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3 tips for improving customer advocacy in the finance industry

3 tips for improving customer advocacy in the finance industry
Neil Titcomb
Neil Titcomb UKI Sales Director – Odigo

Financial institutions are up against significant competition to not only win customers, but to keep them and turn them into brand advocates. They must find the perfect CX solution to meet and exceed their customers’ needs to improve market-wide advocacy.

February 4, 2020

New challengers with new technologies are giving traditional banks their biggest challenges yet when it comes to turning the heads of prospective customers. How can CX play a role in winning and keeping valuable customers in finance today?

Modern-day customers have a great deal of choice over who they want to handle their finances. Trust issues are fraught and competition is fierce, so financial institutions need to be attentive, adaptive and memorable at every possible customer engagement.

Trust in businesses – finance-centric businesses, no less – is considered to be a thing of the past by some people. A recent report by HubSpot, The State of Customer Service in 2019, found that 87% of survey respondents considered reviews or recommendations from family or friends to be the most trustworthy source of information. Marketing content and salespeople were only trusted the most by 10% and 3% of people respectively.

This indicates just how important it is to win loyalty from your customers so they are more likely to recommend you by word of mouth. Customer advocacy is a critical aspect of business strategy, so nobody should solely rely on marketing to get them by in finance today.

Let’s take a look at some top CX tips for leveraging your financial services offering to turn your customers into brand advocates:

Get it right from the first engagement

Whether a customer discovers you through a Facebook ad or a flyer in the post, their first direct contact with you will likely be based on very little trust, especially if they haven’t had a recommendation from a friend or family member.

Recognise that, given they might eventually be entrusting you with their sensitive financial matters, it will have taken a lot of consideration for them to even contact you in the first place.

This is why onboarding is a key component of your overall customer experience (CX). If the quality and trustworthiness of your service doesn’t match up with the quality and attractiveness of your financial incentive for switching, for instance, you might be missing a huge opportunity to improve your customer advocacy.

Some finance-savvy websites in the UK are readily recommending that customers switch accounts for the sign-up bonus and simply switch again when another offer appears after a given timeframe, so customer loyalty is becoming harder and harder to grasp.

A genuinely customer-centric approach to CX that is both welcoming and rewarding, however, will stand you in good stead for winning and keeping valuable customers that you can turn into brand advocates.

Shine the spotlight on your happiest people for customer advocacy

Customer testimonials are nothing new, but they can be extremely powerful insofar as finance is concerned.

The idea of switching the likes of credit card providers, current accounts and savings accounts can be daunting to many people if interest rates are unpredictable and bills are stuck on monthly direct debits.

A YouGov study in the UK found that one in five Britons (21%) have considered switching their current accounts but haven’t followed through with the action. One of the most common drivers of this reluctance was that it was thought to be too much hassle, with nearly half (48%) of these respondents stating this as their main reason for staying with their existing provider.

There is a great opportunity for financial brands to improve customer advocacy in this regard. People trust real people in real situations, so if you are able to show not only how easy it is to switch to your service, but also how many benefits your happy customers received in doing so, you might well be able to capitalise on the relatability that courses through the veins of CX. A prospective customer might relate to an existing customer as they would a family member or a friend, so your happiest customers could become your biggest advocates.

Provide a seamless, channel-less customer experience in the finance industry

Every industry has its quirks when it comes to CX and how people like to communicate with brands. In fact, the opposite is true, too; people have a different expectation of how brands should communicate with them across multiple industries.

Customer engagement in the finance industry has traditionally been exemplified by a straight-laced, serious tone that communicates authority and trust, but some of the challenger banks that have emerged in recent years adopt a rather more informal tone of voice and operate with “radical transparency” when it comes to serving their customers.

Take this and combine it with an ability to serve customers in a way that they prefer to be served, whether that’s through a web or mobile app, chatbot or self-service, and a brand can create brand advocates simply by providing a seamless, painless and channel-less customer experience.

Ultimately, CX in the finance industry (perhaps more so than any other) comes down to providing as painless an experience as possible due to the sensitive nature of the business, so finding the right CX solution is the key to joining the right channels together to provide a service that customers demand and, crucially, recommend to others.

Odigo’s customer experience solution provides everything you need to turn your existing and prospective customers into brand advocates.

Neil Titcomb
UKI Sales Director – Odigo

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