Customer engagement describes the means used by a company to foster relationships with prospects and customers. By encouraging customers to interact with the company and share in the brand experiences you create, you’ll drive brand awareness and loyalty. Improving customer engagement is akin to improving your relationships with others, requiring time and effort. For banks and financial institutions, properly engaging your clients is a great way differentiate your brand. Here is a list of 4 ways to improve customer engagement, specific to the financial industry.
1. Identify Goals and Key Metrics
Goals are Common Among Banks
The first place is likely a familiar one. Banks are typically aware of what they’d like customers to do. These goals often change from quarter to quarter or month to month. An example is a big push to increase particular products or offerings, such as:
- The number of a specific account type (savings, checking)
These initiatives are very common among financial institutions, but you can’t track customer engagement effectively unless you have an idea of your “endgame.” However, you can’t track customer engagement simply by the number of people who open up a new checking account. You need other metrics.
Finding the Right Metrics
There are dozens of potential metrics associated with customer engagement. When used correctly — analyzing data can vastly improve engagement and retention. A short list of commonly tracked metrics includes:
- User Actions: Logging into a checking account, visiting a landing page or filling out a pre-approval application are examples of actions taken by users on your site (or app).
- Social Actions: These actions can also be derived from social media. Complaints, requests and mentions are common items tracked.
- Session Time: How long a potential user remains on a page can help you segment your audience.
- Example: If a current customer remains on a page explaining savings accounts. Said customer doesn’t currently have a savings account at your bank. This intel can be used to prompt the customer to open a savings account in a number of ways (ads, mailers).
- Net Promoter Score: A common metric for brands attempting to grow customer engagement to a point where customers advocate and mention your brand to their friends. Improving this score could also be a goal of improved customer engagement.
2. Speak with Your Customers
While the illustration of personal relationships breaks down at some point, building customer engagement and building friendships both take conversation. Getting answers to pertinent questions highlights desires and current feelings of your customers. Here are three things to consider before speaking with customers.
- Survey or Interviews: Sending a survey out to pertinent customers is a quick and efficient way to find out information. You may get more personal by interviewing them, but this takes time and effort.
- Listen, Don’t Talk: Sure, you’ll have questions and will want to steer the conversation in the right direction. However, one of the most powerful survey lines (or interview statements) is, “Can you tell us more about X?”
- Don’t Be Biased: Make sure you’re allowing interviewees to be transparent by asking things that may point out flaws. You may even want surveys to be anonymous as long as the range of customers all have certain metrics (age range, account type, etc.).
3. Map Everything Out
Think of your strategies as a map. If your goals are the place you would like to be, and speaking with your customers gives you a snapshot of where they currently are, there remains missing plot points on your map. These are your current processes. Everything you are currently doing to influence customers and prospects should be laid out in detail. This process is known as the buyer’s journey.
By putting together the buyer’s journey after you have refined your goals, taken a look at metrics and spoken with clients you’ll be able to spot shortcomings. When problems come to the surface, it becomes easier to come up with potential solutions.
4. Get Digital
Terms we’ve used in this article (i.e., segmentation, site metrics, and social media) highlight the shift to online and digital marketing. Monitoring everything your clients do online, in regards to your products and services, is nearly impossible to do manually. To keep up with the vast assortment of data, tools such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning are being implemented.
These tools can disseminate massive amounts of data in order to segment audiences and even initiate certain actions when your customers are most likely to respond. Using the power of A.I. and machine learning is perhaps the most powerful way to improve customer engagement by knowing what to say to your clients when they’re ready to hear it.
For banks and financial institutions, customer engagement is a must. As today’s consumers are faced with a multitude of choices, the competitive landscape is more challenging than ever – and fostering brand loyalty is key to success.