Elvis Presley sang “A little less conversation, a little more action please” famously in the 1968 film Live a Little, Love a Little. But when it comes to customer engagement, a little more talk with customers can lead to beneficial actions.
Customer engagement is one of the most important activities that a financial services firm can undertake. Not only does it build customer loyalty by developing relationships with customers, it will ensure they choose you over the competition, enjoy and benefit from your product or service, keep coming back for more, and tell their friends, family or colleagues to try it too. Even more interesting is how engagement can enable listening to customers, learning more about their needs and behaviours and using that knowledge to improve your offering to them. The practice of “push” communications or talking “to” customers is used almost universally; the concept of “pull” communications or drawing customers into a conversation, is used less frequently but can yield powerful results.
Let’s say you are an investment firm offering savings and financial planning to customers. Once you’ve completed the customer acquisition process, and onboard new users onto your platform, engaging with them at different stages of their journey and in different ways can be tested and confirmed.
Push Customer Engagement
Of firms using push marketing, 84% reported to Dimension Data that they obtained increased revenue; however, only 10% of respondents believed their firm’s digital experience is best in class. There is a way to create meaningful push marketing campaigns.
How can financial advisors use push notifications to engage with customers? If you imagine customers at different stages of their journeys, you can plan what to say. For example, a young woman in her 30’s might have increased her allocation to savings, thus signalling a promotion, pay rise or new job. If she received a message indicating that there are some new products that fall within her risk appetite and investment objectives available, she might be amenable to a call or meeting with her advisor.
With OutRank, we make it easy for advisors to evaluate and measure the progress their customers are making in achieving investment objectives. By using one of our tools such as Balance Sheet Predict, you can enable simple messages to a customer.
For a middle-aged customer 10 to 20 years away from retirement, you might run his portfolio through OutRank to discover that they have a relatively high allocation to fixed income. A message prompting him to call you and suggest a re-allocation of some of his asset to equities or alternative products to ensure the growth he needs at this stage could surely drive meaningful engagement.
For an older customer who is drawing down her pension, the OutRank tool would help you look at the risks and benefits of different rates of drawdown. You could message her with a query to review how she is enjoying her retirement and whether she has any cashflow concerns.
Pull Customer Engagement
Push engagement continues to work well for many companies. However, the most innovative companies use “pull” engagement strategies to treat their customers like active participants, not passive recipients of information, in their businesses. When you want to learn the latest news from Apple, you visit the Apple Store online or where you live.
By becoming the go-to source for information, you can inspire customers to use email, chat box capabilities, social media or their phones to ask for advice.
For example, if the topic of inflation is in the news, publish an article reminding customers that this is a good time to review their current financial plans against forecasted inflation rates. You can use OutRank to calculate a number of economic scenarios and demystify what inflation means for cost-of-living standards.
For any stage of your customers’ life you can develop an interactive tool encouraging people to look at increasing their allocation according to their age, income, risk appetite, predicted age of retirement, etc. For example, an older person might realise that while equities are key to portfolio growth during the active working years, it’s at retirement that it’s best to move a greater percentage into fixed income. OutRank could make this graphically easy to understand.
As customers plan their financial futures, they may respond to difficult areas by expressing confusion about the many of insurance policies and self-funded care options. By offering a short consultation on planning using OutRank, an advisor can easily walk the customer through different situations in which insurance products might be most cost effective.
The way forward
When people plan for big purchases or life events, such as buying a home or a car, or planning their wedding, a family reunion or a major holiday, they do a lot of research and speak to experts in person and via digital channels to collect data before they make their decision. If people spent a fraction of the time and energy they spend making consumer choices on planning their savings and investment journeys, they would be better prepared for life’s challenges and in particular, for retirement.
Engaging with customers in a way that encourages dialogue without any jargon or assumptions of financial knowledge is a winning strategy. People should be able to plan their savings and investment journey with confidence and optimism. You don’t need to know what a stochastic variable is to plan your financial future. With OutRank, we keep it simple, transparent and accessible, with a seamless end-to-end customer experience. A little more talk with customers really can create value, and can foster loyalty to your brand.
To learn more about how Kidbrooke can help you engage with customers online and offline, through outbound and inbound channels, please get in touch.