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Macro Trends in Financial Services: Unprompted Customer Engagement Drives Value Perceptions

Glenn Staada, Radius Insights, Radius Global Market Research 2021/10/glenn-staada-bio.jpg

by Glenn Staada

Senior Vice President

As competition increases, businesses need to find meaningful ways to differentiate and enhance perceptions of value for the money. While competitive pricing and product quality remain crucial factors, proactive customer engagement has emerged as a powerful strategy to deliver deeper value and thus drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Radius Financial has seen this concept of unprompted customer engagement as a value driver emerge as a Macro Trend across work, we have conducted over the past 18 months within the financial services space, including retail banking, business banking, insurance, fintech, investment banking, and financial advisory services.

There are a number of ways proactive customer engagement can redefine value perceptions and contribute to business growth. Brands that successfully leverage this strategy have a clear understanding of what their customers value and take a holistic approach to building action plans that are focused on long-term growth.

How do customers define value in Financial Services today?

Before delving into proactive customer engagement strategies, it is critical to understand how customers define value. On the surface, most retail and B2B financial services customers link value to the quality of the tangible products and services they receive for the money they pay — often linked to interest rates, fees, and annual membership/subscription pricing.

However, when we dive more deeply under the surface, we find consumers/clients increasingly saying that value transcends the monetary aspect and encompasses the entirety of their interaction with a brand. Holistically, this includes a symbiotic relationship that delivers seamless experiences and outcomes that enrich the customer’s life or the business’ trajectory. Essentially, proactive outreach that meets customers where they are, with precisely what they need, provides value that many Financial Services firms are perceived to currently not offer.


When we dive more deeply under the surface, we find consumers increasingly saying that value transcends the monetary aspect and encompasses the entirety of their interaction with a brand.”


Why delivering on holistic value is important.

Within financial services, our macro analysis indicates that holistic value via proactive engagement is an important trend for several reasons:

  • Creates Competitive Advantage:
    In Financial Services, where products and services are highly regulated and commoditized, differentiation through holistic value propositions becomes essential. Firms with a comprehensive value offering, including quality, service, proactive engagement, and emotional connection, stand out among competitors.
  • Drives Customer Satisfaction and Long-Term Relationships:
    Holistic value addresses the diverse needs and preferences of customers. When customers believe they are receiving value beyond just the product or service itself, they are more likely to develop a sticky relationship and remain loyal. These long-term relationships are more resilient to competitive pressures and environmental changes.
  • Encourages Less Price Sensitivity:
    When customers perceive significant value in the overall engagement with a brand, they become less sensitive to price fluctuations. Customers are more willing to pay a premium when the sum of what they receive meets or exceeds expectations across a wide range of functional and emotional needs.


Couple using their laptop and going through finances and paperwork at home

By anticipating and addressing customer needs proactively, businesses can cultivate stronger relationships, enhance customer satisfaction, and cultivate long term loyalty.”


Unprompted customer engagement strategies that enhance customer perceptions.

Proactive customer engagement involves anticipating customer needs and preferences and taking steps to address them before customers specifically ask. This approach not only promotes stronger relationships but also enhances perceptions of value for money. Here are five types of initiative-taking engagement strategies that have proven effective:

  1. Personalized Recommendations and Offers:
    By leveraging data analytics and customer insights, businesses can anticipate individual preferences and tailor product recommendations and offers accordingly. Whether through targeted email campaigns or personalized recommendations on e-commerce platforms, proactive outreach demonstrates a commitment to understanding and catering to each customer’s unique needs.
  2. Proactive Customer Support:
    Timely and unprompted customer support can significantly enhance value perceptions. Implementing live chat support, chatbots, and proactive follow-ups after purchase can address potential issues before they escalate, thus improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. Proactive support also provides opportunities to gather feedback and continually refine products and services based on customer insights.
  3. Educational Content and Resources:
    Providing customers with valuable educational content demonstrates a commitment to their financial success. Whether through blog posts, tutorials, or webinars, businesses can empower customers to maximize the value of their Financial Services brand relationships, thereby strengthening loyalty and advocacy.
  4. Loyalty Programs and Rewards:
    Proactive engagement can also take the form of loyalty programs and rewards that recognize and incentivize customer loyalty. By offering exclusive benefits, rate and/or fee discounts, and rewards based on past purchase behavior, financial firms foster a sense of appreciation and belonging among customers.
  5. Product Updates and Enhancements:
    Keeping customers informed about product updates, enhancements, and new features demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation. Proactive communication regarding upcoming changes allows customers to stay informed and provides opportunities for feedback and input, fostering a sense of partnership and co-creation.

Proactive customer engagement has emerged as a critical differentiator for Financial Services brands seeking to drive perceptions of value for money. By anticipating and addressing customer needs proactively, businesses can cultivate stronger relationships, enhance customer satisfaction, and cultivate long term loyalty.


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