Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Onboarding Communication - How Much is Too Much

As I discuss multichannel new customer onboarding program development with financial organizations, it doesn't take long before the client asks about how much communication is too much early in a new relationship.

Interestingly, according to our research at Harland Clarke as well as research from J.D. Power, the number of new products sold and the customer satisfaction ratings both increase as the number of contacts increase during the first 90 days. In fact, according to J.D. Power, the average number of accounts sold increases from less than 2.5 to more than 3 if the customer is communicated with 4-7 times or more. In addition, the satisfaction ratings increase by more than 10% if more connections are made with the customer who opened up a new account.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Optimism and Better Results Reported in Recent DMA Quarterly Business Review

In the most recent DMA/Winterberry Group Quarterly Business Review (QBR) for the first quarter of 2010, the Direct Marketing Association in conjunction with The Winterberry Group found that both direct and digital marketers have seen improved performance in terms of revenue, marketing expenditures and profitability compared to the previous quarter and the same quarter last year. Moreover, both marketers and service providers have optimism that this growth will continue, albeit at a slow pace.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Drop in Loyalty and Impact of Premiums Should Concern Bankers

According to the 2010 U.S. Retail Bank New Account Study released by J.D. Power yesterday, large banks captured a higher proportion of prospective customers compared with regional banks. Based on responses from 3,770 consumers who shopped for a new banking account or a new financial institution during the past 12 months, larger banks acquired 70 percent of prospective shoppers while regional banks secured only 59 percent of these shoppers.

According to the study, the higher capture rate by large national banks was significantly impacted by the use of promotional gifts and attractive short-term interest rates, with 24 percent of those opening an account with a large national bank saying that was the primary reason for selecting the bank (compared to only 13 percent for regional bank customers).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thinking Like Your Customer

Yesterday, I received a thought provoking Harvard Business Review blog from Scott Anthony, Managing Director of Innosight Ventures entitled, Think and Act Like Your Customers, where he discussed that many marketers surround themselves with what they produce as opposed to placing themselves in the position of a customer of their competition.

He pondered the fact that we may receive lots competitive intelligence from research decks and market studies, but we sometimes miss the simplest form of insight that can be derived by having our employees (or ourselves) use the products and services of the competition.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ten Steps to Onboarding Success

Later today, I am presenting at the Oregon Bankers Association 105th Anniversary Convention at Sunriver Resort on the topic, Stemming Attrition and Building Relationships Through Effective Onboarding.

In addition to sharing recent statistics from J.D. Power and Associates around the positive impact of increased attention early in a new relationship and the positive impact of using multiple communication channels from case studies across the banking industry, I will be sharing the ten key steps to onboarding success that I have seen over the past five years.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Mobile Banking Response to Reg E

In a June 9 webinar entitled, Mobile Alerts and Reg E presented by Javelin Strategy & Research in conjunction with ClairMail, there was a great discussion of how mobile banking and financial alerts can play an integral role in both the opting-in process and the enhancement of the customer experience after August 15.

By providing enhanced information about the customers accounts and allowing the customer to be 'in control,' the perceived value of mobile banking can be enhanced. In addition, the ability to use mobile banking alerts to help avoid OD and NSF fees enhances the value of the device even more. It was mentioned that as many as 90% of customers who receive alerts will actually take action based on the alert (through signing on to their online banking account (33%), calling (33%) or visiting the branch (14%)).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Effective Onboarding Begins with Good Insight

In 2003, the BAI released a research study entitled, 'The Ninety Day Window of Opportunity', where interviews, deposit statistics and segmentation models revealed that nearly 75% of all cross-sell opportunities and the vast majority of attrition occurred in the first 90 days of a new customer relationship. These findings continue to be verified in the marketplace, with expanded concern recently around the lack of funding, engagement and use of new products by these new customers.

More than ever, financial institutions need to begin the onboarding process by capturing an accurate and robust view of the customer which can be used across the organization to enhance the customer experience and expand the relationship with the bank. In short, to optimize the customer experience during the first critical months and year of the relationship from both the customer's and bank's perspective, you need a 360 degree view of the customer. With online account openings, this process becomes even more critical.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mobile Banking Can Improve Customer Acquisition by Sixty Percent

One of the more startling takeaways from the Mobile Banking and Emerging Applications Summit this week was when Bob Hedges from Mercatus mentioned that mobile financial services could improve customer acquisition rates by as much as 60% in key customer segments (age under 50) for early moving banks. In fact, according the research findings which were presented at blinding speed at the conference, a bank's mobile presence was more important than online banking, ATM presence or even the convenience of local branches in a customer's decision to select a bank.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

PNC Uses Social Media to Support Reg E Efforts

It appears PNC Bank is leveraging all available channels in their effort to capture as many opt-ins as possible. Today, I received a Tweet from PNC Virtual Wallet offering a description of the difference between overdraft protection and overdraft coverage. The message directed me to my Inside the Wallet Blog within the Virtual Wallet online banking site.

On the Blog, PNC innovation and Virtual Wallet leader Michael Ley, describes the options a customer has as to whether to opt-in or not with his post, "To “Opt In” or not “Opt In”… What is the Question?". Illustrations are used to help describe the options a customer has.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mobile Banking Summit Illustrates Topic is Hot

You don't need to look any further than the attendee list to realize the importance of mobile banking to our industry. Not only is almost every major institution in attendance at this year's Mobile Banking and Emerging Applications Summit, but the number of participants has increased by more than 50% according to officials from SourceMedia.

The program kicked off Sunday with a workshop by David Eads, Founder & CEO of Mobile Strategy Partners LLC where he discussed the basics of getting a Mobile Banking strategy off the ground. He also shared the first of a wave of industry statistics that made it clear to the SRO attendees that this year and next will be pivotal to the mobile banking industry. He also shared keys to developing a business case for introducing mobile banking. He emphasized that while cost reduction (mainly from offloaded balance inquiry calls) could many time justify the investment in mobile banking by itself. a drop in attrition and an increase in revenue from increased interchange and cross-sales will also improve the ROI.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chase Introduces Instant Action Text Alerts to Allow Customers to Avoid OD's Immediately

In the February 2010 Javelin Strategy and Research report on financial alerts, some of the major flaws of current alerts included difficulty of setting alerts up, lack of timeliness, not actionable enough and poorly marketed. In addition, the research found that one of the highest utility features from both a customer and bank perspective is the ability to alert and respond to potentially insufficient funds.

Expanding on their very popular low balance alert mobile banking feature, Chase Bank just introduced a new feature that addresses many of these flaws by allowing customers to easily respond to a low balance alert from the bank by immediately transferring funds through text messaging.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Alternatives to Online Bill Payment May Drive Stronger Engagement

Research has shown that one of the strongest engagement tools for new and existing checking customers is to have the customer set up online bill payment. Unfortunately, even with aggressive 'switch' programs, the success banks have had trying to get customers to sign up for online bill payment has been less than overwhelming.

To try to simplify the signing up for online bill pay (and reduce first year attrition), some banks have moved to promoting the payment of bills using debit and credit cards. In the case of using a debit card, the payment still is taken from a customer's checking account and the process for signing up can actually be easier than with a traditional biller. In addition, using a debit card for bill payment can generate interchange income for the bank, rewards for the customer, and if the payment is recurring, it will not be subject to the new Reg E stipulations.