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Take Advantage of FSI Data to Illuminate Customer Relationships

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“Having a Balance With a Bank Doesn’t Make You a Customer.”

Our financial services team recently spoke with the great Jim Marous, the co-publisher of The Financial Brand and the publisher of the Digital Banking Report. We were prepping for our webinar, “Digital Strategy Lessons Financial Institutions Can Learn From Top Brands in Other Industries,” which we’re co-hosting with him on December 8th.

Something he mentioned during the call stuck with me. “Having a balance with a bank doesn’t make you a customer.” Sure, by definition, a bank recognizes you as a customer. But are you an ideal customer?

How many customers hold accounts at banks and rarely transact with them outside of regular deposits and withdrawals? Take me as an example. I have savings and checking accounts with two institutions. One happens to be a national bank that I’ve been with for as long as I can remember. The other is a credit union that I signed up with because they offered a particular lending product. Today, I use both of these firms exclusively for deposits and withdrawals—nothing else.

I also use two digital payment platforms to send money because they’re so darn simple, and frankly, the experience is better than those offered by traditional banks. And, I use several other companies to support my other financial needs. In total, I’ve jotted down 14 different financial services firms that have my business. That’s incredible!

Missed Opportunities for Financial Services Institutions

I, like loads of other customers, are a missed opportunity for banks and other financial institutions. While some companies offer unique products and experiences that are tough to avoid, most organizations have a massive cross-sell/up-sell opportunity. Imagine if I was loyal enough to give a more significant portion of my business to one firm. It would be great for all parties involved. The fewer companies I have to deal with, the better!

Dabbling With End-to-End

The good news is that banks and other financial services firms are trying to develop and implement capabilities that meet customers’ expectations. For example, most people want to:

  • Receive relevant and personalized products, services, offers, and financial advice
  • Connect with customer support via their preferable communications channels (e.g., chatbots, live chat, text, phone, email)
  • Open accounts digitally without the need to sign papers in person
  • Find accurate and helpful information listed on websites and in apps
  • Manage email and app notifications and alerts

But most fail.

While these capabilities exist, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company that incorporates all of them, let alone successfully.

Don’t Wreck Your Customer Relationships

There are so many ingredients that make up a reliable customer experience program. We know it’s impossible to make it work without the right strategies and technologies, and many different solutions are required to get it right.

A big part of getting it right and creating a loyal customer requires collecting and analyzing many data points. From data governance to data management to data intelligence and analytics, you need a highly sophisticated program to provide a fantastic end-to-end customer experience. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Financial services institutions have an incredible chance to avoid wrecking their relationships. If they can get a good handle on their data, fantastic things can happen. As Scott Albahary, Perficient’s chief strategist, said in a recent podcast, banks need to shift from a transactional mindset to a relationship-driven one. A universal banker, he said, knows everything about you. They can recommend products and services to satisfy your needs. They make you a more loyal customer. This level of personalization is what customers want.

Baby Steps Are OK

So, if we know what customers want, why are most companies challenged with creating loyal customers or even acquiring new ones? Is it cost? A lack of technology? Not enough resources to implement an end-to-end program? All of the above? Whatever the obstacle may be, know there are small steps you can take today to enhance your digital capabilities and the customer experience.

Join Us Next Week

As I mentioned before, Perficient will be co-hosting a webinar with The Financial Brand on December 8th. We will discuss a few outside-the-industry case studies that can give financial services firms ideas for focusing on the customer and propelling growth. Please register today!


If you are interested in learning more about Perficient’s financial services capabilities or would like to contact us, click here.

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Eugene Sefanov

Director, Industry and Regional Marketing

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