Many community banks and credit unions have a general sense of what many of their customers want. Few can drill down to identify an individual customer’s priorities. The trouble is, that’s what really matters. It helps to know a customer is part of a given demographic group, but that’s not enough. People move in and out of life stages at different times. They skip steps. They mix up the order. Unless you can drill down to find out what’s top of mind for that customer, the one over there, you can’t personalize the service you deliver.
And personalizing is the name of the game in a world where non-financial businesses like Amazon, Uber and Airbnb are setting the customer experience bar high, fintechs are rapidly developing innovative solutions that bypass traditional financial institutions (see “3 things you can learn from fintechs”), and big banks are actively mining their vast stores of customer information to gain market share. But where is a community financial institution to begin?
You have lots of data—every organization does these days. In that mass of names, addresses, balances and transactions, what can help you get to know each customer better so you can target offers and provide exceptional service?
The first step is to take stock of what you know. With a comprehensive inventory of the data you have, you can identify questions to ask your customers to fill in the data you need.
Mine your data
Do outgoing bill payments suggest a loan held at another financial institution? Does a name change following marriage mean a mortgage on a new home is coming soon? These are opportunities for one-to-one marketing messages that reach the right customer at the right time.
Technological tools such as business analytics can help you transform your data into meaningful, actionable insights, as well as enable you to anticipate future needs.
Your customers are telling you what they need all the time. With customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, your customer service representatives can gather information and spread it across your organization. Your marketing team, for example, can then access that data to send each customer relevant messaging through their preferred channel.
Put it all together and you can digitize to personalize—building wallet share, cementing relationships with new customers and minimizing client attrition. Just how important is digital engagement to your bottom line? As one indicator, consider that it may mean the difference between your average customer holding 2.7 products and 4.4 products. That’s wallet share, that’s loyalty — and that’s revenue.
Find more insights into fintech strategies in “The Experience Gap: The real threat facing community banks and credit unions” or call us at 1-866.475.9876.
 RFI Global Intelligence, Cross-Sell Report, 2016.