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How Do Best-In-Class Banks Personalize the Banking Experience?

November 1st, 2019

Whether or not banking customers realize it, they’re exposed to personalized messaging in almost every aspect of their lives. This includes email newsletters that address them by name, social media accounts suggested to them because of pictures they’ve “liked,” and even the ads that play before shows they’ve chosen to watch on streaming services. It stands to reason that they’d expect to see this same level of personalization in their bank or credit union.

We’re taking a look at the ongoing trend of personalization and how it’s affecting the banking industry. Additionally, we’ve pulled together some best practices for financial institutions hoping to capitalize on the trend by making their own customer service strategies more tailored to the individual.  

What Is “Personalization” in Terms of Banking Solutions?

Changing Customer Expectations

We have the digital realm to thank for the growing prevalence of personalized marketing messages. Customers have been interacting with search engines and services that know what they want for so long that they are beginning to expect every company they do business with to know them just as well. That means they want businesses to learn who they are and offer relevant services at the appropriate times—just like the algorithms behind search engines are able to do.

A Shift in the Banking Industry

As technology continues to advance, we’re also seeing an industry-wide shift towards complete personalization of the banking experience. A simple, no-frills banking experience is undoubtedly attractive to certain customers, but just meeting basic banking needs isn’t enough for the majority of your customer base. Unfortunately, ignoring the growing influence of consumer culture could lead customers to abandon your financial institution in favor of a bank, credit union, or completely online banking solutions that better cater to their interests and offer relevant opportunities.

In light of this evolving trend, most financial institutions have come to the conclusion that they need to adapt their financial services. But how, exactly, can you go about personalizing the banking experience without disrupting your current service or marketing hierarchy? We recommend learning from what best-in-class banks are already doing.

How to Incorporate Personalization Into the Customer Experience

In a sea of marketing messages and advertisements, personalization—even something as simple as adding the customer’s name at the top of a message—can make all the difference. Here are some pointers for personalizing the customer journey at your financial institution.

Create an Omnichannel Customer Journey

Personalization ties right in with an omnichannel customer journey. Evaluate the various customer journeys that make up your customers’ banking experiences. Do they have the ability to interact with your financial institution in multiple ways? Each of those interactions, whether online or in-person, offers a chance to exceed expectations and further engage the customer. Make sure that you and your staff are capitalizing on these opportunities by appealing to each customer’s needs and desire to feel like more than just a number to your bank or credit union.

Utilize Customer Service Surveys and Other Data to Deliver the Right Opportunities

Personalization doesn’t necessarily mean creating a unique customer journey for each of your customers—in fact, this would take quite a bit more manpower than any financial institution has available! Instead, you can use customer segmentation to identify key similarities amongst your customers, then create materials, messages, or services catering to those specific subsets. This could mean a weekly email that goes out to younger banking customers preparing to buy their first house, or a cleverly designed app that can pick up the loan application process where a customer left off online. Survey data can also provide valuable insights that can help staff members personalize the experience for customers by identifying and responding to sales opportunities.

Respect Privacy Concerns

Trustworthiness is one of the most critical factors in attracting and retaining banking customers. Your customers are entrusting your institution with their sensitive financial information, so it’s important that they know their data is safe—and that whatever steps your bank or credit union takes to personalize the banking process doesn’t violate their privacy. It’s somewhat of an oxymoron that customers want you to know them without knowing too much, but it’s a line you’ll have to walk carefully. As you pivot the customer experience towards a more personalized journey, be sure that your usage of customer data is clearly outlined in a privacy policy.

Anticipate Upcoming Needs With Customer Service Surveys

Whether your financial institution is on the leading edge of the personalization trend or is still working out ways to tailor strategies towards specific customer segments, Avannis can provide the tools and support you need to take your growth strategy to the next level. We’ve been helping banks and credit unions create better client experiences for over 20 years, and we’re eager to work with you to generate actionable insights into your customer base. Contact us today to get started, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates.