Follow this strategic framework to achieve maximum value and customer satisfaction from messaging apps.
We recently welcomed Rusty Warmer, Principal Analyst at Forrester, to our Engage Hub webinar series. Rusty and my colleague Mark Grainger spoke about digital-first banking and the importance of real-time communication in financial services.
Here are the 5 key takeaways.
1. Base your strategy on customer outcomes, not products
The bar for digital experience is set by the myriad online searching, shopping and streaming experiences customers have each day. That bar is high and rising.
To meet it, financial services organisations need to pivot their strategic approach. The starting point shouldn’t be selling products – it should be solving problems and delivering value in the moment it matters. Your aim is to build customers’ trust in you as an advocate promoting their financial wellbeing.
2. Look at how you deliver value across the customer lifecycle
To solve problems and deliver value in this way, marketing and operations need to align.
Traditionally, campaigns have focused on helping people discover the brand, explore product options and complete applications. These campaigns are still important. But often, marketing owns them, and the customer, once acquired, is handed over to other parts of the business. This operational set-up – combined with departments’ distinct technology systems – has created siloes.
In the current market, there needs to be better, easier collaboration across the organisation. Data gathered from marketing must feed into customer service and account management, and vice versa. That way, you can home in on relevant opportunities for meaningful moments (instead of sending templated product offers because a customer meets certain pre-approval criteria).
3. Don’t conflate personalisation with experiences
Using a customer’s first name in an email is a degree of personalisation. Remarketing campaigns and ‘customers also bought’ messaging involve personalisation, too. But these types of personalisation don’t create genuine moments with customers.
To create moments, you need to focus on customers as individuals, predicting their needs and interacting in real-time. That’s where Real-Time Interaction Management (RTIM) comes in.
With a traditional cross-channel approach, you create customer segments and send outbound campaigns. With RTIM, you go a step further – using analytics to recognise customers, delve into their requirements and make the best decision about how to deliver value in that moment. RTIM involves outbound channels as part of the customer journey, but it also takes account of inbound customer interactions.
You use this holistic view to better understand needs, so you can pre-empt requirements, deliver valuable experiences and hit that high bar for expectations.
4. Integrate data to become more predictive
Marketing solutions usually have their own data platforms and sit at the edge of the business. The same goes for customer service and other operational siloes.
RTIM and customer journey tracking create bridges between divisions, so that you can make better decisions about interactions across all touchpoints. Third-party solutions sit on top of your legacy systems, so there’s no complex restructuring or investment decision-making. In a secure, compliant way, they centralise data from all your point solutions, giving you a comprehensive and holistic view of how customer interact with you.
That way, you have the insight needed to predict when those valuable moments need to happen – and to ensure customers have a seamless journey when you engage with them. You also have data showing where journeys are succeeding and failing in real time, so you can eliminate drop-off points and direct customer experience investment in the most effective way.
5. Use mobile to create a community branch feel
Mobile isn’t just a millennial or Gen Z phenomenon. Usage spans age groups and demographics, which means you neglect it at your peril.
And mobile isn’t just about having an online banking app. As you create moments, you need to think holistically about the mobile channels customers use. They include WhatsApp, Messenger, SMS, web and voice – leveraging AI chatbots to simplify self-service. Using RTIM and customer journey tracking, you can then build relationships on your customers’ terms, communicating with them in their preferred way at any given moment.
Do they want a quick balance check? Have TouchID or FaceID capabilities enabled so they can log into the app without remembering a password. Also, have an SMS chatbot so they can text a secure balance request. Make sure next-best channels are set up, so there’s no anxiety if a one-time authentication code message doesn’t come through. Enable tap-to-call, so it’s easy to talk to the right department quickly.
Crucially, integrated data means you can see how customers interact across all channels. That way, the WhatsApp chatbot can see the history from webchat and Messenger. The call centre agent can see everything, too, so the customer doesn’t have to repeat the whole story.
This seamlessness makes customers feel valued and taken care of – and fosters a true personal relationship with you.
Get more insight in the full Forrester webinar, available on-demand
Hear Forrester’s Rusty Warmer and Engage Hub’s Mark Grainger discuss ways to create valuable moments that drive customer satisfaction and revenue.