In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced financial institutions to adapt their in-person services to online and virtual platforms. With all of the benefits that come with digitization, including accessibility and efficiency, it’s possible that some these changes may be here to stay. However, despite all its advantages, this swift digital shift has led to one unforeseen issue for financial customers. According to a recent study by Accenture, only one third of Canadians trust their bank "a lot" to look after their long-term financial well-being. Many feel disconnected and less confident in the information and advice given by banks now that they do not get a face-to-face advisor experience.
The irony is that 69% of Canadians believe that their bank is still the best source of financial information and advice. So how do you convince people that you offer value if they distrust you? Well, if you can provide skeptical customers with effective and engaging tools to do their own research and calculations, to the point that they have a clear understanding of their needs and options before even talking to an advisor, you’ll have gained not only built your customer’s confidence, but also gained their trust.
That’s where interactive, customizable digital experiences come in.
Interactive calculators let users learn first-hand what a financial product can do for them. They can put in their own values, experiment to see what a little more investing, or a little less, will do, and see how what’s being offered differs from what they have now. It’s more or less what an advisor would do for them – but without the advisor, without the scheduling hurdle, and without the perceived pressure to buy.
Personalized video works much the same way. If you have a complicated product that requires some explanation, and want to reach customers who aren’t ready to reach out to an advisor, a video is the standard way to make this information available to them remotely (and make it effective and shareable to boot). But with personalized video, you can let users input their own values, and choose the specific products they want to learn more about. They don’t just get static hypothetical examples: they get their own personal hypothetical, in concrete numbers, explained in the amount of detail that’s right for them.
And, of course, by employing analytics, you can track all of this, and learn a ton about your (potential) customer base.
With well-placed calls to action (CTAs) in interactive tools, you can offer your services at a time when the customer is more knowledgeable, more curious, and more willing to listen to what you have to say. An advisor’s advice is much more helpful when the customer has an understanding of what’s being said – an understanding that they reached independently. And because most customers agree that financial products are in the customer’s best interest, recommending them is easy – once the hard part of getting customers in the virtual door has been achieved.
These interactive tools amount to a very persuasive “passive” approach to lead generation. When the target audience is distrustful of and resistant to active approaches, especially in regard to their finances, passive marketing is the only way. Of course, you’ll still need to let them know that these tools exist – and that’s where shareable content, banner ads, and all the other tricks of the marketing trade come in.
But the most important point is this: give the customer credit. They know what they want, and they know what they don’t want. The specifics differ from person to person, but most want a friendly, objective way to learn about what’s best for them. If you give them that, even in a digital environment, it builds trust. Not everyone who uses your tools, or watches your videos, will give you their business – but many will, and they’ll think all the better of you for it.