Nearly all bankers understand by now that a digital fulfillment strategy is essential to ongoing success. Unfortunately, accepting this premise is much easier than putting it into practice. A new ARGO white paper digs into the roadblocks FIs must overcome in order to implement a successful digital strategy.
The days of a single threaded (branch) fulfillment strategy are now in the rear view mirror, upended by increasingly common omni-channel consumer decision journeys. Nearly three-quarters of banking consumers are now engaging online in some fashion. FIs need to meet these prospects on their turf in order to earn a turn at bat- and a separate online silo that merely replicates the legacy process no longer cuts it.
Don’t Stop Believing- in the Customer Journey
For starters, it’s imperative that banks and credit unions understand who is visiting their websites and why. Roughly a quarter of visits are typically from non-customers researching potential new alternatives. Thanks to the internet, these consumers arriving at the site are better-informed than shoppers of old. As a result, marketing efforts must strike a careful balance between high-level introductory info geared toward prompting consideration, and more advanced product details for those further down the path.
Studies show that 69 percent of the time, the brand initially considered is the one ultimately purchased. Therefore, banks and credit unions need to reach consumers early in the decision journey, with relevant information and offers that are convenient, efficient and seamless.
This is the point at which most FI digital strategies break down. Eighty percent of the online bank applications started by consumers are never completed. Clearly not all of these supposed applicants were viable prospects in the first place, but that factor certainly accounts for only a fraction of the attrition. The challenge facing banks is in parsing out this traffic and re-engaging the prospects demonstrating true interest.
Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle
Research indicates that consumer satisfaction with an online application process declines markedly beyond an 11-minute flashpoint. Product managers should keep this threshold in mind when designing the process- the best approach is rarely a mimicking of the paper application in a digital template. Rethink the information being requested- some can often be auto-populated. One-third of abandoners also take issue with too much personal information being requested, making this a good area to revisit- particularly at this stage of the process.
Perhaps there are good reasons for collecting data that requires more than ten minutes to gather. If so, consider dividing the exercise into shorter, discrete tasks that can be completed at different times- some even in person at the branch, if the customer prefers (as some may).
The longer the process, the greater the opportunity for real life (or social media) to intervene, leading to application abandonment. A simple email follow-up has been shown to re-engage 30 percent of these abandonments. Better yet, state-of-the-art site tracking can determine likely causes for attrition (such as distraction or confusion), allowing for better tailored follow-ups that can further improve engagement as well as highlight opportunities to fine-tune the model. It’s important for such outreach to avoid a “big brother” tone, however.
Our digital fulfillment white paper addresses these topics in greater detail, as well as offer proven approaches to demographic segmentation. We hope you’ll take the time to read it, and reach out to ARGO for further discussion.