Because the consumer does the vast majority of their shopping for a new financial institution using digital channels, it is no longer adequate to wait until the customer or member walks into a branch or decides to purchase a new product online or via smartphone. Instead, banks and credit unions must engage customers at every stage of their purchase journey, not just because of the immediate opportunities to convert interest to sales, but because two-thirds of the decisions customers make are informed by the quality of their experiences all along their journey.
Digital channels are at the center of this transformation, no longer just representing a cheaper way to interact with customers, but also being critical for executing promotions, stimulating sales and increasing market share. In order to effectively remove friction along this journey, customer insights need to be leveraged. These insights go far beyond simple demographics, to include channel preferences, life-stage insights and even geo-locational information.
As we found in our report, Top 10 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2016, having access to data and the ability to process this insight is not enough. Consumers expect their primary financial institution to be able to provide real-time recommendations based on changes in their financial profile. This includes improving the ability to save money, achieve specific financial goals, increase financial knowledge, better budget spending, etc.
Aside from being transparent with customers, what other advice do you have for banks on data privacy?
As consumers increasingly engage digitally, providing personal transaction data, social data and geo-locational data using mobile and online channels, they are providing the banking industry massive insight for segmenting and targeting. For the most part, this is insight into consumer behavior that, prior to the internet, was nearly impossible to obtain. Today, banks and credit unions can understand the entire customer journey from early research to post-purchase, with the consumer digital footprint being one of the most valuable tools in personalizing marketing messages and content.
With this insight comes a “personalization privacy paradox,” as marketers try to find the sweet spot between individualized and invasive communications with consumers. While consumers know they are providing their financial institution with unprecedented amounts of insight into their behavior, attitudes and sentiment, they want to have the option to limit this access, and want their financial partner(s) to provide personalized solutions in return. The consumer also wants to be part of the data validation process, and to be involved in how the data will be used.
There is a lot of very interesting data in this research from both banks and consumers. In your opinion, what were the some of the most important statistics and surprising findings?