The financial industry’s next best action? An effective CRM strategy

Did you know that the 61% of financial services companies around the world is not building engaging experiences for their customers? And that’s not a small thing in this world. Technological developments are transforming the financial industry, but which is the clear driver and catalyst of this change? Well, a new type of customer journey that aims at improving the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy, working on the different touch points of the costumer with the brand and enhancing the client experience, both physical and digital.

This means that within every advertising message, the client -and not the product- takes the stage. Within this modern strategy, the customer should become your primary focus and along with him his needs and expectations. In this respect, it is essential to guarantee consumers a high-level customer experience, since individual satisfaction will be reflected in the perception the client has of the brand itself. Easy? Well, we are not talking about calling the customer by his given name or having a CRM software and a data analyst in your marketing department, nowadays, you really need more than that.


Which mistakes have been made within the financial world in the construction of the current customer journey

Currently, in the financial world the customer’s journey is marked by several complications: complex and confused paths; repetitive and redundant steps that make the customer’s journey frustrating; a limited ability to monitor and track clients’ requests and needs. In addition, we also need to consider a poor and outdated ability to analyse data; individual Key Performance Indicators that are not in line with the expectations and needs of the end customer and finally a weak service quality at each point of contact that is usually lost due to delays in inter-departmental communications.

It’s time to meet your customers desires

So, what financial players need to do if they want to retain and attract customers? They must find a way to keep up with their profit expectations by offering a selling experience similar or superior to their tech rivals. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that people don’t just want a “mortgage”, a “savings account” or an “investment portfolio”. People want to get a home, make profits from their savings andeasily share the bill with their friends after a meal out. Let the cat out of the bag: people want to meet a need, bite the bullet.A modern Customer Experience strategy is the key competitive advantage. In fact, a connected costumer journey entails:

Which communication strategies should be put in place?

A study, published by Springer, found that “companies within the financial sector need to allocate more resources to relationship marketing in order to maximize profits in terms of customer loyalty and effective service delivery. In other words, they need to implement a new marketing strategy, the so-called relationship marketing, which involves a variety of tools to foster a deeper, longer-term relationship with current and future customers.Customized interactions that build stronger relationships. In short, a real CRM strategy that aims to retain customers, reduce costs and significantly increase revenues. Let’s discover the most important steps of an effective CRM strategy:

1. Know your customers

t may seem obvious to you, but really knowing your customers it’s not easy as it seems: in order to effectively involve users, every company needs to have professionals who can read and interpret the data in their possession (which are in abundance). No, it’s not enough to have a CRM software or an excel sheet. Today we need much more. For example, we need AI algorithms that analyse and process data, recognize one’s peculiarities, “learn” from the examination, while obtaining value from that. Predictive analysis, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can thus be combined to provide financial organizations with new levels of knowledge characterized by greater predictiveness, precision and timeliness than in the past.


2. Identify what really matters for the customer and the company

As we have already mentioned, the ability to customize communication is critical to the creation of an effective marketing strategy. Consumers want to have individual experiences compared to an experience that is shared by others. Basically, consumers are attracted to personalized experiences because they make them feel special and unique.

In addition, customization gives the impression that people individually count for their bank and the credit unions that serve them. The customer must therefore be at the centre of attention and with him his needs and requirements: what is more relevant than something that directly affects us and meets our needs? Furthermore, we have product quality, services and price. How can companies determine which of these factors is most critical for the customer segments they serve? Which are the factors that generate the highest economic value? Customizing and again customizing, every marketing professional should repeat these words like a mantra.

Analytical tools and large data sources can help organizations to analyse the core factors that drive what customers say satisfies them, their actual behaviour and, consequently, which of these behaviours creates profits


3. Apply behavioural psychology to interactions

How can a person follow a certain path online? Why has a user been influenced by a particular communication message and not by another? This is behavioural psychology, i.e. being able to understand how and which particular external stimulus triggers certain responses, i.e. behaviours. Behavioural psychology is one of the main tools that present day marketers use to segment their clients’ experience, identifying how external factors combine with different personality traits, mentalities, expectations and preferences, in order to influence their decision to buy (or not) determined products: “once organizations understand how their customers will behave in a given situation, they can develop personalized experiences that will delight customers and drive sales effectively”. (Margalit, Clicktale).


4. Content is the king

Despite modern tech innovations, an old rule is nonetheless valid: “if you don’t communicate, you don’t exist”. The problem, however, as we have seen, is to be able to effectively communicate in today’s world. So which type of content do we need? A clear, direct and easily understandable content, but not only: content that speaks to the intrinsic need of each person, content that is based on the predictive analysis of data held by companies.

The key to satisfy customers, however, is not only to measure what is happening, but also to use data to guide the marketing action of the entire organization, especially in the creation of commercial messages. Today’s consumers compare their banking experiences not only with those of rival banks, but also with other services offered by the world’s most disruptive companies, including technology giants like Google and global online retailers like Amazon, who are leaders in consumer segmentation and data analysis. How can you compete with these tech giants? Well, just by driving the creation of a new communication path that more effectively adapts to the financial world that the one they can create being “outsiders”.


5. Learn from other industries

Speaking of learning from the big names, let’s give a little example: it’s 7:30 p.m., and you’re coming home back from work. While scrolling through the web you notice a beautiful banner of a guy running at night with a model of reflective shoes, model that immediately catches your attention, because, yes you like running and just one day before you were looking online for a pair of running shoes.

Then you click on the banner in question, which redirects you to the website of Adidas. You see those new shoes.But it’s not the time to buy, so you get out of the site. Two minutes later? You receive an email from Adidas: “thank you for visiting us, here’s a 5% discount coupon on your next purchase” you open the email, but you don’t click on it. You open Facebook, there is a sponsored ad from adidas again, but this time it suggests you also the outfit paired with those shoes. You’re in a bubble, a bubble you like. Does Adidas have phenomenal cosmic powers? No.

  • Adidas doesn’t have more data than a bank to set up its own marketing process. Adidas has way less information on users than a traditional financial actor could have. They barely know users’ emails.
  • Adidas does not have a better social brand position than many banks and insurance companies, which on the contrary solve problems and needs of people, have foundations, invest concretely in SMEs with high social impacts.
  • Adidas has maybe a sexier product, but this cannot be the only excuse, because even certain financial products can be sexy (see N26 or American Express).


The power of the right storytelling

How did Adidas manage to grab your attention so much? Well, they just designed the right storytelling to offer you, identifying the categories of night runners as a phenomenon that is increasingly common in big cities, then they profiled their users using their navigation and habits data (out at night, 4 nights out of 7 making 10km at a speed that is not usual for walking: your smartphone knows it and those data have been resold anonymously), and et voilà: the right message to the right person.

How does it work? Well, they started from your website visit from which their CRM took action: the CRM automatically generates a personalized email and a coupon associated to you, it also automatically sends you a personalized message on other platforms where they associate to the initial product potential new products that might interest you.The fashion, electronics and the automotive sector are some of the most virtuous industries that have now developed a modern CRM strategy. What is the financial world waiting for?


Virtual B solution

Virtual B has been working for years in the financial sector, with a close focus on data and data analysis. Our experience has led to numerous solutions that generate value and solve issues for financial and insurance intermediaries.

Virtual B’s digital unit is specialized in content and CRM strategy for the financial sector: creation and management of branded content strategies for digital presence or lead generation projects.

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