Article

Clear the Bar of Expectations With Personalized Online Account Opening

high jumper clears the bar
Stephenie Williams Photo
VP/Financial Institution Marketing Product and Strategy
Vericast

5 minutes

Start your new relationships off right by getting to know your members and their needs.

Sponsored by Vericast

The bar for digital personalization has never been higher.

Increased use of digital banking, coupled with the reality that people just don’t visit branches the way they used to, has made it more challenging than ever for financial institutions to deliver personalized member interactions.

But don’t be fooled into thinking unique conditions have increased consumers’ tolerance for service that is less than personal. The fact is, consumer expectation for highly personalized online service has increased, as awareness and perception of emerging technology have reached an all-time high.

Consumers expect their institutions to replace vanishing in-branch interactions with digital interactions that feel just as relevant, genuine and personal—or they look elsewhere.

Healthy long-term relationships begin with the ability for financial institutions to provide a personalized online account opening experience, one that offers insight and recommendations for products and services that fit the unique financial needs of your members. Research from IQ Analytics by Ignite Sales shows new members self-select the most appropriate products only 30% of the time because they lack a deep understanding of the products and services being offered.

Meet Charidy and Thomas

  • Business owners
  • Earn above the average household income
  • Hold high balances for checking and savings
  • Plan to buy a home
  • Want to start a family
  • Plan to retire comfortably
  • Interested in learning more about financial planning

Charidy and Thomas are newlyweds with a great life plan. Left unassisted to self-select products and services, they are unlikely to take full advantage of the benefits available to them and left unaware of missed opportunities. It’s a disadvantage shared by many others.

Superior Account Openings Start Relationships Off on the Right Foot

Technology has redefined how we connect with consumers. Financial institutions are now capable of delivering a wide array of online personal banking experiences. Chief among them is the ability to engage new members in relevant Q&A dialogue and make real- time recommendations on products and services based on those important digital conversations.

By simply asking a few basic questions about financial goals during an online account opening experience, institutions can obtain all the information needed to make effective, personalized product recommendations that best serve the needs of members. Using such guided product self-selection, new members will choose the correct products 98% of the time, according to IQ Analytics by Ignite Sales.

For example, using intuitive digital dialogues, it takes just a few minutes to not only learn Charidy and Thomas’s current needs but also about their future personal and financial goals. This initial digital conversation provides the information needed to recommend the best products based on their current financial situation. It also offers insight and timing for future engagement opportunities designed to support every stage of their financial journey.

Turn Passive Users Into Active Engagers

Even as you build out digital products and services, you want consumers to be active engagers of your online tools. Accenture’s Technology Vision 2020 report reveals a key tech trend is to help people choose their own adventure—to redesign digital experiences with new models that turn passive audiences into active participants by “transforming one-way experiences into true collaborations.”

Charidy and Thomas have a 401(k) retirement account, but that’s all. Their initial digital conversation informs us they are interested in other wealth management options to secure their future. They would like information on where to start.

One of the best ways for financial institutions to increase engagement is with tools that enable people to discover ways to grow their financial wellness.

From a how-to video on improving a credit score to an online class on how to save for a home or launch a small business, the tools you provide members will motivate them to seek more of your services within those sectors.

It also inspires them to reach out about other options, especially once they know you have more useful services. These initial conversations have the ability to create revenue because you’re showing them answers to questions about things they want to accomplish. Even if they’re not ready to commit today, knowing their future needs will let you start that conversation at just the right time.

Charidy and Thomas have a detailed financial plan that affects all aspects of their lifelong journey together. They live in the present and look toward the future. The predictive capabilities you need to help them reach their goals and diagnose problems and challenges along their consumer journey comes from continued online and offline engagement. In doing so, you win Charidy and Thomas’s trust, loyalty and respect.

Mapping the Digital Consumer Journey

Consumers are passionate about maintaining financial wellness as their lives change and evolve. Financial institutions that don’t provide the digital tools and platform to automate, simplify and satisfy growing demand for 24/7, year-round personalized service risk losing the loyalty and trust of members to institutions that do.

The Digital Consumer Journey Begins With a Single Step

Getting and keeping the attention of your members comes down to reinventing the online account opening experience. Ideally, it’s the start of a circular journey that lets you reach them at key moments with recommendations and advice that boost their confidence and help make their decision-making easier.

Financial institutions that use online technology to engage families, support their values and priorities, assist them in building and preserving wealth responsibly, and help them meet their goals at every life stage create strong professional and personal relationships that last a lifetime.

Stephenie Williams is VP/financial institution marketing product and strategy for Vericast. She has over 20 years of experience in direct marketing, strategic planning, product management, and promotions in the financial services, retail and automotive industries.

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