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6 customer relationship tips during the crisis

Recently we were Finextra’s guest for a webinar on 'Big Data: Empowering banks to drive customer-centricity'. We shared insights on how we see the banking industry changing due to several causes. An overview.

You and the customer, you’re not exclusive. Yikes.

We hate to break it, but your customer is seeing other people. In the UK and the US, one-third of millennials are multi banking. Mobile devices and digitized processes empower the customer with the liberty to choose which financial services to consume and when.This is all great for the customer, but it takes away the exclusivity of the primary bank relationship, thus raising the bar for banks.

Now with this global pandemic, our need for relevant customer-specific messages is highlighted more than ever. As we as companies and individuals try to figure out what this pandemic means for our daily lives and stability - our wait times stretch into the hours to get ahold of routine services we have come to instantaneously expect. How companies respond to and partner with their customers during this time of frenzy will leave a lasting impression. Digital messaging has been stretched to its limits of effectiveness as every company we have ever done business with now bombards us with form letters about their precautions. However, they are mainly focused on individual business' operations rather than helping us get through our day.

Let’s dig deeper into ways to improve that customer relationship through a global pandemic.


Get swiped to the right with helpful information

So as we are all receiving tons of communication every day, you need to find a way to stand out. Banks with a customer-centric messaging ability, for instance, are advised to stop sending the form letters and instead begin with the following actions:

  1. Monitor your customers’ savings accounts and patterns, and notice which customers are dipping into their savings during this time. To these customers, you can then direct specific balance transfer offers, decreased interest rates, and short term loans.
  2. For customers with investment accounts, look at the types of asset classes each customer is invested in and curate news and advice based on their current holdings.
  3. Monitor customers with existing mortgages and generate messages that are reflective of their individual interest rate as well as how long they have owned their homes. Inform newer customers about what the federal funds rate means for mortgage interest rates to help them figure out if they should be seeking a better rate.
  4. Proactively reach out to customers with known student loans at their primary bank to help them refinance and consolidate those loans with one that may have a better rate.
  5. Notice when a customer’s normal paycheck doesn’t get deposited on time and inform them about options for payment deferrals without penalties.
  6. Help filter and curate accurate news for the customers about what the federal and state assistance means for them. An example: Small businesses can be informed about the access to funds and tax credits for paid sick leave for employees. 


Support and advice, that’s all they want

Banks should be stepping up to the role as a trusted advisor during this time, however, they will only be able to do so if they invest in technology that allows them to easily direct and filter relevant messages at the right time to their customers.

When talking about a relationship with personalized communications, we need to be able to connect all customer behavior and interactions. Whether the customer is calling into your call center, going on a mobile device, visiting the website or making a transaction with their physical bank card, we need to be able to stitch all that data together. This is despite the fact that it all comes from various platforms at various speeds, and with lots of different structures to that data. A Customer Data Platform can easily figure out how to connect those different strings of data in the most real-time way possible. Because if we’re thinking of personalization, we need all of our models and intelligence to be updated as quickly as the person is interacting.

Sending a loan offer or payment deferral at the right time for a customer experiencing job loss and curating news for that customer about the programs in the state where they live, allows banks to build a trusted and enduring relationship in this time of turmoil. Also, realizing when customers are in industries not likely to be impacted by job loss - for instance, healthcare workers - send them messages that are more focused on potential loans to help with emergency childcare needs, links to resources as they are released, investment advice if their cash savings are growing at this time rather than falling, and/or just simple messages expressing thanks for their service will help banks achieve higher customer satisfaction and loyalty even as hold times in call centers grow.

Investing in the infrastructure that allows you to send truly curated content to each customer is not only worthwhile in this time of crisis, but its necessity is only further heightened as your customers are searching for answers and reassurance that we are all in this together.

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