Recently, Blend commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the state of personalization in the financial services sector. For many, personalization is a tech industry buzzword with strong ties to the retail industry and digital marketing. In reality, it is a strategic approach that, once turned into a core business practice, can help companies across the board provide relevant, interesting, and valuable interactions.
The results are in.
How banks can unlock quick wins and lasting value reveals that financial services customers have come to expect experiential engagement across all touchpoints — an expectation whose importance is predicted to increase exponentially.
But what should CDOs and their teams take note of on their journey to deliver these innovative, personalized experiences? By understanding what consumers are looking for — and how they want to be served — CDOs can forge a path to excellence in personalization by delivering the best-in-class digital experiences customers demand across every channel.
Consumers don’t silo expectations
Financial services may not seem like it has much in common with streaming services, device manufacturers, or online retailers. However, the strides these industries have made in personalization have led to consumers holding industry-agnostic expectations, with digitally empowered consumers conditioned to expect tailored experiences that improve their daily lives.
When a consumer logs in to an app from one of the many brands that excel at personalization, that experience becomes their expectation with other verticals. When they log in to their banking app, an experience that isn’t up to par becomes even more glaring. It’s time for financial institutions to level up their personalization capabilities so they can meet — and exceed — expectations.
Consumers want thoughtfully executed personalization
But not all personalization is good personalization. To meet evolving customer expectations, Forrester emphasizes the importance of consistently offering valuable, relevant, and responsible personalization.
Consumers reward banks who can leverage data and insights to deliver personalized experiences that make sense and help them reach their unique goals. But these experiences have to be thoughtful, as consumers are prepared to go elsewhere if the banks’ failed personalization efforts — whether they are clumsy or insufficient — create friction or undermine trust.
Personalization efforts can be clumsy or inefficient in numerous ways. Offers or experiences that are deployed at the wrong time, deployed inconsistently across the customer journey, or fail to show an understanding of the individual customer they’re serving can turn into a negative experience that isn’t easily forgotten.
Consumers want banks to simplify their experience
While personalization is different across industries and companies, all consumers are ultimately asking the same question: “How are you making my life easier?” Whether finding a show to stream or shopping for a mortgage,, consumers want simplification and reward companies that provide it.
Consumers expect a personalized experience across industries, but because many financial products are inherently complicated, banks have even more to gain by delivering comprehensible processes for their consumers.
Specifically, customers look for offers that are easy to find, understand, and apply for. In a competitive landscape, a financial institution that successfully simplifies the banking experience for its customers while adding personalized touches will stand out from their competition.
¹A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Blend
What should CDOs do next?
The demand for personalized, contextualized, and dynamic engagement in financial services isn’t off on the horizon. It is already here. The world has already assimilated technology into our quotidian routines. And with that, companies are perfectly poised to leverage those innovative capabilities to deliver what customers are asking for: meaningful human experiences.
Reaching customers in a way that makes sense for their individual goals can be complex. Read the report to dive deeper into how you can develop your personalization capabilities and meet consumers where they are.