Solution Architecture
October 27, 2023

Revolutionizing Banking Customer Journeys: A Deep Dive into Salesforce

The banking industry is digitally evolving through Salesforce solutions to meet customer demands.

Shake-ups in Banking 

Today’s economic environment is defined by high interest rates. If you represent a regional bank or credit union, you know the competition isn’t just large banking institutions like Chase or Wells Fargo, but also upstart “digital banks”. These new players keep overhead low by limiting their brick and mortar office locations. They also stand out by offering fast customer service geared to digital natives. 

So far in 2023, digital banks have taken in more deposits than they lost, while regional banks saw deposit numbers fall. According to a recent report, “regional banks are facing two problems: the recent banking crisis that scared customers into shifting their money to larger lenders, and rising interest rates leading consumers to move money to things like money market funds for greater returns.”

In this competitive field, how do you stand out? Keep reading; our team of expert consultants has compiled a few suggestions. 

New Standards in CX

Another change affecting the business landscape is a higher bar for CX. The “good customer service” of fifteen, ten or even five years ago is no longer good enough. Across industries, customers are increasingly rewarding brands that anticipate their needs with personalized communications and services. According to Gartner, “CX drives over two-thirds of customer loyalty, which represents more than brand and price combined.” 

It’s too late to blame Amazon – this is the new reality. In the context of banking, customers expect a financial partner that supports and educates them as their lives change. A big part of that is being readily available: more than half of customers expect brands to respond within an hour. Further, customers want to help themselves, with 75% saying it’s important for brands to offer them full self-service options to answer their questions. Lastly, digital natives communicate across social media channels and devices, meaning your company messages should be flexible and ubiquitous. 

Understanding the Software 

Many “digital banks” relate to their customers continuously, offering personalized offers and recommendations for educational resources such as webinars or articles. You may think replicating this type of high-touch digital CX is daunting. It doesn’t have to be. To get you started, we’ll explain Salesforce Marketing Cloud and how implementing this software will sharpen your competitive edge. 

First, we’ll break down the tools known as Personalization and Intelligence. 

Marketing Cloud Personalization

MCP gives companies a complete view into what their prospects and customers are doing and when. A tracking beacon on the company website monitors all actions performed by visitors. Further, a sitemap is set up to track every page and action on the website. Machine learning allows companies to find out what affinities interest their customers, so the system can deliver personalized messaging at the right time.

MCP also allows companies the ability to create service or article recommendations based on the actions of similar website visitors. MCP will analyze all web visitors and their browsing or action history to find out what path similar customers will take. 

Content zones can also be used within MCP to call out a specific action or item. You may want a content zone on your page if a user performs a particular action. For example, if a user selects a product from a dropdown menu that requires a branch manager to phone them, you can place a content zone below the dropdown asking for their information or setting an appointment.

Marketing Cloud Intelligence

Marketing Cloud Intelligence is a marketing analytics product built to be a single source of reporting. MC Intelligence has a wealth of out-of-the box connectors (100+) to ingest the most common marketing sources ranging in data types (display ad data, ad planning, web analytics, CRM and more). 

Once this data is connected, MC Intelligence has several harmonization features to join data and enable a unified reporting view. For example, looking at Facebook ad data (number of impressions, clicks, cost, etc.) in line with the CRM data (leads created, leads converted) attributed directly to Facebook. Ultimately, this enables you to calculate new KPIs that give a more accurate view of the impact of marketing campaigns.

Let’s Illustrate 

Since a picture says a thousand words (and you may not want to read a few thousand words) we’ve prepared some illustrations. Below you’ll see the typical banking customer journey, from initial attraction to acquisition to customer service and then finally retention. 

The image on top is a representation of the typical state of affairs for credit unions and regional banks. On the bottom, we’re showing how an updated tech stack leads to drastic improvement. 

  1. Attraction: The journey begins with a generic ad campaign. Even if a prospect clicks on an ad, the rest of their interaction with your company is unclear. For instance, although the ad directs the prospect to your website, your team still lacks insight into their browsing history and affinities. 

The alternative is defined by a connected ad platform. In this scenario, your team tracks all interactions with the prospect (browsing history, saved pages, propensity segment, unsubscribes, CTA responses). Now, all the ads they see are personalized. When your brand messaging is tailored to their preferences across channels, prospects are much more likely to notice. 

  1. Acquisition: As customers access online banking services, it’s customary to gather information about them (full name, email address, interests and more). Yet for the most part, these details are leveraged infrequently. Your bank may use a customer’s first name when addressing a monthly newsletter. In our example, customer Joe Patel has a son and loves golf, but since offers aren’t personalized, he isn’t likely to discover Acme Bank is offering a member discount for the August Junior Masters Clinic. 

In an ideal journey, your team provides a higher level of service by applying information about Mr. Patel. His son, Joe Junior, is invited to a children’s financial literacy online course (with parental controls for Mr. Patel). Then, the next time Mr. Patel is logged into Acme Bank, he sees a promotion for a father/son ticket bundle for Augusta Masters and the Jr. Masters Clinic. When he buys the tickets, this triggers another journey: on the day of the event, a geo-location notification surprises Mr. Patel and his son with free guest passes for the VIP area. They post on social media and tag Acme Bank.

  1. Service: Once customers are acquired, they demand attention. They will judge your brand on the level of ongoing service they receive. Right now, the typical process is to handle issues as they arise. Your team might never connect the dots: the customer who browses your mortgage web pages is the same one who complains that they’re receiving too many irrelevant weekly emails. That disconnect is a missed opportunity.

On the other hand, we have a scenario where all engagement data is synched to the customer's record. This means your team has a single source of truth. The support agent is empowered with a full view of the individual’s bank history. In this case, the support agent follows a “next best recommendation” offered by the system – when this particular customer calls for a routine support issue, the agent also inquires about their mortgage needs. This eliminates any lag time where the customer would have waited to be contacted by a different department. Instant connection has a much better chance of yielding results. 

  1. Retention: Lastly, customers must be retained. Just think: the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70% while the probability of selling to a new customer is only between 5% and 20%. In our example, although Mr. Joe Patel was extremely satisfied at the acquisition stage, years have passed. He now has a higher than average number of support cases. He recently updated his address on file, but he hasn’t made any deposits in the last three months. This behavior pattern may raise a red flag for your team, who adds Mr. Patel to an “At Risk” customer journey. At this juncture, he may or may not engage with these “win-back” messages. 

When your team is equipped with a modern tech stack, this example plays out differently. Mr. Patel is automatically assigned to an “At Risk” segment – this segment is accessible to all engagement channels. An automated email goes out, setting up a call between Mr. Patel and a service manager or banking advisor. During that check-in call, the service manager learns the reason behind Mr. Patel’s recent address change: he moved to be closer to his son, who is now a freshman at Georgia Tech. Following this conversation, the agent forwards some offers. These are the next-best recommendations suggested by the Salesforce system: 

  • A pre-approved line of credit 
  • Renter’s insurance with a competitive rate & discount 
  • Family auto-insurance rate 

Mr. Patel might accept one or two of these offers (like the renter’s insurance, which is calibrated to aid him with the recent move). Later, during a follow-up call, a support agent with access to this detailed customer history suggests that Mr. Patel signs up for a monthly pre-authorized transfer to help Joe Jr. cover college expenses. Once again, this customer is finding the support he needs, when he needs it. 

How To Get Started 

Now that you know what the technology can do, you might be wondering how to begin. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a big investment. You’ll naturally want to ensure you’re making the most out of this technology and also that your team receives the training they need to be confident. That’s where a certified Salesforce partner like Accelerize 360 enters the scene. 

To serve the banking industry, we combine our knowledge of core Salesforce tools, Marketing Cloud and MuleSoft. Last but not least, we bring to the table our unique, custom Encompass connector. We pride ourselves on a holistic approach where we bring in expertise from multiple industries. We’ll take time to understand your specific needs and plan for future goals. 

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