By Rob McGowan, Edit Kin + Carta Managing Director
Once there really was someone to press the elevator buttons in upmarket hotels. Charitably, you might call it early automation. It wasn’t simply a question of luxury to the point of laziness though. In their infancy, lifts were still something of an unknown quantity. How were people supposed to know how to use this newfangled piece of technology? They trusted the lift operator knew what he or she was doing – even if it was just pressing a button.
In time, people came to recognise that pressing a number would take them to the corresponding floor…as long as they weren’t looking for the thirteenth anyway. Users were always capable but what they lacked was confidence. And that is so often the challenge with any new technology. It offers the means but it takes time for users to trust it will work as it should. This is something that the banking industry has come to understand, in particular when it comes to data.
In It For Life
Technology has had a hugely positive impact on the banking sector in recent years. Thanks to disruptors, such as Monzo and Startling, the whole industry has been forced to level-up its digital offering when it comes to customer experience. While high-street names still lag behind in some elements, there is a discernible difference to how the sector operated ten years ago. For example, it has never been easier to sign up for new accounts or products using smartphones.
A byproduct of this technological advancement is the banking world is now awash with data. This data, when analysed properly and actioned in the correct way, forms the basis for today’s frictionless CX.
However, data is worthless unless it becomes insight. Understanding your customer is vital. With more alternative banking solutions on the market than ever before, customer retention is key and banks (both high-street and neobanks) need to know what is working for their customers.
While it is tempting to constantly chase growth through new customers, retaining your existing ones is just as important, if not more so. This requires a change in perspective when it comes to measuring success, looking at lifetime value of customers rather than going after the quick hit that new sign-ups bring.
But how do you surface the right customer insights that will allow you to focus on loyalty? Rather than drowning in the data swamp, and not actually getting the right actionable data, you need to be able to identify what is working and the specific customer behaviours that signal intent – whether that’s positive or negative.
These factors are of particular significance when it comes to your marketing outreach. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, especially when you are working across multiple, cross platform channels. Customers will of course interact with content and activities differently depending on the channels they use, there’s also value in analysing how these intersect on the purchase journey.
But the more channels you have, the more touch points there are, the deeper our data swamp becomes. And the easier it is to lose sight of those all-important insights. Effective marketing means trusting the technology, but also setting the right parameters at the outset to ensure you capture only the data you need.
Attribution Models And Your ROI
The next challenge is how can you measure marketing effectiveness – especially when you are operating across multiple channels? The answer is to build a predictive model that will improve targeting for marketing and thus maximise return on investment.
This involves interrogating current cross-channel data, implementing attribution, adding a reporting and visualisation tool, before building the initial model, and reviewing any other offline tools.
Next, use the on-site tools – reporting tools and optimisation framework – to create the algorithm to generate those all important actionable insights, as well as identify potential growth opportunities. The aspiration should be to develop a model that will cut through the weight of data and flag only the information that is most pertinent to the specific query.
To hark back to the lift analogy, you should only need to visit one floor at a time, so pressing all the buttons to get there is not the most efficient route. It is a case of trusting the operator – the attribution model in this case – to press the right button and get to where is needed. Take it one step at a time and layer on supplemental queries to build a rounded picture of your customers and their needs over time.
The types of data to factor in would include conversion attribution, path to conversion analysis, budget forecasting and more. A deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t highlights exactly where resources need to be placed to drive longer-term customer retention.
The intelligent use of technology and data is at the crux of understanding your customers to develop an informed loyalty and retention strategy. In turn, the best practice can be applied to other specific targets creating a virtuous circle of agility across the business and making processes more efficient and consistent across platforms.
All of these capabilities are already within grasp within the sector, it just requires a certain level of trust in the technology to take advantage of them.
It is time to press that button for yourself.