Customer engagement involves customer willingness to interact with banks and is arguably a prerequisite for customer advocacy. Engaged customers are likely to view banks as trusted advisors, share personal information and turn to banks more often for advice on financial matters.
Two key dimensions for achieving better customer engagement are:
- Developing relevant and tailored content and propositions that add value for individual customers
- Sharing them through the right mix of channels in a consistent, convenient and contextually appropriate manner
Findings from our Global Consumer Banking Survey suggest that consumers are ready to engage more deeply and meaningfully with banks – but only if institutions vastly improve by delivering the right content and propositions via high-quality experiences and optimizing the mix of channels to match diverse customer preferences.
Seven tips for quality customer engagement
Winning with engagement requires excelling on both strategic and operational dimensions, as well as connecting with customers on an emotional level.
1. Design customer journeys with engagement in mind.
- Determine what goes where to address customer needs at unique points in their journeys – think beyond the basic product-related content and about the wider context of what is the customer trying to achieve and what problems are banks trying to solve.
- Model cross-channel workflows to optimize interactions along the life cycle.
2. Transform the branch network.
- Whether branch reduction is on the cards or not, make branches better with more digital capabilities and a “remix” of kiosks, smart ATMs and micro branches.
- Create destination branches, which will see reduced transaction volume and greater focus on relationship building and servicing.
- Retrain and change staff metrics so that branch managers and teams’ performance can maximize and be measured on the basis of customer engagement.
3. Enhance the mobile channel.
- Optimize mobile channels so that they deliver the services and performance that customers expect.
- Provide access to services and products even while some may be limited in terms of consumer ability to complete certain transactions.
4. Build engagement by investing in analytics and digital marketing, real-time messaging and stronger content for customers.
- Build better content. There are many ways to do this – for example by demystifying intimidating topics such as retirement planning and mortgages.
- Be on your customers’ side to help them avoid overdraft fees or take advantage of timely opportunities. Deploy tools to prompt customers.
5. Make it your own.
- There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution - content needs to be developed in the context of a customer’s circumstances, understanding of financial products and their financial goals.
- Provide insights that go beyond products and services.
6. Make the best use of the data you have or customers are willing to share.
- Customers are willing to share data but be aware of concerns about the amount and safety of personal data available online.
7. Measure engagement via composite, cross-channel KPIs.
- Evaluate performance of branches, staff and digital channels with a combination of new and traditional metrics.
Engagement is a two-way street
To drive customer engagement, banks must become more engaging in terms of their products and propositions, improve the use of channel mix making certain the right metrics and incentives are in place and increase transparency in how they use the data entrusted to them to better serve their customer needs. Content must be timely, targeted and meaningful to customers as people – not presented as part of obvious exercises in cross-selling and up-selling.