Customer experience trends in banking — as well as credit cards, wealth management and insurance — are essential for financial services companies to track.
After all, whether working directly with consumers or other businesses, financial services brands provide their customers with some of the most personal, impactful products and services imaginable, from home and automotive loans to start-up capital for a new business.
But financial services companies often struggle to deliver the personalized customer experiences (CX) these products demand.
M&T Bank Corporation — a Fortune 500 bank holding company with nearly 800 branches across the Eastern U.S. — understands how important it is to provide customers with tailored service. While mostly known as a retail bank, the organization drives the bulk of its revenue from business-to-business (B2B) activities that are tailored to companies’ unique wants and needs.
In our recent webinar — Where Banking Meets B2B: How M&T Bank Optimizes Customer Experience From Lead to Conversion — we spoke to M&T Bank about how it delivers rich, highly relevant CX to fuel customer growth and retention. Here are the top three takeaways from that discussion.
Customer Experience Trends in Banking: 3 Tips from M&T Bank
1. Make the Most of First-Party Data
With third-party cookies disappearing, many organizations are scrambling to change how they identify and target consumers. But because collecting and authenticating digital traffic is often baked into their business models, financial services brands have a head start in responding to these changes.
“Financial services companies have a lot of first-party data,” said Chris O’Brien, Vice President of Martech Strategy at M&T Bank. “The bulk of our customers have authenticated, identified experiences with us. I think something like three-quarters of the people who visit our website are logging in.”
This enables financial services brands to gather the high-quality data they need to eliminate reliance on anonymous third-party data, but collecting customer insights isn’t the endgame.
According to O’Brien, in order to get real value out of first-party data, organizations must take action on it.
For example, say a bank uses its customer intelligence to identify all customers who start a loan application but abandon it before completion. Uncovering this information is helpful, but its business value is in enabling business users to recognize these trends and reengage high-intent consumers via personalized outreach or triggered communications that encourage them to finish the application process.
“We know that behavioral data is generally the most predictive of buying behavior,” O’Brien said. “And so the more we can use that behavioral data, the better.”
By analyzing customer behaviors and preferences, financial services brands can calculate audience affinities for specific products and services, allowing them to develop campaigns for the prospects and customers who are most likely to respond favorably to different opportunities.
2. Take a Personalized, Omnichannel Approach
While most businesses know they need to engage customers across different channels — from online to in person — too many still view each channel in a silo. This results in inconsistent customer experiences across web, mobile, email, social media and more.
“It’s really a challenge, to orchestrate those customer experiences across each of these unique channels that have unique identifiers and data dependencies,” O’Brien said.
Again, this is where having first-party data — and the marketing technology necessary to activate it — becomes essential, which brings us to another customer experience trend in the banking space.
With the right tools and tactics in place, financial services brands can detect specific events using both contextual and historical information and automatically deliver real-time CX across all channels for marketing, sales and customer service use cases based on the full 360-degree customer profile.
While many organizations are focused solely on being able to respond to customer events quickly, it’s important not to forget to put the “real” in real-time customer experiences.
“Personalized experiences drive business value,” O’Brien said. “Brands have invested a huge amount in data collection, data integration, storing data — but what’s more important is how do we take that data and leverage that data? How do we monetize that data into personalized experiences, through things like moments that matter and triggers, and really, showing the customer that we know that? They expect us to know them, just like other brands that are digitally native know them. And so, financial services is no different.”
3. Upgrade Legacy Martech Stacks
Every organization needs the right tools for the job, but financial services brands often wrestle with outdated technologies that are ill-suited to their needs, resulting in missed opportunities and costly manual processes.
“Every financial services company, marketers within are really struggling in some senses to work with some of the legacy tech stacks that exist,” O’Brien said.
The alternative is reimagining the role technology plays in customer experience and investing in future-proof solutions.
“We’re calling this ‘powering strategy with a robust CX stack,’” O’Brien said. “I think if this were a year ago, we’d probably say ‘martech stack,’ but I think this is an acknowledgement that it goes beyond marketing.”
Financial services brands require a way to align all the activities built on their first-party data — audience segmentation, account-based marketing, experience orchestration and beyond — in a way that’s centralized and fully integrated with other tools. And in the B2B space in particular, identity resolution must also be top of mind.
“I think identity is a lot more complex, and a lot more nuanced, within the B2B space, especially in really complex buying relationships,” O’Brien said.
“This is where what the market calls a CDP, or customer data platform, comes into play,” O’Brien said. “To really have a robust CX stack, and move from simple marketing operations across a few channels to full-fledged lifecycle customer experience and operations management, a CDP can be just critically important for collecting and managing data, building audiences and then orchestrating CX.”
Check out the full webinar featuring M&T Bank to learn more about how it fuels its sales-driven B2B strategy and other actionable insights you can implement at your organization.
Stay Ahead of Customer Experience Trends in Banking
Download our Customer Data Platform Guide for Enterprise Financial Organizations to learn more about how a CDP can help you build better customer experiences and check out our B2B CDP solution sheet to see how you can provide person-centric experiences to B2B customers.
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