In previous articles we elaborated on why personalization in financial services matters, what the roadmap towards a relevant one-on-one engagement with your client can look like and which competences you need to get there. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Therefore we let Geert, Application Architect at AE, testify about his first-hand experience working around personalization with financial service providers.
Geert has been following the trends in the sector for a while: “In the past, banks often applied a model where internal departments thought and acted product-oriented – deliver the best possible product – whereas the personal approach was the main focus of the regional branches and advisors. Nowadays, new technologies have shifted banking towards digital, putting this traditional model under pressure.” Financial service providers are forced to evolve and review their infrastructure to guarantee a personalized approach across all channels and interaction points with their clients. This simply because customers no longer buy “one size fits all” mass communication and expect a personalized approach from all service providers.
This confronts the sector with a number of challenges, points Geert: “Most financial application landscapes are composed of mainframes, intended to efficiently serve a large amount of clients.” To make the shift towards personalization, requires on the one hand a data science capability to gain insights around the needs and behavior of customers. On the other hand, it requires the flexibility to customize content, products and services to meet and appeal to the needs of the entire target audience.
Needless to say, this puts pressure on organizations, who are already struggling with meeting the requirements and workload new and existing regulation imposes. But technology is not the sole concern. Geert:
“Technology is an important means. Organizations though need a mind-shift, often with business and marketing in the lead, to start thinking in terms of customer journeys, taking the customer’s point of view as a starting point.”
Geert expects this mind-shift to infiltrate more and more into the project he’s currently working on. When Geert joined the project, the client had already rolled out a custom build software product. This had its limitations which led the client to look in the market for a product that better met the needs.
Geert: “Once we found the best fit service, we started a proof of concept. The POC approach aimed to kill two birds with one stone: mature the knowledge and expertise internally and initiate the mind-shift. To deliver the change, a roadmap with different tracks was drawn up. The roadmap consisted of four tracks which will support our client in achieving its “personalization” goals":
- Ensure the different features of the tool to support the journey (f.e. choose the right channel, apply the right data science model to target the right clients, …).
- Adapt the infrastructure in order to be able to run these features.
- Implement one concrete journey, to make sure the features effectively support the journey approach and help marketing in achieving the objective of the project.
- Transform the organization and make it ready to work with customer journeys and with the tooling.
Geert is definitely enthusiastic on the progress made so far, but simultaneously adds the improvements in usage still to be made: “Currently we’re at the start of the roadmap. We are focusing on the availability of the features and the readiness of the organization to work effectively with the tools.”
Read the blog on our maturity model:
The results achieved for the end client are: “As soon as the data science models were applied, the conversion rate increased. The data science models aim at identifying more accurately and intelligently the audience likely to be interested in a specific offering.The impact is really strong."
The change for the marketing team wasn’t a walk in the park though, according to Geert. “The department was used to sending out mass mailings. Targeting 100.000 to 500.000 clients at once was not an exception. With the new approach we target the “right” clients. The strategy shifted from push to pull. The more progress we make, the more the customer will feel personally appealed.”
Geert looks forward with quite a lot of expectations to the next steps: “In the coming years the company aims to incorporate customer journeys in most of her marketing actions. The overall objective is to create for the end client a hyper-personalized, relevant experience: simulate the family-like sentiment from the agency director, but now from your lazy armchair.”
Other relevant articles
- "How to deliver a relevant banking experience to your clients and why this matters?"
- "Five steps to improve your client interactions"
- "Competences you need to deliver your clients a relevant and personalized service"
Do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org for a deep-dive conversation on your personalization strategy.