Give a boost to your CRM capabilities for a well-designed banking customer journey, deeper insights and better engagement with clients.

It’s not that banking customers aren’t willing to engage with financial institutions. They are; but only if it comes with better banking experiences and meaningful, tailored content through their preferred channels, says EY’s latest global consumer banking survey. And those who engage are more likely to see their banks as trusted advisors, ask for advice more often and share personal information.

But they still remain a picky bunch. About 41% of customers say that they wouldn’t hesitate to change banks if they found one with a better digital experience or offer. What does that mean for financial service providers? They’d better start improving client experience and find out what strategies and tools to use in customer relations management (CRM) to boost engagement.

Surprises pay off

Metro Bank in the UK, for example, is out to “create fans” instead of simply serving customers. Through Microsoft CRM platforms and other technologies, they direct social media comments to employees responsible for dealing with client issues and store the details of all these interactions. This way, clients don’t ever have to explain their problem twice. Their strategy is simple: surprise and delight customers. If, for instance, a client goes past five attempts with a mobile activation code, they give them a call to help.

Using accurate, dynamic and well-structured client insights, banks can easily up their CRM-game to a whole new level. Hungary’s MKB Bank, for example, decided to channel all customer-related processes to a third-party application in 2013. This has improved customer service times by 25%, decreased customer churn by 5% and increased profits on the primary banking customer segment by 20%. All this in just one year.

Keep engagement in mind

EY suggests that banks should start designing customer journeys based on engagement and think beyond basic product-related content when dealing with client needs throughout their journey. And modeling cross-channel workflows for better communication along the life cycle doesn’t hurt either. Investing in analytics, digital marketing, real-time messaging and relevant customer content are also key to building engagement, just as putting customer data to the best use.

Banking teams, however, often struggle to come up with customer-centric digital strategies. They worry too much about digital capabilities instead of focusing on the customer journey across touch points, according to Forrester. More often than not, they only care about return-on-equity and cost-cutting, put projects first and clients second, and are completely disconnected from customer and employee needs.

The approach financial institutions should take is making digital developments all about specific customer journeys, or even “micro journeys”, instead of customer life cycles. Especially, because there are a myriad of customer journey mapping tools available to banks these days. Not to mention ecosystem maps, which can help them connect processes, people and underlying data to what customers actually see and experience.

Better understanding banking customer journeys, however, is no lone job. Cross-functional teams, like product line owners, channel owners, and user experience professionals and developers, must work together and share all data and insights. It’s also important that they don’t keep the results of journey mapping to themselves but use them to prompt action. More and more companies use mapping software to digitize their findings so they can review them whenever needed.

Pay attention to “data hygiene”

You have banking customer journeys covered, you say? Great! But let’s not forget about existing customers and cross-selling opportunities. Mapping out the behavior and preferences of clients helps you create highly personalized offers and precisely targeted campaigns. And this is a huge asset when it comes to retaining clientele. Regularly updated, detailed customer profiles can also tell you what might trigger switching banks.

To keep “data hygiene” timely, banks should always define frequently used fields and focus on updating the most valuable customer data first. Comparing existing data in CRM with information in incoming customer e-mails or other forms of interaction, ScienceSoft says, should be the next step. And this process need to be second nature to everyone: banking executives should clearly communicate to their sales team the necessity of keeping CRM data “squeaky clean”.

Keep the conversation alive

Businesses often overlook the importance of just talking to their customers. Which is ironic, considering the sheer amount of channels available just for that. Take newsletters, live video chat or social media; today’s CRM systems let companies give feedback, educate and share all kinds of information and content. In the long run, these efforts will create accountability and develop trust in the brand.

But that’s not all. Banks must also rethink how they usher their clients along their long-term financial journeys and make sure to be there to provide guidance, answer questions, and offer products and services whenever they need it, according to EY. “Again, the focus should not be on the transactional element of the relationship, but rather on serving as a trusted advisor.”

It’s also high time banks wrapped their head around the idea that there’s more than one way to engage with customers. For example, they can prepare clients for buying a house not only by extending a mortgage, but also by advising on savings plans or helping arrange the move. And the same goes for young families having a child or employees retiring. “It is clear that banks are uniquely positioned to play this broader, more supportive role. The question is whether they will develop the service models and cultures necessary to seize that opportunity.”

For more on banking customer journey, download W.UP’s white paper The Ultimate Guide To Digital Banking Tools and Strategies.


The ultimate guide to digital banking tools and strategies

The ultimate guide to digital banking tools and strategies

Download W.UP’s white paper to learn about the best practices to prepare banks to effectively tackle digital disruption.

Download white paper now

Let’s keep in touch

Stay in the loop about the latest digital banking news and expert analysis.