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Personalized insights and superior customer experiences are now the norm in the financial services industry. How do you compete? For key findings from the most recent Forrester report on customer advocacy in the financial services sector, register now for this VB Live event!
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Money and financial health is a deeply emotional and personal issue for most consumers, and for most banks, credit card issuers, insurers, and wealth management firms, tapping into that vein has been a challenge. Instead, firms have relied on branch and agent distribution for their competitive advantage — but that avenue is closing fast. Not only are nimble fintech companies delivering online and digital customer experiences at a fraction of the cost of legacy IT, these tools help them connect with customers on a new level.
And that’s the new compete-or-die advantage: delivering customer experiences that demonstrate an obsession with connecting to customers’ financial needs in a deeply personalized way in order to earn their loyalty. Forrester Research calls it “customer advocacy,”: when a customer feels that their financial services company is committed to acting in the best interest of their clients, rather than their bottom line.
Customers reward the company in return: Forrester found customers who rate their financial services firms high on customer advocacy are more likely to consider those firms for future purchases — while firms whose customers rate them lowest for customer advocacy have the fewest customers who would buy from them again.
Loyal customers invest more, borrow more, and buy more products from that firm. And that loyalty is what drives stronger retention, increased future purchase intent, greater share of wallet, and improved brand advocacy.
Customer advocacy starts with providing superior customer experiences that are effective, frictionless, and at the end has customers walking away feeling good. But there’s a big difference between just delivering good customer experiences and actually putting customer needs first.
Financial services firms need to find ways to demonstrate that they truly value their customers’ business, understand their financial goals, and are always working to help them improve their financial well-being. Forrester found that there are four cornerstones for customer advocacy.
Firms need to: 1. keep things simple, 2. act benevolently, 3. be transparent, and 4. build trust by continually helping customers improve their financial well-being.
- Simplicity means delivering frictionless experiences every time and ensuring that every interaction is as easy as possible. In other words, resolving problems in just one call, explaining products simply in accessible language, making it easy to open an account, keeping claims processing straightforward, and so on.
- Transparency isn’t just a nice-to-have, but a need-to-have, with regulators increasingly demanding accountability from the financial services sector. Consumer demand isn’t far behind. It’s here that digital customer tools especially shine. They offer customers ways to explore a company’s policies as well as control their relationship with their company, from how often a firm contacts them to how it uses their personal information and more.
- Benevolence encompasses both customers and their financial health as well as a financial firm’s connection to the community and the environment. That could mean policies that take customer circumstances into account and offer support, as well as a firm’s commitment to doing good in its community, whether by donation or volunteering.
- Trust has been hard to earn in the financial services sector, ever since the global financial crisis. Forrester found that even now many Americans still do not feel that financial firms are actually their allies. Companies can earn trust by demonstrating their diligence in protecting customer data, for instance, or offering support in emergencies, protecting their credit, and so on.
It all boils down to this financial services firms need to prove that they always have their customers’ best interests at heart, in both their digital and human touch points. To get there, firms need to dial down the hard sell, and shift their focus toward connecting with customers and helping them accumulate wealth. That takes working closely with customer experience colleagues who know how to design experiences that leave customers feeling good, and have them coming back again and again.
To learn more about the key drivers of customer advocacy at leading financial service firms, why improving customer perceptions is not only good for your brand but good for your bottom line, and a look at the key findings from Forrester’s customer advocacy survey, register now for this VB Live event.
Don’t miss out!
Register here for free.
- How advocating for customers drives a sustainable competitive advantage
- Why the wealth management sector scored highest for customer advocacy in a recent Forrester survey
- How customer advocacy is linked to increased future purchase intent
- How to improve customer engagement through hyper-personalized digital banking experiences
- Alyson Clarke, Principal Analyst, Forrester
- Katy Gibson, VP, Application Products, Envestnet | Yodlee
- Seb Taveau, VP, Developer Experience, Envestnet | Yodlee
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