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4 Top Insight Approaches Financial Services Companies Can Use to Strengthen Customer Centricity

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by Lisa London

Vice President

By putting forth the effort to better understand the habits, tendencies, and value of your customers, you can build a better, stronger, more profitable company.
~ Peter Fader, Professor of Marketing, Wharton University

The financial sector has been working hard to improve the customer journey and inspire customers with more engaging content and personalized services as new players, innovations and technologies are transforming customer needs and expectations. The winning players will be those who shift the corporate culture to embrace truly customer-centric ways of thinking.

A customer-centric mentality will help Financial Services companies capitalize on three key Financial Services trends we see as critical in 2023:

  • Customization – align with customer goals and needs.
  • Personalization – provide seamless omni-channel experiences.
  • Education – guide customer to fulfill their financial needs.

The more you engage with customers, the easier it is to determine what customers actually want, when and how they want it, and what they’re willing to give you in exchange. By leveraging customer-first insights approaches, you can find products for your customers, rather than seeking customers for your products.”

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Strengthen your approach by gaining additional insight on your customers.

Here are a few ways that insights can help you keep the customer at the heart of all key decisions in the new year by uncovering the needs, emotions, and motivations that will allow you to deliver a customer-first experience:

1. Take a genuine interest in identifying and solving problems that are most critical to financial services customers today. The winners will always be those companies that understand their core targets best and innovate to solve problems for these customers. Using the JTBD (Jobs to Be Done) framework creates clear pathways for growth and uncovers strategies for delivering additional value to customers.

2. Improve relevancy of your quantitative research by starting with qualitative: Conducting an online bulletin board, mini-groups or IDIs upfront ensures the quantitative survey is relevant from the customer POV, not just reflective of business objectives. Video clips and audio recordings, can help companies embrace “customer-thinking.”

3. Ensure your strategy speaks to customer Needs through iterative, co-creation techniques. This involves presenting concepts to customers to gather emotional, intellectual, and visceral reactions, likes/dislikes, degree of interest, what compels interest, relevancy, etc. After an initial discussion with customers there is a structured work session where a core team refines the concept(s) to better align with customer feedback. This process repeats itself 2–4 times, allowing you to evolve concepts quickly (within days) and optimize the message/product/service around customer preferences.

4. Reveal underlying patterns in decision-making through advanced analytics: Advanced analytic approaches such as clustering and driver analyses can reveal the interplay between motivators and preferences to help you understand customer journey pathways (reasons for key decisions and behaviors) and prioritize opportunities for optimizing ROI. The outcome can be used to drive content and creative direction or prioritize marketing spend. Customer needs and business objectives are both met. A win-win.

Customer-first insights lead to broader growth.

The more you engage with customers, the easier it is to determine what customers actually want, when and how they want it, and what they’re willing to give you in exchange. By leveraging customer-first insights approaches, like those outlined above, you can find products for your customers, rather than seeking customers for your products.

The companies that win at customization, personalization, and education will be those that have developed a truly deep understanding of their customers and are able to satisfy their wants and needs in a manner that meets, if not exceeds, expectations in all critical areas, including product selection and availability, interaction experience, service quality, channel accessibility, and communications.

Want more information on the approaches outlined above, as well as other ways of achieving customer centricity through insights?

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