BROOKFIELD, Wis. (10/17/11)--A white paper identifying five best practices financial institutions can borrow from online retailers to boost customer engagement and create cross-sell opportunities, has been published by Fiserv Inc., a provider of financial services technology solutions. “Online Banking Meets Online Buying” shares findings from a series of consumer focus groups and a June Fiserv Consumer Insights survey of 3,000 U.S. consumers. To download the paper, use the link. “Consumers don’t expect a financial institution to be the next Amazon.com,” said Nicole Sturgill, TowerGroup research director, delivery channels. “They do, however, expect that their online experience will be intuitive and personalized regardless of whether they are banking or shopping.” The white paper outlines how the consumer mindset differs when banking online and buying online. Consumers hold their financial institutions to a “higher standard.” But opportunities still exist to market products and services online. Adopting these best practices from online retailers can increase cross-sell success:
* Make it easy for users to find what they want. Ease of use is the primary driver of satisfaction with online banking, according to the Fiserv survey. Credit unions and banks can make it easy to locate and accomplish specific tasks by prominently positioning frequently used online financial services. Also, online users are task-oriented and become annoyed if the flow of a task is interrupted, so credit unions and other financial institutions should strive to make related offers as part of the task flow or when a task is complete, said the paper. * Offer a personalized online experience. Personalization does not have to be complex. It can be as simple as providing online users with a personalized greeting or the ability to edit their profile and account information, areas in which the online banking experience lags the online buying experience. * Target the message to the right member, the right way. A best-practice approach is to present products and services to users based on their needs, rather than blanketing all customers with an offer or relying solely on sales goals to define offers. * Position recommendations in a helpful, friendly manner. Online retailers are adept at positioning products for cross-sell opportunities--without appearing to actually advertise the products--by presenting recommendations in a subtle and social manner. Financial institutions also may want to consider adding social elements to their sites as a way to promote products and services in conversations among consumers. * Focus on what you know. When consumers are engaged in online banking, they are most receptive to offers about products and services that will enhance the banking experience or that are related to personal finance. If the financial institution is helping them save money, providing valuable financial management tools or finding ways for them to increase their assets, members are more likely to respond and have a positive reaction.
“Consumers are not opposed to cross-selling within online banking, and a large percentage are receptive to offers they perceive to be targeted and relevant,” said Geoff Knapp, Fiserv vice president of online banking and consumer insights. “The key is to enable users to conduct their banking business quickly and efficiently while leveraging marketing to deliver a more personal and valuable experience.” To download the white paper, use the link.