The internet has made businesses much more agile. Anyone can start an e-commerce store and with social media and Google Ad Network, anyone can advertise and market their products. But how do you get – and keep – customer attention in such a competitive business landscape? The secret is in managing customers through relational advertising and communication, as opposed to product-centric advertising.
A method of reaching customers beyond customer relationship management is called customer value maximization. It allows for a greater amount of personalization in customer interactions, as well as sustained and meaningful relationships between a customer and a business.
The customer value maximization process is really the foundation of any modern business but certainly benefits the banking industry, due to the breadth of product available through most financial institutions, including checking accounts, CDs, investments, mortgages, education loans, and even wealth management options. Banks, then, have an opportunity to identify customers who would benefit from more than one of their products, allowing them to increase the value per customer that each customer offers the organization.
Shifting to a more customer-centric marketing perspective with a customer value approach can be accomplished in a four-step process. Here are things to keep in mind with achieving customer value management maximization.
Know What Your Customer Needs
Advertising used to rely heavily on telling customers what they needed. As the economy changed and demographics shifted, more businesses began to move their attention to trying to understand what customers felt they wanted and needed. With more options than ever before, customers are exceedingly particular about what companies they spend their money with, so proving that you understand your audiences’ needs – and that you’re the best solution – is more important than ever.
There are several ways that banks can identify what their customer base is likely to need. Customer and market research can help identify trends, while first-hand information collected from customers in the form of surveys, focus groups, and more, can help further pinpoint customer information.
Once you understand what your customer is looking for, you can think about your product line. Maybe survey information dictates that speed is essential – how fast can customers open an account with you? What about getting pre-approved for a mortgage? It’s important to improve products based on customer feedback – or even introduce new ones. Better, more personalized options lead to more satisfied customers. Satisfied customers are more likely to spend more time as a customer with your firm, therefore providing you with more value.
Upsell and Cross-sell
Once customers trust that you have their best interests at heart – as opposed to just seeing them as a transaction – they are more likely to respond to being upsold on products. A mortgage offer is going to seem much more appealing from a company who has a knowledgeable relationship with a checking account client, as opposed to the client who receives mortgage info from a cold email.
This is one of the most significant parts of customer value maximization. Rather than just provide a great product and great service that will keep your customer happy for years, you have the opportunity to add value to a customer’s life through more beneficial and convenient products, which in turn adds more value to your bottom line.
Ask for Referrals and Recommendations
Referrals have always been a huge part of banking and finance – from accountants to tax preparers to wealth asset management to mortgage brokers, many people working in the financial services industry rely on word of mouth to promote their business. Customer value maximization lends itself very well to ask for recommendations because it’s a natural progression of establishing a good relationship with a customer and helping them find satisfactory solutions.
It’s also important to keep in mind that utilizing new technology or digital elements can help you implement not only a new, valuable method of customer acquisition and retention, but do it more easily. Customer value maximization programs are becoming readily available for businesses to add to their product suite and provide an extremely valuable resource to financial institutions who don’t always have the manpower or staff to commit to growing customer relationships individually, on a one-on-one basis.
Approaching business and marketing from a customer value standpoint can be an investment, but it also promises fulfilling payoff. Customer value maximization is an important perspective for banks to consider, particularly as more millennials seek online only finance options and also demand an increase in personalized solutions for their everyday life.