Dec 12, 2022
It's always a good time to focus on keeping your customers happy and loyal. In this episode of Banking Out Loud, we discuss ways to increase customer loyalty and offer 3 tips to get started and also key mistakes to avoid.
Feb 2, 2023
Businesses in practically every industry today are personalizing their messaging to their customers. However, personalization efforts in the financial services industry are lagging behind those in other industries. CFIs can reap a number of benefits by creating more personalized experiences for customers.
Nov 4, 2022
Continuous reviews of your website’s user-friendliness can be the difference between a positive customer experience and a lost opportunity. A study by Forrester concludes that a well-designed and easily navigated website can increase your conversion rate — the rate at which visitors take actions, like submitting a contact form, that directly solicit your services on your site — by up to 400%.
Oct 25, 2022
Referral marketing is one of the most affordable and effective marketing strategies, but not all referral programs are created equal. We cover what CFIs should know about these programs, including examples to inspire you and six tips to improve your referral program.
Oct 14, 2022
When potential customers search for financial services online, where does your brand show up on the results page? Whether your brand comes up first or twenty-seventh, it’s important to stay up to date on what determines this ranking and make changes to your site accordingly. We’ve compiled a list of tips for enhancing your website with original, compelling content, as well as practices you should avoid.
Oct 4, 2022
With inflation high and credit use rising, your customers may be more open to learning about sound financial practices. Community financial institutions can capitalize on these teachable moments by offering financial wellness education through an app, in a virtual classroom, or in-person.
Sep 29, 2022
A recent study by McKinsey found that bank customers voiced overwhelming support for digital transformation, with three of four saying they would be willing to try digital account opening. But only 15% said they had actually opened an account digitally. What accounts for this difference between thoughts and actions, and how can CFIs bridge the gap?
Sep 22, 2022
Digitization is a critical component in CFIs’ efforts to remain competitive with fintechs and their largest peers, but the personalization of smaller banks is their most valuable asset. We explore how to reconcile these seemingly competing forces to achieve a digital experience that works for your customers and your CFI.
Sep 12, 2022
Online gaming platforms have become extremely popular in recent years, with 76% of children under 18 playing regularly and connecting their parents’ credit cards and bank cards to their gaming accounts. Financial education about the risks of online gaming payments can add value for young and older customers alike.
Sep 9, 2022
Pandemic shutdowns accelerated the adoption of self-service technologies. Now, more and more customers at CFIs expect such services in both digital channels and inside branches. We explore some of the most popular DIY technologies.
Sep 1, 2022
Could a subscription model take the place of à la carte bank fees? We explain the pluses and minuses of that business strategy, as well as different options to bring the subscription model experience to your customers.
Aug 23, 2022
The majority of women expect to be solely responsible for their own finances at some point in their life and a large number are stressed about money. Yet, a lack of knowledge and concerns about risk are major barriers that keep women from making financial preparations. We look at how and why CFIs should tailor products, services, and marketing to women’s unique needs.
Aug 18, 2022
The next great boom in refinancing probably won’t be in mortgages. Instead, it will likely be in CDs and other deposits, which are vulnerable to customers who decide to pay penalties and reinvest at higher interest rates. A rising-rate environment is also a potentially fruitful hunting ground for fintechs, neobanks, and other startups to lure deposits away from traditional financial providers. CFIs should consider these three strategies to help hold their best customers and stress test their businesses for CD and deposit losses.
Aug 12, 2022
Community financial institutions (CFIs) can increase the engagement of both customers and employees through gamification — rewarding people for completing educational training or tasks via “games.” The results can significantly boost the bottom line as well. We take a look at some examples of gamification strategies CFIs are using to attract and engage new customers and employees.
Aug 16, 2022
As the world’s attention span increasingly diminishes, microcasts — mini-podcasts — have become a popular and effective way of marketing to customers . These short audio segments can drive your SEO rankings and social media following while helping establish your CFI as an industry expert.
Jul 29, 2022
According to a recent report from McKinsey & Co., 71% of customers expect companies to personalize their interactions. Community Financial Institutions (CFIs) have traditionally delivered personalized experiences through their customer interactions and building strong relationships. But now, it’s vital to aggregate, integrate, and analyze customer data in ways that let CFIs anticipate and predict future needs.
Jul 18, 2022
CFIs can’t rely on inertia to keep their customers. It can cost around $300 to acquire a single customer. By paying attention to the reasons that clients switch providers, you can help ensure that attrition doesn’t erode your customer base. We explore the key reasons that customers leave their banking institutions.
Jul 11, 2022
Consumers have very short attention spans. According to one consultant, a marketing pitch has a dauntingly short window in which to connect to an audience – literally, the blink of an eye. CFIs that have a good “blink factor” stand a better chance of capturing interest. We offer you a quick cheat sheet.
Jun 23, 2022
There are 32.5MM small businesses in the US, generating 44% of economic activity — an attractive opportunity for financial service providers of all sizes. CFIs have a strong connection with small business customers and could leverage their understanding of the customers’ unique needs in order to create compelling propositions for them. We give you four strategies to help get you off to a good start.
Jun 22, 2022
It’s a common problem. Customers want personalized service, but are reluctant to share their personal data to power that. A smooth authentication process, as the first point of contact between a CFI and a customer, can help build the trust that customers need to forge a new or ongoing banking relationship, and offer CFIs access to their information.
Jun 13, 2022
CFI’s are exceptional at attracting new business. But according to a recent J.D. Power study, there is still room to improve in maintaining those customer relationships after they’ve been onboarded. We provide 3 tips for your institution to consider to help foster those relationships from the beginning.
Jun 7, 2022
CFIs are well-positioned to understand what is important to the communities they serve. By focusing on initiatives that are important to those communities, CFIs build strong relationships, grow loyal customer bases, and amplify the voices of those they serve. We provide three examples of how CFIs can do just that.
Jun 3, 2022
CFIs that heed the call to expand digital offerings may overlook the extra pressure digital places on backup live agents. According to one study, more than half of self-service digital encounters by bank customers end in failure and wind up with a live agent.
May 2, 2022
Online reviews are gaining importance. In fact, 79% of people trust the online reviews of strangers, as much as they do recommendations from family and friends. Community financial institutions need to actively monitor and manage their online reviews, in order to continue developing and deepening customer relationships. So, we explore how to get online reviews and manage this process.
Mar 4, 2022
Customer loyalty is considered the key to customer retention. An important part of that loyalty is customer effort. Do your customers have to work hard to access your products and services? Unhappy customers cost companies $75B globally, so it is important to minimize your customers’ efforts. We show you five areas to be especially watchful.
Feb 16, 2022
Gen Z is the fastest growing market segment and will make up almost one-third of the workforce by 2030. These young consumers are tech-savvy, value-driven, and financially cautious. Here are four strategies for community financial institutions to engage Gen Zers early on in their financial journey.
Feb 1, 2022
With the explosion of gig workers, the needs of some small businesses have changed. Many self-employed business owners are looking for time-efficient, digital financial services so that they can focus on growing their businesses. Here are five important areas to address in successfully appealing to these businesses.
Sep 17, 2021
As customers continue to adopt digital banking and still expect personalized service, hybrid branches may be the way to go. The Forrester Customer Experience Index shows hybrid branches provide the highest customer quality experience. We explore some reasons customers still visit branches, how to integrate technology in the branch, and examples of big bank hybrid branches.
Sep 9, 2021
Strategic planning is starting and your institution will likely be discussing various technology initiatives. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know in which areas other financial institutions were investing? We give you the highlights of a recent survey on the spending priorities for financial institutions to guide you for next year’s plan.
Aug 18, 2021
Your customers rely on you for effective communications. Yet, there are many ways to send customer communications, including email, text, website chats, and even social media. So, which channel is the right one? Email is the most prevalent, but about a quarter of customers value communications from their financial institutions through other channels. There are three important tips for effective customer communication.
Aug 12, 2021
Bank of America recently projected that Gen Z will be the “most disruptive generation ever.” Not only is their income expected to exceed that of millennials in 10Ys, but they are also more highly educated than their cohorts. Let’s explore three approaches to engage them and gain a competitive advantage.
Aug 10, 2021
During the pandemic, Coalition Greenwich estimated that 3x as many small and midsize businesses likely switched financial institutions due to their dissatisfaction. Since many CFIs were on the receiving end of this switch, it is important to retain these new customers. We discuss two important customer retention strategies to use in your upcoming customer discussions.
Aug 2, 2021
It is not always easy to satisfy your digital customers. One survey shows that 61% of banking customers said they would switch banks if they were dissatisfied with the mobile banking experience. Yet, there are two key strategies that community financial institutions can deploy without breaking the bank with cutting-edge technology, branch digital advocates and digital loyalty programs.
Jul 1, 2021
Small business optimism is up from last year. Yet, small businesses are still facing several challenges, including labor shortages and supply chain disruptions. So, they will likely continue to lean on community financial institutions for support. These approaches help your institution get them back on their feet quickly.
Jun 15, 2021
Despite the name, neobanks aren’t new. They have been around since 2009. Yet, these days, their presence seems to be expanding. Many bank customers have become more comfortable with digital banking since the pandemic, which has driven over 20MM Americans to have a neobank account. We explain what a neobank is, what customer benefits they provide, and the challenges they face.
Jun 11, 2021
Marketplace lending is expected to reach almost $559B in 2027 and has grown 33% in market share over the past 5Ys. Is this something that community financial institutions should be concerned about? We give you the background of marketplace lending, who their customers are, how the experience is different, and how to entice their customers to borrow from you instead.
Jun 10, 2021
A neo bank in Spain created its own private social network for its customers. While community financial institutions don’t compete with this bank, we thought this approach to customer engagement provided a fresh perspective on how we can interact with our customers. We explore what this private social network does, how it adds value, and why content is always king.
May 28, 2021
Complaints on social media have risen as people become more comfortable airing their grievances online. Not only that, 48% of consumers use social media before buying products or services. Solving the problem is important, but doing so privately is key. Otherwise, you could run into overshadowing of other customers’ positive comments and even the loss of social media engagement with your customers.
May 27, 2021
Did you know that gig workers make up over one-third of the workforce in the US? Yet, their financial needs are mainly addressed by fintechs. We bring you up-to-speed on this labor sector including the reasons they want to work independently, why conventional risk assessment may not work, how fintechs are courting gig workers, and what financial services gig workers need.
May 26, 2021
The CDC reports that 25% of Americans live with a disability. So, it is important to provide accessible digital options for all. The key drivers include compliance, but also greater inclusivity and the best user experience. What accessibility features are available? Talk to your core provider to ensure you can support all of your customers now with the digital tools they need.
May 13, 2021
Facial biometrics is the latest technology and the financial industry is taking notice. TD Bank has started using it with onboarding, while fintechs and MasterCard are jumping in too. While the technology is in its early stages, we recommend monitoring facial biometrics and tracking the competition to avoid losing customers.
Apr 30, 2021
Subscription banking is still not widespread. However, there are many customers who subscribe to other services, such as Netflix, and are familiar with this business model. Subscription banking may make sense for some community financial institutions to increase fees in a way that many customers could accept. We discuss how customers view fees, how this model could promote loyalty, and provide a few examples of financial institutions that are doing it.
Mar 8, 2021
Community financial institutions are always thinking of their customers. Yet, with banking behavior changing and banking options exploding, it is especially important to stay focused on the customer experience. To keep you on track, we highlight three areas of focus: accessibility, security, and real-time assistance.
Jan 5, 2021
A robust data privacy program is key for all financial institutions. We explain how it can be a competitive tool as well.
Dec 2, 2020
Many community financial institutions have entered the digital app game. We have six tips to keep the engagement going.
Nov 24, 2020
As some people migrate to the suburbs, community financial institutions have an unprecedented opportunity to attract these "on-the-move" customers. We provide three strategies to capture this segment.
Nov 6, 2020
Pandemic-specific loyalty rewards are popular. We share four of them to consider for your program.
Oct 19, 2020
Many fintechs and merchants now provide aggregated bill payment offerings. Should your institution be offering this to your customers?
Oct 22, 2020
There are opportunities to reach out to diverse communities and cultivate new customer relationships. We give you three ways to do it.
Sep 29, 2020
Gen Z will represent the largest consumer population in 2026. Four ways to gain and retain them as business customers.
Sep 21, 2020
The coronavirus has prompted the revival of the drive-through teller. Should you consider expanding this banking channel?
Sep 14, 2020
If your institution has an app, how do you stand out in the crowd? We give you some tips to do that.
Aug 31, 2020
Decision trees help employees handle customer issues. We have six tips to use this tool successfully.
Aug 27, 2020
Digital account openings have hit record levels due to the coronavirus. Is it time to update your digital onboarding process?
Aug 11, 2020
Customer review sites are now being used to inform on businesses' safety efforts. This could be another channel for your institution to assure customers about safety measures during COVID-19.
Jul 30, 2020
Women have been hit hard financially during the pandemic. We give you four strategic elements to include in your efforts to attract and retain women customers.
Jul 29, 2020
A technology that is being used abroad by some bankers and their customers may hit our shores too - know-your-customer (KYC) video authentication.
Jul 24, 2020
It has been hard to keep up with the recent spike in digital banking. Today, we give you three critical areas of focus for superior customer experience in digital banking, without breaking the bank (or budget).
Jul 14, 2020
Twenty percent of small businesses said they were likely to switch financial institutions after going through the PPP process. This could be good for community financial institutions.
Jul 2, 2020
Financial institutions have had to adapt their business practices during the pandemic. See how your institution compares to your peers in the latest survey by Bank Director.
Jun 18, 2020
Despite privacy concerns, experts predict that 55% of homes will own at least one smart speaker device by 2022. Is your website voice-search ready?
Apr 29, 2020
In this 2-part series, we discuss customer and financial institution shifts due to COVID-19 and which ones will last. Today, we look at the customer.
Apr 30, 2020
In the 2nd article of our 2-part series, we continue discussing long-lasting customer and financial institution shifts due to the coronavirus. Today, our focus is the financial institution.
Mar 19, 2020
Digital banking is a necessity. So is the training that goes with it. We provide you with some tips.
Mar 13, 2020
Most community financial institutions have bountiful customer information. But, it is oftentimes stored in multiple silos. To stay competitive, this must change.
Mar 10, 2020
Just when you map your digital journey, another player shakes things up or technology zooms ahead in a big way. Here is how your institution can prepare.
Feb 26, 2020
Developing employee incentive plans around customer experience is definitely important. Is it time to reevaluate those plans?
Jan 22, 2020
Some financial institutions are taking a page from Netflix's playbook these days, by analyzing data from individual customers to provide them with extremely tailored offerings. Is this a move for you?
Jan 16, 2020
Many community financial institutions haven't seen the growth in small businesses that they'd like. We have some tips.
Dec 19, 2019
The needs of start-up customers are sometimes different than those of other small businesses. We provide you with some insight on this.
Dec 20, 2019
One way to ramp up your deposits is to help customers save using apps.
Dec 4, 2019
Facebook's AI researchers are making huge strides with chatbots, so they can communicate in a more human-like way. Should you consider chatbots?
Nov 1, 2019
Customers don't like waiting in line. We provide some tips to make it easier.
Oct 21, 2019
App features can either greatly satisfy customers or turn them off. We provide you with some considerations to make yours happy.
Oct 11, 2019
As you look to level the technology playing field, you may want to consider the latest ATM advancements.
Sep 25, 2019
Demand for loans is growing with millennials. Does your institution know how best to appeal to them?
Sep 10, 2019
Customer fees are a good source of revenue for financial institutions. But, can elective fees work?
Sep 16, 2019
Sub-brands can be successful, and some community banks are starting to use them. Would sub-brands work for your institution?
Sep 13, 2019
Today, 40% of customers say they would prefer video for doing at least one financial activity, according to Forrester. We review how some institutions are using video to keep these customer happy.
Sep 5, 2019
Closing an account is never fun. But, doing it the right way could earn you points with the customer.
Aug 27, 2019
Seventy percent of community banks with assets between $500mm and $1B now offer online checking account opening capabilities. Digital transformation is well underway in banking.
Feb 12, 2019
A recent study found that women aren't necessarily happy with their bank. Holding 51% of personal wealth in the US, this is an important customer group to keep happy.