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  • Todd Robertson, Senior Vice President of Business Development, ARGO

Why the New Customer Engagement Model is Crucial in Today’s Digital Environment

guest editorial

By Todd Robertson, Senior Vice President of Business Development, ARGO

While the digital banking environment is creating new opportunities for banks to engage with and grow relationships with their customers, it is also changing some longstanding relationship dynamics.

As consumers shift toward conducting more business through digital channels, banks’ ability to effectively listen to their customers and successfully detect their needs can be negatively impacted. This is because, when customers interact digitally, banks miss many of the timing signals they would normally detect with human interaction. This requires banks to implement a new business model – one that leverages digital-savvy technology to support a customer‑centric strategy that utilizes intelligent customer feedback.

Todd Robertson

Digital customer engagement is now the bank’s interaction venue, and one that translates into end‑user experience. Whether it is empathy, content quality, relevance, or timeliness, all are now subjectively judged based on a perception of how well the institution knows their customer’s or prospect’s identity, needs, issues, financial understanding, and product interests.

Since consumers are more empowered in today’s digital environment, it is important to capitalize on opportunities for personal interaction and understand consumer needs and intentions.

Traditionally, customer interactions primarily involved in-person discussions, written correspondence, and telephone-based conversations. In a digital environment, while customers still value face-to-face service, more direct access to information brings new opportunities both for the customer and for the bank. While those traditional interactions were typically reactive to customer‑initiated visits or calls, in an expanded digital world, software‑based engagement methods take advantage of a more proactive approach with the ability to capture additional opportunities across various customer journey stages.

Nurturing and intelligently directing a customer through relevant messaging improves the customer experience. This level of engagement helps users quickly find a solution that fits their needs and sends a strong message about an institution’s commitment to the delivery of personalized service. For example, if two visitors stop by the bank’s website, analytics detect and measure each user’s navigation for probable interest and intent. If one person visits a general product page, remaining for 15 seconds, that person has a lower propensity to purchase (PTP) than the other visitor who navigates to specific product and pricing information, remaining on the page for 35 seconds. Now suppose there are two visitors with high PTP scores—a recent college graduate interested in debt management solutions, and perhaps a more established empty nester in the market for wealth management and retirement planning. Based on user preferences, complexity of needs, and opportunity value, intelligent decisioning routes the opportunity through digital or human channels to engage these customers with offers, education, and helpful tools through email campaigns, texts, retargeted advertising, or personal phone calls, optimizing asset use.

Providing this more personalized or “know me” experience is actually the number one rule of digital engagement. The more you know, the more relevant your engagement response will be to the customer’s needs and preferences.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has brought front and center the fragility of the American consumer. While savings rates have trended up for some segments during this period, a majority have not been as fortunate. Over 80 percent of Americans experience some level of financial stress, so, unsurprisingly, over 75 percent want assistance with their financial management. Creating customer experiences that allow them to establish a unique goal-centric financial plan and determine how best to achieve those goals. Showing their expenditures compared to national averages communicates a sense of what is normal and permits them to compare the way they spend to the habits of their peers. Social influences such as peer comparisons provide meaningful methods of encouraging behavior changes. The objective is to provide an experience that drives personalized engagement. Additional reference points can be accomplished through using factors such as “navigation depth” and “time on page” as key indicators of interest level in a product type or specific product offering a to quantify intent and propensity to purchase. Further interaction with content such as educational materials, “what if” calculators, videos, blogs, or FAQs serve as additional qualifiers.

In an increasingly digital-first world, implementing a comprehensive digital strategy is an essential component for banks to successfully meet customer needs and expectations, effectively manage the customer journey and ensure relationships are managed for continued success and profitability.

As Senior Vice President of Business Development, Todd Robertson works with the largest financial institutions and healthcare providers in the United States to demonstrate how ARGO solutions can transform customer experiences and improve operational efficiency.


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