Navigating the changing landscape of consumer behavior
Listen to part one of our interview with Chip Conley here, or read our summary below.
Consumer behavior is changing rapidly before our eyes. And while your financial institution (FI) might be aware of these shifting behaviors, it’s easy to underestimate their impact on your business. Today’s digital environment influences everything from how often a consumer interacts with your mobile app to how they feel about your brand and what they will tell their friends about you.
We recently sat down with marketing expert and hotel industry veteran Chip Conley to talk about three strategies that can help you attract and engage today’s consumer.
1. Optimize your website for mobile.
With the surge of mobile popularity, people aren’t sitting at their desktop when they research a financial institution. Today, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers. However, many FI websites aren’t designed for mobile devices, like smartphones or tablets, making it more difficult for consumers to find the information they’re looking for. Conley says you can solve this problem by starting with “mobile-first” designs any time you change your site or app to ensure those using smartphones get a great experience. Then you can expand those designs to desktop.
2. Make peer feedback easy to find.
Now more than ever, today’s consumers use friends and family referrals to decide how they feel about a particular brand, experience, or business. Facebook now allows users to mark their posts specifically as asking for recommendations from the user’s social network. Some brands are even trying to take peer-to-peer to the next level by adding user reviews to their own website so visitors feel like they’ve received feedback from real customers about the brand. For your institution’s website, find ways to make it easy for consumers to see what others are saying about you, like linking to your Yelp page or featuring tweets that users have posted about your institution. And Conley says that while it may seem counterintuitive to include negative comments on your own website, you can win big points for authenticity and make the positive reviews feel even more real.
3. Manage consumer expectations and take charge of service delivery.
According to Conley, there’s an emotional equation for a consumer’s disappointment:
An easy example of the disappointment equation is in the food industry. When a restaurant goer is disappointed in a steak they ordered, there are generally two reasons why. Either the diner’s expectations were too high, or the reality of the experience delivered was too low. To avoid disappointment, your institution must manage both expectations and the consumer experience. One way to do this is to match your product marketing with the preferences of the target demographic. For example, according to a recent study by JD Power, “less than 40 percent of baby boomers feel their bank data is very secure.” Thus online banking may not appeal to boomers, whereas Millennials demand it, so featuring messaging about your easy-to-use online banking will be more impactful when you’re speaking to that younger generation.
Once financial institutions embrace new strategies for new behaviors, they will be better prepared to attract loyal account holders. Listen to an excerpt of our interview with Chip Conley for even more insights.