In Lessons from Europe for American Business (1963), Leon C. Megginson, an essayist and Professor of Management and Marketing at Louisiana State University, writes: “According to The Origin of Species by Darwin, it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
In this period of great change and innovation, this statement, both in the sociological and in the economic field, has never been truer.
Even the Italian banking sector, for years considered resistant to change, has necessarily adapted to the evolution of crucial capital of each branch: Human Capital, i.e. all the customers who are increasingly tired of waiting to perform a simple operation.
As a result, customer communication in the banking sector is undergoing a transformation. Banks are investing more and more in people and are working to make most banking transactions easier and faster. This is being accomplished thanks to new technologies.
Just think of the now widespread internet banking or home banking, which allows customers to make banking transactions from home or office, via telematic connection.
The BEM Research e-banking report (2017) confirms that internet banking allows banks to be more efficient, reducing operating costs compared to revenues and increasing profitability. Indeed, increased e-banking could also act as a catalyst for the proliferation of FinTech, that is to say, the new applications, processes, products, or business models in the financial services industry, composed of one or more complementary financial services and provided as an end-to-end process via the Internet. As a consequence, internet banking can generate greater added value for banks, allowing them to provide more advanced services.
In addition to the obvious advantages for customers, home banking is a very useful tool for banks, which are able to collect a wide flow of information (big data) useful for profiling and customer loyalty (Il Sole 24 ORE).
The role of data and communication in the banking sector
What is the average customer’s propensity to share his/her personal data? According to Accenture’s “Global Banking Distribution & Marketing Consumer Study 2017,” data can be used as a currency of exchange. In fact, most customers are well aware of the value of their data and are willing to sell it for something in return. Banks, Public Administration offices, insurance companies, and even the Utility companies that provide real value to customers in exchange for their customers’ data can benefit from greater trust and loyalty.
Significant evidence emerges from the Cisco Customer Experience Report focused on retail banking: 72% of respondents would be willing to share personal data with their bank in exchange for more personalized service, greater security against identity theft, more simplicity in managing his/her own finances, and faster and more effective assistance.
The survey finds that 74% of respondents would like a general levelling of prices to access basic banking services, 68% would like to have reduced waiting times for collateral services such as mortgages and loans, 67% require more personalized advice, while 63% would like a greater correlation between the products and services offered and the local area where they live.
In a word, customers want personalization. This is defined as a series of services that speak directly to them, not promotions for financial products that are completely out of reach.
What’s next for customer communication in the Italian banking sector
The use of e-banking is still struggling to take off in Italy. Over the course of 2017, the use of remote banking services involved only a third of the population, compared to half of the European customers. This gap, now equal to over 20 percentage points, has been further increasing compared to 10 years ago when it was equal to 13 percentage points. Instead of recovering ground, Italy is still behind compared to countries at the top like Denmark (90%), Holland (89% ), Finland (87%), and Sweden (86%).
To counteract this data, Accenture reports that 62% of Italian respondents say they are willing to leave their bank to switch to an online service provider to manage their current account autonomously. In the UK this figure rises to 70%, a sign of a certain predisposition for digital, while in more traditional countries such as France, the percentage drops to 45%.
So, if the so-called GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple) decide to take the field and offer even the ability to manage money in the range of their services, Italians are placed first in the European rankings with a 42% positive propensity for digital, followed by more skeptical German (25%) and French (20%) markets .
The main weapon that the Italian banking sector can use against the big digital GAFA actors, to which the technologies could allow to penetrate the financial market and occupy niches of services, is customer experience. Traditional banks can still count on the value of physical contact and can, indeed must, capitalize on their own advantage the “phygital” logic, offering the customer the opportunity to choose their preferred access channel (branch, mobile, web) at any time while still maintaining the same quality of experience and the same informational heritage on each channel. Employees must become real brand ambassadors who, through the innovative features guaranteed by digital, can return services with high added value.
Personalization in the Italian banking sector: Credem
To face the challenge of customer loyalty, Banca Credem has chosen to rely on one of the most advanced tools available in the field of customer communication: Doxee Pvideo® personalized videos from Doxee.
We have already analyzed the importance of customized videos in an effective marketing strategy, which is due to the power of the video medium itself, as well as to the strong added value as a result of personalization, which allows you to interact with the individual customer with tailor-made messages, addressing him/her by name and by factoring in his/her story and unique characteristics.
But are we sure that personalized videos work for customer care even in the Italian banking sector?
The answer – a resounding “yes” – is evidenced by the fact that in Banca Credem‘s campaign with Doxee Pvideo®, 60% of customers watched the entire video, from beginning to end. The bank used two videos: One to encourage customers to try internet banking and another to propose a new line of credit to customers who already hold Ego cards. In the latter case, Banca Credem chose Doxee Pvideo® for its interactivity. In fact, thanks to the call-to-action clickable directly in the video, the customer is enticed to act as a result of the customized message designed specifically for them. This is what makes Doxee Pvideo® unique: engaging content is not only useful in and of itself, it also persuades and encourages action!
Credem chooses personalized videos to communicate with its customers. Learn more, download the case study: