Your CX Playbook For Financial Services

Hands holding mobile phone showing the financial CRM software on their laptop

The time has come for financial services organizations to move from a transactional mindset to an engaging mindset. Customers want to feel financially confident, including having trust in their financial institutions to work in their best interests, and they expect service to be streamlined and personalized.

In this blog, we outline how to meet these customer expectations by creating a CX playbook, and we detail why having one is crucial in the world of financial services. We’ll also discuss the difference between CS and CX, what tools every financial firm should have in their CX playbook and other details to consider when building a successful CX strategy.

CS versus CX

Before building a CX playbook, it’s important to define the difference between customer service (CS) and customer experience (CX). CS generally refers to the direct interaction between the customer and the organization. This interaction is often initiated by the customer rather than the company, such as when a customer reaches out to a bank or a financial services organization with a question about a service (budgeting tools or spending trackers) prior to enrolling in that service. How the bank or the firm handles that interaction is customer service.

CX involves both direct interactions initiated by the customer, and also indirect interactions the customer has with the organization: for example, when a customer sees a wealth management company’s advertisement on a billboard or follows a bank on social media. Although they are not in direct communication, these indirect experiences build an overall perception of the organization.

What Is a CX Playbook?

A comprehensive CX playbook is designed to facilitate a streamlined customer journey, starting from initial discovery all the way through to retained customer loyalty. Like any playbook, it should contain a stock of methods and go-to tips firms use to provide great customer service and create their ideal CX.

Why Is a CX Playbook Important for Financial Services?

Building a loyal customer base doesn’t just happen overnight. It can take years for a financial firm to make a reputable name for themselves, and a key factor in doing so is providing excellent CS. As customer trends shift over time, so will the contents of a CX playbook. However, having a go-to user guide for how to meet modern customer expectations, increases sales and customer retention.

Hand arranging 5 transparent stars on a wooden desk showing strong CX strategy

What Tools Should Financial Services Have in Their CX Playbook?

  1. Build a Strong CX Strategy

Any successful playbook has a predetermined strategy for how to deliver each play. In other words, a successful financial services CX strategy details a plan for providing a strong customer experience from the start. It’s not just a compilation of tips and tricks just in case a company comes up against a CS issue.

Financial services organizations can build a strong CX strategy by putting a conscious effort into how potential clients perceive and engage with their company. A strong strategy can help build trust in a financial institution and encourage customers to feel more financially confident in themselves, increasing a client’s overall investment and loyalty. 

  1. Identify and Understand Your Audience

If you don’t know what client base you’re targeting with your CX strategy, you’re basically taking shots in the dark. Before building a strategy, your playbook should identify who you want to target with your CX methods.

Are you hoping to have more existing clients open a credit card with your bank? Is your firm looking to help relieve the financial stress felt by customers affected by the pandemic? Or is your organization’s goal to tackle its entire client base and create more brand awareness? Identifying the client base you’re planning to target is essential.

  1. Act on Information

Once your target audience is identified, it’s important to understand the different groups within that audience. For example, determine how each customer prefers to be engaged: is there a preference toward digital or in-person communication? Or, equally important, identify the financial needs of the target customer and what motivates their financial decisions.

When building a CX strategy based on client information, you create a more personalized experience. Not only are you more likely to engage a customer by acting on an informed lead, but personalized CS also leads to more meaningful conversations, enhanced trust in wealth advisors and firms and improved overall satisfaction with service.

Financial services providers build customer trust by compiling and analyzing this detailed data throughout each stage of the customer journey, identifying and removing pain points to improve the CX and prioritizing each improvement by its potential value.

With original Kustomer research showing 84% of CX leaders predict personalization will become more important over the next three years, gathering client information and building your strategy around it is a CX playbook must have.

  1. Build Content

So you’ve targeted your audience and you understand their financial needs — now what? It’s time to start communicating with them! Your CX playbook should have customer-driven content and a targeted communication flow. The content should be personal to the target audience, or more specifically the smaller groups within the target audience, and reflective of the insights you’ve gathered.

Wealth managers need to anticipate potential obstacles or shortfalls throughout the client journey and invest in the technologies that enable them to pivot seamlessly from personal to automated interactions and back again, as needed, throughout their communication flow.

Proactive customer support creates solutions for your clients that are seamless and easy. When you attempt to meet clients’ needs prior to them reaching out first, you’re essentially answering their questions or quelling their concerns before they have the chance to ask or have an issue. You can anticipate client needs through proactive messaging.

An example of proactive communication is when a bank sets up automated messaging to warn clients when they may have made a fraudulent purchase. Perhaps the bank sends customers real-time text alerts when they’ve engaged in potentially fraudulent activity, and then customers can approve or decline the transaction on the spot. This alert is a prime example of proactive communication intended to get ahead of a customer issue.

On the bank’s side, this service may take some effort and coordinating across departments (from IT, to the marketing and product teams). However, for the client, the bank has just given them a tangible and essential service that makes them feel protected and as though their money is being put to good use.

  1. Measure, Track and Analyze Results

Putting in the effort to build a strong CX strategy is a great start to creating a better experience for your clients, but if you’re not monitoring both the macro and micro results of all these efforts, you’re missing out on important information. When you gather feedback on the customer service you’re providing, you get a much deeper understanding of whether your strategy is successful or not.

Feedback should come directly from target clients to learn what worked and what didn’t. One way to collect this information is through a customer satisfaction (CSAT) score, which is used to measure an individual customer’s feelings about a specific interaction with a support team and is measured through a Likert scale question. By measuring customer satisfaction, financial services providers can often determine where clients are running into obstacles and if their organization is actually delivering an exceptional CX.

It’s important to remember that CX is a team sport. In addition to gathering customer feedback, gaining insight from internal teams, as well as any third-party providers engaged in the process, could also be helpful in understanding strategy results. Each department within a financial services organization should fit together to create a perfect, customer-centric whole, and the information that support teams gather can improve the entire organization.

Once feedback is collected and understood, prepare to shift tactics if something is not working. For example, if a wealth management company has been running a digital media campaign for their retirement investment options but find the click through rate is very low, this might tell them that the audience interested in this service is not as present on social media; and therefore, are missing the ads. This result is a great opportunity to stop running the campaign online and consider targeting this audience via email, for example.

  1. Use Technology 

So how do you create all of these personalized and targeted CX tactics? Through technology, of course! To personalize a customer’s experience, you have to know the customer — and that requires data.

Anticipating customer needs begins with a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that provides a streamlined, 360-degree view of all customer transactions and interactions. Financial services organizations can leverage a CRM to track customer transaction histories and lifecycle stages to deliver more efficient, proactive and relevant service.

What Is Financial CRM Software?

Kustomer data shows the top challenge that CX organizations want to solve is customers’ need to repeat information. Financial CRM software can trace and aggregate all of a customer’s prior transactions in one place and give companies a more thorough understanding of each client’s financial position.

The CRM allows retail financial services providers and wealth managers to personalize the customer’s experience by giving fine-tuned advice, addressing problems proactively and suggesting other products or services the customer is likely to seek out next.

The result of having a financial CRM software in your CX playbook? An efficient but personal interaction that builds a lifelong customer relationship. For the complete guide to CRM software, download our latest ebook.

Final Details to Consider When Building a CX Strategy

The end goal should always be in sight when building a CX strategy. Knowing the target audience and personalizing content geared specifically for them is a great start, but detailing what outcomes need to be achieved with those strategies is also a major factor for creating a great CX.

Consider every department in your CX strategy as well. While maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty is essential to organizational success, so is supporting employees in their success within the company. Creating a detailed CX playbook and making sure employees understand and use it empowers them in their CS role.

Your CX strategy is going to fluctuate based on trial and error, especially in the beginning. Remember to keep monitoring both customer satisfaction and employee feedback, embrace both the positive and constructive responses, and use the information as yet another helpful tool in your CX playbook.

Make the Switch to Kustomer’s CRM

If you’re looking for further support on how to create the best customer experience for your clients while saving your own time and money, uncover the power of the Kustomer CRM — start your free 14-day trial today.

Special thanks to our friends at Kustomer for their insights on this topic.
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