The amount of data around a client’s economic behavior financial institutions now have at their fingertips is immense. The challenge for these institutions is how best to leverage the widening pool of individual characteristics to generate a usable customer profile. The article outlines some of the broad regional preferences found by various studies. These serve as a basic context, but the individualized recommendations and uniformity of messaging across communication channels in retail environments have consumers expecting similar engagement efforts from their financial institutions.
It isn’t easy to implement these major improvements to customer communication, especially with the scale of major organizations and other priorities financial institutions must improve to remain competitive. Digital is the future and needs to be a top priority. Improving the consistency of digital channels like social, online, and email is often overlooked; they cannot continue to be siloed practices. It is very easy to fall behind and most of the financial industry is already playing catch-up. An accelerated digital strategy, personalized approach to customer communications, and consistent human presence will help bridge the gap between financial institutions and their target markets.
Mercator Advisory Group’s conversations with member financial institutions echo many realizations outlined in the article. The mounting impetus for many longstanding financial institutions to make the sweeping changes is the rising wave of fintech companies that are starting operations without the internal barriers and a holistic approach to the consumer’s financial wellness. The march to individualized banking services will continue in 2017. How best to deliver that attention and understanding in a cost-efficient and timely matter is the decision FIs are making now.
Overview by Joseph Walent, Associate Director, Customer Interactions Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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