3 guidelines to make omnichannel less overwhelming

From choosing a channel to delivering a message, banks and credit unions must have a personalization-focused strategy and keep it front of mind.

In the digital age, convenience is king. Digital channels are accessible for customers and scalable for banks, but the lack of emotional connection means clients are less likely to develop brand loyalty. Unsurprisingly, a large percentage of millennials and Gen Xers have no issue switching retail banks.

There’s no fighting the digital revolution, but this doesn’t mean you should stop prioritizing customer experience. If anything, digital places an even higher value on reevaluating customer needs and creating a human-centric approach to connect with them.

We’re past the age of greeting customers with coffee in the bank lobby. Rather than in-person communication, one-to-one omnichannel marketing focuses on using many channels to connect with customers. No two consumers have the same media habits, so it’s essential to personalize their interactions by integrating their preferred channels to create seamless service interactions.

Sign up for the free BAI Banking Strategies newsletter and get industry insights delivered to your inbox.

By clicking the Subscribe button, you acknowledge that you have read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and agree to be bound by them.

What does this look like for banks? It starts with a diverse range of channel options to meet the preferences and needs of unique customers, and then to translate those human relationships to meet the needs of the channel.

Reaching your customers on their level sounds expensive but can help banks save money in the long run: Increasing retention rates by just 5% can lead to a 25% profit boost, and banks with superior customer satisfaction grow deposits at a faster rate than their competitors.

Here are three guidelines for shaping a personalized omnichannel strategy.

Engage on the customer’s preferred channel: Customers say communicating via their preferred method is the second-most important factor in their business decisions. While the size of today’s media landscape means banks need to be active on multiple channels, data insights can help you identify which ones are worth putting resources into.

Another benefit of using your future customer’s preferred platform is trust. When a bank customer feels heard and catered to, the relationship will be built more on trust. Regardless of which platforms your institution is on, interacting with customers on the one they trust and prefer can also build their trust in you.

Humanize your customer interactions: In financial services, people buy from people. Relationships are the bedrock of the industry, so transform those relationships for the digital age. Use social selling to help by having bank employees to work front and center in digital outreach. When customers interact with your bank, are they relating it to a specific person or just a brand?

Promotional emails from a person instead of a generic brand address is a start, but personal communication goes much deeper. Use social media to enable social selling for associates.

Prioritizing social selling can be more efficient by capitalizing on employees’ social reach.

Customize your messaging: It can be easy to send a mass-marketing email to a collection of potential marketing leads — but what’s easy isn’t always what’s effective. Operating on different channels requires understanding the rules of communication for each platform.

Instagram is a visual platform, so it would be out-of-touch for a bank to post word-heavy content there. Instead, use infographics and other image-based material. Taking stock of different social media methods better prepares you to reach audiences effectively.

Banks need to make each communication platform work for the needs of their audience, taking into account the user base and the nature of their business. Design campaigns based around each customer and offer personalization options to tailor these messages further. For example, messages or imagery related to legacy planning may not be well-received on Instagram, a platform dominated by younger users. Similarly, older audiences would likely be uninterested in first-time home buyer content.

It is estimated that for every $100 billion in assets a bank has, it can achieve as much as $300 million in revenue growth by personalizing its customer interactions, so it’s well worth the time investment.

The efficacy of investing in omnichannel marketing will be reflected in customers gained. By investing in personalizing your online experience, the benefits will compound over time as your bank stays front of mind with customers. Personalize your marketing, bring value with empathetic interactions, and humanize every touchpoint to retain your most valued customers.

Doug Wilber is the CEO of Denim Social