Although consumers can find just about anything they need with a simple Google search, seventy-eight percent of retail bank customers still prefer to receive financial guidance from their local branch. Yet, the reality is only twenty-eight percent of Americans are receiving the advice they so desperately desire.
The financial services sector has started its shift back from a transaction-focused model to the customer-centric model of the good old days. In the new era of humanized marketing, technology plays a huge role in the daily interactions financial services professionals have with their database.
Don’t worry, technology won’t replace the relationship manager (loan officer, personal banker, etc.), but a relationship manager who is leveraging technology to add real value will replace the one who is not. That’s because there’s still one thing technology can’t replace: the value that comes from having a trusted advisor to guide and protect your customers’ financial future.
Let’s take a look at the three strategies today’s financial services professionals need to adopt to achieve lasting success in the world of modern financial services.
What will make your brand stand out? Anticipating the needs of their customers.
With the right technology in place, relationship managers can leverage customer-specific data from their Marketing Operating System (MOS) to deploy personalized communications at a local level via relationship managers. This messaging should be based around life events, such as when a customer opens a new account, applies for a car loan or has a baby.
When customers feel like you truly value them and know what’s happening in their life – and provide advice based on this information – relationship managers can build a foundation of trust to turn a one-time transaction into a lifelong advisory relationship.
Ensuring your customer-facing teams are empowered to send the right message to the right person at the right time, sets apart organizations who anticipate their customers’ needs from those who actually proactively act on this information.
Many financial services organizations engage with customers in their own business line silos – for example, the mortgage team doesn’t know how the wealth management team is engaging with the same customers. This means the organization fails to fully know this customer, their life stage and applicable products and services to meet their evolving needs. Thus the bank’s engagement with this customer feels clunky and the customer has a poor experience – and in today’s market, a lackluster customer experience is not an option.
Today’s consumer craves knowledge and information, making education-centric content and engagement around various financial products to help them achieve their life goals (buying their dream home, opening a business, etc.) very important.
It’s critical to turn your database insights into action. If you know your customers well enough to be able to anticipate their needs, but never proactively reach out to consult with them about their financial future, you are missing the mark.
The phrase “one-size-fits-all” can be true in a lot of scenarios. But when it comes to educating customers on what’s best for them based on their personal life events, one size certainly does not fit all.
This is where your relationship managers come in. Your customers are looking to you to tell them what products and services they need to be financially secure now and in the future.
Despite the push towards digitization and online banking, studies show that consumers still want advice from their bank. Forty-one percent of consumers are looking for investment-related advice and thirty-nine percent are seeking retirement-related advice.
What’s more? Eighty-nine percent of consumers who did receive financial advice found it valuable. This presents a huge opportunity to fill this gap, expand customer relationships and grow the bottom line.
Among consumers who receive financial advice, eighty-nine percent of them become repeat customers. Customers don’t just want this advice from a professional – they value it. Once you’ve anticipated your customers’ needs and educated them on their options around one life event, it’s critical to continue to advise them into the future.
Consumers engage in financial transactions or buy various financial products to coincide with their life events – and many are dependent on relationship managers to break down complex financial transactions and advise them around the best decisions for them and their families. By continually delivering information specific to their evolving life events, you become the trusted advisor they turn to again and again.
Anticipating, educating and advising your customers is cyclical – and nearly impossible without leveraging an MOS that houses powerful customer data combined with robust intelligent automation.
The modern consumer will be won or lost based on how well your organization anticipates, educates and advises them around the intersection of their current life events and complex financial transactions to meet their evolving needs.