Digital transformation has been happening at retail banks for several years. Customers now expect to be able to research financial products, services and resources in the same way they buy products on their favorite shopping sites. As a result, the customer journey has changed radically and banks need to adjust their sales, marketing, and support strategies to fuel organic growth.
The Customer Journey Now Begins Online
The customer journey is no longer linear. Customers are using web sites, online articles, and social media to learn about products and services. Sometimes customers just go directly to the branch or will call customer service to gather information.
With multiple touch points, there is more complexity and a better chance of customers becoming dissatisfied and leaving the journey. There is usually no single experience that will lead to dissatisfaction but the cumulative experiences across multiple touch points and in multiple channels over time will ultimately define the customer experience.
Banks will have to learn to manage the full end-to-end journey as one continuous experience.
Managing the Entire Journey
The underlying causes of a poor customer experience almost always stems from cross-functional disconnects. Aligning organizations is a big undertaking and takes time however there are ways to begin the process quickly using digital tools.
The key is to provide a consistent experience across all phases of the customer buying process and to engage in an online or a person-to-person dialogue as early as possible.
In the first stage, the awareness stage of the journey, prospects are introduced to the bank and its services. At this point, they may or may not realize they even have a need for products or services. But awareness means something new and more multi-dimensional as consumers are talking to friends, using search engines, social media, and are reading web sites and blog posts. They are using smart phones, tablets, and laptops to gather information. It is important that banks connect with them on as many platforms as possible and begin to draw them in to the next stage – the consideration stage.
How does Ignite help? Ignite’s digital tools are responsive and work on all platforms.
The second stage in the journey is the consideration stage. This is when prospects understand they have a need for financial products and are trying to decide which products and services they need and who they should do business with. But “consideration” has changed as well, especially with the introduction of so many non-traditional bank competitors. This is when banks needs to begin personalizing the journey. The only way you can truly create a personalized experience is to understand what their financial needs are at that moment. Sometimes customers will come directly to the branch or make a call to the bank’s 800 number. But it is increasingly more common that they will conduct the next stage of research online – in “self-service” mode. Banks need to capture the prospect’s needs information to begin the personalized experience. Once you have that baseline information, the experience can be easily personalized and carried from stage-to-stage throughout the rest of the journey.
Ignite’s Recommendation Guide conducts an initial needs assessment by asking a short series of questions to understand the prospect’s current financial situation. This can be done online, in “self-service” mode by the prospect or be filled in by a bank representative in the branch, video conference, or on the phone. Once this information is captured, it serves as the basis of the personalized experience.
During the Point-of-Sale stage, prospects will need to interact directly with a bank representative for any products beyond the opening the most basic savings and checking accounts. This is when the bank matches products with the customer’s needs and eligibility and clearly communicates why these products will meet their needs.
Ignite’s Recommendation Guides uses the collected information, to return recommended product bundles that meet the specific needs of the customer in real-time.
Once the customer has opened an account, they enter the Upsell/Cross Sell stage where the bank has the opportunity to sell more products. 84% of prospects, both consumer and business, are eligible for bank’s most profitable products and on average prospects qualify for 5.5 qualified products. However, the average branch only opens 1.2 products per customer. Using the information collected during the needs assessment, bank representatives have the opportunity to sell 3-4 new products.
Ignite can show banks what was sold and what could have been sold based on the customer’s eligibility, potential profit, and the resulting gap per product.
Post-sales, banks can continue to fuel growth by creating personalized marketing campaigns to customers using the information gathered through the needs assessment as well as the resulting recommendations.
By creating an ongoing, personalized, and continuous end-to-end customer experience, banks will form long term relationships with their customers and will grow organically.