Digital transformation initiatives have pervaded every industry over the past several years, including banking. In 2022, banks are investing big in customer engagement strategies to better serve customers while enhancing customer retention, loyalty & referrals.

Implementing a strong customer engagement practice is vital to staying relevant in the banking industry and is a necessary step to effectively provide the products and services retail banking customers want most. But behind any customer engagement activities must be a precise, technology-forward customer engagement strategy. Without a comprehensive, data-informed strategy, retail banks and other financial institutions won’t successfully deliver the engaging customer experience today’s digital natives now expect.

Recent research demonstrates the importance of the customer experience to a business’s success. In fact, according to Salesforce, 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as necessary as its products or services. A Walker study also found that customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020.

So, what can your retail bank do to create engaging, satisfying customer experiences that both successfully generate revenue and brand loyalty?

These five fundamental customer engagement practices are proven to improve common KPIs used to measure the success of customer engagement in banking.

1. Use Data to Understand Customers

Modern customer engagement platforms employ AI-powered technology and conversational intelligence to predict and automate retail banking interactions. By using data to understand customers, banks can personalize their outreach experience in a way that inspires prospective customers to open accounts and pay bills on time as well as reengaging existing customers.

Merging customer data and analytics with omnichannel communication platforms makes it possible to anticipate customer needs and engage with them proactively instead of reactively. Shifting from a reactionary approach to customer service to a proactive approach builds loyalty by demonstrating to customers that you care about what matters most to them.

When customer service teams have proactive communication and campaign management tools like Acqueon Engagement Cloud in place, they can focus on innovating, iterating off of previous campaigns, and developing personalized outreach strategies. If the communications you share add value and create a better experience for customers, they’ll be more likely to choose your products and services to meet their needs in the future.

Using a data-backed solution to understand customers makes it easy to identify the offers or content that appeal to them most and highlights the areas where your customer engagement strategy may need improving. As you continue to take advantage of a modern customer engagement platform, you’ll have more of the historical customer data and context needed to deliver positive experiences and seamless transactions.

Learn how Conversational Engagement is transforming Collections in Banking.

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2. Provide Personalized Offers to Customers

Today’s retail banking customers expect each interaction to be personalized. Research from McKinsey shows that 53% of customers expect the offers and information they receive to always be personalized—so if you’re not currently providing personalized offers, it’s time to start. By personalizing your offers to customers, you build trust and loyalty, convert prospects into customers, and encourage your existing customers to spend more. It’s a win-win-win!

Not sure where to start with personalization? Some advanced customer engagement platforms integrate with SMS gateways to provide automated text message reminders for appointments, bill reminders, and much more. If customers prefer voice or email, modern solutions enable reminders via those channels, too. From live agents & voice calls to agent-assisted digital campaigns to completely automated and 100% digital, there’s a platform that can do it. If you dream it, modern customer engagement technology can make it happen.

3. Automate Compliance Protocols

With sizeable amounts of customer data to manage, it can be challenging for retail banks to know how to capitalize on their data and at the same time, manage it well while maintaining compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Automating compliance protocols by turning on controls when they’re needed enables you to keep customers safe with integrated checks when new contacts are added and in real-time when you’re executing a campaign strategy.

Built-in compliance features such as privacy tools can help mitigate repeated (and sometimes illegal) calls that frustrate customers and cause a wave of negative emotions. Beyond helping businesses better understand and adhere to customer preferences, automated compliance protocols also simplify maintaining compliance to critical regulations such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and a laundry list of others.

4. Send Predictive Alerts

Another one of the top customer engagement activities in banking is sending predictive alerts. Predictive outbound dialers increase campaign efficiency and save time by quickly dialing numbers and reducing downtime. This gives agents the time they need to focus on what they do best: engaging leads and converting them into customers. One study found that using predictive dialers improves agent productivity by a whopping 200-300 percent.

To make the most of a predictive dialer, however, it needs to be integrated with a customer relationship management (CRM) system. CRMs give agents helpful information about leads and customers like previous purchases, demographics, and more. By investing in a solution that features a predictive dialer and CRM capabilities, all critical data is fed to the agent via their desktop as calls are made. Employees can access this data and use it to make informed decisions when doing everything from fielding customer service inquiries to developing campaigns to upselling and cross-selling products and services.

Long gone are the days of flipping through binder pages to look at scripts when handling customer service requests. Arming your call center agents with this critical customer insight means that they can provide a better experience and close more deals, faster. To have a productive conversation, agents need to have the lead’s context at their fingertips—and using a predictive dialer with an integrated CRM gives them exactly that.

5. Empower Your Agents

Empowering your agents should be a core part of your digital customer engagement banking strategy. Investing in foundational training programs, tools, and technology is just the start. To truly empower employees, you need to supply them with the information and context they need to be successful; this includes historical customer activity data, customer journey details, real-time agent guidance and coaching, and sales scripts. Creating a friendly customer experience helps build loyalty and improves reception to upselling and cross-selling.

Contextual data is an important piece of the customer engagement puzzle. One strategy often used by fintech companies is leveraging contextual data to identify behavior patterns and relationships. With this valuable information, rich with context regarding specific events, banks can enhance the customer experience.

So, what’s the most valuable source of this contextual data? It’s your existing customer base! Leveraging CRM data for personalized customer service creates better, more enriched experiences for your customers. Acqueon Engagement Cloud makes it all possible while supporting use cases like A/R and Collections, appointment scheduling and reminders, and many others.

Investing in technology is another way you can empower your employees. Whether you choose a predictive dialer and CRM solution that uses data to provide a 360-degree view of the customer and their journey or predictive analytics that protect and prevent fraud, an integrated suite of solutions is a huge asset to your team (and its success).

Put Customer Data to Work for Your Bank

Today, financial institutions can choose from dozens of tools to engage with their customers. This means plentiful opportunities for improving your customer engagement strategy, but it also means your competitors have plenty of opportunities as well. Remember this: customer engagement strategies, no matter the tech stack or tools, must enable and prioritize consistent, right channel/right time communication and create value through the entire customer journey.

Acqueon’s cloud-based Conversational Engagement platform, Acqueon Engagement Cloud, offers an advanced Campaign Manager with built-in, AI-powered intelligence capabilities and a Customer Engagement Data Platform. The rich Customer Engagement Data Platform provides a foundation for segmentation and predictive models including Best-Time-To-Call (BTTC), best channel to use and propensity models for forecasting customer behavior. Built-in Conversational Intelligence includes Real-time Agent Guidance, Real-time Agent Coaching & Real-time QA. The result is a true omnichannel, highly sophisticated outbound campaign management solution powering proactive customer service, retention, and revenue generation.

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