Financial institutions (FI’s) may find it challenging to attract and retain millennial customers. This group views their relationships with FI’s much differently than earlier generations. The methods FI’s have traditionally relied upon may not be effective with this demographic age group, now the largest segment of the population, bypassing the baby boomers.
Financial institutions that resist communicating in personal and relevant ways or do not direct interactions through preferred communication channels will find it more difficult to attract and keep millennial customers. When faced with messaging FI’s typically produce, millennials won’t perceive a difference between banking institutions and loyalty will erode.
Is it Only About Technology?
Of course technology plays a big part in decisions about where millennials bank and the customer experience they expect. FI’s that don’t keep up with technological developments risk losing the attention of the customers they want to attract, regardless of messaging relevance and quality.
Millennials rely on their phones as integral tools for conducting business. 47% of millennials use mobile banking, so a well-designed mobile banking app is essential, but so is performance. Millennials seeking hassle-free banking are quick to make a change if processes are complicated or transactions take too long to complete. 38% say they’ve abandoned mobile banking activities that took too long. For millennials, the customer experience supersedes many factors FI’s traditionally use to retain customers.
When they switch, millennials may choose non-traditional companies that lack lengthy financial service pedigrees. New players are competing for millennial business and social media is a powerful influence in directing them towards alternative service providers. Millennials aren’t shy about moving their accounts to untraditional institutions they’ve heard about through friends, influencers, and contacts. Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to switch FI’s than baby boomers. It pays to listen and engage via social media.
What Else is Important?
The focus on technology and usability don’t completely erase the value of traditional FI offerings. The millennial generation carries a lot of debt, much of it from student loans. Higher saving account interest rates or fewer fees still matter to this group that needs to stretch their paychecks as far as possible. Personal service continues to play a part also, with two-thirds of millennials reporting visits to a physical branch within the last six months.
Branch visits aren’t the same for millennials as they have been for older generations. Millennials value their experiences. They document ordinary events and share with friends and followers. FI’s may need to re-think the branch environment from a millennial point of view and introduce features and incentives to get their target customers into the buildings.
Interactive and personalized educational programs might be a worthwhile approach. 92% of millennials believe they don’t have the financial knowledge necessary to deal with upcoming life events such as buying a car or a house. Sponsored social gatherings coupled with educational opportunities can allow FI’s to connect with this audience in person.
Dealing with millennial customers can require FI strategy changes. They will need to partner with organizations that understand the trends and have invested in the technology to carry out a program catering to this group. Lack of loyalty is a double-edge sword. Keeping current customers can be a challenge, but wooing others away from FI’s that are not satisfying millennial needs is an opportunity for organizations willing to invest in a communications infrastructure that supports the necessary functionality.
Most companies regard transactional documents and other communications mailed to their customers as a necessary evil. They are focused on how to get this task accomplished at low cost, not on why they are doing it or how those documents support their organization’s overall goals. Most print and mail service providers are similarly oriented as they tout their technology to drive down costs.
Technology like modern inkjet printers and intelligent inserters help print/mail vendors produce and distribute printed documents accurately and efficiently, but most print service providers aren't looking at the broader view of solving their clients’ business challenges. Their focus is limited to the production of printed and electronic documents.
A Different Approach
Lanvera is a technology company. We use print and mail as one part of a complete solution for our clients, and we have invested in hardware and software to handle the task. But our approach differs from our competitors. Our initial discussions with new clients may not even mention printing and mailing. We’re more interested in what your financial services, insurance, healthcare, or other organization wants to accomplish. We will address the physical document production component, but only as it affects your customer experience strategy.
Let’s take monthly financial statements as an example. All financial institutions generate statements for their customers and members. These communications are important customer touch points. They are produced consistently, welcomed by the customers, and are opened and read by over 90% of the recipients.
When working with Lanvera, you can expect us to strategize with you about these transactional documents.
Questions like these aren’t centered on the mechanics of sending statements to your customers. You’ll notice they didn’t cover traditional topics like page counts, cost savings, or lowering postage costs. Those are important points to cover and we always do that, but at Lanvera we think solving your business problems and helping you achieve your mission statement goals are priority issues. Concentrating on what you print is more important than how we print it.
A Big Picture Focus
Because we’re a technology company that also prints and mails, we avoid difficulties typically faced by competitors that view themselves solely as print and mail vendors. Print/mail service providers are involved at the end of a complex process of transactional interactions and data interpretation. A big challenge is fitting the data their clients provide them into an efficient document production workflow. Because Lanvera is working with our clients far “upstream”, we are well acquainted with the data used to generate the printed or electronic documents. The process flows easily, allowing us to offer the benefits of our well-established white paper workflow to all our clients. Even companies with smaller volumes that may not qualify for discounts with a typical print/mail service provider can take advantage of our highly efficient processes.
The Lanvera approach is unique. We’ve built a state-of-the-art document processing facility but we’re not interested in being just another print/mail service provider. Instead, we look at our clients’ overall objectives and then offer them technology solutions that impact the customer experience at many critical points in the customer journey.