Our Vertical IQ co-founder and CEO, Bobby Martin, recently co-hosted a webinar with Jim Marous from The Financial Brand and Shaalin Parekh from Seismic to discuss how banks can provide a more personalized experience to their business customers.

Making better use of “Big Data”

Marous kicked off the conversation by talking about trends that are occurring in the banking industry. On the top of the trend list is the use of “Big Data,” including artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics, to create more personalization for customers. The industry has this data at their disposal, but the challenge is effectively harnessing it to improve the customer experience.

Compounding this issue: Banking customers increasingly expect personalized interactions — not just an understanding by their banker of their business, their industry, and the markets they serve, but knowledge of previous encounters. Banks have to learn to better leverage the data they have amassed, and bankers must amend their processes to make each customer interaction personalized.

Marous describes customers as “impatient” if we communicate with them in a general sense and they don’t get the customization they expect. “More and more, the organization that’s going to win is the one that is going to apply analytics and data for the betterment of their customers in a way that makes for personalized engagement and makes them feel special,” he continued.

Personalization…but privacy

Despite this insight on customers’ preferences and priorities, many banks struggle to leverage Big Data in real-time. In fact, according to research from The Financial Brand, only 6 percent of banks are using robust one-to-one advanced personalization technology for their customer communications. Over half say they provide some personalization and have plans to offer more. One-third of banks say they currently offer little to no personalization but are working on adding it to their digital platforms.

“Companies want a hyper-relevant communication,” Marous noted, but they also want a high level of security and privacy. That is to say, companies are willing to share information with their bank if the bank then uses that data effectively to provide a better experience. If the customer believes their bank doesn’t use that private information to improve their banking experience, and there is ever a data breach, those customers will be the first to jump ship and switch banks.

Targeted communications

The reality is, with the rise of fintech banking solutions, customers don’t need a banker in order to take care of most of their banking transactions. Rather, they need bankers to offer salient financial guidance to them and their business. So, how do you provide the type of value-added personalization and advice that your business banking customers desire?

VIQ’s Bobby Martin explains that a key part of it is engaging in targeted conversations with these customers. He cites five areas of focus for these discussions:

  • Competitors, and helping them differentiate themselves from their competition
  • Regulations, which often keep business owners up at night
  • Market trends going on in their industry that are critical to their business
  • Their customers and new customer acquisition
  • Strategy, which includes finances…especially important since many small- to medium-size businesses (SMBs) don’t have a chief financial officer

To facilitate these personalized conversations, Martin says we need to have a strategic mindset — a clear understanding of the customer’s business, including knowledge about their industry, how their business operates, and their top challenges.

We also need to understand and be aligned with the customer’s objectives, thus forming an emotional connection and shared goals. Finally, we need to provide useful, specific advice that applies to their unique business situation and goals, such as incorporating industry benchmark data into your customer communications.

An ever-growing role

Seismic’s Parekh then explains how the role of the banker is changing — managing a larger number of relationships while being expected to provide a personalized customer experience and cross-selling more products. It’s a challenging role.

The banks that are doing the best job of facilitating their bankers’ success are creating a central “source of truth” for industry content and research. They are allowing their bankers to personalize that content to their customers, and they also are using data analytics to achieve this customized experience and better conversations.

>> Request a link to The Power of Personalization and Advice in B2B Banking webinar recording.

We can help!

Vertical IQ can provide bankers with the tools they need to create the personalized experience their business customers crave. We offer actionable content covering more than 500 unique industries, as well as 325 economic/industry reports for cities across the U.S.

By incorporating this type of tailored content into your customer communications, presentations, and conversations, you will not only provide the insights your customer desires, you will differentiate yourself from all the bankers who are only sharing generic information.

To learn more about Vertical IQ or to request a demo contact us.