Like many other industries pivoting to meet new consumer expectations, the financial services industry has also been experiencing a shift in customer needs and preferences when it comes to their interactions and overall experience with financial institutions. Things like accessibility and ease of use are just a couple of factors driving a consumer’s decision on who to go to for insurance, money management and digital banking.
But above all else, consumers need to trust a brand will continuously come through for them. Which is why it is alarming that US financial services companies have seen a 20% decline in consumer trust.
With privacy concerns continuing to rise, the fundamental promise of protection and reliability is more critical than ever. What takes years to build can be lost in an instant, like in the banking world where 61% of consumers say they would change banks if their bank offered a poor customer banking experience.
So if you’re a financial company that’s not thinking about the mobile channel as the best means of interacting with your customers, let’s dive into why to activate it before your customers invest their business elsewhere.
Less Friction and Greater Accessibility
To meet expectations of the tech-savvy, mobile-first generation, the time is now to use the channel they’ve been spending the most time in since getting their first smart phone at age 12. Those that communicate primarily through social media as well as text messaging, spending as much time on their phones as the generations before them do watching TV.
This generation is also used to interacting with companies like Instagram who have always worked to create consumer experiences that are intuitive and seamless.
So it should come as no surprise that the sentiment around traditional methods, like filling out paper forms or waiting in lines, is frustrating and feels unnecessary. If a consumer can use their phone to shop, travel, park, pay and socialize, they expect they can do pretty much everything on their mobile device.
Mobile Channels Are Personalized and Operate In Real Time
In today’s world, consumers are willing to give brands personal information in exchange for that brand using it properly, whether it’s targeting them with relevant promotional content or helping to educate them in order to solve a problem.
If they don’t get tailored content at key moments in a convenient and speedy manner, the risk of customer churn is high.
With mobile you can deliver the individual attention that customers want, without the constraints of in-person interactions.
For Alerts Where Every Second Counts, SMS Has You Covered
SMS is already a personal, conversational channel, so customers are extremely receptive to engaging with brands through text messaging.
Since SMS is inherently mobile and there’s a 98% open rate for text messages plus a 50% response rate within three minutes, it meets the need for increasing customer awareness of time-sensitive alerts and a need to take action.
SMS also has automated, behavior-based targeting capabilities that allow brands to seamlessly send relevant information to an individual customer or segment of customers based on their previous activity.
For example, if you are an insurance company SMS gives you the ability to automatically deliver important alerts, such as claims status notifications, payment reminders and receipt of payment notifications.
By delivering these types of notifications directly to the place alerts can’t be missed, it gives customers the confidence that you are always there when they need you to ensure they avoid hiccups like late fees and other support to help manage their account.
Not only can you confidently rely on SMS to help keep your customers on top of things, but it’s also helping you increase the consistency of actions like on-time payments which increases revenue and cash flow for your company.
SMS Makes Account Setup and Access Easier
Customers today care most about convenience and speed when it comes to any interaction with a brand, time sensitive or not.
Whether it’s setting up a new account or accessing an existing account where customer verification is a necessary step, the last thing customers want to do is search various inboxes or input different passwords hoping they don’t lock themselves out.
You can use SMS to send PIN numbers and account reset information, knowing it’s a destination your customers will have access to at any given moment.
Add More Value with Mobile Wallet
Mobile Wallet is another way to provide a seamless customer experience. Never let your customers be inconvenienced again by not paying their credit card on time or not having their current insurance card on them. With Mobile Wallet, you can continue to update the saved pass with the customer’s current policy information.
Mobile Wallet Makes Program Participation Easier
The majority of consumers pay with their credit card through a contactless option like Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can take advantage of them already using the payments side of Mobile Wallet to prompt them to download a Rewards card tied to their specific credit card. Once it’s saved to their phone you can message them about new rewards that have come in, and how to use earned points for travel, dining and shopping.
And since Mobile Wallet is an always-on communication channel once it’s saved to a phone, you can take advantage of this real estate to update and message your customers about bundling promotions, cross-sell additional products or services, send appointment reminders for upcoming financial consultations, and other relevant content based on the customer’s current status.
Mobile Wallet Can Improve Customer Engagement and Retention
Mobile Wallet makes it simpler and more convenient to access things like policy details as well as information for frequently used services. It only takes two taps to reach a saved mobile wallet pass, versus digging through an email inbox or six taps and two swipes to reach that same information in an app.
By being more knowledgeable of what’s available to them, members are more likely to engage.
Mobile Wallet Automated Messaging That Can Drive Action
Like SMS, Mobile Wallet also has behavior-based targeting capabilities that allow brands to seamlessly send relevant information to an individual customer or segment of customers based on their previous activity.
Let’s revisit the insurance company example: if your customers have their insurance card saved to their mobile wallet you can automatically deliver important alerts, such payment reminders and policy expiration and renewals. By delivering these types of notifications directly to the phone’s lock screen it gives customers the confidence that their insurance company will help keep them on top of things.
It’s evident that through these mobile channels you are able to deliver the sense of urgency your customers need and the personalized attention they want.
Now that you have a better understanding of the channel that enables you to provide actionable guidance, insights and recommendations to your customers based on their individual situation and history, you have an opportunity to change the financial services world from transactional to personal.
Mara Miller — Director, Content Marketing | Vibes
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