How finance websites can bridge the customer expectation gap with a personal touch

We now live in a Google, Facebook and Apple generation where consumers expect great experiences that are intuitive, social and instant. This change in expectation has put increasing pressures on businesses to delight customers. In these increasingly competitive times the importance of both acquiring and retaining new customers has never been so high.

In a recent report by Forrester, The business impact of customer experience, they identified a significant gap between the experience organizations are creating for their customers and what actually happens in reality.

The report split the cost to business into 3 areas:

  • The cost of acquiring additional purchases

  • The cost of not retaining customers

  • The cost of word of mouth

In this study they evaluated 13 industries and assessed the cost implications from poor customer experiences. The results were staggering. Across the industries, the total costs ranged from $55M per year for internet service providers to nearly $1.5bn for airline companies. Finance came bottom. Considering that the financial sector is in the enviable position of dealing almost solely in digital product, this is a shocking result. For unlike retail or travel, where stock exists on planes and seats on planes fill up, financial services have the option of being entirely digital. 

In the first of this 3 part blog series we are going to look at how different industries can improve the customer experience by creating a more ‘personal touch’ when communicating with their customers online. This week we'll be looking at finance.

Converting first time customers

The first segment of customers that you need to ensure you delight are first time customers. With high traffic acquisition costs in financial services, the inability to turn visitors into customers can be a very expensive business.

Often first time visitors struggle to find what they are looking for so anything you can do to help them find useful content can be invaluable. In this case, when users have visited more than 10 pages we recommend an on page layer is served encouraging users to do a price check. Giving users transparency on your pricing vs competitors could be enough to get them to complete a quote application.

In summary:

Segment: New Customer in the UK (UK content)

Trigger: Pageviews - 10+

Format: On page layer encouraging the user to try their comparison price checker

Goal: Engage with price checker (Micro Goal) and the sign up for Free Quote (Goal)

Cross selling existing customers

The next set of visitors (and potentially the most valuable segment) that you need to treat with a personal touch is your existing customers who will be visiting your on a frequent basis. Any engagement with these customers is important as it provides you with an opportunity to cross-sell and increase the ARPU (Average Revenue Per User).

In this example we have identified an insurance customer who does not have travel insurance. On the landing page we are therefore serving them with an offer for 10% of travel insurance with the discount code displayed. Only this user can use this discount code.

In summary

Segment: Existing customer (non travel insurance)

Trigger: Time of year: April-June

Format: Takeover header of landing page with a Cross sell offer for travel insurance

Goal: Sign up for travel insurance as an add on to the core insurance package

Create Advocacy with your customer base

For any brand, creating advocacy is the holy grail and with customers relying more on word of mouth and social reviews this has never been more important. When customers have had a good experience, trying to create customer participation in the brand can be a good way to create content that can be shared and syndicated socially.

When a user has received a successful claim and they visit the site they can be presented with a call to action encouraging them to tell their story and experience making the claim. This content can then be used on the website and through social channels to showcase the level of service that people get from the brand.

In summary

Segment: Existing customer (Just made a claim)

Trigger: Referral from a successful claim confirmation email

Format: Inpage banner with a CTA encouraging users to tell their story

Goal: Submitted user review

For financial services, customer acquisition and customer retention must be at the heart of all marketing decisions. No website can work for every customer. Every person coming to the site will have different agendas, backgrounds and needs. By personalizing the experience for different segments of users, you can begin to create a site that is relevant to every user. To find out more about how you can personalize your websites for the financial sector, read our latest ebook.