Financial services companies face the challenge of not only providing efficient and secure financial solutions but also creating meaningful customer connections and experiences across multiple channels. As consumers increasingly demand seamless interactions and personalized services, it has become imperative for financial institutions to adapt and excel in an omni-channel environment. Financial service providers are tasked with considering how to maximize customer connections across all touchpoints, including online banking/investment management, mobile apps, branches and ATMs, social media, and more.
In our last blog post, SVP Glenn Staada talked about the importance of personalization in driving meaningful connections and differentiation in an industry with often homogenous pricing and products. In this post, we will explore other ways financial services brands can drive deeper consumer connections, based on recent financial services consumer trends.
1. Ensure a Seamless Omni-Channel Experience:
Being easy to work with is a critical benefit consumers seek from financial service providers. This includes experiences across all channels, which requires true integration. For example, a customer can begin a transaction over the phone, and continue it online without any disruptions. Providers must have a process in place that ensures this type of smooth and consistent experience.
Research tip: Customer Experience tracking is vital to understand which touchpoints are working (or not working) for customers. User Experience research can help ensure apps and digital platforms are seamless, which increasingly table stakes, especially for younger consumers.
2. Build Brand Trust via Consistency:
Given the turbulence in the financial services sector over the past year, consumers’ trust in providers that manage their money is more important than ever. A consistent brand image and messaging anchored in trust can help build this sentiment among consumers.
Research tip: Monitor how well your brand delivers on “trust” via a brand tracking program. Use qualitative research to dive deeper into what brand trust really means to consumers and how your brand can demonstrate/prove trust in an increasingly digital world.
3. Be Responsive with Communication and Support:
In a digital world, customers expect round-the-clock support. While a pure digital support and communication strategy may be sufficient most of the time, consumers find it critical to be able to speak to a real human in the instances when they need one. Customer service can be a key differentiator.
Research tip: Conjoint and optimization work can help brands understand the right level of communication/service necessary based on offers, products, or services used.
4. Connect via Educational Content:
Empower your customers by offering educational content. Create blog posts, webinars, videos, or infographics that explain financial concepts, provide tips for saving, investing, or budgeting, and keep customers informed about industry trends. This not only adds value but also positions your company as a trusted source of financial knowledge.
Research tip: Leverage quantitative research to identify key topics, formats, and delivery channels to maximize the impact of your content.
5. Use Creative Tactics to Engage Young Consumers Early:
Targeting younger consumers with unique experiences and benefits gives financial providers the opportunity to build long-term relationships from the ground up and drive consolidation over time. Keep these customers engaged with education.
Research tip: Research that targets driving engagement with younger consumers, such as Real-Time Concept Optimization or Influencer Workshops, can be helpful to understand what will break through and drive trial with Gen Z and Millennials.
As consumers increasingly demand seamless interactions and personalized services, it has become imperative for financial institutions to adapt and excel in an omni-channel environment.”
While today’s omni-channel environment does introduce more complexity for financial services companies to grapple with, it also presents more opportunities to build stronger and more meaningful connections with their customers. By integrating channels seamlessly, building brand trust, and being easy to work with, financial institutions can meet the evolving expectations of their clients. Ready to embrace these strategies to improve customer experiences and position your institution for long-term success in the digital age?