Customer Engagement

Technology and banking: Part 2

In the first part of this two-part series we discussed some of the current technology applications businesses are using to create an efficient and convenient digital experience for their customers, as well as, the ability of the business to gather essential information that allows for a better and more targeted line of communication with their customers. As mentioned, the information a business is able to gather about individual customers is priceless and usable in countless ways. Let’s quickly examine how grocery stores use this type of information, as the grocery industry is masterful at capitalizing on information they are able to analyze and then provide targeted incentives to customers based upon their shopping history and habits. Most of the reward programs offered by grocery stores are now driven by the same technology as the business apps being developed. Grocery stores are able to gather a tremendous amount of information about each consumer that they can track and immediately know when a customer shops, what they buy, how much they spend and if they have been absent from the store. Grocery stores are then able to send a coupon, personalized messages and invitations that speak directly to a consumer based upon their shopping behavior. Now that we’ve made our point about the importance of utilizing this type of technology we will outline six technology services that will get you on track creating a better experience for your customer and more powerful marketing and promotion capacity for your bank.

Digital Appointments:

Per previously mentioned examples of most service based businesses offering scheduling abilities from their mobile device we can offer you Digital Appointment capabilities, of which will allow customers to schedule an appointment via and app within a calendar of available times. The scheduled appointment appears on the bank computers alerting a representative to the scheduled appointment. Upon arrival, the customer checks in via the app alerting the representative that the customers is in the building. This app can be developed as simple or as robust as desired by the bank.

Creating A Digital Connection:

This function allows a customer to bank they way want while also providing the bank with a tremendous amount of information about this particular customer. The primary purpose is for customers to make notes about various questions and thoughts about their accounts or bank offered services. The bank also has the ability to make notes about the customer that can be used for future follow up, direct messaging and an overall better rapport.

Account Finder:

This function provides the customer the ability to browse various products and services offered by the bank that are targeted to them based upon how they answered a few questions. If the results of a questionnaire provide insight that a customer is interested in learning more about mortgages they will be presented with mortgage based information. The customer then has the option to download the information, email to themselves or share with someone else.  The customer can fill out any applications or documents necessary prior to arriving at the bank making the process very efficient for both parties. The bank is also able to track the items customers downloaded and is therefore able to content them to discuss in greater detail or inspire them to continue with the process. It is a tremendously powerful sales tool for a bank.

Live And Interactive Widget Wall:

A live and interactive widget wall is primarily a function proven by consumers as something they want. This is the added value ‘stuff,’ we mentioned, but it is also a great resource for interacting with your customers while also being a ‘go-to’ page for banking information and otherwise. Featured are an interactive calendar, the date and time, local weather, trivia, sports scores and potentially advertisements either from the bank or outside businesses.  Real time information about upcoming events, area web cams and social media posts and tweets being made by the bank and customers. You can post an online poll about upcoming cultural events that result in customer interaction within your brand. This function is what is referred to as the random scroll though page during idle times, but if you are able to be connecting and communicating with your customers as a result it provides and opportunity you don’t otherwise get. Keep in mind we can customize this wall to be relevant to your bank and community.

In-Branch Screens:

It is not uncommon for businesses to have flat screens featuring digital displays, but our service allows these screens to become interactive.  Consumers are able to click through a menu of options and narrow down the information to their interest. Upon finding something of interest, the consumer can download the information to their device, which is also digitally tracked by the bank. If a customer downloads information about a checking account the bank can proactively follow up with the customer with more information about checking accounts. This service is very powerful in establishing dialogues with the customer based upon items they have shown interest in knowing about.

Digital Referral Program:

Referral programs are not a new banking tactic, but offering this incentive digitally is new. In this day in age, traditional referral programs are cumbersome and appear as a chore rather than a bonus. We can offer you the ability to establish the referral program via digital applications that happen instantly. A person is much more likely to take advantage of a referral program if they can solicit to all their friends at once via social media rather than tracking others down and pitching it one at a time.  

It is our intention to outline some of the current technology apps that we, The Element Group are implementing in banks throughout the country, but is more of our intention to speak with you directly about helping you take advantage of these functions that are proving successful in creating a more efficient and fluid banking experience for your customers while allowing you the ability to be more targeted and effective in communicating with your customers.

These are six bits of technology that will transform how you and your customers do business together and as we always say, Every Bit Matters.

 

 

 

Go to Part 1 >>

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Article written by Brent Beckett for The Element Group.
Edited by Lyndsay Reese.

Technology and banking: Part 1

It is becoming common for bank tellers to inform customers of the various banking functions that can be done at the A.T.M., home computer or mobile device to allow for and offer more customer convenience.  For the most part, most of these transactions by technology consist of fundamental tasks such as making a deposit, withdrawal and balance inquiries.

Yes, it is true that most banks now offer online and mobile banking apps that allow users to accomplish some banking tasks. However, let’s compare these apps to what contemporary service companies offer their customers in ways ranging from limited assistance to total self-sufficiency.  Consider the Expedia mobile app. It is truly a full-service, do anything, from anywhere app that allows such things as booking flights, hotels, cars, airport-shuttles. You can check in, check out, buy tickets to parks, museums and tours, earn points, and make referrals while sorting all of the options by price, ratings and more.  This of course, limits, if not, eliminates the face-to-face interaction that provides greater opportunity to pitch products and services. Perhaps, there is the best of both worlds of offering the convenience of technology with personal interaction.

It is estimated there are more than 1.5 million apps available to consumers offering every service and convenience imaginable. However, at a time when consumers can schedule haircuts, a massage or dentist appointments simply and successfully via their mobile device some of the banking procedures seem a bit outdated and cumbersome.  If the tactic for an active and available teller is to encourage a customer to utilize the A.T.M. or a mobile app than the technology should over compensate for the reduced customer service and human interaction.  -Or better yet, combine the two.

It is still common for a customer to walk into a bank intending to speak with a representative and wait in a chair until their turn or an available time. Wait. What? Wait? Who waits anymore? With an app scheduling feature, a customers can walk off the street, be caped, cut and squared up at a barbershop with mobile app technology, but have to aimlessly wait at a bank for a representative, then start from the very beginning as to their purpose for being there? This is inefficient for the consumer and the bankers.  Additionally, without the banker logging a tremendous amount of information from name, email, address, and phone number, there is very little effective and controlled way of keeping a connection open between the customer and the bank. More importantly, vital information that can greatly increase the customer banker relationship by providing customized and targeted messages to customers based upon the data gathered through technology is easily lost. In addition to creating a more efficient and convenient experience via technology it is a remarkable to establish and grow a rapport with the customer that is custom to their banking wants and needs. This technology based dialogue is an added layer to the face-to-face customer service already in place and allows for ongoing communication outside of the bank. This is ultimately the power of utilizing technology to interact with your customers.

It is proven that consumers prioritize their apps in order of usage, of which, is based upon the apps that offer the most information and resources both pertaining to the app industry and general information such as time, date, weather, notes, appointments, games and trivia.  According to Statistica, a company offering statistics and studies from more than 18,000 Sources, this month, June 2015, business apps were the second-most popular category, and with a share of 10.33 percent of active all apps being business apps.  What do consumers want from a business app? They want user-friendly, customized information specific to them, convenience and added value ‘stuff’ of interest pertinent to the business. Statistica notes this ‘stuff’ as the time, trivia, quotes, weather and so forth. More importantly from the business aspect, this interaction allows you to understand and get to know your customers better and you have to know your customers to be fully able to serve them.

This editorial blog is Part 1 of 2 highlighting specific app functions that The Element Group can offer your bank in order to enhance and maximize the relationship you have with your customers while still encouraging and maintaining direct communication between you and the customer, but in a way that allows you to customize the information for an individual with the ultimate objective being a scheduled.  Our options provide quality information and the ‘stuff.’ Now that we’ve discussed the importance of providing practical and usable information to your customers via the use of effective apps we will follow up with six features that will elevate your presence within your customers prioritized apps and potentially make you a ‘go-to’ resource that keeps your brand front and center on your customers devices creating a daily brand awareness incomparable to any other.

GO TO PART 2 >>

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Article written by Brent Beckett for The Element Group.
Edited by Lyndsay Reese.

 

The Modern Shopping Experience

As part of our due diligence in the development of customer interactive technology for financial services, we've come across many outstanding examples in the current retail environment.  One such company is a small clothing retailer called Hointer. This company, based in Seattle Washington is reinventing the shopping experience by allowing consumers to engage, try and purchase goods with only the assistance of their smart phone. 

Join GeekWire CEO Jonathan Sposato as he explores Hointer, a store that combines technology and traditional shopping. Think of it as the high-tech, modern shopping experience: something that is as fast and efficient as buying online, but still allows you to try on and touch the clothing.

Entrance of the Hointer store

As part of the shopping experience, your mobile device is used to:

  • Look up information about any and all store items
  • Select the exact size that is right for you
  • Assign YOUR dressing room where your items are delivered in moments via a robotic delivery system
  • Make in-store purchases
  • Make out of store purchases to be shipped to you desired location

One of the biggest challenges / opportunities being discussed in financial services today is how do we stay engaged with customers and interact via the thier own mobile device. Over the past 90 days we have developed a variety of applications to solve this issue.  Some of those include the follow:

  • Real time appointment scheduler (Think apple genius bar)

  • Immediate & real time CSR follow up & next steps

  • In branch digital engagement via the customers mobile device

  • In branch touchscreen opportunities

  • In or out of branch digital downloads (brochures, presentations, contacts etc…)

  • Real time social media widgets, calendars, time and weather feeds

We've also developed gaming opportunities for “kids” zones designed to engage, entertain and educate children.  In addition, we are developing “gaming” opportunities for adults to allow customers to control the screens with hand gestures.

For additional information or demo's please drop us a note. 

10 Ways Your Bank Should Be Using Pinterest - Part 2

Now that you’re in the know about the best way to set up your Pinterest business account, let’s take a look at five powerful pin ideas that your bank can start using today. If you missed Part 1, catch it here.

6. Infographics

Make info visual (i.e. graphs, charts). You can even use Infogr.am , a selection of templates to create infographics for free. Check out the infographics board by Rich Dad Poor Dad on Pinterest for some great inspiration.

7. Checklists

Create a visual format for helpful lists. What can you create a checklist for to promote your business and help your customers? Checklists are a very popular form of content. People love lists. Link your list pin to a product of yours where they can download the checklist, and even sign up for a newsletter on the topic. A first-time home buyer’s checklist, seasonal money saving tips, or a retirement savings checklist would be great ones for your bank to offer.

8. Teaser Texts/CTA's

An image becomes so much more with a banner of text that gets their attention and gets them to click to content. Translate content into a visual snapshot for Pinterest and place a Call-to-Action (CTA) on it. For example, a picture of a kitchen sink is just that without any text, but with “7 Home Improvement Projects You Shouldn’t Ignore” added to it, people are going to take action. PicMonkey.com is a free service that allows you to seamlessly add teaser text to photos and supercharge your visual content.

9. Videos

These are very powerful on Pinterest. Many people don’t even realize that you can pin videos but it is quite easy to do so. You can pin videos directly from YouTube, which if you have your own YouTube channel is fantastic. BirchBox TV is a great example of a business that is creating value for their customers via video.

10. Effective Captions

Finally, one of the main ingredients in creating a powerful pin is to write an effective caption. Include a CTA in your caption – a verb that tells them what to do, such as “click here”, “pin this”, or “download for free.” Use keywords in your description so that you build backlinks to your site and get found better in searches like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, as well as the Pinterest search.


TIME-SAVING TIP!!!

Pinning at the right time of day can help your business gain more visibility. Pinterest users tend to be on in the early morning and late evening, and especially early on Saturday mornings. If you’re worried about not being able to pin at the right times, then you can use Viraltag, a tool to schedule pins at optimal times.




Go to Part 1 >>
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Article written by Naomi Farr for The Element Group.

10 Ways Your Bank Should Be Using Pinterest - Part 1

Pinterest is currently the fourth largest driver of traffic on the web, according to Pinterest master and successful entrepreneur Melanie Duncan. Chances are you’ve pinned a few images by now, but are you using Pinterest in an optimal way for your business? Using Pinterest to create inspiration boards for your next vacation or to collect images of all the shoes you wish you had in your closet is one thing, but using it for business is quite another and the two should be kept separate – unless of course you own a shoe boutique.

Customers are shopping on Pinterest, they’re interacting with brands, and looking for inspiration on what to buy next and where to select services. As a business you should be creating the right type of content to build your brand, increase your visibility, and actively engage your audience so that you ultimately get more sales.

First, let’s lay the foundation for best business practices on Pinterest:

1. Be Pinnable

The first step you should take is to make sure the content on your website and blog can be easily pinned to Pinterest. There are many pin-it button plugins you can find for your site, either that place a pin-it button over each image, or at the bottom of each post. This ensures it is easy for viewers to pin images and content from your website in a simple click.

2. Get A Pinterest Business Account

By creating an official business account you can take advantage of the features Pinterest is constantly rolling out new features for businesses, such as analytics for your Pinterest page. If you started a personal Pinterest account for your business you can convert into a business page.

3. Serve Your Audience

Connect and share with them.  Promote pinning by creating content that is useful to them and that they will naturally want to re-pin. 80% of pins are re-pins! This is fantastic because people are sharing naturally, and doing much of the time-consuming work for you.  What kind of pins can you, as a bank, create for your audience? How about home remodeling trends, space-saving design, infographics about home refinancing, car loans, or saving for college? See five powerful pin ideas in Part 2.

4. Promote Content Circulation

You can do this by creating your own original content. If you are simply using Pinterest to re-pin other pins you are just leading more traffic to the sites that those pins came from, not yours. Create original content with CTA’s that link pins to your opt-in email list, for example.

5. Integrate Your Social Media Efforts

Place a Pinterest tab on your Facebook page, for example, so that you can leverage your audience in multiple places.

 

Go to Part 2 >>
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Article written by Naomi Farr for The Element Group.