Customer Experience Improvements Need to Happen, FinServ Marketers
Financial services marketers are doing a disservice to their customers by paying more attention to the bottom line than the customer experience in their digital marketing.
That’s what Jim Marous, co-publisher of The Financial Brand and owner/publisher of the Digital Banking Report, writes on Monday in The Financial Brand. Summarizing recent research, he says:
“As the world grows increasingly digital, providing the 'humanized engagement' becomes ever more important. Digital consumers demand more today than speed and simplicity. They want to feel good about their interactions with technology, and this requires some element of the personal touch.”
He cites a report from Temkin that financial services marketers are appealing to consumers’ reason rather than their emotion. Emotions drive purchases, as marketers know from our stories like “40 Key Emotional Drivers.”
Still, there are some financial brands getting these efforts right.
- SunTrust’s onUp program is an effort to help consumers and customers gain financial confidence, which CMO Susan Johnson says the 4 million program participants tell them has grown in double-digit percentages. “We don’t profit from that, but it helps us build our relationships,” Johnson said on Sept. 28 at the Wharton Women's Summit in Philadelphia.
- John Hancock noticed its life insurance policyholders were enjoying the customer experience of its fitness tracker app. So at the end of September, the company required new policyholders to use the app and existing ones to adopt it. About 40% of customers now use “Vitality,” reports cbinsights.com on Sept. 25 in “Why Is John Hancock Selling Only Interactive Life Insurance?” The piece opines: “This seems to be more about driving higher levels of customer engagement with Vitality, and allowing the company to collect more data on what behaviors make people healthier. It’s less about winning more market share in the life insurance space.”
As for how other financial services marketers could improve customer experience in their digital marketing, The Financial Brand says of BAI research:
- Security biometrics, digital customer support, automated savings tools and real-time product recommendations are the top digital customer experience solutions being considered.
- Phone and branch-level customer service still outrank digital solutions in importance at banks and credit unions worldwide.
- The most important driver for digital technology investment is eliminating friction in the customer journey.
- The top two functionalities for chatbot/digital assistants are the ability to transfer money between accounts and the ability to provide basic account information. Advanced functionalities still lag in importance.
- Redesigning mobile and online apps have outpaced the use of real-time alerts, improving digital account opening and increasing the use of data for a personalized experience.
- The top barriers to implementing digital customer service solutions are time allocation, availability of talent/expertise and budget availability.
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: 40 Key Emotional Drivers