Strengthen Customer Relationships in Uncertain Times

by Christopher Young

Posted on 04-06-2020

As we all adjust to new ways of liv­ing and work­ing in light of COVID-19, maintaining cus­tomer rela­tion­ships becomes an absolute must – espe­cial­ly in finan­cial services.

Indeed, under­stand­ing your customers’ needs has nev­er been more impor­tant. COVID-19 has dis­rupt­ed nor­mal habits, cre­at­ed a sense of urgency and fun­da­men­tal­ly changed why cus­tomers are inter­act­ing with you. Every mobile and web­site inter­ac­tion rep­re­sents some­one who has a spe­cif­ic and imme­di­ate need. In order to respond quickly, you need an acute aware­ness of what that need is. It could be some­one check­ing to see that they can get cash at the ATM, or some­one start­ing a loan appli­ca­tion to sup­ple­ment lost income. Per­haps it is a cus­tomer attempt­ing to use your mobile app for the first time to deposit a check remotely. Understanding your customer’s con­text is crit­i­cal to serv­ing them well.

In addition, make sure your infor­ma­tion is reflect­ing the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. This includes under­stand­ing how the virus is impact­ing dif­fer­ent regions. Use your data and AI to detect anom­alies in cus­tomer behav­iour and view it in con­text of what you are learn­ing in the news. And lastly, give more peo­ple in your organ­i­sa­tion access to infor­ma­tion, so they can respond as quick­ly as possible.


Be proac­tive

As con­sumers grow more wor­ried about COVID-19 and an extreme­ly volatile mar­ket, both short and long-term finan­cial con­cerns increase. If you proac­tive­ly reach out to them with sup­port, you can help with imme­di­ate chal­lenges and avoid irrepara­ble long-term mistakes. Use cus­tomer data to make your mes­sages per­son­al and rel­e­vant to their spe­cif­ic needs and finan­cial cir­cum­stances. And increase the fre­quen­cy and speed of your com­mu­ni­ca­tion across all chan­nels, send­ing mes­sages that help to:


Cre­ate community

We all need a sense of com­mu­ni­ty. But it becomes espe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult in times of social dis­tanc­ing and quar­an­ti­ning in the safe­ty of our homes. For­tu­nate­ly, local banks, cred­it unions, and finan­cial advi­sors have always played a role in cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing those valu­able connections.

Think of new ways you can sup­port your local com­mu­ni­ties and indi­vid­ual cus­tomers. A wealth man­age­ment firm in the UK is arrang­ing food deliv­er­ies for their elder­ly cus­tomers who can’t leave home. And Bank of Amer­i­ca is paus­ing mort­gage pay­ments for those in need.

Make it pos­si­ble for your front-line bankers, agents, and advi­sors to share curat­ed con­tent and to engage with cus­tomers in social chan­nels, so they feel con­nect­ed even though they can’t be there in per­son. And con­sid­er new ways of inter­act­ing, such as video con­fer­enc­ing and vir­tu­al events, so cus­tomers stay con­nect­ed to your brand and to each other.


Encour­age digital

Accord­ing to For­rester, more than two thirds of online adults use a desk­top or lap­top for online bank­ing at least once a month. (Cana­da: 76 per­cent, US: 74 per­cent, UK: 69 percent). This means most finan­cial insti­tu­tions have cus­tomers who’ve rarely or nev­er man­aged their mon­ey online. This could lead to increased call cen­tre vol­ume and can poten­tial­ly stop peo­ple new to online bank­ing from doing busi­ness with you all together.

Look at this time as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to increase dig­i­tal adop­tion by both dig­i­tal and non-dig­i­tal users. Pro­vide edu­ca­tion­al con­tent, tuto­ri­als, and guides that explain how to access accounts, set-up online bill pay, use your mobile app, or sub­mit claims. You can also make pay­ing with­out cash – or con­tact – as easy as possible.

And if social dis­tanc­ing and branch clo­sures con­tin­ue for an extend­ed time, your cus­tomer fac­ing staff may need to rely more on dig­i­tal to serve your cus­tomers, which can speed inter­ac­tions and enable work to hap­pen any­where. If you already have these tools, offer train­ing to build your employ­ees’ con­fi­dence – and their cus­tomer relationships.


Con­nect with your peers

Right now, every organ­i­sa­tion is under pres­sure to open­ly com­mu­ni­cate with and guide their cus­tomers. These chal­lenges are com­pound­ed by the need to reori­ent and main­tain oper­a­tions. We under­stand this well at Adobe, as we face these chal­lenges along­side our com­mu­ni­ties of cus­tomers and part­ners. We’re all in this togeth­er and would like to help you cov­er your bases so you can remain flex­i­ble and adaptable. You can con­nect with your peers in the Expe­ri­ence League Com­mu­ni­ty.

While the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion pre­vents us from com­ing togeth­er in per­son, we are excit­ed to host Adobe Sum­mit as an all-dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence, com­plete with keynotes by Adobe lead­ers, prod­uct announce­ments and demos, and more than one hun­dred break­outs host­ed by indus­try experts.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Customer Experience, Customer Relationship Management, digital marketing, Experience League Community, retail experience, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA