Banks and Lenders: How Do You Humanize Complex Financial Transactions?

Over the past month, the Total Expert team has been on the road hosting Accelerate 2019 in San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Charlotte and Boston. We have heard from industry leaders in banking, mortgage lending and technology about the state of the industry and what it will take to “accelerate into 2019.” 

In order to humanize complex financial transactions and create customers for life, it’s critical for banks and lenders to leverage their data and technology to deliver relevant, personalized content.  

Leverage Your Data to Create Customers for Life 

Banks and mortgage lenders sit on mountains of customer data – but it’s often segmented and siloed in different departments and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, making it incredibly hard, if not impossible to use. 

Your database should be your customer-base. You treat customers different than you treat data. Ninety percent of the lifetime value of a customer happens after their first transaction – making it critical to cultivate customer relationships beyond the initial transaction. 

Adapt your marketing efforts and customer experience to meet the needs of the individual consumer. One size does not fit all. You can’t talk to an empty nester the same way you’d talk to a millennial. To be hyper-relevant in your marketing, it’s critical to get a handle on your data. 

But, to be clear – understanding your customer and how to engage them means nothing if you don’t have relevant content to actually deliver to them. 

The Power of Personalization to Build Customers for Life 

Trey Rigdon, director of digital experience at Movement Mortgage put it perfectly: “If data is king, content is queen.” But it’s not enough to just create and deliver great content, you need to hyper-personalize, delivering the right message at the right time via the right channel to the right person.

Every experience a customer has with your organization either increases or decreases the trust they have in your organization. Personalization across all stages of the customer journey is critical to building trust. According to eConsultancy, 93 percent of companies have more success in converting prospects into customers when they personalize their marketing.

Personalization begins with rich data and a 360-degree view of the customer, allowing your organization to make decisions around customer signals and distribute content across audiences and channels in real time. 

When Target finds out you’re having baby, they market to you as such (even sending a baby onesie!). Consumers expect you to know them and speak to them as such. There can be a huge economic payoff from personalization, including a 30-40 percent lift in sales, a 10-30 percent reduction in customer churn and a two-three time lift in customer engagement. 

There is power in speaking to someone face to face. You can’t replicate it through technology, but you can augment it. Sue Woodard, chief customer officer at Total Expert says, “Technology won’t replace the salesperson, but the salesperson who isn’t using technology will replace the one who isn’t.” 

It’s critical to leverage your brand nationally and allow salespeople to personalize it locally. Being able to customize their message and look and feel of their personal brand is very important to salespeople. Local messaging is different in Chicago versus Boston versus Kentucky – and it’s important to empower salespeople to deliver the message that will resonate with their local community.

Kristen Brabants, vice president of retail marketing at loanDepot said, “Corporate brand is critical, but local brand is everything.”

How Would Maximum Adoption of Tech Change Your Business? 

In recent years, technology solutions have surrendered to the fact that the technology Swiss army knife (one solution that does everything) doesn’t exist. Instead, Total Expert and our technology partners are focused on being the best at our area of expertise and integrating with other focused, best-of-breed solutions. 

And – beyond that, at Total Expert, we believe strongly that your tech stack should deliver measurable ROI to your organization. So many in the industry have invested in technology and not been able to prove if that investment moved the needle for their organization. This isn’t an option anymore. 

“Salespeople need to get smart about technology. You can’t put your head in the sand and decide not to use a certain tool – because if you’re not, your competitor will,” said Jen Morris, senior vice president of marketing at Guaranteed Rate. 

Organizations that leverage technology to elevate the role of the salesperson to be a trusted advisor will be successful.

But having the best tech means nothing if your salespeople aren’t using it. As Colin Treend of Cardinal Financial said, “What would your business look like if we had maximum adoption of the tools and solutions you’re providing to your salespeople? How would that impact your bottom line?”

We believe that banks and lenders who focus on removing friction from complex financial transactions – and making financial transactions personal again – will win in 2019 and beyond.