Ad spending in the financial industry is growing at a rate of almost 10% annually. The financial and insurance industry is the second-biggest spender, only overtaken by retail/eCommerce. But financial service providers are moving on thin ice. When it comes to customer acquisition and personalization in these sectors, there are some common traps marketers can easily fall into.
Building trust to grow customer relationships is essential to stand out against competitors and fast-growing FinTech firms. CX gone wrong leads to very abrupt abandonment. After all, you’re dealing with the most delicate topic of all – personal finances.
The most important influencer for finance customers is trust, which is why businesses need to set relevant KPIs that help measure their trustworthiness and engagement through the CX experience they provide (drop-offs, time spent on page, conversions, and more). CX is already trumping cost when it comes to choosing vendors – and yet, 94% of financial service providers fail at implementing personalized customer experiences!
Your customer experience needs to be highly personalized from the get-go to meet expectations. Consumers are cautious with their financial data and need to develop a special level of trust with your brand to be able to convert. But at the same time, offers need to be personalized to match every individual needs and requirements.
How can this be achieved? This blog looks at two scenarios with tactics that lead to better customer experiences with the right tools: one for customer acquisition and one for existing customers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Before Anything, Data Privacy Comes First
Western culture is not one that easily talks about finances – it can even feel like you’re being stripped of your clothes. And really, who likes to do business in their underwear? All tips included in this blog only work on a base of rigorous, transparent, and visible data protection.
Consumers today are cautious with their data and how it’s used, particularly after the rise in fraud during the pandemic and the latest changes in GDPR. The first step to winning and retaining customers is making them feel protected. This feeling of safety is a recurring theme throughout the customer journey, leading consumers from the first touchpoint to becoming loyal customers.
We recommend watching out for those traps regarding data protection while improving the customer experience:
Website/app/marketing communication setup needs to be GDPR-compliant
Preference center must be found easily and is self-explanatory
While tracking customer behavior post-login, make sure all confidential information is anonymized
When personalizing offers, don’t refer to confidential information – an individual offer that includes those will be off-putting
Once those baselines are set, you’re good to go to create exceptional customer experiences for your financial service!
Scenario 1: Customer Acquisition CX
Building Your Online Presence
The cost of a new lead in the financial industry is high – estimated at around 160 $. Consumers are constantly doing their research on your brand across different channels, many times. It’s essential to appear where your audience are using:
Google Ads: Appear in front of relevant target audiences faster, but PPC ads can become costly – especially with tight ad budgets. The indecisiveness of consumers always clicking on your ad to check your business out again but not converting can bring in a poor ROAS.
SEO & Reviews: Investing in SEO helps you save on ad spending and can help build your online presence. But it takes time to rank in relevant SERPs. Help give your consumers some confidence in their searches, by building your social proof through review websites and testimonials. This helps shorten the time spent researching your brand, builds trust, and narrows their comparisons.
TIP: Combining all these methods on offsite channels can help your messaging become consistent and brand appear more trustworthy.
Initial search most often occurs spontaneously and on phones. Mobile searches for financial services have been growing at a rate of 70% over two years. It’s fundamental to have mobile-optimized websites, landing pages, and offers to catch and maintain the attention of prospects and provide positive customer experiences from the first interaction.
When it comes to finance services, many people want to make sure the offers they come across online are valid, which is why calling customer service is a vital element on the path to conversion. Browsing via mobile also lowers the friction/barrier to getting consumers to dial up your phone number.
TIP: Make sure your contact CTAs are visible and easily clickable. Prospects expect to speak to the financial institution directly, not a call center of some sort. This human element creates trust in the brand.
Convince With your Service, Not Your Name
First impressions count. During your consumer’s initial research, most don’t have a specific brand in mind, creating a unique opportunity for financial service providers to help those contacts convert – with the help of outstanding customer experiences. Be sure to be active and responsive across all channels and offer quick support for new clients via phone, live-chat, WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. This omnipresence also helps humanize the customer experience.
TIP: Using your Customer Data Platform (CDP), you can set up live triggers for critical moments in the customer journey, such as uncompleted forms. A chat window or info box popping up can make all the difference. Have a look at +100 “Improve your Marketing” tips here.
Scenario 2: Personalization for Customers
Personalized Post-login Content
Are you tracking customer data post-login? This is something many financial service providers struggle with. But as the data is fully anonymized, it’s completely GDPR-compliant to do so – even if it feels like you’re roaming around in a sensitive area. It opens the door to a new range of customer experience improvements.
Customers these days rarely see a physical bank from the inside, let alone sit down and discuss financial options with a real person. So what options are there to distribute personalized offers? Activating your consolidated Zero- and First-Party Data that’s GDPR-compliant makes it possible to nail that personalized offer – fully automated, of course.
When actively looking at insights and listening to customer feedback, financial services will be quick to develop products that are meeting customer expectations perfectly and are most likely leading to boosted sales. It also shows your customers that you are committed to catering to their needs, which translates to increased loyalty and higher customer retention.
TIP: In most industries, the base for data-driven decision-making is “the more data, the better”. Does that also account for banking? Which data should really be tracked post-login? Markus Nagel, Director Consulting at Mapp, is advocating a different approach that better suits strict data regulations and cautions customers: “We should move away from the concept of collecting all data possible. It’s better to work more intensively with less data. Visitors should be informed openly and transparently about data collection. If the analytics operator then knows his most important parameters, they can be measured more precisely. This is how you reach high data quality. “
App sign-ups in banking spiked when the pandemic hit, and there’s no going back. Customers expect the full banking capabilities from the app, and then some. While this first sounds like a load of work for engineering, it provides a unique opportunity. As banking apps require a login, nailing personalization is rather easy. All you need to do is track every single click, interaction, and how users navigate the app to get insights into customer behavior. This enables CX improvements on a big scale as well as hyper-personalized communication to boost sales and improve retention. Looking back to the high acquisition cost for the industry, this is where cost-saving opportunities are hidden.
TIP: As the first step, setting up an NPS gives you a good idea of your app’s status quo.
Digitizing Mandatory Communication
Sending physical (mandatory) mail to customers costs both time and resources – while having a negative impact on the environment. Try and move your customers towards a self-service approach with the help of a digital inbox by setting up a post-login pop-up to opt into digital communication. It makes it easier for you to distribute mandatory communication (e.g. updates to terms & conditions) and for them to keep track of the communication. A positive side-effect is improved security – the risk of digital mail getting lost in the mail is rather low.
Insight-Led Personalization with Mapp
According to UK Finance, “Hyper-perzonalisation can be defined as using real-time data to generate insights by using behavioral science and data science to deliver services, products, and pricing that are context-specific and relevant to customers“. Personalized content elements provide a valuable alternative to face-to-face customer service, which is hardly to be found (or expected from financial services) post-pandemic.
Mapp regularly helps banks succeed at onsite personalization in real-time to improve the customer experience.
“To me and for the KfW, Mapp Intelligence is currently the best product on the market,” Andre Bickert, Manager OCc2 IT-Einkauf, Zentrales Beschaffungsmanagement
Our insight-led CX platform helps turn data to insights to action through real-time, comprehensive customer profiles that fuel cross-channel engagement. Financial marketers can draw actionable insights from unified data, insightful dashboards, and AI-generated customer intelligence to establish a sustainable competitive advantage and help grow long-term customer loyalty.
Financial Use Case
In 2021, a top financial service provider for post-based services and simple, affordable banking products set out on the CX improvement journey with Mapp Cloud. The objective was to establish automated personalized communication as a core revenue driver and to shorten the lead conversion cycle, first in Germany, then in other regions.
By using Mapp Cloud, they could conduct A/B tests for regions, clearly defining KPIs and measurement methods helped define the framework. Once the target groups were outlined, all was set for persona modeling. The bank aimed for a hybrid cross-channel model that combined online and offline (online, mobile, email channel, and physical mailbox). A total of six product categories were identified, with up to 132 matching content master assets. Standard images and nearly identical text were implemented across all channels. This also helped streamline the internal channel-specific approval processes.
The result? The sales team saw a significant increase in lead quality and time efficiency while scouting for new leads. The project also helped streamline internal decision-making processes, helping to unify the team.
The Finance Finale: Hyper-Personalization Builds Trust & Drives Engagement
Meeting customer expectations in the banking industry with hyper-personalization in real-time along the whole customer journey is not a “can”; it’s a “must”. From a blog post to the home page, customers want to see relevant content that adds value to their CX.
Once you think you’ve nailed your data privacy and CDP setup, it’s time to go back and reconsider your capabilities. Can you provide outstanding customer experiences based on constant A/B testing, content optimization, an optimized onboarding flow across channels, regularly updated FAQs, and adjustments to changing customer expectations? With the right tools, it’s easy. Mapp Cloud makes it easy for you to automate the improvement flow and to create outstanding, sustainable CX, using:
Real time customer dashboards
Intuitive, automated customer journey builder
Product recommendation engine
Want to learn more Finance CX tactics from our experts? Watch our webinar with Trustpilot to learn more!
This article was first published by Mapp. Permission to use has been granted by the publisher.