Most people see their banks and/or credit unions as something they need but do not easily differentiate why they should use one from the other. So how can a financial institution stand out from the pack? By discovering what products and services their current customers and target markets really want from their financial institution.
Have you ever been asked to complete a survey, give your feedback, or rate the service you received from a company where you’ve done business? If so, you know how important it is to provide valuable input when asked.
Bank marketers have an opportunity to take the lead in the discovery process so products and services are marketed to solve the problems of your customers. To do this, active listening and observation are keys to finding out what keeps your customers up at night, prevents them from getting their job done, or makes life difficult for them.
If you ask your customers what products, services or features they want, they will only give you part of the answer, because in most cases, they don’t know what they want. They only know the problems that they need to solve.
For example, a medical practice receives 300 checks a week that need to be deposited. The office manager only knows they need a faster way to process and deposit the checks. While their solution may be to hire a part time employee to assist in this task, you can provide a solution with remote deposit capture. If they knew how to solve the problem, they wouldn’t have it any longer. Ask what they need, but you determine what the solution is.
Bank marketers can proactively seek their customers’ needs and discover what they want by implementing a three step feedback process.
1. Empower employees to listen, ask questions and observe.
Anyone who interacts with customers can provide feedback by paying attention to how the customer acts, can ask questions if they observe the customer may need assistance, or observe that a system or process is not customer friendly. Employees are a valuable resource to identifying problems customers may have and a process should be in place so they can freely share this information back to management and marketing for review and action.
2. Implement a feedback system through surveys on your web site and email.
Surveys give you the opportunity to measure awareness of your products and services; can aid in discovering the effectiveness of your branding and positioning; and can help you understand the attitudes, motivations, and preferences of your customers. They give feedback to specific interactions customers have with your institution and offer a fast way to discover if they have a positive or negative customer experience so you can make actionable changes. Surveys also help uncover the problems your customers experience so you can seek appropriate solutions to implement.
3. Monitor, engage and track social media feedback and conversations.
Many people have found social media a place to voice their opinions, especially when they are unhappy with the service they receive. Financial institutions can proactively monitor social media channels to find competitive information as well as problems that receive the most complaints from customers. This information can be integrated in research for product and service offerings. Banks who are active on social media with their own pages can also ask the public for feedback, post links to surveys on social media, and engage with their fans when they post on their social media sites.
Bank marketers can differentiate their institutions by speaking the language of the customer and solving their problems. Only then will your target market know that your institution is the choice for them – because you know what they need and offer their solution.
How does your bank or credit union discover what your customer wants?