OPTIMIZING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY USING OMNI-CHANNEL MARKETING By Novantas

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1 BankersHub.com May 2014 Newsletter Page - 1 OPTIMIZING THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY USING OMNI-CHANNEL MARKETING By Novantas The Omni-Channel Customer Newsletter Article May, 2014 ABOUT NOVANTAS Novantas, Inc. is the leader in customer science and revenue management strategy for the financial industries. Over the past 15 years, Novantas has served more than 300 banks and financial institutions from offices in New York, Chicago, Toronto, McLean, and Boston, providing consulting, advisory, cloud based analytics and information services. Novantas clients include 2/3 of the largest 50 North American Banking Institutions, eight of the top ten card companies, five of the largest global brokerage and investment banks, and twenty of the largest banks in Australia, UK, Asia, Middle East and Latin America. As in more traditional retail industries, banking customers are embracing mobile, web, , and phone, in addition to branch locations for their sales and service interactions. This accelerating shift away from a storedriven model to one increasingly driven by a customer s desire for flexibility, immediacy, and 24-7 anytime, anywhere access is creating a growing urgency for banks to meet the demands of a new group of banking customers who expect communications to come to them in a variety of different channels. Increasingly valuable parts of a customer s business are being won or lost before they ever visit the branch. Not only are shoppers strongly influenced by information provided to them outside of the branch but more and more are willing to open accounts remotely. These developments are changing the game in customer acquisition and crosssell. According to the Novantas 2012 Omni-channel Survey, 58% of customers review web site information when selecting a new institution, and 50% view user-friendly online banking as a very important decision factor. When established customers get ready to open an additional account, more than 40% prefer to do so outside of the branch, either online or with a live rep over the phone. And the trend has continued to accelerate, leaving many smaller banks scrambling to keep up. ABOUT BankersHub BankersHub was founded in 2012 by Michael Beird and Erin Handel, 2 Financial Services professionals dedicated to educating and informing banks, credit unions, solution providers and consultants in the U.S. and worldwide. BankersHub delivers best practices, research insights, opinions, economic trends and consumer views through online web education, virtual events and conferences, live streaming activities, custom training and content development.

2 BankersHub.com May 2014 Newsletter Page - 2 It All Begins With the Customer Journey The phrase customer journey describes the way a customer moves through a cycle of interactions with your bank over time, from initial research and trial to acquisition, through relationship-deepening and broadening, and finally to a steady state in which a mature, stable, profitable customer relationship can serve as a source of new business. It has historically been used to describe a customer s purchase process in the online world, but it has not been well understood in respect to customers in an Omni-channel world. It is important to develop a mapping of the customer s journey (and there may be more than one) in order to better understand what paths customers typically take through your bank (what products to which customers through what channels). It is important to understand which ones are successful, and which ones result in stagnation or attrition. Each customer must then be monitored as they progress in order to know which marketing strategies will work best for each customer, and which marketing communications in which channels at what time will be most effective at moving customers to more profitable states in their relationships with you. An effective analysis of the customer journey begins with access to the data systems that house the information on your customers - you will want to be able to gather, consolidate, and analyze their behaviors, responses to campaigns, transactions, and other attributes both static and dynamic. All of these data points will help you map the milestones that make up the waypoints markers and characteristics that define important lifecycle stages in your customers journeys. For banks, the customer journey really starts with capturing the basic cash management components of the relationship: the core checking, savings, and credit-card products. Our point of view is that it s critical to capture as many of these core cash management components at the point of sale as possible (whether online, on the phone, or in person at the branch). The next step is onboarding, the crucial process of activating the customer and making sure they are using the features and functions of the core cash management products, treating your bank as their main financial institution (MFI). Many see onboarding as an opportunity to cross-sell additional products. Our practical experience is that, while that may be somewhat possible, the primary purpose of onboarding is activation and becoming the customer s primary cash management institution.

3 BankersHub.com May 2014 Newsletter Page - 3 Beyond onboarding, the customer journey then will split into multiple paths based upon the cash flow characteristics and potential of the customers. One path would lead to consolidating any off us deposits, another the financing of household assets, a third the incorporation of revolving credit into the relationship. Here, relationship expansion is often driven by trigger events in each customer s individual life journey moving and buying a new house, sending a child to college, saving for retirement, or maximizing income during retirement. Alternately, they can be based on propensities on the part of the customer which can be monetized through good old fashion marketing and selling. It is critical to understand these variations in customer journeys beyond onboarding with a more detailed mapping that will support appropriate Omni-channel communications all along the way. Doing the actual customer journey mapping is best approached through a simple discovery process with each of the functional areas in your bank that touch the customer: branch operations, customer service, online/mobile/digital, marketing and communications. Often the true complexity of the customer journey is masked because the customer leaves different footprints in each area, and if they are not understood from the point of view of the customer s interaction with your bank as a whole, important milestones may be missed. Diagramming the different swim lanes of the customer experience in different functional areas, and how they inter-relate, can be an effective technique for both creating a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey, and also understanding where there are gaps that impede that journey. For example, we have found that there are many leaks in the consumer credit customer journey between the expression of initial interest, the credit application, and the hand-off to underwriting; when these swim lanes (which can cross multiple channels like direct mail, , phone, and web) are not coordinated, the customer journey is interrupted or even halted if the customer is frustrated by the apparent lack of communication among channels or the failure to make a hand-off seamlessly. Moving the Customer along the Journey Once you have a good understanding of what your customer is experiencing along their journey, it is time to think about how to use that understanding to move the customer to a new state: welcoming them as new customers, nurturing them during the onboarding process, and communicating at important milestones with relevant offers that promote relationship deepening and/or broadening. In a typical marketing initiative, the bulk of a budget is often spent on the first part of the customer journey,

4 BankersHub.com May 2014 Newsletter Page - 4 where the goal is creating initial awareness of the need and generating an initial sale; building the top of the funnel and generating leads is often seen as the primary marketing objective. However, these messages are obviously very general and not personalized because they are necessarily targeted toward a broader audience, with more limited information about the targets. Based on our work, banks that focus more of their marketing budget on customers that are farther along the journey (e.g. have trigger events or inquire about a product) will see greater ROI from their marketing efforts you know more about these customers, they are generally more engaged, and you have more channels available to communicate with them. These marketing efforts farther along the journey require considerably more thought and planning, and a more sophisticated understanding of customer needs in order to ensure that your messages are timely, relevant, and effective. The next step, therefore, in planning your Omni-channel marketing strategy is to overlay a communication plan against the customer journey, focusing more on the later stages in the journey for greater effect. Your plan should include the types of messages you will deliver at each stage of the journey, what channels you will use to deliver those messages, and how they will be tailored to each customer segment. Your messaging becomes even more impactful when it is coordinated across multiple channels of communication, making use of more than one channel at a time. Effective Omni-channel Communication Strategy The number of channels that are available to support marketing communications with your customers continues to grow, but quality is often more important than quantity for an effective Omni-channel communication strategy. It s not a question of how many channels you use, but rather how you use them individually and together to reach your customers. There are four pillars that will help develop an effective communication strategy: consistency, coordination, timing and reinforcement. 1. Consistency especially for smaller institutions with 2-3 direct channels available - is one of your most important pillars. Messaging needs to be consistent across all channels so that the customer sees the same branding and content regardless of how it is communicated. The customer needs to begin to feel a sense of familiarity and understanding of your message and branding.

5 BankersHub.com May 2014 Newsletter Page Now that you have a consistent message, coordination across channels shows customers that all parts of your business are informed and working together. A customer should not receive a message in one channel that is not informed by a customer response to an earlier communication in another channel. A coordinated effort breeds trust and opens the door for future communication. 3. Timing is also critical. If the timing of your messaging is off, the customer will be confused and begin to ignore your messaging. By understanding where the customer is in their journey with you, it will be easier to provide a well-timed message that is relevant to their financial needs at that point in the journey. 4. Finally, reinforcement will help to accelerate the pace at which the customer travels through their journey, and keep more customers on the journey. One hard fact of communication is that it has to be continuous, repetitive and reinforcing. Building awareness, comprehension, and intention will bring in a good customer response, but the efforts will go to waste if the message is not reinforced. Of course, it s critical not to over-message or under-message: we have found that, although the number varies greatly, the ideal number of touch-points in a given channel is between 5 and 9 fewer than that, and you haven t captured the customer s attention; more than that, and you annoy the customer and run the risk of turning them off, having them opt out of future communications, or just plain ignore you because they are being bombarded with too many communications. After implementing all four pillars into your communication strategy, your message to your customers will be one that leads to trust and responsiveness, supporting your ultimate goal of moving the customer through the stages in the journey and reducing fall-off. How Do You Know If Your Omni-channel Strategy is working? You will never know if your new strategy is effective without taking the time to measure and track your efforts. Prior to kicking off your Omni-channel strategy, it is important to design and implement an effective insight plan. You need to track response and conversion, and review effectiveness throughout the implementation phase. All too often, for example, the credit for a sale is given to the

6 BankersHub.com May 2014 Newsletter Page - 6 branch because that is the last channel used before conversion/account opening. However, without the prior s, direct mailings, call center efforts, statement messages, online splash pages, and other communications, would that customer have walked through the door to open that checking account? More sophisticated models should be developed in order to properly track marketing attribution. By measuring and analyzing the customer response to each of your marketing actions, you will be able to adjust your strategy as needed to create the most effective communications matrix possible against your target customers at every step of their customer journey. Competing With the Big Banks The largest banks are already making some serious inroads using ever-more-sophisticated Omnichannel strategies, taking advantage of every channel that is available to them. These banks are delivering customized pages to authenticated website users, ATM messaging, statement inserts and messages, complex campaigns, mobile apps and messaging, all in addition to traditional means of communication (e.g. direct mail, call center, and the branch). How can small to mid-size banks stay competitive with the giants in this Omni-channel era? It s not just about the number of communication channels, but, more critically, it s about the timing of the communications in those channels and understanding how to use data on your customers and prospects to make those communications as effective as possible. According to a 2013 Novantas multi-bank survey, leveraging and monetizing customer data is the pre-eminent retail banking challenge of the coming years. One of the most powerful ways to leverage this data is to gain insights into the customer journey and to engineer that journey to take the customer farther and faster towards a deep, profitable relationship with your bank. To Sum It Up Banks large and small are advancing down the path towards ever-more complex Omni-channel marketing communications together. Bigger banks may be farther ahead, but they re far from perfect. And smaller banks can start right away and use big bank techniques on small bank budgets by being smart about the channels they use and how they coordinate and measure efforts across these channels.

7 BankersHub.com May 2014 Newsletter Page - 7 By understanding your customer journey and creating an Omni-channel communication strategy to intersect with the customer at all the important stages along that journey, you will generate a higher ROI on your marketing investments. The key to success is a coordinated effort among the channels that are already in place, with a focus on the later stages of the customer journey. Measuring and tracking your results will allow you to fine-tune your strategy and create a virtuous spiral of everbetter response and conversion BankersHub and Bstuff LLC all rights reserved Visit us at

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