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What Happened to the Humans?

Remember the days when consumers trusted and even befriended your bank or credit union’s relationship managers and you only had to win over each customer or member once to keep them for life? Those days – the days when physical branches were the primary touchpoint you needed to worry about – are over.

Something changed with the advent of the internet. Marketers saw infinite scale and zero-cost communications as a way to reach more people. Relationships gave way to generic, mass-delivered messages. Today, 79 percent of consumers view their banking relationships as transactional, making it easy to seek out financial products and services from other financial brands and fintech firms or to cut ties after sub-par experiences.

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From Personalization to Humanization

Customer or Member Experience: The New Competitive Differentiator

Customer or member experience will overtake product and price as the new competitive differentiator. Rich customer or member experience strategies must include sophisticated personalization tactics to compete. It’s no longer enough to mine user-specified preferences or fixed attributes such as age and income to shape interactions with your consumers.

Consumers demand you anticipate their needs and provide them with meaningful, relevant advice. They expect you to tailor products and services to their unique needs and treat them as individuals. And in exchange, they’re more likely to reward you with loyalty.

In short, traditional marketing personalization must instead give way to humanization, leveraging hyper-personalization strategies to get there.

What Is Hyper-Personalization?

Simply put, hyper-personalization is the next stage in the evolution of personalization. It’s no secret inserting a first name in spray-and-pray marketing messages and campaigns no longer impresses anyone. Fortunately, intelligent technology solutions and better, faster access to data have given brands the ability to gain a deeper understanding of consumers.

The ultimate goal of hyper-personalization is to maximize the opportunities marketers have to deliver the exact content consumers want – when, where and how they want it – closing critical gaps along the customer or member journey to create relationships that will last a lifetime.

Humanizing the Customer or Member Journey

So how do you take your relationship managers from transactional sellers to lifetime financial partners who can help consumers get what they need quickly and easily, especially when making milestone purchases such as buying a car or a home? This eBook is your guide to understanding how to execute your hyper-personalization goals. You’ll learn how to:

  1. Make better, faster, more accurate decisions.
  2. Deploy personalized, multi-touch engagement.
  3. Balance automated (high-tech) and human (high-touch) connections.

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1. Personalized Messages for Individuals – Not Segments

The first step to owning the customer or member journey end to end is knowing who your customer or member is. However, many marketers make the mistake of relying solely on data patterns to personalize marketing campaigns. Contextualization is crucial in transforming senseless data into real insights – insights that can be used to tailor your communications to each consumer.

For example, what does it mean if a customer’s or member’s direct deposit amount increases and remains at the same amount over a period of several months? Most likely that they’ve been promoted or are pursuing a new job opportunity. Combined with additional information from their customer or member profile, you can tailor your marketing communications and put them in touch with a financial planner, send them educational information about starting to save for retirement or teach them how to increase their retirement savings.

Knowing the interests, lifestyle and behaviors of each individual consumer will help map the customer or member journey for different buyer personas to create tailored content your relationship managers can deliver to the right person at the right time – on the right channel.

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Messaging Checklist

2. Better, Faster, More Accurate Decisions

Once you understand your customers or members, you can anticipate their wants and needs to educate and advise them based on current life events. That’s fairly straightforward when you’re thinking about a single message or a single consumer. When you try to devise an omnichannel marketing strategy that caters to every possible decision point at scale, things get complex, fast.

Banks and credit unions are getting smarter by leveraging as much data as they can so relationship managers and other customer- or member-facing teams can focus on scaling business with less work. To do this, they’re using Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to continually analyze data and offer up real-time, contextual insights so relationship managers have everything they need – who, what, how and when – to personalize each step of the customer or member journey to each individual consumer.

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High Tech

3. Balancing Automation and the Human Touch

No matter how advanced your technology solutions, the answer is not: “Automate everything!” That’s because the goal of automation isn’t eliminating human contact. And it’s hardly what your consumers want. In fact, human interaction becomes more impactful as companies make the misguided decision to replace person-to-person interactions with automated – and often generic – communications.

Balancing it all requires understanding – and playing to – the strengths of both human (your relationship managers) and machine (your technology solution).

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High Touch

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Achieving Humanization Through AI

To win customers or members for life, you have to focus on adding value throughout someone's life. To build a relationship that lasts, you have to have meaningful interactions with prospects, customers or members and business partners. As technology advances, brands have sacrificed personal interaction – the human touch – for personalization strategies. Your customers or members want more than the perfunctory “Hello FName” or an email drip campaign that gets sent to an entire segment based off of limited criteria.

Hyper-personalization will empower relationship managers to balance high tech with high touch to enhance personalization strategies and humanize engagement.

Creating unique customer or member journeys for each individual – one that takes time, behavior and context into account – is harder than creating a set-it-and-forget-it drip campaign. However, it’s the best way to truly engage your prospects and customers. In practice, humanizing the customer or member experience is an iterative process, where feedback and conversation, as well as actions, milestones and message performance inform improvements and changes to keep customers or members on their journey with you.

The Total Expert Marketing Operating System® (MOS) is the only enterprise-grade marketing, sales and customer engagement solution built for the future of financial services. Total Expert's Journey Creator leverages fundamental hyper-personalization concepts so you can take consumers down the path that makes the most sense to them, empowering relationship managers to reach out at critical moments throughout their journey. And for us, it’s just the beginning. AI/ML are vital components of our product strategy. Visit totalexpert.com regularly for more information as it becomes available.

 

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