Banks face a number of unique challenges in 2017. The financial crisis of 2008 all but ruined customers’ trust in banks, and that trust hasn’t exactly increased over the past decade. In addition, customers aren’t taking advantage of all the financial services that banks provide, or aren’t taking advantage of them with enough education to make use of them. On top of that, general ignorance or willful dismissal of security best practices is leading to more data breaches, which banks handle directly or indirectly, depending on the nature of the breach.
All of these problems could be either resolved or improved by banks taking a more proactive role in educating their customers—and fortunately, there’s plenty of tech available to help them do it.
How Tech Improves Customer Education
These are just some of the ways your bank can use more tech to improve customer education:
- Customer portals and knowledge banks. Nearly all modern banks have some kind of online component, allowing customers to log in and view information on their accounts. You can consider this a “customer portal,” designed specifically for providing information to your current customers. You can improve education by developing and publishing more content here, such as tips to build a credit score, how to start a budget, or more advanced topics for your more experienced customers.
- Ongoing newsletters. While you’re at it, try to get as many email addresses from your current client base as possible, and start an initiative to send out regular newsletters (either weekly or monthly). Provide information on your bank’s latest financial products, and helpful tips on how to improve both security and financial standing. Just make sure it’s not too promotional, or customers might tune you out.
- Awareness initiatives. You can also use tech to start awareness initiatives related to complex financial topics that the average bank customer might not understand, like spread trading. These can constitute a combination of customer portal content, email newsletter reminders, and even in-person workshops that you plan and organize via social media and meetup sites. The key to success here is generating enough initial interest, which means emphasizing not just the financial topic, but also why it’s important to the average consumer.
- Marketing campaigns. You can (and should) invest in digital marketing campaigns, leveraging search ads, social media ads, onsite content, and other digital outlets to improve visibility of your efforts. Focus on what you’re doing to improve the lives of your customers, and what type of information they can get by reading and engaging with your content. Then, offer opportunities for comments and discussion.
Why a Strong Brand Is Your First Step
Technology should be used as a conduit to help your brand reach more customers; if your brand doesn’t have a strong foundation to start, it may not be as effective. Your new education initiatives should start with an audit of your current brand standards, to determine how you’re currently viewed by customers, and how you’d like to be viewed in the future.
Pay close attention to your mission, your core values, and key characteristics you want to be associated with the brand. Then, take special care to incorporate those brand markers in all your educational collateral—whether it’s tech-based or not.
If you’re looking for a better tech solution to reach your customers, consider SAP’s lineup of software products for banks. It can improve your communication, provide more transparency to your customers, and eventually help you build the consumer trust you need to succeed.