Elements of Effective Banking and Financial Communication
Financial services have often underestimated the significance of financial communication in the banking sector. It is rather shocking that many financial services still decide to stick to official notifications as their only means of communication. Communication in the banking sector still neglects many essential channels, including direct mail marketing, digital marketing, social media promotions, and more.
Although it is true that they have managed to survive this far without using advanced communication methods, it’s also true that they have lagged behind the competition. The financial service companies who were smart enough to employ advanced financial communication strategies are reaping their rewards even as we speak. 48% of financial services has already made steps to facilitate better communication with their customers that employ advanced financial communication strategies.
What’s even more remarkable is that such advanced financial communication is capable of evolving, and this enables you to improve your approach to customer communication constantly. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to become a top-performer in the banking sector. In other words, by neglecting the elements of financial communication, you could potentially drive your business to failure. The time has come for financial service companies to decide whether they want to sit still or reach out for success.
The fate of your financial service business depends on the path you choose to take. You could either stick to the age-old traditional approach, which will eventually become obsolete one day, or take an innovative approach and lead the way. This does not mean that you have to come up with a brand new solution by yourself. Instead, you can work on the existing ones and modify them to suit your unique requirements.
You could even try to come up with a communication strategy for your financial service business that mixes different channels of communication and enable the customer to choose the appropriate one for their unique needs. This article discusses how you can upgrade the elements of financial communication in your organization. Furthermore, we also take a look into the role of communication in the banking sector, tips that you can use to create effective communication in the banking industry, and more.
Importance of Communication in the Banking Sector
The communication between a finance service provider and their customers, existing or potential, essentially has one goal and that is to build trust. Would you believe me if I said that there is an actual formula that lets you calculate the trust index of financial service providers? Well, researchers have already made it happen, and this formula allows you to estimate their brand’s reliability.
Trust is ambiguous, and many factors come into play before you can make a decision based on trust. However, certain factors can be considered before you deem a business trustworthy such as organizational trustworthiness, integrity, consistency in service, communications, and benevolence. Communication can be said to top this list because it will reflect the other values of the company or service provider you choose.
Communication enables you to show your customers that you care, showcase your expertise and values, and more. With proper communication, you can create strong connections with your customers and eradicate any concerns they may have. As a financial service provider, trust comes above everything else as far as your customers are concerned and effective communication is the key to winning that trust.
Different Elements of Financial Communication You Can Use
When it comes to elements of financial communication, there is more than just one channel to focus your efforts on. Now, as you may already know, direct mail marketing is the number one choice of communication for financial service providers. However, that does not mean that the digital efforts are any less significant. The trick is to strike the perfect balance between multiple channels and combining them. Below we discuss some of the elements of financial communication that you can combine for the optimal result.
Email notifications are already an integral part of our day-to-day lives, and it makes perfect sense for them to be a part of your financial communications as well. You can send personalized emails to your customers to inform them about any updates or changes in their financial account or payments or special offers, or anything else. The advantage of email notifications is that they practically cost nothing, and you can even fully automate these emails to save your valuable time and effort.
Just like any other business, financial service providers are also bound to provide quality support service to their customers. The lack of quality support can easily cause an escalation with your customer, and if it goes uncorrected, it could cost you valuable customers and their business. Hence you must provide quality support to your customers.
Make sure that you provide an online chat and phone capability so that the customer can reach out to you through whichever medium is convenient for them. By providing your customers anytime access to professional help/advice, you are accomplishing one of the important goals assigned to the elements of financial communication.
When we say personal meetings are one of the important elements of financial communication, we do not mean hopping on a Zoom meeting with your customers but an actual face-to-face meeting. Did you know that 64% of customers believe that offline communication is the most effective way to connect with them and establish a relationship with them? Indeed, online banking is fast gaining popularity, but when it comes to their hard-earned money, people still want to make sure that it is in the right hands. And to do that, they often require a personal touch, and a face-to-face meeting is a perfect fit for this.
A digital presence has become a necessity for businesses and not one you can afford to ignore unless you want to become obsolete in the near future. Financial service providers need to create a website for their business, map your location on Google to make themselves digitally visible. Furthermore, you also need to undertake digital marketing campaigns that can establish your business as a brand.
Build awareness of your business among your target audience through multiple online channels, including social media. Social media for marketing is practically a free tool, and once mastered, it can be especially useful for your business. Digital marketing trends change in the blink of an eye, and you need to keep yourself updated with them to ensure the best result for your financial service business.
Direct Mail Marketing
Despite the significant growth of digital mediums and digital marketing in the past few years, direct mail marketing still remains one of the most effective ways of reaching your target audience. Furthermore, direct mails are still the most preferred method of communication for financial institutions. You can make use of direct mails to promote your services and also for updating your customers on their financial affairs.
One of the biggest reasons why direct mail is still thriving in the digital age is its significantly high response rate because they are unlike the digital efforts made through email or text messages that the user can easily ignore and leave unread. This makes direct mails the ideal choice for reaching out to potential customers who keep on ignoring your other channels or elements of financial communication.
Combining Different Elements of Financial Communications
Your communication strategy can not just revolve around one or two of the elements of financial communications mentioned above. For the best results, you must incorporate all of the core elements listed above and allow the user to choose whichever is the most convenient for them. Furthermore, having an omnichannel approach where you combine the different efforts to provide one streamlined user experience is also possible today. Not only does this make the customer’s experience greatly easier, but it also allows him/her to switch channels if or when necessary.
Using the Primary Elements of Financial Communication Correctly
Just like everything else in our lives, the elements of financial communication can also be prioritized based on their significance. To be properly able to use the elements of financial communication, you need to have a set of rules in place, and below, we discuss just that. Following the rules listed below, you can optimize your communication strategy and ensure that you are in the right direction.
Planning & Scheduling of Mandatory Notifications
The banking sector is a serious business no matter how you look at it, and this means that your customers need prompt and accurate information from you at all times. As mentioned before, communication is a crucial part for every financial service provider out there and it can have a direct effect on your business.
Financial service providers must equip their businesses with mandatory notifications. Make legally required notifications such as monthly statements, bills, invoices, etc., a priority. Give keen attention to the planning and scheduling of your mandatory notifications, and strict timing must be followed for all of them.
Providing Maximum Transparency and Choice
Transparency and choice are two of the most important things you should keep in mind when directly dealing with customers. Make sure that you get your customer’s consent and know their preferences before bombarding them with notifications. Do not bombard the customer with notifications unless they want you to. Remember that your customers have the right to choose how they receive their financial information, and they can choose between paperless billing and regular mail. Furthermore, it is best if you can convey exactly how your business handles customer data and even be ready to reconciliation check if needed.
Aligning Your Online And Offline Marketing Channels
For effective communication between your financial service business and its customers, you need to align your online effort with your offline efforts. To do this, you need a well-thought-out communication strategy that takes all necessary factors into account. The best way to go about this is to use marketing automation software along with a suitable CRM. Furthermore, you can also use advanced direct mail tools like PostGrid that can fully automate your direct mail efforts. With the right skill set, you can even integrate smart solutions like PostGrid with your CRM and streamline the entire process.
Automating Data Retention for Regulatory Compliance
Since we are dealing with regulatory compliance, you may have already figured that this applies specifically to official communications. Every piece of information that is a part of your official communication with the customer must be retained regardless of whether the said communication is through an online medium or offline medium. The easiest way to go about this is to automate the data retention to meet regulatory compliance. Not only does this ensure that you keep important data secured but also ensures that your business can efficiently adapt to changing global resolutions without incurring a penalty.
Analyzing Customer Response
Analyzing your customer response (both existing and potential customers) is quintessential in figuring out whether your current communication strategy is yielding the desired result. This is also a process that can be greatly simplified with the use of CRM as they allow you to analyze consumer behavior along with other key matrices. Going about the analysis of customer response without automating the elements of financial communication can be complicated and inaccurate.
Tips For Effective Communication in The Banking Industry
We have already discussed the golden rules for implementing effective communication for your financial service business. But that’s all you can do to optimize your business’s communication strategy, and below, we discuss some of the additional tips that you could use to streamline your business’s communication.
For starters, make it a point to present the financial situation of your customers in Layman’s terms so that they can really understand what is going on. Go on to mention what actions they can take or what their options are for their specific cases. To ensure proper communication, always make sure that you include your contact information at every communication point. Furthermore, it is also best if you stick to a consistent format, style, and timing for your communications.
Always make use of bank direct mails when sending out important documents or notifications to ensure that the customers receive them. You can even make use of an advanced address verification tool like Postgrid to ensure that the address you have is accurate and deliverable. Make it easy for the recipients to opt-out of communications if necessary.
Using a CRM can streamline a lot of your communications, as mentioned before. Therefore, it is best if you integrate a suitable CRM for your business. Finally, make sure that you don’t solely focus on online or offline marketing methods, try to combine the two and come up with a communication strategy that can work for your unique business and its communication requirements.
Why Use Direct Mail Marketing For Communication in Banking Sector
Some may find it hard to believe, but the fact is that direct mails and print notifications are still one of the leading communication channels employed by financial service providers even in this digital age. The primary reason is that more than half of the customers still prefer receiving their banking documents via postal mail. Additionally, direct mails are much more effective than the mainstream digital approaches, including emails and text messages. The response rate of direct mails is considerably higher than almost every other communication channel in use right now.
Furthermore, today we have access to advanced direct mailing solutions like PostGrid that can ensure the deliverability of your direct mails with its advanced address verification capability. Not only can you ensure the validity and deliverability of your addresses, but you can also streamline the data procurement through various campaigns by integrating PostGrid’s API into your website. You can even implement an address auto-fill feature for accurate data collection using PostGrid. The fact that the entire process, including address verification and the actual printing and delivery of direct mail, can be automated through PostGrid’s system only makes it more effective and efficient for your direct mail campaigns.
The elements of financial communication are not easily manageable, and you can’t go about it without a clear plan and direction. You need to make use of both online and offline channels to create an effective communication strategy. Furthermore, you need to master the art of combining different channels so as to get the result you desire. Direct mails will play an important role in the success of your communication strategy. To get the most out of your direct mail campaigns and communication in general, you need advanced capabilities and features that can be automated, which can be easily accomplished by integrating an advanced direct mailing system like PostGrid.