In what is probably news to no one, a Salesforce study of 15,600 consumers concluded that “consumer expectations have hit an all-time high.” Perhaps what may be new to some however, is insight into why consumers have evolved. Disruptive technologies have increased accessibility of information and personalized communications which has resulted in 80% of customers sharing that they consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products and services. That’s eighty percent!
Luckily, meeting these expectations are not out of reach for the community financial institution (CFI) that uses its data combined with AI insights to anticipate and act on their banking consumers’ needs. With more choices than ever before and more digital touchpoints in use by consumers, banks, and credit unions must strive to deliver a user experience superior to any they have offered before.
All banks and credit unions were created to benefit the financial journeys of their consumers. Growing competition, regulation, and ever-evolving technologies can make continuing this mission very challenging indeed. However, personalized, empathetic, and relevant connections with consumers are, in some ways, more possible than ever before thanks to digital spaces that provide user convenience paired with a wealth of data that FIs can use to gain a holistic view of each individual consumer.
Proactively utilizing consumer data is the difference in a bank or credit union anticipating the needs of a customer interested in refinancing their mortgage versus reacting when that individual request their payout amount. By engaging third-party fintechs, CFIs can put their databases to work gleaning insights that create strong identities with predictable indicators that allow a FI to communicate with strong confidence that they are delivering the right messages at the right time for each customer.
Using existing data that they have in their possession is one part of the puzzle. In today’s highly connected and instantaneous world, we have access to a massive amount of information at our fingertips. But it’s only going to get more massive. Exponentially so. Between 2015 and 2025, the amount of data captured, created, and replicated globally will increase by 1,600%. Not using this data to understand banking consumers is not an option. Yet, no human can possibly decipher what all that data translates to with respect to consumer journeys. Therefore, not utilizing AI and machine learning generated insights is also not an option for CFIs.
In addition to offering relevant campaigns with a high probability of ROI, a bank or credit union that can meet a consumer on their financial journey and act as a relevant, real-time guide becomes indispensable to the benefiting individual. Financial literacy is a huge challenge for many U.S. consumers, so a CFI that proactively supports their consumers in each life stage becomes a reliable life-long partner. Learning leads to loyalty. And the CFI will have a wealth of cross-selling opportunities at the right time in the life and financial journey of their banking consumers.
DeepTarget is a Fin-Ed-Tech or Financial Education Technology company that exists for this very purpose. DeepTarget teaches banks and credit unions how to create a multi-channel digital experience and engagement process resulting in at least a 5X return on investment. This involves teaching them how to use what they know about their banking consumers to tell them the right story at the right pace, in the right place, and on their timetable. Succeed at this and this creates exponential loyalty and increased profitability for the community financial institution.