Engaging meaningfully with financial consumers via online, social and branch channels is a challenging task. In order to acquire new customers, grow relationships and drive retention, it is critical that banks and credit unions provide financial education content that drives discovery, exploration and educates.
The customer journey for financial products takes place across multiple channels and touch points, where financial consumers educate themselves, discover, explore and finally buy. But that's just the beginning. Once a financial consumer begins a relationship with a financial institution, that cycle can repeat itself again and again.
For new financial product purchases, customer journeys can begin at a Search Engine, Web or Branch, with traffic coming to you via search listings, word of mouth or the strength of your brand.
Once a financial relationship begins, it can continue in social channels, through direct communications and in your daily customer interactions.
How you educate financial consumers in each of these stages and channels will help determine your success and whether you're able to add a new customer, grow your relationship with them and retain their business.
Most of these interactions have a financial education component. And the quality, tone and focus of your financial education content will determine if financial consumers engage with you further; whether that engagement drives discovery and if that discovery encourages exploration.
Education Drives Discovery
Even having an opportunity to engage a financial consumer can be driven by the right financial education content. Will the content you have on your website be relevant to financial education keywords submitted to search engines? Does your content provide educational value, or is just a sales pitch about you and your products? Content that puts consumers in control, that educates them on their choices, options and builds their confidence and financial knowledge base is the most powerful.
Too much information can be overwhelming, intimidating and a turn-off for deeper discovery. Making content inviting, simple and easily digestible will encourage discovery and aid decision-making.
Discovery Encourages Exploration
Once consumers make the determination that your education content is meaningful to them, they'll give you the opportunity to tell your story, whether that be on your website, branch or contact center. Educational content should give financial consumers the detail that they're seeking when they explore a financial product or topic and should encourage them to continue on as you guide them to purchase.
Once a relationship is established, financial consumers will often want to engage more deeply with their providers. They'll sign up for email lists or 'like' their provider on Facebook. This openness is an invitation to engage and educate again, but that opportunity is dependent on whether that engagement continues to offer value to the consumer. A steady stream of ads or sales pitches won't create that value.
Providing financial education content that is meaningful, that helps customers get the most out of their financial products will continue to enhance the relationship and encourage further engagement, discovery and exploration that can spark a growth in that relationship.
Leverage Relationships for Further Engagement
Open channels of communications are an invitation to maintain and enhance existing relationships. Customers that welcome your outreach initiatives are generally open to further engagement and discovery. The financial education content that you reach out to them with is key to whether they keep those communication channels open or shut them down because they no longer see value in them.