Are you giving your customers a personalised service?

  • 31 May 2022
  • Blog | Professionalism and Ethics | Blog

Banking has a new look. Whereas once, banks created a suite of products, and let each individual customer choose from the options available, now, banks are thinking about what each individual customer wants. They are personalising their offers.  

Sometimes, this is proving successful. But sometimes, banks are falling short, leaving the customer annoyed, or feeling misunderstood. And some companies in financial services are somewhere in the middle of this, knowing something about personalisation, but with more work to do to pull it off.  

Why is personalisation such a buzzword right now in banking?  

And what are the good examples we should be following?  

To get personalisation right, it helps to think about what changes led to this rise in personalisation.    

This new approach to banking has been enabled partly due to the rise in Open Banking. A shift in customer attitudes around the sharing of data has meant that banks now know even more about their customers. Add to this the way that banks have teamed up with developers and FinTechs, and the opportunities to connect through personalised products have grown exponentially. A wealth of data is available – mostly already at banks’ fingertips.  

On top of this, customer behaviour in general – not just when doing their banking – has shifted to include more digital living. And so, with this, customer expectations have changed. They are now used to having services and products in other realms of life tailored to them. If banks don’t do the same, some customers start to question this.     

Who is setting a great example of personalisation? And which innovative solutions are helping these banks get their offering right?  

Here are five good examples:  

  1. American Express directed personalised videos to customers when sending out their credit card statements in a bid to increase engagement. The videos gave financial tips and suggestions on ways to manage their accounts. The results for Amex have included a three-fold increase in marketing conversion rates and a six-fold reduction in the cost of acquiring new customers.i What personalised content could you add when sending out statements? 

  2. One bank that has taken a leaf from the world of gamification is Emirates NBD, one of the top banks in the UAE. They successfully linked their banking services to a fitness app – tapping into the mentality many customers have of already being comfortable sharing data with fitness apps, and already expecting a personalised service. Emirates NBD ran an incentive programme, whereby an active lifestyle was rewarded with higher savings rates. If the consumer completed 12,000 steps in a day, they could enjoy a 2% interest rate. Emirates NBD saw savings deposits rise $4.37m as a result of the programme. What could you create using gamification of finance?ii  

  3. Another bank successfully using personalisation is Singapore’s DBS. Customers there have been offered personalised financial advice, via an app called iWealth, which helps with things such as recommending stocks or highlighting unusual transactions. The bank’s “intelligent banking” strategy makes use of AI, data analytics and predictive analytics. How could you use analytics in a new way this year?iii  

  4. It is worth considering one example from outside banking – so right have they got it. Netflix is a great example of how to use personalisation to enhance the customer experience. They have been hugely successful in personalising the experience of watching shows and making sure customers feel understood. To do this, the company uses the “if you like this, you might also like that” way of suggesting what a customer should watch next. Which of your banking products could you apply this method to? 

  5. Would your customers appreciate a virtual assistant? Or would you, for that matter? Capital One provide this service to their customers via Eno, the Capital One assistant. Capabilities include looking out for charges that might surprise customers and creating virtual card numbers when customers shop online. Reflecting on what they have learned so far, the team behind Eno point out: “Avoid tech for tech’s sake. Stay focused on solving customers’ actual problems, not adding every cool, new functionality under the sun.” What problems do your customers need you to solve?iv 

In all these instances, by taking a more creative approach, and giving the customer something more relevant to them, these banks and businesses have taken the opportunity to become more engaged with their customers.  

Personalisation works because it honours the fact that there are real people – not just pieces of data – at the other end of the transaction.