your customers
Business health data isn’t just a credit score for a company. It does include that, but it also incorporates information about the company risk score and can include information about its risk class. Having this assortment of data gives your teams a better understanding of the company they are onboarding and dedicating your enterprise to having a relationship with.
All of these pieces of financial data are useful on their own. Having all of them provides your teams with several types of data that can be considered together. Not only is it useful for denying or offering credit to them, but it can also give your business insight into the products and services that might work best for specific brands compared to others.
Markaaz offers all of these important sets of data through its Enterprise Services, so your teams can make educated and confident decisions when onboarding new customers and clients. Below is more detail about the advantages of having this kind of information and what you can expect when you add it to your decision-making process.
How agencies provide business health data
Several agencies provide business credit scores, many of which also offer other business health data, such as a credit risk score or a business failure score. Equifax is one of the largest.
Using Equifax as an example, the first thing you see in terms of business health data is a payment index. This score ranges from zero to 100, with higher numbers speaking to better finances for a business. Scores from 90 and up are considered the best possible and will make the best clients to onboard.
In addition, a credit risk score is provided, which can range from 101 to 992. This looks into delinquent payments, account age, company size, and credit utilization of a business. This gives your teams insight into how likely the company is to pay you back on time and in full.
The final part of their business health data is the business failure score. It has a range from 1,000 to 1,880 and is better the higher the number goes, similar to the other scores we’ve discussed. Many factors, such as payment status, account length, and credit utilization, are used to determine where this score lands.
At Markaaz, we understand that onboarding correctly and quickly is essential for an enterprise. We’re also dedicated to providing you with the accurate and up-to-date data you need to ensure you bring on the right companies for your products and services.
All the reasons we’ve talked about above are only a short list of what this data can offer you. When you have firmographic data combined with business health data and compliance/AML data, your business can onboard more businesses more accurately.
Business health data helps an enterprise make sure they work with companies that fit their onboarding criteria
Before your onboarding team moves forward with a new small business customer (or a current client who may have data changes since you last connected), it’s essential to have a tool that checks and monitors this customer’s business health data.
When we talk about business health data, we’re referring to things like business credit scores, business credit risk scores, and business risk classes. Red flags in business health data include financial distress and late payments, high debt-to-credit ratios, and high debt-to-income ratios.
On the other hand, good scores in business health data include good payment history, low debt-to-credit ratios, and low debt-to-income ratios. It’s important to use a business health data tool to assess these factors in order to ensure the best possible customer onboarding experience.
Before your team makes a decision on whether to onboard a small business, we’d like to share what they should keep their eye out for. This article will share some of the most common red flags in business health, as well as green flags that give your team the green light to move forward with the small business application.
Red flags in business health data
As an enterprise that works with small businesses, there is less use of demographic data and more firmographic data. Firmographic data and business health data are the bread and butter of any organization that has services and products for other businesses.
Below, we’ll share a few of the most common red flags your team may find in business health data. Being aware of these things can help your team make the best decisions for your enterprise.
The biggest red flag is also one that might be obvious. Having bad credit (or no credit) is something that can give your team a lot of insight into how working with a small business might be. Make sure that the small business has a business credit score that your team feels confident about before offering credit. There are many ways to build or repair credit if that is something it wishes to work toward.
Nonexistent cash flow
If the small business has no cash coming in, it could be a sign that they are struggling or in serious financial trouble.
Make sure that the small business has enough money to pay its obligations and employees. Additionally, if the small business has not been in business for very long, it could be a sign that they are not yet established and may not have the experience necessary to handle working with a larger enterprise.
Your team wants to be certain that the small business can easily pay off whatever financial service you provide to it. If the small business has persistent negative cash flow, it might be a sign that it isn’t financially healthy or able to pay off what it owes.
You could work with the small business to identify ways to increase cash flow, such as reducing expenses, increasing sales, or refinancing any existing debt. Doing this will help the small business become a more reliable customer and partner, and it will also reduce the risk for your team. Consistent cash flow should be one of the things you prioritize as you move forward with new clients.
Judgments or bankruptcy
If a small business has had a recent judgment or bankruptcy, this is something to pay attention to. It’s especially worrying if it occurred within the last year. It’s one of the most obvious red flags that a small business could be a huge risk for your enterprise to work with.
Regardless of how much your company invests in small businesses, bankruptcy shouldn’t be glossed over, unless the company has proven successful since its setback.
Lack of collateral
For enterprises that consider collateral, a lack of it can be a huge problem. If the small business doesn’t pay back the loan, your enterprise could be left eating the costs instead of being able to acquire assets that let you move forward. When collateral is included, things like credit history may be less important to your enterprise. However, it’s important to consider the amount of collateral available, especially with young companies.
Inexperience as a business
Another red flag in terms of business health data is how long the company has been around. It’s not uncommon for businesses to be turned away for credit or loans based on only being in business for one to three (or even five) years.
Industry experience is an important aspect of running a company, and there’s nothing wrong with expecting that from your clients. However, if your target is onboarding small businesses, you may want to waive this red flag and instead make sure the business has a good business credit score, credit risk score, and cash flow.
Green flags to move forward with a business customer
Green flags to move forward with a business customer include a good business credit score, credit risk score, and cash flow. A good track record of making payments on time and having a solid business plan are important considerations when assessing a business’s health and ability to pay back loans or credits.
Additionally, if the business has been around for a while, that could be an indicator of stability and potential success. Finally, a good customer service record and positive customer reviews can be an indication that the business is well-run and has a good reputation in the industry.
In many cases, business health data can also give your teams the assurance that a company is likely to be a fantastic customer. The more you see these “green flags,” the more likely that brand is one that your enterprise wants to be associated with. Below are a few of the most common signs that your team should move forward with onboarding a small business.
A high business credit score
The first green flag that a small business customer is a good bet for working with is easy to find. All your onboarding and monitoring teams need to do is take a look at its credit score. Any score of 80 or above is considered good.
If you see 100, your enterprise can expect payments to come in early or on time every pay period.
An 80 might indicate payments are always on time.
A score of 50 or higher has a higher risk of some payments being late
A score up to 49 is far more likely to be late by a long period of time.
Utilization of credit
You don’t want to see an endless amount of debt from a customer, but utilizing credit can actually be a good sign and create a better credit score. When a business shows that it is capable of taking out credit and paying it back appropriately, that bodes well for your company if you work with it. Watch to see if the score is high over time when credit is in play. This gives you an idea of whether the small business can keep up with payments over the long term.
Appropriate use of trade credit
One of the most important factors in business credit score is trade credit. This refers to the credit a business uses that is provided by suppliers and vendors. This is often required for a business to stay afloat, so you should pay attention to it when you look at business health data. Seeing that a small business can build great relationships with those who give it goods, products, and services will give you insight into how it might act as a customer.
There’s nothing wrong with getting the basics from the simple numerical credit score but digging deeper will set your enterprise apart. Understanding business credit and the other factors involved in business health will ensure your enterprise works only with those small businesses that can handle debt and pay back what they owe.
There are many reasons to pay attention to the business health data of small businesses that want to use your products and services. If your company provides credit in any form, knowing the red flags for your onboarding and monitoring teams to watch for will put your enterprise in a better position to succeed. The green flags can also be useful when making any onboarding decision.
Markaaz offers an automated Business Verification API Suite, which pulls firmographic, business health, and compliance/AML data from our extensive proprietary Directory of over 300 million global small businesses to automate and speed up an enterprise’s onboarding flow.
Markaaz also offers no-code Business Monitoring that allows your monitoring team to know when any data changes about one of your business customers.
Whenever your teams need to make a decision about credit or debt, make sure to look for both red and green flags before they move forward. Consider whether bringing on a small business as a customer will provide value to your own enterprise, and make decisions based on what you decide.
How are business credit and risk scores calculated for an overall look at business health?
For any business owner, it’s essential to establish business credit. It’s an excellent way to improve your insurance rates, acquire competitive loans, and even protect your individual credit. Business credit risk scores are also essential to understand, especially for a B2B enterprise wanting to onboard businesses.
Today, we will be going into detail about how both business credit scores and business credit risk scores are calculated. This is a great way to determine business health for any company that signs up as an enterprise customer. Once you have that information, you can move forward with providing credit or products, knowing that your business customer is highly likely to keep up with payments.
We’ll share what each of these scores is all about and why both are crucial to have available for your business. We’ll also explain how the scores are calculated and what you can use them for. The article will also give you details on obtaining this information quickly and simply.
All about business credit scores
Lines of credit, credit cards, and loans are all essential to expand capital for a business and help a business grow. The extra money can be used to expand operations, purchase inventory, and more. The credit score of a business impact how much these debts cost and how much money a business can borrow.
For a B2B enterprise with business clients, knowing their business credit score lets you know whether you should lend to them and, if so, how much money you should offer. It can be used to decide on the exact terms for each business customer.
When it comes to business health, credit scores are one of the most important things to be aware of. Thankfully, numerous companies offer this information. These include our partner Equifax, as well as Experian, Dun & Bradstreet, and others. All of these agencies collect the credit data in different ways, but all implement the same factors, including:
Credit account age
So where does this data come from? There are several sources. Reporting agencies get information from business credit card providers, data-gathering trade associations, vendors, banks, and credit unions.
With Equifax, there is a payment index score. It ranges from zero to 100; all data comes from trade records, business lenders, and public records.
Equifax will analyze the payment history of a company over the last year. Companies that always pay on time and in full can expect a score between 90 and 100. However, being past due even once will knock the score down to the 80 to 89 range.
Other agencies have different scoring methods, but all have the same idea behind them. You can get the information you need about other companies to determine their business health score. This data is up-to-date and reliable, so you can use it as a part of your decision-making process when working with new companies. It’s an easy way to avoid making bad choices based on a lack of data.
With Markaaz’s Business Verification and Business Decisioning API Suites, business health data, including business credit scores and business risk scores, is checked, verified, and combined with firmographic data and compliance/AML data to give onboarding teams a holistic picture of whether this business is a strong onboarding match.
What to know about business credit risk scores
In addition to business credit scores, enterprises should be aware of business credit risk scores. When you look at a credit risk score, you get details about whether a company is likely to be risky in the future. The credit profile of the company is used to make this determination.
So, if you have a business customer come in with a great score, approving them makes a lot of sense. These are the businesses that you want and will hopefully stick around since they have minimal risk. On the other hand, a high-risk score may mean declining a business as a customer.
Several factors play into scoring credit risk for a company. The five most common include the following:
Capacity to repay – This looks at how likely a borrower is to repay a loan. It’s often based on the debt-to-income ratio and how well a company does at paying off debts from earnings.
Capital – A company’s net worth may also go into calculating credit risk. This is a simple process of taking the total assets and subtracting any debts or liabilities.
Collateral – Available collateral will play into a company’s credit risk. If the collateral is put up for a loan, the deal becomes less risky for you as a lender.
Conditions of the loan – The loan conditions are also essential to consider when determining credit risk. The conditions and terms may vary based on the customer.
Credit history – Credit history is an essential part of the calculation. Looking into the borrower’s background and credit scores helps determine credit risk.
Every agency can choose the way they calculate and display business credit risk. When it comes to Equifax, the credit risk considers credit limits, credit history, and company size to determine whether the business can keep up payments or are more likely to fall behind.
Higher scores are preferred when you look at the numerical business credit risk. These are the companies that have a lower risk than others. Lower scores should be scrutinized before choosing to fund. If the score is zero on the scale, this typically indicates bankruptcy.
Another aspect of the Equifax scoring system is its business failure score. This gives insight into how likely it is that a business will fail over the next year, whether formally, informally, or through bankruptcy. Higher scores are better, as with the other factors we’ve discussed. Zero scores are associated with bankruptcy.
Looking at the business failure score of a company gives insight into how much credit it uses and whether there have been late payments in the past. It works in tandem with business credit risk and business credit score for a more nuanced understanding of how well the company is doing.
Scoring models among reporting agencies vary, but all of them can be used to see how risky it is to do business with a specific company. For instance, each of them will look at how successful a business is at making timely payments and consider how much credit it is using at the current time.
Calculating overall business health for a company is something that can help an enterprise succeed. You get the information you need to decide which brands and organizations to work with while avoiding potential failure and payment issues. This can be done manually, or let Markaaz’s automated, easily integrated Business Verification and Decisioning API Suites do it for your onboarding team.
There are many ways to mitigate risk for your enterprise. You can take measures to control or reduce uncertainties, accept and prepare for risk, or avoid anything considered an elevated risk. With the help of business health data, it’s much easier to decide whether to move forward or take a step back with a new or continuing client.
Talk to our team and learn more about how we can help you succeed.
One of the most substantial challenges for many enterprises is determining the right small businesses to onboard.
This can be especially difficult if you are selling products or services to small businesses due to a lack of accurate data. While companies often spend a lot of money to onboard potential customers, many are unqualified. Even those that are qualified will need to be verified using firmographic, compliance, and health data.
Targeting the right individuals is essential to business success, which leads to the need for accurate data.
This article will delve into what firmographic data is, the best methods to ensure that data is accurate, why accuracy is crucial, and more.
Once you finish, you’ll have all the information you need to keep your enterprise onboarding productive when using firmographic data.
What firmographic data is all about
Whereas demographics relate to information about individuals, firmographics offer this same kind of information about businesses, companies, and organizations. This data provides company-wide information as well as user-level data. Using firmographic data during the onboarding process is an excellent way for B2B enterprises to know who their potential customers are and whether they are the right business to onboard.
A few of the things that fall under firmographic data include:
Decision makers for the organization
Annual or quarterly revenue
Locations of headquarters, parent companies, and more
Number of employees hired by the brand
Industry (or industries) that are represented by the company
Firmographic data is essential to have available for any enterprise that has customers that are small businesses. However, it isn’t the only form of data that is useful. It’s a simple place to start the onboarding process.
Why you should care about accurate firmographic data
As we move farther into the 2020s, personalization is essential for business onboarding. Based on the Salesforce State of Marketing report, about two-thirds of businesses consider switching to a new brand if there is no attempt to personalize communication from their current vendor.
About 85% of consumers and nearly as many company customers prefer to be treated like humans rather than just another number on a list of email addresses or phone numbers. Creating a personalized, customized onboarding experience as a brand is one of the best methods available to provide this.
When you have firmographic data available, you better understand what customers need. It can also help you more easily answer questions from prospective customers to help them understand what you offer and how it can help them solve their current challenges.
How to get accurate firmographic data
There are several methods to access firmographic data. Some information can be found on company websites and social media profiles on platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram. Business listings and directories provide information, and data intelligence tools can be used. Looking into the company and how past and current customers feel about them can be a huge help. However, it’s not always clear how accurate this data is, especially if it comes up with different information on unique sites and platforms.
There are many benefits of good firmographic data, many of which apply to the current customer desire for personalization. The biggest challenges there include getting quick insights, having sufficient data, and having only accurate data. Thankfully, there are some methods to enjoy all three of these things to provide potential customers with what they want.
While there are many data providers out there who promise accurate information, that doesn’t mean you can always trust them. Some will have information that is very old, inaccurate, or otherwise problematic for use.
When you use Markaaz’s Enterprise Services, you can leverage accurate business information for over 300 million global small businesses. It also provides small businesses the ability to update their own information on the Markaaz Dashboard, ensuring the information held in the Markaaz Directory is up-to-date and accurate.
There are many benefits to using accurate firmographic data, from having a greater body of knowledge to enjoying improved lead generation. Below are a few of the great benefits that you can reap when you have accurate firmographic data that you can trust.
Better company knowledge
Everything from information about when a company was founded to how it’s doing right now is yours with the use of accurate firmographic data. This kind of information can help you decide how to nurture a potential customer or someone you want to invest in as a part of your brand. There are tons of reasons that this knowledge will come in handy for enterprise businesses.
When you have relevant and useful firmographic data, it helps you better understand specific marketplaces and industries. You can dig through data to get a better view of what separates one company from the next.
Excellent onboarding intelligence
With accurate firmographic data, it’s much easier for onboarding teams to know whether a business is a good prospect for its services. Important data about things like purchasing power and other preferences are available and can be used along with data about the size of the company, present standing, and more.
Better customer service and marketing
When you have more information about a company, it also makes it easier to give them what they desire. Beyond that, having great firmographic data helps you offer top-quality customer service. This is essential for acquiring and keeping all of your customers.
As an example, knowing the geographical location of a customer gives insight into local traditions and typical opening hours. This lets you determine the best way to communicate with each customer on an individual basis. This kind of personalization may not always be noticed but is greatly appreciated when it is.
Improved lead generation
For businesses that sell to other companies, firmographic data is essential for lead generation. It can be used to quickly segment that market and sort companies into different groups of potential clients. This process alone leads to a better form of lead generation.
Since you have this data available, you can see who the best leads are and who might not be for your onboarding flows. You can also rate them based on their characteristics, which makes sure that the efforts you focus on are effective and the most likely to help your business grow and succeed.
When you work with Markaaz’s Enterprise Services, firmographic data accuracy will not ever need to be a concern for your company again. Our data is verified to ensure top accuracy whenever you need it. We offer firmographic data on over 300 million small businesses across the globe. Get the data you need to create the onboarding experience that customers want.
Are you ready to reap the benefits of accurate firmographic data? Reach out to us today and get started. We can answer any questions you have and get you set up with the tools you need to succeed. Our team of experts is here to provide support for any issues you may have, and our customer service team is available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns that you may have. We understand that your success is our success, and we are dedicated to helping you succeed in any way we can.
With Markaaz’s Enterprise Services, you can rest assured that the firmographic data leveraged by our API Suites is accurate and up-to-date, giving you the peace of mind you need to make your onboarding process as smooth as possible. Start reaping the benefits of accurate firmographic data today – reach out to us and get started.
Large enterprises must be able to accurately identify and verify potential small business customers but cannot because of incorrect, outdated data.
This means small businesses miss out on services because they cannot be identified, so they cannot grow, and large enterprises are unable to onboard new customers. Let us look at how Markaaz addresses this with David Clarke, Chief Data Officer in Residence, Markaaz
Forty years ago, bad data did not hurt companies, either large or small. Decisions were made in person or by people at the end of a phone. For example, small businesses interacted directly with their banks by going to a branch. A human teller would speak to the small business owner. Spelling issues or misinterpretations were easily corrected by humans on either side of the transaction.
In the digital age, most decisions are made by computers, or better said, by computer programs. The spoken or written word, or series of numbers, have been transformed into data. Data strings are compared to acceptable norms and approval thresholds, and automated decisions are made in milliseconds.
Data automation revolutionized business but also created a new problem: Incorrect data.
Only 3% of business data is accurate
Finding and verifying a small business for onboarding is extremely difficult for large enterprises looking to serve those businesses because of the inconsistent data held by most traditional business intelligence providers. According to Harvard Business Review research, only 3% of business data meets basic quality standards.
A single small business might have several different records in a business intelligence database because of data field variants. A single spelling mistake or variation means the enterprise cannot automatically onboard a valid, legitimate applicant and the small business cannot access the services that the enterprise is offering.
“If you own a small business, you exist on LinkedIn and probably in the Better Business Bureau. If you had a small business during COVID and applied for a PPP loan, you will exist in that database. When you register your business, that registration remains in the Secretary of State’s business records. The problem is that you may have entered something that was not the same as already existed, or the system might force you to enter different information, leading to inconsistent records,” said David Clarke, Chief Data Officer in Residence, Markaaz.
When an enterprise is trying to onboard a small business, its onboarding systems often cannot match the small business to a single data record because of these inconsistencies. The software they use cannot match the data variants. If the data entered into any given transaction does not match exactly the data the software is using as its reference data, the transaction is rejected.
“Jonathan Smith living at 1 Main St, Smalltown, NJ, applies for a small business card. However, the small business is registered at 27. First Avenue, Bigtown, PA [which is where it operates], and when Mr. Smith registered his company with the Secretary of State of PA some years ago, he registered the Managing Member of the small business as Mr. J. Smith. His credit card application, albeit 100% legitimate, could be rejected,” explained Clarke.
Business data is collected in many ways and stored in many places, so the problem is difficult to resolve. Every time a small business enters into any transaction, data about the small business is collected and stored. It might be online, with the Secretary of State, with banks or insurance companies, Yellow Pages, tax authorities, payroll data, and even printed material is used and stored. Unless the data used in every transaction is 100% consistent with every other transaction, there will be differences leading to all the problems which we call ‘Bad Data.’
What Markaaz does
Markaaz collates multiple sets of data from multiple sources and merges them into a single Directory, within which is a ‘Golden Record’ for every business entity. The Markaaz Directory has tied all of the variants of each small business data field into a single, searchable Golden Record. It will connect the registered address with the place of business with all the various addresses linked to the small business, plus all the name variants. Simply said, we match against all name and address variants, together with website and phone and all legal entity numbering systems, to effortlessly and uniquely identify all small businesses. No small business is left behind.
“We don’t solve the data problem because we don’t need to. Traditional data companies have been trying to solve an unsolvable problem for many years. They have tired, legacy technology that is difficult to maintain, let alone change. The smaller, web mining, AI-focused companies who simply scan the web will find hundreds of disparate entries for each small business,” stated Clarke.
The Markaaz Directory connects all inconsistent business records and matches a business across multiple data attributes to reach a final confident match. We are alone in being able to do that in the market today, and a recently completed customer data study demonstrated how much better we are than anyone else. An incremental twelve percent of previously rejected business credit card applications were able to be approved.
“We store more versions of the business data attributes and match against more versions of them. That’s why we find more small businesses for our large clients. It’s as simple as that,” noted Clarke.
David is an independent Advisor/Consultant specializing in Data Strategy and the business information industry. His clients have included John Wiley, TiVo, CreditSafe, and Mastercard. From 2015 to 2017, David was Chief Data Officer at Avention Inc., subsequently acquired by Dun & Bradstreet. Previously David spent 30 years at Dun & Bradstreet in various executive positions, including President, Sales & Marketing Solutions, US CIO, and Chief Data Officer. David was born in the United Kingdom but has lived in New Jersey for 20 years. He loves to travel and relaxes by skiing in the Alps and collecting Burgundy wine.
Stop compromising on the verification and decisioning accuracy and speed needed to operate your onboarding flow at scale. Brett Adams, Head of Product at Markaaz, walks you through why Markaaz helps speed up your onboarding workflow
Historically, small business verification has meant you must choose between traditional business data providers focused on larger businesses or web miners that can take hours to return duplicated results. Now your business can verify small businesses for onboarding quickly and easily with Markaaz’s enterprise services – without compromising.
Markaaz’s Business Decisioning API Suite and Business Verification API Suite can match your business customer data to any small business in any of our markets, 24/7/365, giving you results in milliseconds. We outperform market alternatives on match rate success, materially reducing false positives and false negatives – on a global scale.
Combining the agility of our cloud/API-native technology and the Markaaz Directory, our proprietary global database of over 300 million small business records, Markaaz is confident in its ability to provide the customer data your business needs to find – when it needs it.
“Research shows that bad data can cost companies trillions of dollars per year. How often is your team unsure if they’re looking at the right data and that your data sources matched the applicant during your onboarding flow? That’s where our API Suites save you money and time,” explained Brett Adams, Head of Product at Markaaz.
At the macro level, IBM estimates bad data costs the US more than $3 trillion per year, while an Experian report based on global data noted that 95% of companies state that bad data undermines company performance.
The Markaaz enterprise services
The Markaaz Business Verification API Suite and Business Decisioning API Suite use our unique matching approach to search the Markaaz Directory and return the business result with the best match score whenever your business queries a company. The higher the match score, the stronger the probability that the returned result is the correct business that you are trying to onboard.
“Our proprietary ability to match and verify several versions of each firmographic field means that our business matching success rate is at a scale that this industry has not yet seen,” stated Adams.
Your team no longer has to manually decide which is the correct business from a slew of similar-named companies with slight firmographic data deviations. This saves your business the high cost and time of manual verification, adding more database subscriptions to your onboarding workflows, or adding a second-step process to re-verify. The Markaaz verification and decisioning API Suites also materially reduce false positives and false negatives that can cost your business time and lost potential revenue.
“Most of the companies we speak to are used to spending hours, if not days, just trying to verify customer data. This onboarding roadblock can mean you have lost over 35% of your customers before even beginning to offer them services. Our verification and decisioning API Suites enhance and automate your onboarding workflow,” noted Adams.
However, while the costs are high for the onboarding business, they can be even higher for small businesses trying to access enterprise services. With incorrect data, small businesses often cannot access the growth services they need, such as a credit card or loan.
The Markaaz verification and decisioning API Suites and the data platform they access are built in the cloud and can scale with you as your business expands. With the ability to process records in real time, Markaaz drives better onboarding workflows than existing solutions because we have our own data always available in the Markaaz Directory.
“Many newer decisioning and verification software solutions available today are web miners. These solutions don’t have the data on hand because the cost, expense, and expertise required to set up that data are significant. Rather, their software ‘mines’ the web when a request comes in, or the team creates a company if it cannot be found. This is why it can take hours for a single business to be verified and makes it difficult to scale,” said Adams. “One of our benefits is that our API Suites only have to connect to our Markaaz Directory. You don’t have to create a new company, we already have the company in the Directory, and we will return its MarkaazId, a company-specific ID code, to you.”
Markaaz’s small business verification model is unique in the market today. It offers matching capabilities and a breadth and accuracy of data that outperforms current market alternatives. Many of these alternatives offer firmographic data and, perhaps, in some cases, light business health data, often with a medium and large business focus. This is more in line with prospecting data than the deep dive needed for verification and decisioning needs.
The Business Verification API Suite enables enterprises to tap into the Markaaz Directory in real-time to verify small business applicants. With just a few variables, the Business Verification API Suite searches the Markaaz Directory, featuring over 300 million global businesses. It delivers the firmographic data, compliance/AML data, and business health data you need to verify new customers and prospects. This API suite comprises multiple API endpoints. These endpoints can return a customized selection of dozens of data points about the business you are attempting to verify based on your business’s unique needs.
Enterprises can also use Markaaz’s Business Decisioning API Suite. This Suite applies preconfigured rules across multiple metrics to provide a decision on whether or not a business is a strong candidate for onboarding. It also provides the details behind that decision. The decisioning results are based on the metrics your business sets in real-time. A standardized set of metrics can be configured for each API request.
Any decision returned from the Business Decisioning API Suite can be audited by requesting the decisioning details so that your team can determine which rules were satisfied and which were not. Decision results can be tailored by editing the parameter thresholds in the Enterprise Dashboard should you have changing business needs or would like to be more strict or less strict with your approval criteria.
“Both of our low-code business verification and decisioning API Suites are uniquely built with GET and POST request capabilities, so we can help you code and integrate to your systems in a manner that works for you,” explained Adams.
The Markaaz business verification and decisioning API Suites are the solutions your company needs to onboard more of your qualified target businesses faster and more efficiently, improving time to onboarding, the accuracy of onboarding, and reducing your team’s wasted hours.
Brett brings over 20 years of international experience building, growing, and advising fintech and payments businesses, both big and small. He has served as an advisor to Fortune 100 banking and payments clients at Marakon and Accenture consulting firms and held US and international finance, business development, sales, and product roles while at Mastercard. His true passion is product management, and is in his second role as head of product at Markaaz, having also launched a consumer lending service in the US with a prior BNPL start-up. Brett holds a BA degree from Stanford University, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and received his MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University.
Business information data is essential for accurate and efficient customer onboarding workflows
Many companies are currently looking into companies to partner with that provide more reliable data to drive quick and efficient customer onboarding experiences. Firmographic data is used to develop a robust data set on current clients for monitoring purposes, and verify businesses that might become customers during onboarding.
Companies look toward business health data and business compliance data to create frictionless customer onboarding experiences. However, they need accurate, current firmographic data to begin the onboarding process and verify the business they want to onboard. Having a larger variety of data points makes it easier to personalize your offerings to your clients and potential clients, as well as ensure that they are the right fit for your business. Finding actionable strategies and determining the best decisions to make requires the initial use of firmographic data.
This article will look at the importance of accurate firmographic data as it pertains to frictionless onboarding. We’ll share the definition of both of these things and provide information about how the two combine to create a customer experience that is personalized, simplified, and appreciated by new and potential customers.
What is firmographic data?
Firmographic data is a set of data characteristics related to a company or organization that helps to verify their existence and accuracy for onboarding or monitoring purposes. This data can also be used for extensive insights to target the right accounts to use your products and services.
Some of the different pieces of information provided in firmographic data include company size, annual revenue and expenditure, market trends, industry type, company reach, ownership information, and growth information.
Demographic data and firmographic data are often combined to categorize groups and individuals. Both can be leveraged to profile businesses. One of the most useful spots for use of this data is frictionless onboarding, a goal for most businesses in today’s time and age.
What is frictionless onboarding?
When we talk about frictionless onboarding, it means that a new client or customer can board your company without having anything get in the way. This modern form of onboarding provides needed information about your services and products, acts as an introduction to your team, and is the first step to creating a relationship built on a pillar of trust.
Removing all the obstacles that stand in the way of onboarding completion is the goal in this situation. Once a business is interested in what you have to offer, they can visit your website, or contact your team directly and sign up to gain access to the product without any challenges popping up in the process.
Top ways accurate firmographic data drives frictionless onboarding
There are several methods to use firmographic data as part of your overall onboarding strategy. Below are three examples so you can overhaul your system to create the quick and efficient process that customers are looking for. There are many more options once you get the framework in place and have access to the most accurate data.
Quick verification when customers fill out online forms
The first way that accurate firmographic data can be used to revolutionize onboarding is through quick verification. Any time a customer fills out an online form on your website, it can be quickly validated so you can be sure everything is correct, and the business exists. This means you spend less time doing the validation yourself and can instead focus on onboarding businesses to your products and services. This seamless verification process shrinks time to onboarding and reduces onboarding flow costs for the enterprise.
Form validation ensures that all fields include correct, valid data. Even something as simple as this can have a huge impact on the results your company experiences.
An easier method to find small businesses
Not all businesses are huge enterprises, with tons of news about them spread around the internet. According to the Small Business Administration, 99.9% of United States businesses are small and have fewer than 500 people associated with them.
Small businesses include everything from tiny startups and companies to family restaurants and retail stores. As you might expect, getting data on these companies can be challenging due to their size and lack of public documents, funding rounds, or news. Most businesses that need this data don’t have the time or knowledge to find firmographic data on small businesses on their own for use in onboarding and must rely on data providers to furnish the correct details.
When you work with a company that provides accurate firmographic data on small businesses, their automated solutions and APIs do the digging and research in their dataset, and you reap the benefits of that. With Markaaz’s verification and decisioning API suites, all you need to do is upload your potential customer to the API to get all of the business information you need to verify the business.
KYC & KYB verification
KYC (know your customer) and KYB (know your business) are two regulatory requirements used by businesses to ensure they are doing business with people they should be. Both of these verification services are built around due diligence.
KYC is used by financial institutions like fintech and banks to identify their customers before an account is opened. It gives information about a customer to avoid financial crimes and online fraud and helps a business comply with anti-money laundering (AML) rules.
KYB is an even larger process, as it’s simpler to verify for an individual than it is for a business. With KYB, business and corporate entities from around the world are verified. This is impossible when done manually, especially at scale, as it requires looking for documents from business owners, searching legal filing, and cross-checking financial information.
When you choose a service that offers firmographic data, the process becomes easier. All the information you need is delivered to your onboarding flow. There’s no need to gather information and documents on your own. Having verified data makes it easy to accept a new customer or turn down a potential client. Bringing in only the right customers is an important part of onboarding.
When using firmographic data, to get the best outcomes, it should be used to make educated decisions, verify your customers, and create customer segmentation. Having the right answers will help a company reduce the time between acquiring data and taking action while improving sales success.
One of the best areas to use firmographic data is in customer onboarding. It can be used to verify customer information, ensure KYC and KYB verification, and make it easier for people to find small businesses. All of these benefits are crucial and can create the level of success you want for your business.
Markaaz offers many types of firmographic data, along with things like compliance data and business health data. If you’re ready to enjoy the positive effects of Markaaz’s firmographic data held in the Markaz Directory of over 300 million global small and medium businesses, reach out to us now.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
Verification of tax ID
Regulatory compliance information
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 (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 (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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Markaaz.com 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.
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.
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.
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 costsby 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
“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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Accurate business verification drives business success
Here are three reasons all businesses need to care about verification:
Verifying suppliers means mitigating risk.
Regardless of the size of your business, one weak link in your supply chain could equal missed opportunities, decreased sales, and the potential for long-term reputational and financial loss. Yet, the Business Continuity Institute found in its report that half of the companies it surveyed still fail to carry out sufficient due diligence on critical suppliers.
Verification builds credibility and trust.
Not knowing who you can trust online is a significant problem many businesses face. Supplier fraud is rampant, especially for small businesses. Almost 40% of business fraud starts from outside forces, such as vendors or suppliers. And when companies rely on Google searches and other online research to verify potential suppliers, the risk of fraud increases.
As a result, having a business that’s highly visible online isn’t sufficient. Just because other companies can find you easily doesn’t mean they will feel comfortable working with you or purchasing your products. Verification differs from being online and can be a powerful tool to help your business overcome these reservations.
Verification leads to better business relationships.
As important as attracting new customers and business partners may be, nurturing the relationships you have already established may matter even more. Strong supplier relationships, particularly, can be successful for small and large businesses.
When you take the time to verify your business, you make it easier for those you contract with to build trust and confidence in your partnership.
The bottom line
With over 300 million business listings in our Directory, Markaaz is doing its part to build a trusted community, connecting businesses of all sizes. Create an account today to claim your business listing and add an extra layer of trust to your business.