3 Strategies To Go from “Onboarding” to “Foreverboarding” Customers

Customer experience (CX) has long been the cornerstone of customer retention in banking. Trust and personal connection have the power to keep people coming back to their banking partner for decades.

Replicating that level of service online is no easy feat, but it’s vital if banks want to differentiate their business in a highly competitive industry.

In a recent webinar for BAI, Brittany Hodak, chief experience officer at Experience.com, and J.J. Slygh, former banker and now customer experience consultant at Total Expert, shared three tips for how banks can build a personalized digital CX at scale.

1: Get CX Buy-In from the C-Suite

The most successful CX investments have total alignment across every department at a bank.

Experience is everything the customer touches, and the customer touches every arm of a bank at some point, from marketing to sales to customer service. Banks can’t afford to improve just one aspect of CX while neglecting other components.

To make sure CX is embraced cross-functionally, from the front line to the C-Suite, bank marketers (or other stakeholders leading the charge on CX) must make a compelling case for why investing in experience is worthwhile.

Here are some stats to get your C-Suite on board with the business merits of a customer-centric strategy:

  • A little retention yields big returns: Just a 2% increase in customer retention has the same financial benefit as a 10% reduction in costs.
  • Attrition is costly: Acquiring new customers can cost as much as 5x more than retaining existing customers.
  • Customer-centric companies are more profitable: Research from Deloitte found that companies that focus on the customer are 60% more profitable compared with those that don’t.

2: Create SUPER Fans

Another key benefit of investing in your customers? It’ll bring you to even more customers.

According to Hodak, the most valuable customer persona to a financial organization is a “SUPER” fan: a customer who creates more customers.

The acronym breaks down the steps to win that customer:

  • Start with your bank’s story (i.e., what you do better than anyone else).
  • Understand your customer’s story.
  • Personalize and connect.
  • Exceed expectations.
  • Repeat.

Your bank’s brand must be woven into everything you do: advertising, email campaigns, one-on-one customer service conversations. Make sure everyone who executes on behalf of your brand can share your story with your customers.

3: Know How to Track CX Success

After you’ve made the case to your C-Suite about why CX is so important, you’ll need to show results.

Metrics are a crucial part of any CX initiative: tracking ROI can help maintain leadership buy-in and inform marketing, sales, and customer service engagement strategies.

Define what a winning customer experience looks like and which metrics you want to measure. Hodak recommends beginning with a customer effort score. Customer effort is 40% better at predicting loyalty than customer satisfaction, and banks can collect these scores with intermittent, in-context customer feedback surveys.

Another way to measure CX is product penetration, or trends across customers, such as when a certain product’s usage drops in response to a market shift. Product penetration metrics can help guide how your bank engages with customers in these periods.

Customer Experience Is About Foreverboarding

Slygh says that whenever a financial institution is dealing with customers in a new market, the focus on experience should continue throughout the entire relationship. “It’s foreverboarding, not onboarding,” he says.

Any CX initiative a bank embarks on should be one it’s willing to commit to for the long haul.

For the full insights from Hodak and Slygh, listen to the webinar here.