The power of knowing your customer

By : Russ Tarver

October 04, 2018 12:00 PM

Delivering a highly-personalized customer experience, both in-person and digitally, can help community financial institutions stand out from their larger competitors. 


Community banks and credit unions face a tough task in today's crowded market. Delivering the wide range of services that customers expect while standing out from competitors is arguably now their biggest challenge. Choice of services isn’t as much a deciding factor for consumers when choosing an institution, in part because most are now offering a wide range of digital banking solutions to their customers. Instead, the quality, security and stability of experience is what now separates the top-performing financial institutions from the pack.


A more personal touch


Believe it not, smaller players may have an advantage when it comes to experience. In particular, they're able to provide a personalized service with a local touch that customers openly appreciate. While some customers of large, national banks can sometimes feel more like a number rather than a loyal customer, being able to focus on their customers as individuals is one of the key factors CFIs have in their favor.


That personalized touch isn't just about being able to put on a friendly face. More so, it's about knowing who their customers are, having the insights to deliver on their needs, and the effect that can have when a customer is looking to do business with their financial institution.


The customer experience is also a factor that's now more important than ever, as it can have a huge impact on a customer’s perception of their financial institution. This, in turn, can greatly affect an institution's bottom line. In fact, research from Forrester earlier this year found that the customer experience is the most highly-valued attribute among consumers, and every one-point decrease in a bank's overall customer experience score can cost an average bank $124 million in revenue.


Digital experience is everything


However, knowing your customer doesn't stop in the branch - it's something that should also play an integral role for CFIs when considering a digital banking offering. This, again, is an area where CFIs can really stand out among their competition, leveraging their knowledge of the customer in providing a more personalized and enjoyable user experience.


The Mobile Banking experience is the future of the industry and is already shaping the way financial institutions operate, both large and small. Banking apps are among the most commonly used, behind social media, as most consumers now primarily engage with their financial institution through digital channels. Therefore, it's essential that CFIs offer these same level of services in order to compete with the digital experiences offered by their much larger counterparts. In doing so, elements such as stability, security, and ease of use are essential when considering how to deliver the very best in user experiences.


The bottom line for every CFI is that the experience they provide matters, and understanding consumer habits and behaviors on an individual level is the key to delivering this.  


By their very nature, community banks and credit unions should already be providing best in class service to their customers. Extending this into their digital channels will help ensure that they're able to effectively compete in an increasingly more competitive market. The next step? Choosing the right financial technology provider with whom to partner and help implement the right tech for your institution.


See what the most transformative digital banking solutions are doing to help CFIs stand out and compete at our new digital banking portal.


To see what the smartest digital banking solutions do differently – plus what one community credit union was accomplished with their digital banking technology – download the latest ebook from NCR.





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Russ Tarver

Senior Marketing Manager

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Russ Tarver is a Senior Marketing Manager of NCR’s Digital Insight™ solutions. For over seven years, he’s developed marketing strategies and thought-leadership for NCR’s digital and omni-channel banking solutions. In addition to his time at NCR, Russ has held management roles with financial institutions and technology service providers, leading various marketing programs and operations.