In the age of the empowered consumer – a consumer with more choices than ever before – people expect a seamless journey across all channels. According to Accenture, 81 percent of consumers want brands to understand them better – knowing when and how to market to them. It’s no longer enough to deliver the same one-size-fits-all campaign to everyone and expect results.
The message is clear: The company that prioritizes the customer, understands the customer and delivers a personalized experience is the company that wins.
However, too often we neglect our current customers in search of new ones. As the customer journey becomes increasingly complex, it’s far easier – and more lucrative – to expand existing relationships than start fresh each time you need to fill the pipeline.
Here are three ways banks and lenders can tap into their existing database to deepen relationships and keep those customers coming back for life.
1. Obsess Over the Customer
All aspects of your business should be focused on improving the customer experience and communicating with your customers on a regular basis. It’s no longer enough to contact your customers during milestone moments.
Instead, you must stay in constant communication and treat each interaction as an opportunity to make your brand stand out.
To truly grasp what the experience feels like, walk a mile in your customer’s shoes and test your marketing communications under different scenarios. Are you delivering the repeatable experience your customers have come to expect? Ensure you’re not sending out offers for products and services that the consumer might not want, need or even understand.
By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Furthermore, 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for better customer experience.
If you aren’t investing in your existing database – you’re missing out. Loyalty stems from treating customers like true partners – transforming first-time customers into customers for life.
2. Deepen Hyper-Personalization
To thrive in the era of Uber, Amazon and Netflix, banks and lenders must put the human touch back into stale, routine or complex transactions. The days of sitting down face-to-face with a banker or lender during pivotal life moments have come and gone and the personalized customer journey has evolved.
Whether you’re deploying an email campaign, sending a newsletter or posting on social media, it’s critical to ensure your message speaks to each of your customers on an individual level.
A Millennial isn’t going to respond to the same message as a retired couple. Salespeople must understand how and when their customers want to be communicated with and tailor marketing strategies to fit customers’ needs.
Ultimately, success is achieved by creating personalized experiences and delivering them in an authentic manner.
A recent study by Epsilon indicated 80 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with companies that offer a personalized experience. And, it’s safe to say that personalized, relevant messages not only enhance the customer’s experience, they yield a much higher ROI.
3. Leverage Technology to Elevate the Human Touch
Improving the customer journey requires a human touch. But don’t forget to enlist the help of technology to automate communications and communicate regularly to customers.
In today’s age of digital disruption, consumers are not just connected, but hyperconnected, with the average consumer owning over three devices. Customers are operating from multiple devices to search for the latest products and stay in touch with their favorite brands.
Your tech stack should empower you to make smarter decisions, automate your marketing processes and reach consumers from all angles.
Leveraging data with intelligence-driven automation will empower banks and lenders to deliver personalized marketing when it matters most.
When customers interact with empowered, aligned employees, they enjoy a consistent experience, which helps build their trust in an organization.
Technology will continue to advance and there are only going to be more challenges – and opportunities – to connect with consumers. Those that stay true to their brand and regularly engage with their customers will come out on top.
Never underestimate the importance of authenticity. Once you’ve gained the trust of the customer, loyalty emerges, and they become customers – for life.