How Can Effective Technology Improve Customer Relationships?

Data analytics takes it to the next level

Community bankers believe personal relationships and superior service are what differentiate their financial institution from mega banks and non traditional competition. Simultaneously, declining branch traffic has resulted in fewer opportunities for bankers to meet customers face to face to foster those high-touch personal relationships. How can you counteract disruption from non-bank financial institutions and the changes in how customers prefer to conduct business? The answer is just a few clicks away.

Banks have an overwhelming amount of customer data, but how can you get to that valuable customer information? Your customer base is  A bank’s existing customer base is rich with opportunities to expand and retain
relationships that already exist; however, this source is often left untapped due to the antiquated and siloed systems that result in fragmented customer data.

Having access to data analytics that aggregate customer data and provide an in-depth, holistic picture of each customer can solve that conundrum. Gathering this information enables you to quickly determine which segments are the most appropriate to target for different products and services, thereby enhancing your customer relationships and ultimately increasing revenue.

For example, what percentage of your bank’s deposit or loan customers maintain only one account with your bank? Better yet, do you know who these customers are? Do they use other “sticky” services? The challenge most banks face is in determining how to extract this treasure trove of data into meaningful information and then what to do with it once it has been unearthed. All it takes is a willingness to embrace innovative technology with the right analytics tools and data strategy to mine information about your highest value or highest potential customers.

Analytics tools enable you to dive deeper into customer relationships and behaviors. Behavioral insights are a fundamental building block to understanding the flow of money for currency transaction and suspicious activity reporting. These same concepts can also be used to strategize the focus of sales, marketing and customer retention efforts to meet each
customer’s unique needs.

Having these insights will enable your front-line personnel to specifically direct sales efforts towards strategic objectives such as broadening single or limited service relationships. With performance information available with
just one click, you can make timely and better informed decisions. Sales and marketing efforts can be based upon up-to-date information. Branch staff can personalize conversations, messaging and cross sell efforts toward products and services customers actually need.

Imagine having these insights readily available to reinforce sales efforts or to personalize your bank’s marketing efforts especially to customers who seldom visit a branch office and prefer to conduct all banking transactions digitally. This poses the question – what can, and will you do with the information once you have it readily available? You must develop a strategy because without a clear vision, your plan may not yield desired results

How Can You Better Know Your Customers?

Providing exceptional customer service is paramount; however, attracting and retaining customers in a competitive landscape is equally important. As technology becomes more robust and customer buying habits shift, your financial institution must constantly explore new ways to not only meet the demands of today’s savvy customer but to be proactive in anticipating what they may need as well. Much like Amazon suggests products that may be of interest based on buying habits, your institution should embrace the same philosophy. Here are six basic steps that can help you determine how to best meet your customers’ needs.

Evaluate systems and report writing capabilities The data you need lives in your core and ancillary systems, and the volume is overwhelming. The time it takes to accurately mine the data into reports can be daunting and labor intensive. Determine if your bank has a viable means to extract the data and transform it into meaningful and actionable information.

Your competitive advantage is your existing customer base
Without access to data analytics, your bank cannot take advantage of this competitive edge. The best analytics tools provide multiple visuals with a significant amount of potentially actionable data instantaneously. Having access to data analytics enables you to make quicker and more accurate decisions as you no longer have to wait for a report to be written and/or generated to provide routine information.

Review your bank’s strategic objectives; align the data mining focus to support these goals
If core deposit growth is a strategic objective, ensure you can mine data that identifies loan customers who do not have deposit accounts. Or, if the goal is checking account retention, you will want to easily identify and track accounts that do not have a direct deposit or are not using ACH, debit card, mobile banking or bill pay services.

Adopt an enterprise approach to using data analytics
The C-suite should drive expectations for data use. Consistent reinforcement from them sets the objectives for the sales environment and culture. Data strategies and expectations for using data must be communicated and prioritized by your bank’s leaders. Inconsistent, siloed data use could jeopardize the desired sales culture.

Personalize marketing and sales efforts
Once the data is in an actionable format, use specific customer information to target the market and personalize sales conversations. High-touch sales efforts become more meaningful when personalized.

Train personnel on how to use the information once it is provided
Supplying personnel with multiple reports or turning on a data analytics tool is only one step in the process. Assess your bank’s sales environment and provide training consistent with your culture to ensure everyone embraces data as an enterprise-asset and understands how to use it most effectively.

By adhering to these simple steps, you will find that your data does contain most of the information for which you are looking to ensure your financial institution stands out from the rest with enhanced personal relationships and superior service. That will in turn differentiate your institution from today’s mega banks and non-traditional competition.

 

 

How Well Do You “Know Your Customer”?

“Know Your Customer” is no longer solely a compliance exercise for banks — it’s an opportunity for them to execute on strategic goals while deepening existing relationships.

Community bankers know that personal relationships and superior service differentiate their institutions from mega-banks and non-traditional competitors. But declining branch traffic has resulted in fewer opportunities for bankers to meet customers face-to-face and foster high-touch relationships. How can bankers counteract this disruption while interacting with customers in their preferred channels? The answer is just a few clicks away.

A bank’s existing customer base is rich with opportunities for retaining and expanding existing relationships, but is often left untapped due to the antiquated and siloed systems that fragment the customer data. The challenge facing most banks is determining how to extract this treasure trove of data and turn it into meaningful, actionable information.

Fortunately, all it takes is a willingness to embrace innovation, the right analytics tool and a data strategy to extract information about your highest-value or highest-potential customers.

Analytics tools enable bankers to delve deeper into customer relationships and behaviors. Behavioral insights are fundamental to understanding the flow of money for currency transaction and suspicious activity reporting. These same concepts can be leveraged to assist sales, marketing and customer retention efforts that are aligned with customers’ needs.

This insight can empower bankers to specifically direct sales efforts towards strategic objectives, such as broadening single-service or limited-service relationships. Executives can make timely decisions with performance information available at the click of a button. Sales and marketing can base their efforts on timely and current information. Branch staff members can improve customer service by personalizing conversations, messaging and cross-sell efforts toward products and services customers actually need.

Having these insights readily available could reinforce face-to-face sales efforts or personalize marketing efforts, especially for customers who seldom visit a branch office.

But without a strategy, information on your bank’s customers may not yield optimal results. So what should you do now to get to know your customers better?

Evaluate your bank’s existing systems and report-writing tools. The sheer volume of data contained in a bank’s core system can be overwhelming; the amount of time it takes to mine the data accurately into a multitude of reports can be very labor intensive. Determine whether your bank has viable means for extracting the data and turning it into meaningful and actionable information.

Recognize your bank’s competitive advantage when it comes to existing customers. Without a data analytics system, your bank will struggle to capitalize on its distinct competitive edge. The best tools can instantaneously create multiple visuals with a significant amount of potentially actionable data. Self-service data removes reporting roadblocks that bankers may experience when attempting to extract and update data.

Align the focus of data mining to support your bank’s strategic objectives. If growing core deposit is a strategic objective, executives should ensure they have the capability to mine information that identifies loan customers who do not have deposit accounts. If retaining checking accounts is a goal, executives will want to easily identify and track accounts that do not have a direct deposit or are not using ACH, debit card, mobile banking or bill pay services.

Adopt an enterprise approach to data analytics. The tone at the top should drive expectations for data use, and consistent reinforcement from the C-suite will sets the objectives of the sales environment and culture. Bank leaders will need to communicate and prioritize the institutions’ data strategies and expectations for data use. Inconsistent, siloed use of data could jeopardize the desired sales culture.

Personalize marketing and sales efforts. Once you have the data in an actionable format, use specific customer information to target, market and personalize sales conversations. High-touch sales efforts will become more meaningful when they are personalized.

Train sales personnel on how to use the information. Providing sales personnel with multiple reports or activating a data analytics tool is only one step. Assess your bank’s sales environment and provide training that is consistent with your culture to ensure your team embraces the data and understands how to use it effectively.

Adhering to these simple strategies will ensure that your data contains the information you are looking for so that your bank distinguishes itself through enhanced personal relationships and superior service. That, in turn, differentiates your institution from the mega banks and non-traditional competitors.

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