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How effective customer communications can help keep all customers engaged (and feel loved)

Effective marketing

It’s not easy being a bank these days – it seems like almost everything is against them.  A recent blog post published by Finextra highlights that the 4 major US banks came out in the top 10 of the most unloved and unwanted of brands in a 3-year survey by Viacom.  And I can’t help feeling that these sentiments traverse borders and are shared around the world to a great extent.  Hands up who feels a real strong bond with their bank?  Anyone got a hug for their bank manager?

The survey revealed that ¾ of respondents would rather visit the dentist than listen to what their banks had to tell them.  Really?  And ⅔ of millenials (those born between 1981 and 2000) said that in 5 years time, the way we pay for things and access money will be completely different.  Once again – really?  The bottom line is that people are more interested in hearing what Google and Apple say about future banking than what the banks say!

It’s not you, it’s me…

It just seems like the relationship between banks and us customers has become more distant – we’ve grown apart, just at the point where banks need to be warmly embracing us and ensuring we feel the love and have the confidence that all is well and our future together is rosy.  And I think there are a few reasons for this…

So what are the issues?

One issue is that whilst technology companies are clearly going after the younger generation because they can create incredible revenues from them, banks have to deal with everyone – from students to retirees –  and provide services that meet a huge spectrum of needs.  I mean, how much time does Facebook or Apple allocate to developing “silver-surfer specific” solutions?  If you’re old and on an iPad, you just have to suffer iTunes the same as the rest of us… 😉  But banks can’t alienate customers that have been with them for 40 years or more just to attract students!

And communicating new, attractive innovations along with core brand values and traditional services is a narrow and difficult path to tread.

Email (& SMS) are effective cross-generational communications

I don’t believe there is a silver bullet to address these issues, but there’s no doubt that communications is one key to keeping all of a bank’s customers engaged.  Social media is a major component for millennials and younger customers, but email (and SMS for specific communications) is a medium that covers almost the full range of customers, from kids to grandparents.  You can’t get a Facebook account without an email address, and you probably can’t keep in touch with your grandkids or even your children without one either!

Well designed transactional email communications such as eStatements, tailored to specific demographics and with personalized marketing included is a cost-saving, cross-generational communications channel that meets customers’ needs. It also delivers the message to their preferred location – their inbox – which they can access on their device of choice. After all, to keep today’s digital savvy customer engaged you have to offer great service, feature-rich functionality, ease-of-use and convenience.

One document type, one communications channel, but serving different purposes for different demographics.  Sound like a good way to keep all your customers engaged and feeling ‘loved’? I look forward to hearing from you…

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