3 ways to stay ahead of retail banking challenges in 2022

The banking industry has experienced a dramatic shift in the last few years. New priorities for mobile banking, real-time connection for financial advice, and even a completely digital, paperless banking experience (with no physical branch or location) have shaped the way consumers search for their next financial institution. And in 2022, those challenges are charging out of the gates. Pressures to improve the member experience, compete for members outside of a typical geographical area, and even retain the members that you already have are all mounting. Find out how you can combat each challenge and implement key strategies to stay ahead in the coming year.

Challenge #1: The pressure to improve the member experience

More than 70% of millennials would rather handle their financial services needs with the tech giants of our time—Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal, or Square. The demands for a convenient, real-time, and completely customer-focused experience (like the experiences delivered by Google, Amazon, Apple, and more) are growing every year.

Consumer expectations for mobile friendly websites, increased options for communication, and even a larger presence on social media aren’t surprising. Especially when you consider that the largest generation of consumers—millennials—have led the shift to digitization. At least 5 out of every 6 millennials prefer to interact with a brand on social media and nearly 50% of millennials use mobile banking (the largest percentage of users of any generation).

The Solution: Offer real-time communication on every digital platform

It’s clear that consumers (and your members) expect more opportunities for connection, more opportunities for mobile experiences, and more opportunities for a digital journey. It’s time to show up in each of those ways without adding more work for your already overburdened staff.

  • Give your members the option to text
    90% of consumers want to communicate with a business via text. Start the conversation sooner by adding click-to-text on your Google Business Profile. With an open rate over 80%, texting doesn’t just allow your members to get in touch with you faster, it offers a way to connect with members faster (and to improve engagement with each message).
  • Add a web chat solution to your website
    Don’t create a deadend on your website. Treat every page as an opportunity to connect with a potential member—add a web chat solution to your website. Not only will it help you capture new leads and answer questions from new and existing members, adding a web chat option will help you keep up with consumer expectations. For consumers visiting your website on a mobile device, at least 50% expect to see a live web chat option. Meet the need and you’ll improve the overall member experience.
  • Route all member messages (from every platform) to a single inbox
    Instead of staffing every communication option—from social media to email to texting and web chat—find a solution that routes all messages to a single inbox. Your staff should be able to clearly see all of the member communication history with your financial institution and answer questions faster (and with more relevant information) when they operate from a single inbox.

Challenge #2: The new landscape for competition

In today’s market, banks and other financial institutions (and nearly every other industry) aren’t limited to geographical location anymore. While this broadens the reach for businesses looking for more customers, it also increases the opportunity for more competition.

The good news is that most consumers start their search for a new business, bank, or product online. And more specifically, they start with a Google search. And while local searches are still incredibly important (“bank near me” searches have increased by 60% in the past two years), that doesn’t stop banks beyond the local radius from showing up in ads and even search results.

The Solution: Show up better online

Stop waiting for your online presence to keep pace with your members’ testimonials organically. Take the reins and prioritize how you show up online with a few simple best practices:

  • Ask every member for a review
    Don’t leave online reviews to chance. Ask each member for a review and you’ll soon find that your member experience matches your average rating in your online reviews. Plus, with more reviews (and a higher rating), your business will rank higher in search results and show up when new members are searching for a business like yours.
  • Make leaving a review easy
    Asking for a review is a great first step in increasing your reviews online, but if the ask isn’t easy, you won’t see an uptick in reviews. Instead of sending your ask to a busy email inbox, send it via text. Your members are more likely to respond and engage with a text thread and even better, with a link directly in the ask, they can quickly click and visit the review page for a faster, more convenient experience.
  • Monitor online reviews for feedback
    An easy way to improve the member experience is to implement feedback given by your members. Monitor your online reviews and look for patterns, trends, and common comments. Online reviews offer a front seat into new member expectations and current member experiences. Don’t let any of that good data be wasted—read it, analyze it, and implement it.

Challenge #3: The churn rate for new members is too high

Data suggests that the churn rate for new bank customers is 25% in the first year and 50% in the first 90 days. What’s driving new customers to leave their new banks?

In an Accenture Financial Services study, nearly 50% of participants noted that customer service is what really drives loyalty to a financial institution. With this insight, it’s clear that the customer service experience for a large portion of banking consumers isn’t meeting expectations.

The Solution: Build a better banking customer experience with personalization

The first step in creating a member experience that doesn’t encourage churn is centering the member journey on personalization. Consider these options as you build a member experience that’s tailored to each member.

  • Send personalized offers to every member
    Banking customers want more personalized offers, even when those offers aren’t directly related to banking services. Nearly 50% of consumers that already have a free checking account would be willing to pay for that checking account and bundle add-on services like cell phone protection, identity theft protection, and more. Send those offers via text (75% of consumers want to receive special offers on their mobile device) and you’re not just offering another service, you’re personalizing the member experience.
  • Convert web chat messages to text conversations
    Potential members and existing banking customers don’t have time to waste. When they submit a question on your website (which should also create a personalized journey by addressing specific questions and speaking to each new member by name), convert those messages into a text conversation. Members can take their Q&A with your business on the go instead of waiting for a reply at their desk or on their laptop.
  • Provide personalized financial advice and support
    In the age of information, consumers expect more support than ever before. Offer clarity and peace of mind with personalized financial advice. Whether it’s through a one-on-one meeting with a financial advisor (and the meeting is scheduled via text) or a broader, more scalable effort like a blog sent out weekly and directed at a specific segment of your customer base, offering your expertise to your members (and new leads) won’t go unnoticed. As an added bonus, content marketing generates 3x as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62% less.

For the ultimate way to stay ahead of retail banking challenges in 2022, consider the impact of adding texting to your toolbox. To learn more, download this free eBook: The Ultimate Guide to SMS Marketing.

Raechel Duplain

Raechel Duplain

Raechel Duplain is an experienced SaaS product marketer and currently leads the Solutions Marketing team at Podium, a marketing and communication platform for local businesses. Raechel is an award-winning content ... Web: https://www.podium.com/financial-services Details