Getting the Banking Customer Experience Right

May 16, 2017

Kandi O'Connor

how to deliver a personalized banking customer experienceRelationships have always been at the core of bank marketing success. While face-to-face transactions and handwritten notes have largely given way to mobile deposits, online bill paying, emails and texts, knowing and connecting with your customer on a personal level is as important as ever.

On the path to building lasting customer relationships, bank marketers must distinguish themselves from ever-increasing competition. There’s also the pressure to rise to elevated consumer expectations that are based on the streamlined, personalized experiences perfected by companies like Amazon and Uber.

So how can you develop strong customer relationships and build loyalty with the empowered consumer who can effortlessly shop around? Start by looking beyond closing the sale and focus on getting the banking customer experience right.

Here are some tips to help ensure you are delivering a fluid experience from pre-sale to post-sale.

1. Use data to better understand and know your customer.

Bank marketers have become skilled at utilizing data to target prospects with the right communications and offers. This shouldn’t end once a prospect becomes a customer. Work your data to match customers to additional products—relevance is essential. Avoid taking a one-fits-all approach, pushing every product communication to every customer. Segment the experience based on the type of products sold.

Also, consider frequency. Customers actually like to hear from you, especially if you have a new feature or product that can enhance their banking experience. Don’t abuse this privilege by sending a constant barrage of irrelevant messages. Stay in touch, and be sure to respect your customers’ communication preferences.

2. Don’t let technology disconnect you from your customer.

So many companies – not just banks – have created “broken experiences” through automation. Understanding how to use automation effectively is critical to a successful customer experience.

The onboarding process is especially important for getting your relationship off on the right foot. Start by showing sincere gratitude for their business. A personalized thank you can set the right tone. Personalization is key to convincing a customer you know and understand their needs. Continue to deliver useful information to help them make the most of their relationship with your bank.

All of this can be efficiently managed with automation. But be sure to invest the time in setting up appropriate customization options to avoid mismatched communications that could reinforce a disconnect between you and your customer.

3. Create a Unique Closing Experience

A thank you postcard or email alone is not going to convince your new customer just how much you value their business. Whether it’s for a new loan, deposit account or wealth management client, it’s important to create a multidimensional onboarding experience that reinforces a connection with your bank at the corporate level, while also strengthening the customer relationship with the local associate.

Start by providing your new customer something tangible. For consistent, corporate-level bank branding, an organization folder can be used for all customers. Then, to facilitate a more personalized touch, provide a range of customizable items that local associates can choose from to establish one-to-one relationships. A few examples:

  • For new deposit accounts, start your customer off with a monetary gift, like a small cash deposit. Or demonstrate that your bank is invested in the community with a locally themed gift, like a local sports team jersey or ticket to a local event.
  • An organizer folder or binder for managing loan documents and customer support information is a useful gift for a new loan customer.
  • Since gifts for wealth management customers are restricted by regulations, create personalized informational materials that local representatives can use for developing a trusted person-to-person relationship.

These customized gifts and personalized materials can be managed through a marketing resource management system to ensure no missteps in personalization (like gifting a sports team jersey from the wrong local market).

If you take the time to establish a memorable and positive onboarding process – one that reinforces connections with your bank’s corporate office and the local branch – you’ll be on track to getting the customer experience right and, ultimately, building the kind of loyalty that leads to lasting success. 

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Tags: brand consistency, local marketing, financial services marketing, banking customer experience

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