Financial Services

Financial Services: The State of Customer Engagement

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Jun 15, 2021

In the year plus that's passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies across industries have had to adapt quickly to meet the many challenges of the moment. Brands have had to act with agility to understand and serve new customer needs. They've had to embrace digital, and fast. And, at the same time, they've been up against what McKinsey has referred to as a "shock to customer loyalty," with 75% of consumers switching how they complete transactions, including trying out new methods of shopping, new brands, and new digital purchasing options.

For financial services brands looking to gain an advantage during these challenging times, there’s a clear path forward: Prioritizing customer engagement. While customer engagement has been a go-to competitive advantage for leading brands outside of the financial services sector, an increasing number of banks, insurers, and other finance brands are adopting advanced customer engagement practices. These days, it's not enough for brands to simply break through the noise and competition within the FinServ industry, it's on marketers to out-message and out-personalize the customer experience to the standards set by innovative tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and more.

To help your financial services brand evaluate and elevate your company's approaches to building relationships with customers, Braze has a new resource, the Global Customer Engagement Review, offering an in-depth analysis that reveals how excelling at customer engagement can directly drive long-term, capital-efficient business growth across industries and regions. Here's a look at some of the key findings FinServ brands need to know about.

Financial Services Brands' Marketing Budgets Are Growing—and Customer Engagement Is a Key Priority

In 2021, more than half of banks and other financial brands plan to increase their investment in marketing, according to a 2020 survey of 1,300 VP+ marketing executives conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Braze. Nearly 50% of these leaders surveyed also reported that they plan to grow the amount allocated to measuring customer satisfaction this year.

And there's a payoff to making these kinds of investments. According to our analysis, when financial services organizations are able to optimize their customer engagement by leveraging cross-channel messaging, they are able to deliver major results across sessions, LTV, and, ultimately, retention.

Top Customer Engagement Opportunities for Finance Brands

#1: Increase app users

While not every bank or insurance brand has a mobile app, our research suggests that the industry sees strong engagement on mobile, particularly when it comes to conversions. In fact, the mobile app conversion rate for financial services customers is nearly 34% higher than the average across all industries. But just because banks, insurers, and other finance brands offer apps doesn’t mean that online audiences know about these resources, and that right there appears to be the biggest opportunity for FinServ companies. The "used app" conversion rate for this industry is much lower than the overall average, nearly 17% lower in fact.

To guide the financial services customer to mobile experiences where they show high conversion rates, consider building out app download messaging campaigns that use a combination of website banners, in-browser messages, and emails to encourage new user app downloads.

#2: Go beyond a single-channel approach

While many brands tend to connect with their customers via traditional digital engagement channels—via email or mobile push notifications, banks that achieve the greatest success in terms of customer lifetime, number of purchases (per user and per buyer), session activity, buyer rate, and repeat buyers have evolved beyond single-channel outreach to adopting cross-channel customer engagement.

For instance, by branching out from mobile push only to email, in-app messaging, and mobile push, FinServ brands can achieve up to a 2,231% lift in purchases per user, a 98% lift in purchases per buyer, and nearly 209% lift in average lifetime, to name a few.

This multi-pronged approach delivers greater results because it enables brands not only to connect with customers wherever they are in the moment, but also because this kind of cross-channel outreach is designed for brands to orchestrate multiple campaigns into one cohesive, comprehensive messaging sequence that naturally goes with the flow of each unique customer journey.

How Braze Helps Finance Brands Achieve Best-in-Class Customer Engagement

As a partner to leading financial services brands, Braze helps clients roll out cross-channel messaging, optimize customer engagement capabilities, improve 1:1 personalization, and more to drive key customer engagement outcomes.

When Braze teamed up with New York's largest check cashing and financial services provider Payomatic to roll out cross-channel engagement tying in in-app messages, Content Cards, and Connected Content to keep content updated in real-time, the company saw gains across mobile app engagement by 11%, while also managing to drive prepaid cardholder mobile app penetration by 50% and mobile deposit adoption rates by 32%.

Ready to Live Up to Your True Customer Engagement Potential?

For even more insights about what it takes to get customer engagement right and move the needle on customer loyalty and customer lifetime value, get your copy of the complete 2021 Global Customer Engagement Review.

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip

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