Customer acquisition, retention, and relationship expansion activity throughout the customer journey has dramatically changed in an evolving Omni customer delivery ecosystem. Institutions have lost personal interaction in the early awareness and consideration stages due to a shift toward digital pre-purchase research and consumption.
Earlier prospect and customer detection requires innovation to identify guests and quantify needs and purchase propensity. A successful customer acquisition and retention strategy in an Omni-channel environment requires automation that identifies and meets the consumer’s needs and the institution’s objectives throughout the customer journey.
Accumulated data drives relevant and timely engagement based on lead generation and event triggers, service and support activities, satisfaction and friction indicators and attrition risk scores.
How Digitization has Changed Acquisition Strategies
Previously, the majority of customer acquisition engagement took place in a physical branch but that quickly changed during the covid-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic, nearly all consumer segments have altered how they interact with their FI because of the benefits digital functions bring. This also influences every stage of their customer journey—awareness, consideration, purchasing, service support, retention, and relationship expansion.
Today, a successful customer delivery model consists of a blend of digital and human interaction, with an appropriate detection and decisioning mechanism to deploy both methods. A holistic view of consumer interaction, early detection and identification of needs, and automated decisioning based on the qualification and quantification of the opportunity enable FIs to deliver timely and relevant engagement to meet customers where they are in their journey.
A Texas-based FI (4 billion in assets) is leveraging this very technology, along with its own customer data and ARGO’s intelligent lead generation to increase closing times by detecting, identifying, measuring, engaging, and tracking prospects in the early awareness and consideration stages. ARGO’s technology bolsters their customer acquisition strategy through quantifiable propensity-to-purchase scores, ingested information from digital sensory receptors and decision analytics to reduce waste on low probability opportunities.
Four-Pronged Customer Acquisition Strategy
Acquisition strategy is important in an Omni-channel environment due to the fact FIs have multiple channels to interact with new and existing consumers. Plans for harvesting added customer opportunity can best be achieved by concentrating on a four-pronged strategy. The first action to initiate this four-pronged strategy would be to Fortify Revenue Drivers. Since a sizable portion of consumers today interact online, FIs need an active, as opposed to passive, website with digital sensory technology to detect and quantify signals such as website navigation, time on-page, issue and error detection, and monitored activities and events. Automation analyzes signals to rapidly respond by providing relevant and timely information, offering products and services to meet identified needs, and resolving issues to enhance customer experience.
Transitioning from passive to active web technology capitalizing on previously missed revenue opportunities can strengthen the very channels that provide the most business. This can include implementing automated self-service financial planning or streamlined onboarding processing to efficiently optimize customer engagement.
Next, FIs want to Align Omni Delivery Channels to ensure a balance of in-person engagement and digital. While customer preference shifts to digital research and self-service accommodation, consumers also highly value the human touch. A fully integrated Omni approach includes both automation and a reconsideration of the role of the branch and contact center. In addition to customer-initiated acquisition, institution-initiated sales and marketing activity increases revenue with an automation infrastructure. Consumers often research and find information, but there will always be an opportunity for the institution to reach out and find new customers. Automation augments success in a new Omni business model. Combining digital sensory software and trust driven by human interaction will empower institutions to begin their customer engagement earlier, improving customer acquisition.
A Texas-based FI (13.4 billion in assets) is leveraging ARGO technology to eliminate the need for manual handling and rekeying of customer data across physical and digital channels – increasing transaction accuracy and enabling bankers to spend more time understanding customer needs. Successfully pairing ARGO’s software with the FIs legacy data to manage the customer journey and relationship expansion. Customer engagement plans are being leveraged to proactively communicate with prospects and customers based on their identified needs.
The third step highlights the importance of FI’s ability to Detect and Mitigate Risk throughout the various channels leveraged in an omni channel environment. The adoption of digital channels to meet customer needs also leaves institutions vulnerable to customer identity and credit risk.
The last step is Leverage Expanded Technology. For an institution to remain competitive in today’s lending environment, they must employ analytics and expand technology to streamline process and optimize outcomes. FIs who expand technological capabilities to predictive and decisioning analytics across a wide range of applications like fraud risk mitigation and engagement personalization for increased relevance will be able to better detect errors and intervene to reduce customer frustration and dissatisfaction.
Modernizing your acquisition strategy in an Omni-channel environment will help FIs better serve new and old customers as they shop across numerous devices and digital channels. Providing customers with the option of a digital personalized consumer experience in an omni channel environment will erase friction and dissatisfaction, leading to improvement in acquisition strategy and to customer satisfaction.
As Senior Vice President of Business Development, Todd Robertson works with over 500 banks to transform customer experiences and improve operational efficiency.