Today’s economy is full of shorter attention spans and growing demands. Financial services know they need to adapt, but meeting customer demands without burning out can seem impossible.
Luckily, there are ways to reach today’s consumer and exceed their expectations. Here’s what every financial business needs to know.
Know Your Consumer Demographics
The first step to meeting customer demands is understanding your industry and local demographics. Demographics are statistical data your business can use to pinpoint its marketing to secure leads and increase conversions. But what type of data should be included? For the most part, demographics include:
- Marital status
- Lifestyle information
- Buyer type
The U.S. is continuously growing, aging, and diversifying. So, while consumes are all unique, there are demographic trends to be aware of. Knowing who you’re more likely to come across in today’s economy can help you anticipate needs and develop effective marketing strategies.
But for now, we’ve done some of the hard work for you and put together a list of the top three expectations of today’s consumers driven by demographics.
Top 3 Expectations from Today’s Consumers
Real-Time Customer Support
Today’s consumers expect brands to be timely and efficient. In fact, 73% of today’s shoppers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a business can do to provide them with superior customer service.
If you think you offer fast customer support, keep in mind that there’s always room for improvement. If your competition gets faster, your client base could disappear overnight. Luckily, there are several ways to improve your customer support time.
First, find out what types of support customers are looking for. Are they looking for answers to common questions or are their needs more specific? Empowering self-service is one way to speed up support. For example, including FAQ lists on your website can put customers in control of their experience and allow them to find answers on demand.
Being accessible 24/7 is a great way to boost your customer support score with today’s consumers. For example, if you’re an insurance agency, do you enable online payments or restrict customers to office hours? Remote agents and chat bots are another way to offer live support to meet demands. Today’s consumers positively respond to live support, so consider adding chat functions to your website.
Not only do today’s consumers expect faster service, they want it to be more personalized as well. The idea of being treated like a number is off-putting, and it’s almost impossible for a business to over personalize their approach these days.
There are several ways to add a personal touch to your service, whether you’re in insurance, asset management, or lending. For example, studies have shown an increase in positive brain activity when someone hears their own name. Simply using a customer’s name in verbal and written communications can have a massive impact on their experience. Take this a step further with dynamic text replacement. With a CRM that works with your marketing automation, we are able to populate things like email and landing pages with information someone has already filled out!
An additional tip is to ditch the outdated and impersonal scripts. There are ways to use templates and scripts properly to enhance the user experience. Through Marketing Automation, we are able to send the right emails at the right times. But we do this with the clear intent of getting a potential customer in front of a sales staff member as quick as possible. See an example of an email that is sent to a potential insurance customer below.
Although this email is automated, it introduces the sales staff that will be helping the customer, provides them with reassurance that their request is being handled, and allows them to reach out directly or book an appointment.
If you currently use sales scripts or generic responses to customer complaints, it’s time to humanize your business. Email templates can be an effective and time-saving tool. Just make sure there are personalized fields that erase the signs of templated text.
Collecting customer data is a smart way to personalize service for financial businesses. Customer relationship management (CRM) software, like SharpSpring, lets you keep detailed records of customers, leads, and their previous interactions with your business. You’ll always know how long a customer has been involved with your business, the last time they contacted you, and unique personal information like the number of children they have or the name of their dog. Employees can access this information and create personalized experiences customers won’t forget.
Brands are no longer a simple logo and catchphrase. Today, brands are about experiences. How do interactions with your business leave customers feeling? If the answer is anything less than amazing, it’s time to work on brand development.
Here’s where meeting customer demands gets tricky. Because every business is doing its best to meet customer demands, they’re already creating personalized experiences and improving their availability. If you search for ways to create a memorable brand, these are often the first two suggestions. If you want to be memorable, you’ll need to get creative.
Here are some ideas to start with. First, work on a template that can be applied to anything related to your business, including print and online ads, newsletters, marketing emails, invoices, and social media. Give clients a visual experience that goes beyond similar color schemes.
Then, give your brand something to stand for with a company mission. Selling your service or product doesn’t make you memorable. What can set you apart from the competition are your company values and commitment to making a difference in the lives of your customers.
Finally, add a little personality to your brand. Whether you want to take a humorous approach or lean towards a more professional tone, make sure your voice matches the style of your target audience.
In what industry experts refer to as the “Now Economy,” consumer expectations have taken a dramatic shift. Companies in the finance industry who choose to ignore these demands are sure to see a drop in customers and an increase in complaints.
When determining your financial business’ approach to lead generation and customer service, keep consumer expectations in mind. For help with creating a marketing plan and meeting customer demands, reach out to NYB Creative.