Monetizing a customer engagement framework
In order to thrive in a customer-centric marketplace, retail banks, card services companies and other financial institutions must develop stronger omnichannel customer engagement frameworks. How does your bank stack up?
Ecommerce and mobile applications have fundamentally transformed customers’ expectations of their retail banks, card services providers and wealth management firms. Today’s consumers and businesses expect 24X7 access to banking services, along with offerings tailored to meet their specific financial needs. These expectations, coupled with the emergence of web-based payment systems such as Paypal®, Google Wallet, iZettle® and Alipay® have begun to disrupt long-term financial services business models. According to Forrester Research, the balance of power has now shifted from the institution to the consumer in this ‘Age of the Customer’. In order to meet customer expectations and thrive in an increasingly competitive market, banks must more tightly weave themselves into the fabric of their customers’ financial lives, thereby developing the type of lifelong relationships that prove most profitable.
Toward that end, financial institutions are considering how to develop and deploy omnichannel customer engagement frameworks. These frameworks, designed around customer stated and implied needs. They rely on analytics, decisioning and fulfillment technologies to better connect customer views, improve customer service, and drive growth and retention efforts throughout the customer lifecycle. These technological solutions can help banks:
- Generate holistic views of customers and their interactions with the bank
- Better tailor offerings to meet customer needs. That enables banks to present those offerings via the customer’s preferred communications channel/s.
- More easily onboard customers and enroll them in banking sites.
- Speed time to value by helping banks quickly improve customer engagement.
Develop customer engagement frameworks in an omnichannel world
Omnichannel customer engagement models present banking institutions with both new opportunities and new challenges. Years ago, consumers had a bank branch and a checkbook. Today, banks and customers interact via an ever-increasing number of channels including: branches
- Call centers
- Direct mail
- Web pages
- Social media
- Electronic statements
- Mobile communications
- Mobile applications
- Debit cards.
These and emerging channels including branch-less virtual banks are prevalent in some emerging economies and have the potential to more tightly bind banks to their customers than ever before. As an example, banks can use mobile applications and Location Intelligence (technology that collates business data with geographic context) to provide offers to customers at a time and place when consumers are most likely to take advantage of them. Banks can also study past buying patterns to make better-informed decisions about customer needs, then tailor financial offerings to meet those needs.
However, the omnichannel customer engagement model can do as much to strain banking relationships as to solidify them. Too often, bank communications channels are siloed, meaning the social media infrastructure cannot communicate with the mobile infrastructure, which cannot communicate with the banking center infrastructure. Since each channel generates different customer information, the disconnect obscures customer views and inhibits the institution from communicating via the customer’s preferred channel and stymies intelligent decision making.
Banks can pose key questions at each step of the framework to better understand customer needs, improve customer engagement, and obtain desired business outcomes. As an example, consider the following scenario. A customer is upset about paying overdraft fees, and is ready to take her business elsewhere. The bank, meanwhile, is striving to reduce customer attrition and meet the associated churn-reduction targets. The bank can ask key questions to determine whether it should work to retain this client or if it is more profitable just to let this customer leave.
Questions should center on:
Data: Does the bank have the data needed to understand this customer’s status? Data to be examined may include:
- Resolved identity information.
- Transaction data.
- Call center exchanges.
- Sentiment measured via other communications channels.
- Associations with other customers.
For example, is this customer the child of a high-net-worth client who may leave the bank after his or her child does?
Projected lifetime value: What is the customer’s projected lifetime value to the bank?
Customer experience improvement: What does the customer experience need to be across all touch points to encourage the customer to remain with the bank?
Measurement: What data will the bank use to measure?
In order to thrive in a customer-centric marketplace, retail banks, card services companies and other financial institutions must develop stronger omnichannel customer engagement frameworks. Only then can banks gain comprehensive customer views, more closely tailor their offerings to customer needs and communicate those offers via the customer’s preferred communications channel.
The examples in this excerpt are representative of the many success stories we can share. To learn more about how Pitney Bowes can help your organization or department become one of them, read the full white paper now.
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