Author: Catherine Elstner, CElstner@profitstars.com
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. That means it’s time to celebrate the important relationships in our lives.
It also seems like the perfect occasion to consider the vital relationship your financial institution has with your customers. It’s a connection that should grow more valuable over time. This brings up an important question…
What can you do to strengthen customer relationships for the long term?
To answer that, here’s a proven way to make customers more engaged with you today, and more dependent on your services down the road.
A “game-changing” opportunity
Consider this revelation from a 2012 Javelin Strategy & Research report.
“[Twenty-two] million Americans have the capacity and appetite to begin paying bills through bank and credit union websites…. Converting those U.S. adults would boost the pool of financial institutions’ bill‐pay users to 96 million—a potential game‐changing 32% jump in the number of users.”
Clearly, a significant opportunity exists here.
If you can encourage more customers to enroll and use online bill pay, you can strengthen their relationship with your financial institution. To help you do that, here are a few important insights to consider when developing your marketing communications.
Three keys to online bill pay marketing
1. Education means enrollment
Non-enrollees will have questions about online bill pay, but a little education can go a long way. In order to make online bill pay truly relevant to non-enrollees, it’s important to give them a real-world perspective on the service. Customers need marketing communications that educate them on why online bill pay is a better alternative to writing checks or paying at biller sites. Security, 24/7 convenience, simplified record keeping, and cost and time savings are all key reasons to highlight in your communications.
2. More benefits mean more usage
Education can also help current users become more connected to online bill pay and your financial institution. In order to make bill pay more essential to users, it’s important that communications help them visualize all of the benefits of the service. Providing product demos that show how to schedule a payment or how to set up recurring payments is a great way to educate your customers on key features of online bill pay. The more your customers know, the more likely they are to use your product and retain your services.
3. Messaging matters
When you are marketing your online bill pay service, it’s important to know that the most effective campaigns also have the most tailored messaging. That means your communications should be targeted to each stage of the product usage lifecycle. For example, once your customer enrolls in online bill pay, send email communications that welcome them to the product and explain how to get started making their first payment.
Your retention resources
When developing your online bill pay marketing campaign, there are a lot of resources available for you to leverage to help grow your subscribers. One place to begin is the iPay Resource Center. It’s a free service and contains materials designed to educate customers about online bill pay, and to help your financial institution increase enrollment and strengthen retention.
Has your financial institution taken steps to improve customer retention? Please share your experience here.