Attracting new banking customers is a key part of growing a financial institution—but retaining those customers is another matter altogether. So let’s break things down a bit. Customer retention is strongly tied to loyalty, satisfaction, and a number of other key metrics. From complex, tiered loyalty programs to customer segmentation and smart data analysis, there are a huge number of options available to financial institutions looking to improve customer loyalty. Here’s a look at some methods for strengthening the customer experience and boosting this essential factor.
1. Collect and Implement Customer Feedback
Let’s start with a strategy that you’re most likely already using in some capacity: customer service surveys. Any change you make to your banking services and programs should be rooted in the feedback and needs of your base. If you’re only running a yearly survey, consider stepping up the pace and collecting feedback more frequently, or focusing on one or two service channels that could use improvement. While it won’t be feasible to implement every bit of feedback you get from your customers, keep in mind that the ones who take the time to share their thoughts will notice if you do or do not act on their comments.
Customer segmentation should also play a role in how you go about collecting feedback. Who are your most valuable customers, and what is the most effective way to reach them? If you’re interested in surveying mobile users, for example, you’ll likely have the most success reaching out over social media, email, or from within your institution’s banking app.
2. Provide a High-Quality Customer Experience
The majority of financial institutions offer many of the same services—so what sets yours apart? In the end, it all comes down to customer service. A strong problem resolution process paired with knowledgeable front-line staff will go a long way in gaining trust, positioning you as a reliable institution, and making your customers feel like more than just a number.
Take a look at your retail banking process. How easy is it for customers to access transactions and make other simple requests? Is your website or app easy to navigate? To take things even further, how’s your omnichannel strategy looking? Can customers start a loan application online, then step into a nearby branch to finish it up? If you’re dedicated to rebuilding your customer service program from the ground up, now is the time to get a comprehensive view of the situation as it currently stands.
3. Introduce Loyalty Programs
For a more straightforward approach to improving customer loyalty, you might try implementing a loyalty program. These types of programs are endlessly customizable, so you and your team will be able to create one that appeals to your customer base and works well with your business model. Your program might be a simple “refer a friend” system, a cash bonus for spending a set amount or hitting a specific balance, or even reward points for students who reach a certain GPA.
When you debut your program, focus on getting the word out. Whether it’s posters up in every branch, social media advertising, or email marketing, make sure that your current and potential customers know about this new opportunity and can take advantage of it.
4. Create Authentic Relationships
Consumers, especially younger generations, have come to care deeply about the businesses they patronize. Are you a faceless brand or a company that engages with your customer base? (We hope you choose the second option!)
Take to social media, email, and other communication channels to provide helpful financial guides, tips, and other information that your customers might find helpful. But don’t simply put information out there—take the time to encourage discussion and input from your audience. That might mean answering a direct message over Twitter or inviting your followers to contribute to a conversation or social media campaign. Showing that your brand has a “personality” of sorts will do quite a bit to humanize your financial institution and encourage loyalty.
Generate Actionable Insights With Customer Service Surveys
The financial landscape is crowded with traditional institutions, online-only banks, and even banking apps, all of which are competing for customers. Collecting and analyzing feedback from your current customer base is essential to improving your customer service programs and attracting future customers.
Whether you’re in need of industry expertise, customized retail banking surveys, or comprehensive reporting tools, Avannis can help. For over two decades, we’ve been working with financial institutions large and small to identify pain points in the customer experience, improve satisfaction, and increase retention—and we can’t wait to use our skills and resources to assist you with your goals. Contact us today to learn more about our variety of survey and service offerings.