Loyalty, the ultimate goal in the financial sector
By Javier Puga, VP Marketing at unblu
Loyalty is the final goal of any Customer Experience strategy. Banks are working hard to modernise themselves and offer innovative services and products to their customers throughout their entire journey.
Gaining new customers in isolation won't make you hit your target
Acquiring customers is where many companies, and banks in particular, invest the greater part of their resources. Nobody doubts the importance of new customers and assets, but banks are sometimes spending 5 to 10 times more in acquiring new customers than in keeping current ones. Why do companies devote more resources to attract new customers than in retaining them?
The answer lies in the changing nature of their loyalty, it is now much harder to keep a customer for life. Previously, companies were able to retain their customers through large campaigns or traditional loyalty programs. The idea of being loyal to a brand for life, however, is gradually diminishing. It is now very easy for customers to look for alternatives and change brands, and they don’t hesitate in doing so. New customers often justify such a change due to having a bad experience. This is why those who can adapt and create loyalty within their customers have a real competitive advantage over the rest.
A few years ago, traditional banks shared the whole financial cake. Customers relied exclusively on them to deposit their savings, contract financial products, and generally manage everything related to their finances. Credibility was fundamental and traditional banks had no competition.
However, as we know, something is changing. New players are emerging and consumers are open to certain financial services being provided by less traditional players but ones they know to have a good reputation. This is possible thanks to the “democratization” that has occurred with the arrival of the Internet, and with it, the possibility that small and incipient brands have to advertise through channels other than traditional ones. Such traditional advertising channels still tend to be exclusively used by the big names. TV, radio, or billboards continue to be important to build or popularize a brand, but there are now new ways to attract customers at much more affordable prices.
Turn customers into fans
Banks need to streamline processes, break down silos within their organisation, centralise information, and use the latter to create personalized and relevant experiences for the end user. The challenge for banks is in providing tools for customers, which enables them to interact in a self-service way. Financial information is not always so clear, and banks must build bridges between online self-service interaction and traditional communication methods to have a direct positive effect on customer satisfaction, sales conversion, and customer loyalty.
Different parts of an organization must pull in the same direction together in this process and therefore, the user experience cannot be associated and aligned with a single department but must be the responsibility and mission of the entire organisation. Someone will need to take the lead and which department that will be will depend on the structure of each bank.
At unblu, we experience the reality of digital transformation through a vast majority of our clients and we see how they begin to focus more and more on the end user within their business processes through an elevated focus on Customer Experience. Our experience has shown that banks who are committed to Customer Experience:
- Increase their sales through all channels. The improvement in customer experience directly impacts brand reputation, which translates into sales.
- Increase customer loyalty. Several studies indicate that companies that invest in Customer Experience retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared to 33% of those that do not.
- Differentiate themselves greater with respect to the competition. In a competitive market, differentiating through the product offering alone can be difficult but caring for the user experience is crucial to increase the perceived quality of the overall service provided.
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