The world might be omnichannel, but not all customers use all channels. If you are to ensure that your financial services brand reaches consumers via the right channel at the right time, you must understand how they respond to those individual channels. From branch to mobile, price comparison sites to websites, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. So what is the best strategy for maximizing multi-channel?
Understand the customer journey
Understanding the customer journey is an ideal starting point. The challenge is that there isn’t of course one customer journey, each is different. You need to evaluate the path to your products and services by type of consumer – incorporating demographics, need states and attitudes. What are their expectations by channel, and can you meet them? Why do people choose to visit a branch? When do they look online for information, and what details should you provide on your websites to ensure you anticipate and answer their questions? It’s also important to remember that not everyone wants to manage their financial affairs online, and some channels such as social media, really aren’t that suited to discussing issues with customers.
Have a transparent pricing policy
Today’s Connected Consumers are savvy. They have learnt to compare prices online, to find and use voucher codes, to ask for discounts, and they do that in every sector, including financial services. In this environment, there is only one pricing strategy that can work – your prices must be standardized across all channels. Consumers do not understand why they should pay one price for a product or service in a branch, and a lower fee for the same thing online. Make sure your approach is transparent and you’ll earn your customers’ loyalty.
Think multi-channel strategies
Many brands have reduced their branch network in an effort to lower costs, but the focus today is on “customer experience” and “personalization”, two benefits often best handled in person. The key to success in a multi-channel environment is to offer all channels and allow consumers to pick and choose when they use them. Combine your marketing activities so that you encourage customers to come into the physical branch through digital activities for instance.
Support customer decision-making
We use qualitative research techniques and conjoint analysis to understand what information and service customers want at different stages of the purchase journey. This means you can understand why people go to a branch rather than a website for a specific task, for example, and adapt your channel strategies and tactics accordingly. You can also maximize the return on investment of communication campaigns if you can assess where people go to research your products and services. The key thing to remember is that every customer journey is different, and so you need to optimize your brand’s chance of being discovered and used by having a presence across channels.
Making multi-channel strategies work in the complex and often confusing world of financial services isn’t easy. Not all channels work for every customer, but most customers will use most channels at some point. By ensuring your brand is omnipresent, understanding your customer’s journey and adapting to it, you will have the best chance of success.