In recent years, the fates haven’t been kind to banks when it comes to attracting customers and boosting business. There’s stiff outside competition: According to a recent report from consulting firm Accenture, traditional banks are losing upwards of 60 percent of their revenue growth to “upstarts” like online banks, financial technology companies, and alternative lenders. However, banks of all sizes can take steps to stem the tide and expand their customer base.
1. Offering More Bill Payment Options
Many banks have already implemented or will soon implement digital solutions that enable customers to make payments electronically. However, going one step further by implementing additional bill payment solutions, such as those that facilitate consumer-facing web payments, can help capture the attention of existing account-holders and quite likely, to attract new ones.
Other options might include employee-facing online portals through which customer service representatives can immediately process ACH transactions or check-by-phone payments. Equally worth implementing are interactive voice response (IVR) systems that allow payments to be made by telephone through a series of automated prompts.
2. Providing Support for an Omnichannel Banking Experience
Today’s consumers want to be able to interact with their bank through their preferred channel and method, be it in-person contact with a representative, a telephone conversation, or online. They also expect the flexibility to start a banking-related task in one channel and finish it in another.
According to the consulting organization McKinsey and Company, this type of omnichannel support leads to the caliber customer experience that sparks new account openings. It is also more conducive to the sale of financial products.
3. Promoting Relevant Offers
Banks need to leverage internal and external data to ensure that the products they promote to individual clients are relevant and of interest to their target audience. Consider the choice between opening an account at or purchasing a financial product from a bank whose offers fall into the “personalized and relevant” category or opening an account at or purchasing a financial product from a bank whose offers don’t appear to be customized or to apply to them. How many consumers will choose the latter? Few, if any at all.
What’s more, “hyper-targeting” consumers–in other words, conveying the right offer, to the right customer, at the right time, isn’t just crucial to attracting new customers. It also helps banks to grab a bigger share of the current account-holders’ wallet because it engenders increased customer satisfaction. Consider the statistics: By McKinsey and Company’s reckoning, customers are 2.5 times more likely to open new accounts at or buy financial products from their current financial institution–but only if they’re highly satisfied with it. Proper targeting of offers contributes to that satisfaction.
4. Turning Up the Volume on Video Marketing
These days, consumers are inundated with print collateral mailings and emails that are intended to promote brands in general. The sheer number of these messages means many are ignored. Avoiding this problem–and effectively touting a bank brand to boost its business–entails conveying information via a more engaging marketing vehicle. That vehicle is video, whether it’s a video clip embedded in an email (which consumers will be more likely to open) or on a bank’s website.
Again, statistics make a strong case for this approach. According to ComScore, video increases email click-through rates by a whopping 200 to 300 percent. The online video brings in 200 percent to 300 percent more unique monthly site visits and increases click-through rates from search by 41 percent.
5. Zeroing in on Gen Z
Millennials are still a strong customer base, but Generation Z–consumers who by varying definitions were born starting in 1993 to 1997. These consumers are preparing for such milestones as graduating from college, entering the workforce, and buying their first car. Gen Z-ers on the older end of the spectrum may be planning to get married and/or to buy their first home–or even to welcome their first baby. This generation is opening their first adult checking accounts (i.e., accounts that aren’t linked to their parents’ accounts), credit cards, and other lines of credit.
Instead of waiting to target these consumers, banks would do well to start the initiative now. Otherwise, competitors will almost certainly garner a larger share of the customer pie.
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