The average banking customer is saturated with choices, available at the press of a button. In this scenario, specially the younger generation of customers, have no qualms about exercising those options the minute they experience dissatisfaction with a service provider.
According to Brandwatch, a 50-second wait for a website to load is enough to cause 50% of customers to transfer their loyalty and their business somewhere else.
Digital marketing companies suggest a three-pronged approach which they call the Three Pillars. All three imply a very high level of data fluency within the bank, at all levels, with all personnel and with the plethora of touchpoints and interactions between the entity and the customer.
Back to basics. UX.
The first and most obvious pillar is that of being user-friendly. If customers won't wait 50 seconds for a site to open, this means that the design needs to be so simple that even the least computer-savvy customer can navigate around it easily.
But the computer geek customer, the one with the itchy finger, will be irritated by any slowness. So, the site has to be easy to use but quick to provide whatever the customer is seeking for. Since our competition is trying to accomplish the same, any bank or FI wanting to distinguish itself has to produce a totally unmatched customer experience, sine qua non.
This leads to the second pillar which is consistency across the digital experience. Most of today's customers are constantly connected, app-aware and knowledgeable about what to expect from their devices.
The digital marketing program has to provide the customer with an equal and consistent digital experience across all platforms and in the format or on the device of the customer's choosing.
In fact, it is the customer and his habits which are now dictating the way to follow to the banks, not the other way around.
Consistency in providing this equal and consistent digital experience is a permanently moving target. It is influenced by the competition and also by external changes. Changes in the way of thinking, the tastes and preferences or choices of the banks own customers in matters totally unconnected to banking, today, alter it's relationship with the bank. In addition, new companies emerge, many with innovative or disruptive offers, like the first fintechs offering to help customers of other banks manage their finances better.
The third pillar is described as personalization. This means prioritizing the human dimension over the corporate. Collating vast amounts of data on customer behavior but being able to distinguish the subtleties within a given population of customers.
Today the moniker, “market segment” gets off on the wrong foot, reducing a group of individuals to a thing, a segment. Somehow banks have to remember that, on the receiving end of all this expensive technology, is a complex individual, a human being. The digital experience of the customer must be integrated into the messaging he receives back and with the information, he has given.
Perhaps pillar is the wrong word. A pillar is solid and static. All the above implies constant movement and change, a race to keep up and get ahead and absolutely no room to rest on any laurels.
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