By 2025 millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. This group is famously fickle when it comes to brand loyalty and they've been known to switch brands when a company makes a mistake or they aren’t treated as individuals. What does this mean for financial institutions? What must they change to earn loyalty from their millennial customers and avoid excessive customer churn?
Millennials are more likely to change banks or credit unions than other generational groups. If they have a problem, they aren’t shy about switching their accounts. However, studies also show the millennials are less likely to report problems to financial institutions! This suggests FI’s need to be skilled at identifying potential trouble spots and they must communicate effectively with their millennial customers to ward off negative experiences.
Examples might include predictive analytics that allow an FI to foresee credit score changes that might affect interest rates or warning customers about low account balances before they experience overdraft fees.
Making it easier to report problems is also a practical strategy for retaining millennial business. This generation uses a variety of communication channels so make sure they can voice their concerns via mobile apps, social media, text message, and email. FI’s obviously need to ensure they employ mechanisms to respond quickly to complaints or issues customers raise through these channels.
A Seamless Experience
A unified, personalized experience resonates with the millennial crowd. FI’s must continue efforts to combine isolated data repositories so they can leverage information gleaned from multiple customer relationships. Portals that offer customers access to financial products in a single environment can be a differentiating factor that encourages loyalty. Millennials are more focused on convenience than previous generations. They will welcome a unified dashboard where customers can retrieve all their financial documents on demand.
Mobile must be part of the strategy. Millennials use mobile apps to check on balances and transactions, transfer funds, or originate person-to-person money exchanges. These mobile activities must be quick and easy. This generational group abandons applications that take too long or require too much hoop-jumping to complete a task.
A Personalized Experience
After convenience, personalization is probably the most important aspect of millennial business relationship nurturing. Data must be accurate and deployed at every customer touch point. Millennials want to feel their FI appreciates their business and knows them as individuals. Otherwise, banking services become a commodity easily replaced by organizations the customers perceive as being different, such as branchless neo-banks.
An omni-channel experience is especially relevant for millennial customers. They want to choose how and when they communicate. Be prepared for conversations that begin in one channel but transition to others on the whims of millennial customers. Whether on phones, tablets, computers, or in the branch, millennials expect their historical interactions will be fully accessible and interconnected. Think of customer communications as a platform instead of a collection of vertically oriented pipelines of information.
Millennials may be un-enamored with conventional banks, but as they mature and their financial requirements grow, they will need the guidance and support established FI’s can provide. Very few millennials say they are confident about their financial acuity. By providing the frictionless environment the millennials desire today, FI’s can continue growing and nurturing their customer relationships. This will position them as the go-to resource when millennials need car loans, mortgages, investment accounts, or life insurance.