How financial institutions can use personalized, automated experiences to increase customer loyalty and reduce churn

Is your financial services organization eager to increase customer loyalty? Here’s how implementing the right personalized automation can help.

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How financial institutions can use personalized, automated experiences to increase customer loyalty and reduce churn


Is your financial services organization eager to increase customer loyalty? Here’s how implementing the right personalized automation can help.

How financial institutions can use personalized, automated experiences to increase customer loyalty and reduce churn

Your financial services institution deals with thousands upon thousands of customers every day. From far away, it can be all too easy to view these customers as one large mass, rather than a sea of individuals with unique needs and challenges.  

On a human level, we all want to be seen, heard and understood. That may be why one of the biggest trends driving consumer engagement in recent years is personalization. So much so, that 65 percent of Canadians say they now want personalized advice from their digital bank.  

These experiences can help customers make the most of your services and products, as well as inform their personal investment decisions. And this can have far-reaching benefits for your organization, too. In fact, more than 70 percent of customer experience leaders in the banking sector say that personalization leads to greater customer loyalty. This, in turn, can reduce churn rates.

In this article, we’ll help you narrow down the personalized automated experiences that are right for your business, as well as highlight some specific examples that can increase customer loyalty.

Don’t rush in: How to prioritize your personalized automation efforts

It can be all too easy to innovate for innovation’s sake or become distracted by the latest technology trends. The truth is: you don’t need to adopt every instance of personalized automation.

To reap the rewards of these experiences, you must prioritize your efforts and follow a strategic approach – one that’s guided by your customer needs and business goals.

1. Understand what your customers really want

“Banks tend to focus more on selling products rather than addressing customers’ needs. As such, banking products and services are seen as commodities that do not help customers fulfil their objectives.”
– Deloitte, The future of retail banking: The hyper-personalization imperative

When designing a new service, ask yourself — does this really offer value for customers?  

Let’s take retail banking as an example. When opening a bank account, 80 percent of consumers rate “improved technical and functional properties of products/services” as their number one priority. As much as your customers and members desire innovative solutions, their primary concern is usability. Ultimately, while nice-to-have features and aesthetics are, well... nice to have, they aren’t always as important as you may think.

The goal of automation is to make your customers’ lives easier. And the goal of personalization is to make them feel seen, heard, and understood.

So, to deliver the best personalized automated experiences for your customers, familiarize yourself with their unique challenges.

To do this, you must: 

Listen to their pain points

What do your customers struggle with both in-branch and online? What services or processes take too long? You may collect this data via customer surveys or in-app questionnaires. It can also be helpful to discuss these matters with your customer service representatives who hear these challenges directly.  

Understand the financial landscape

In times of economic uncertainty and pressure, customer needs will change. You must take these challenges into account when planning innovative and personalize automation efforts. You run the risk of damaging relationships if you offer a struggling customer the wrong service, such as a high-interest loan.

Rely on your data

You have a wealth of valuable data to hand, and you need to ensure you make good use of it. By collating your customer data into one CRM platform, such as Salesforce, you can gather a 360-degree view of your customer base.

This data is a fundamental foundation of any personalization effort. But it will also help you understand client journeys and purchase intent, which in turn can guide your innovation priorities.

2. Know your financial institution’s “ROI generators”

Often, increasing customer loyalty and increasing revenue go hand-in-hand. After all, happy customers stick around and are more likely to recommend your services and products to their friends and family.

However, before embarking on your personalized automation journey, it’s important to:  

Reflect on your top-line business goals

We don’t mean something as broad as “increase customer loyalty.” These must be specific, tangible goals. For example, are you looking to improve your mortgage renewal rates?

Understand how each function supports those objectives

Not all instances of automation need to be customer-facing. In the mortgage renewal example, you can pinpoint how to improve the process in each department, customer-facing or otherwise.  

For your marketing teams, this may involve deploying personalized, automated workflow emails to increase awareness around mortgage rates and how the renewal process works.

Deploy the right experiences to increase customer loyalty

The innovative experiences your financial institution relies on may be entirely different to those of your competitors, and that’s perfectly acceptable.  

The key is to design solutions that have a tangible, positive impact on your customers’ lives and your underlying business goals.

Here are four examples of personalized automation that can increase customer loyalty:

1. Anticipate customer needs

By analyzing customer data and journeys on your website, you can provide personalized offers in real time.

For example, if customer A recently searched for a travel credit card on your website, you may then push a personalized ad banner on the homepage.  

2. Provide relevant advice

More than 70 percent of banking customer experience leaders say personalized services are demanded more frequently during times of economic crisis. Quite simply, when money is tight, customers and members rely on their financial institutions to lend a helping hand.

Personalized email workflows allow you to deliver proactive advice to your customers based on the services they adopt and the content they read. For example, you might send tips on how to reduce their interest payments, update their mortgage, or any other intervention that can save them money.

3. Give them a helpful nudge

Something as simple as an automated payment reminder can go a long way in increasing customer loyalty. For busy customers, these reminders demonstrate that your institution cares about making their lives easier.  

4. Predict the customers most likely to leave

In an internal bid to retain your customers, you can also deploy automated data analysis to identify customers who are close to leaving.

Once you know your at-risk customers, you can target them with personalized offers or messages. This can help to re-engage them and increase their interest in your institution.

Select the right solutions, not the newest

Personalization and automation are critical to your institution’s success. But, when creating these experiences, don’t fall into the trap of thinking a specific service or technology will suffice. Digital and data enablement is more complex than that.

When deploying personalized automated experiences, you must take a strategic approach. Uncover the opportunities that’ll benefit you and your customers most. That way, you’ll limit the chance of spending time and money on unsuccessful innovations.

If you’d like to pinpoint the right personalized automation opportunities for your organization, get in touch with our financial technology experts. We’ll familiarize ourselves with your business goals and company needs, design a strategic roadmap, and help you implement positive change.

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If you have a digital project in mind, we’d love to hear about it. Let’s connect on how we can help.

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