Gone are the days for credit unions and community and regional banks to compete against national banks with their brick-and-mortar locations and local billboards. The challenge to these financial institutions is to create an exceptional user experience that modern consumers now expect at a manageable scale and price point. And many of these FIs are taking on their competitors with an impressive, omnichannel approach. The digital-first, data-driven approach can provide a customized banking experience that delivers consistently across all channels. This strategy goes above and beyond the typical approach of banks and credit unions for initial account setup and cross-selling programs to engage in a relevant way that combats low engagement rates and account siphoning. As Jim Marous, Co-Publisher of The Financial Brand, states: “Having a lot of data is not the goal. The goal is to collect, collate, manage, process and deploy data that provides a unified and accurate view of the customer in a way that all parts of the organization can use.” DeepTarget will share five tips for a data-driven transformation this Spring.
What Goes: Tedious Account Applications
The percentage of institutions that offer online and mobile checking accounts soared in 2020, reaching 82% and 38% respectively. While adding digital applications is a great move for banks and credit unions, many have lengthy application processes with high abandonment rates.
What Stays: Customer Convenience
Utilize the convenience of online applications while keeping the consumer in mind with an application that takes ten minutes or less to complete. Support this process with targeted communications for those with unfinished applications, and provide an easy way to resume the process for returning applicants.
What Goes: The Waiting Game
Leaving your customers waiting for confirmation following their initial interaction with you encourages reciprocal behavior from them. Quick communication can be the difference in an engaged user or an inactive one. To make matters worse, many FIs follow a long silence with follow up paperwork or overt cross-selling. This sets an impersonal tone at best, and a demanding one at worst.
What Stays: A Warm Welcome
First impressions matter, and in the days of instant gratification and over-communication, it is best not to keep your customers waiting. Welcome them with personalized messaging to make them feel good about their decision to partner with you. Begin to build a relationship that sets positive expectations for a relationship that will last for years to come.
What Goes: Forgetting Your Customers
Opening a checking or savings account is not the end of the marketing journey, it is just the beginning. Some banks or credit unions communicate only to the point of finalizing a new account, then fail to communicate after a new account is opened. This strategy, or lack thereof, can negatively affect their bottom line. Open accounts that go unused or never expand to other financial services are not as profitable, and tend to be short term.
What Stays: Communicate Early and Often
When someone opens a new checking account, they have a lot to do. Make it easy to get started with personalized messages and onboarding checklists to make these tasks easier, and support these efforts with digital tools that make it simple to complete onboarding. After a smooth onboarding process, then begin to offer other related services for their other financial needs.
What Goes: Missed or Misused Opportunities
Credit unions and banks often miss opportunities by cross-selling too early or not at all. Often an FI’s customer will turn to another institution for a financial service because additional products were never effectively communicated or advertised as through a competitor’s special offer.
What Stays: Relationships and Retention
Checking and savings accounts are not the most profitable service, but are necessary and can positively affect profitability when pivoted into relevant cross-selling. When a customer has been successfully onboarded, it is time for the FI to communicate additional services that can help their consumer’s financial journey, remembering, of course, that each consumer’s journey is unique and therefore needs to be personalized. Now is the time to highlight your excellent mortgage rates, education savings accounts, and vacation layaway programs as appropriate for that consumer. Relevant cross-selling can build and strengthen long-term relationships.
What Goes: Collecting Consumer Data for Nothing
When banks and banking products are viewed as a commodity, communications can be cold and impersonal. Banking is a data-rich industry, yet many banks never move past collecting consumer information to utilizing those insights for personalized experiences.
What Stays: Standing Out from the Pack
Data-driven digital strategies do not mean that FIs forget the individuals behind that data. A community bank or credit union can show that they care by utilizing their specialized knowledge and pairing it with their features and products. This process competes with “big bank” tactics while adding warmth and relevance. BankMD’s Moses Luevano says, “Many banks believe that technology is the solution, but it’s often a solution looking for the problem.”
DeepTarget wants to help as you transform your culture to a data-driven dream this Spring. We understand that while data is abundant in the financial services industry, most banks and credit unions house their data in silos which can be challenging to integrate and deploy. But organizations that embrace the insights their data can bring have a competitive edge that sets their FI apart from the rest. When used properly, customer data can build campaigns that are delivered to the right person, in the right channel, at the right time.
Take it from Marketing Guru, Seth Godin who said, “The technology that changed the marketing world and will continue to change it is the ability to treat people differently –instantly and at scale. That is what you must invest in.”
Many FIs recognize the need for these actionable offers but need a hand to complete their digital transformation. Partners and Fintechs like DeepTarget can help fill in the gaps. Many banks and credit unions have embraced our DigitalExperience Platform (DXP) to integrate a nimble and scalable solution that powers a comprehensive, omnichannel approach to customer communications. DeepTarget can take your data points and creativity to engage in a cool way that makes your marketing smarter and simpler than ever before.