Your clients want a better customer experience. It’s something that other industries have already picked up on with 89% of companies competing primarily through their customer experience (CX).
But the financial services industry is lagging behind. In fact, only 11.6% of financial services institutions have allocated their budgets towards improving their customer experience. This creates a huge opportunity for your firm to separate yourself from your competitors with a customer experience that tops the rest.
To help you create a world-class customer experience that will transform your organization into an invaluable resource for your clients, here are our seven financial services marketing ideas designed to improve your firm’s customer experience and overall customer satisfaction.
1. Embrace Personalization
You know the feeling when someone you’ve met a handful of times still calls you by the wrong name? Just like it doesn’t feel good to be addressed by “hey there” or “hey buddy”, your clients want to know you know them and care about the work you do for them. From a marketing perspective, if your firm is sending out generic mass emails, or has inaccurate client data behind your communications, chances are you’ve made a client feel this way. It is an easy mistake that can leave a long-lasting negative impact on the client relationship.
If you want to impress your clients and avoid the above scenario, your team needs to personalize their client communications. One way you can help your firm achieve top-tier personalization is through integrating your CRM and email service provider. Think about all the contacts and contact details that live in your Outlook or Gmail and how little of that important information lives in your company’s CRM. Without those key data points, your marketing team is flying blind and is much more likely to upset a client rather than provide a meaningful, well-timed email outreach on your behalf.
Luckily, relationship intelligence tools today can map and sync email contact data right into your CRM with the click of a button. After syncing the two tools, you can input your personal client data directly into emails for each client that you have. And to make sure that the client data powering those emails is accurate, use CRM automation tools to automatically manage and update contacts when their information changes.
2. Survey Your Clients Regularly
People are all wired differently. We all have customers that will shoot straight and tell you what they like and do not like about your service, technology, or team. But what about the clients that have a non-confrontational demeanor? They may be very upset with some aspect of your relationship or engagement, but they would never say anything until it’s time to terminate their contract. Without insight into the health of your client relationships, you may never understand the current state of your CX or what steps you need to take to improve it.
To collect important client satisfaction data, survey your clients on a regular basis. One methodology and management tool that is widely used to gauge the health and loyalty of your customer relationships is Net Promoter Score (NPS). Here are a few example questions you can ask your customers in a survey:
- How likely are you to recommend [insert company name] to a friend or colleague? (scale of 1-10)
- What changes could we make to earn a higher score? (text box)
- How are we performing against the objective of improving our customer experience? (scale of 1-10)
When creating your client survey, just make sure not to overload clients with questions. This is where relevancy to the customer experience and client satisfaction will help narrow down your questions. As for how often your should be surveying clients, a quarterly or bi-annual survey is a good starting point. The objective is to survey your clients frequently enough to ensure that you can catch a bad experience quickly, allowing your company to move fast and correct the problem.
Once you’ve received your initial results, this can serve as a benchmark for measuring your customer experience levels over time to ensure your teams are making progress.
3. Create a Mobile-Optimized Site
More than half of today’s internet traffic lives on mobile devices. Of those mobile users, half of them will abandon non-mobile-friendly websites even if they like the company. To make matters more pressing, Google’s next search index will prioritize mobile sites over traditional desktop sites. For your financial services firm, this means you need to go mobile, or your search rankings and web traffic will suffer.
If your website is not optimized for mobile, you could be turning away a majority of your web traffic through a poor user experience. And once Google rolls out their new index, it could hurt your rankings, causing fewer people to find you. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to improve your mobile user experience.
For example, you can start by creating a custom mobile experience with easy to read content, personalized navigation, and quick links to important pages. Website platforms like SquareSpace, WordPress, and Wix.com are all great platforms for quickly creating a mobile-friendly website experience.
4. Respond to Reviews
At first glance, online reviews might seem out of the realm for your financial services institution. Especially as a B2B financial services firm. However, any review or opinion your clients put out on the internet, leaves an impression on a number of people. Plus, clients are more likely to write a bad review than a positive one. Nothing can turn a bad experience worse like ignoring a client rant on a well credited platform.
If your firm has unanswered client reviews, these could be impacting your prospect relationships as well as your existing clients as these reviews often come up in search results. By not resolving these customer reviews or commenting on their experience, others might see you as unresponsive or out of touch.
If a client took the time to write you a review (whether negative or positive), you need to take the time to respond to them. Through addressing their review, you’re showing them — as well as others — that you care about improving your firm’s customer experience. The same concept can be applied to your social media comments and shares. Respond to those as well to show others that they’re on your radar.
5. Share Compelling, Helpful Content
Content marketing plays a major role in generating brand awareness, increasing client engagement, and influencing purchasing decisions. In showcasing your firm’s expertise, thought leadership, and helpful advice through content, your firm can become a trusted advisor and a go-to financial resource. As you may expect, having this level of trust in your financial services firm, improves your client relationships and customer experience.
To become the best financial resource for your clients, double-check that you’re sharing content with your clients that is relevant to them and their financial needs. For example, if your client is about to go through an IPO process, it’s a good idea to share your tips for reducing risk and facilitating the transaction. Through providing relevant expertise, your client won’t have to search for it elsewhere, saving them time and improving their experience.
6. Build Trust Through Secure, Digital Access
Today, 62% of Americans report that digital banking is their preferred method for managing their finances. It’s more convenient for your clients to log into a portal to manage their accounts, investments, and transfers. This is true for both B2B and B2C financial firms. By providing your clients with tools that offer greater control of their information and finances, their level of trust in your organization will rise. And with stronger trust comes stronger client relationships.
To make your client’s finances more accessible, or provide greater control, develop a digital portal that your clients can log into to monitor their accounts. Or, set up automatic finance reports. If you have reporting set up already, elevate the level of data or insights you’re providing your clients. These reports can give your clients more information on how their finances are changing day in and day out, ensuring that they are aware of any changes. Your clients will appreciate any increase in information or transparency, causing their satisfaction level to rise. Customer portals can also be a competitive advantage and marketing tool if implemented right. It all depends on how the customer likes their experience.
7. Reward Client Referrals
According to Influitive, 84% of buyers now start the buying journey with a referral. If your financial services firm isn’t generating those referrals, you simply aren’t gaining the prospective clients that you should be. And if you are generating those referrals, are you doing everything you can to reward your clients for them?
If a client went beyond the call of duty to give you a referral, go beyond the call of duty to thank them for their efforts. As an example, you can provide them with something as simple as a thoughtful gift, charity donation on their behalf, or a handwritten thank you note. The main thing to avoid is simply sending an email or not thanking them at all. This shows clients that you appreciate their referral, regardless of its quality, potentially sparking additional referrals to come through in the future.
It’s Time to Play Catch Up
Financial services firms have been slow to evolve their customer experience, creating a huge opportunity for financial leaders to rise above the competition. Use the above marketing ideas like helpful content, accessible tools, and strong client relationships to really push your CX over the edge.
For more ways you can strengthen your financial services firm’s client relationships and stay ahead of the competition, check out how you can use CRM data to fuel client loyalty.