As the new decade rapidly approaches, financial institutions find themselves vying for customers in an increasingly competitive landscape. Online-only banks and financial apps are attracting technology-savvy customers left and right—so how can traditional financial institutions keep up?

Customer service is at the core of all of an institution’s products and services. For many smaller financial institutions, it’s what they do best. Luckily, a number of recent and developing marketing trends, like voice search optimization and targeted customer service surveys, actually play directly into that. Here’s a look at some of those trends and how financial institutions can put them to use.

1. Personalization

We’ve spoken before about the major financial industry shift towards personalization. Essentially, this is where financial institutions can learn from the personalized marketing messages, products, and services delivered by the internet. 

Banking customers have come to expect their chosen companies to cater specifically to them and make them feel like more than just a number. The key to cultivating this type of customer experience is to provide only the most relevant content, and at the right times. 

Chances are good that you’re already working to personalize the banking experience at your financial institution—but, thanks to the internet and evolving digital technologies, there are always new ways to reach out. Further personalizing the customer experience could involve a number of tasks, from revamping your email communications to utilizing customer data to identify sales opportunities.

2. Mobile Marketing

What better way is there to reach your mobile banking customers than through the very devices they use to access your services? The percentage of mobile users out there is only increasing, and so is mobile advertising spend. In fact, in 2018, $1 out of every $8 spent on digital advertising went to marketing for financial services. 

If you have the data, take a look at some different segments of your mobile banking customers. You might sort them by age, financial goals, or online activity. Determine where those customers are spending time, and where you might best reach them. That might be through social media advertising, running a Google Ads campaign, or even reaching out through your institution’s banking app.

3. Chatbots and Live Chat

If you’ve taken a peek at any of your competitors’ websites, you’ve probably encountered at least one chat popup. Chatbots are a helpful option for automating part of the customer service process, while live chat quickly connects a customer or potential customer with staff support. 

Both chatbots and live chat can be used to establish contact with and gather information on a new customer, as well as provide a smooth customer experience for someone trying to navigate your banking services or address an outstanding issue. Before instituting either of these options, make sure that your website or app is informative, intuitive, and easy to navigate in order to cut down on the number of simple questions a customer might bring to a chat feature.

4. Smarter Customer Feedback Collection

With more banking customers taking to the internet to leave reviews and financial institutions introducing new touchpoints and service channels, customer feedback has never been more important. Luckily, there are a variety of options for measuring customer voice, from automated phone surveys to in-app invitations and emailed mobile surveys. 

Using a variety of methods to collect feedback will allow you to get an overview of all of your customer segments, from the online-only customers to the traditional ones who still visit a branch for every transaction. Just be sure that your survey questions leave plenty of room for open-ended responses, as these tend to generate some of the most insightful, actionable feedback.

5. Local Search Engine Optimization

Search engines use finely-tuned algorithms to deliver the most helpful results to internet users. Local businesses across the country are taking advantage of highly relevant search phrases and Google My Business listings in order to get in front of potential customers. People who are looking for nearby banks will often look at reviews left on Google My Business, which sits next to the maps on a search results page.

Do some online searching to see which financial institutions are ranking for “credit union near me” or “closest bank” and other relevant phrases in your area—then figure out how you can update your website or other digital profiles to rank higher in those search results. You’ll have to think like a customer here, understanding that users aren’t necessarily typing in the appropriate terms or correct banking phrases. Often, simple changes, like claiming your Google My Business listing or filling in your hours of operation, are enough to impact your ranking.

Lead Your Financial Institution Into 2020 With Avannis

We’re seeing a lot of change in the banking industry, both in technology and service channels. At Avannis, we’re dedicated to keeping you updated on changes in the financial marketing and customer experience landscapes, and we’ll work to help you use those changes to your advantage. 

We’ve been helping financial institutions both large and small streamline the customer experience and boost loyalty for decades. Contact us today to learn more about how you can leverage survey results and other customer listening tools to bolster your customer service efforts.