Brand image is about so much more than pithy slogans, swish logos, and catchy ads. It is a direct reflection of your customer experience (CX)—so it encompasses everything that influences how a customer perceives your organisation.
Brand image can be the make-or-break factor between beating out the competition or forever falling behind. Consider the fact that:
- 91% of consumers prefer to buy from brands they perceive as being ‘authentic’.
- 64% of women and 68% of men have felt an emotional connection with a brand.
- Customers with an emotional connection to a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value (LTV).
These statistics show that brand image can foster a sense of authenticity, create a genuine emotional connection between brands and their customers, and lead to tangible ROI.
However, financial institutions are currently falling well below consumers’ expectations. While 59% of consumers said that the COVID-19 pandemic increased their expectations of financial institutions’ capabilities, only 23% believe that the banking/finance industry has handled the pandemic well.
This piece will examine the role that personalisation-powered digital debt collection plays in improving the customer experience, significantly improving financial institutions’ brand image as a result.
Personalisation and brand image
Effective personalisation can make individuals feel like they’re the only customer that you care about serving—even if you are a large multinational corporation. According to Bain, personalisation can help you provide:
- Customised offers sent out across a wide variety of channels (and at the appropriate time)
- Targeted content
- Dynamic ads that are relevant to the individual customer themselves
- Location-driven mobile messages based on geographic coordinates (e.g. reminders to visit their nearest banking branch when they are in the city centre)
But what are the impacts of such efforts?
First, personalisation transforms your customer experience (CX). With 73% of consumers citing customer experience as an important factor that influences their purchasing decisions, this is a no-brainer. Personalisation also builds trust and loyalty, drastically improving your brand image in the process. Indeed, a reported 99% of marketers believe that personalisation has somewhat of an impact on improving customer relationships.
However, a massive 94% of banks are currently failing to live up to their personalisation promise. You might be thinking: “Yeah, yeah, I have heard this all before—personalisation is just a trendy corporate buzzword”. Sure, it is a hot topic right now—but this is for good reason.
According to BCG, personalisation in banking leads to a:
- 30-40% sales lift in some product areas
- 2X-3X increase in customer engagement
- 10-30% reduction in churn
Personalisation is arguably more important in banking than in any other industry. Consumers will consistently choose to bank with institutions that continually take stock of their individual context and needs. Accordingly, banks and financial institutions should personalise the support, offers, and products that they provide.
The days of having your own personal bank manager have largely fallen by the wayside. But that does not mean that the personal touch in banking has also disappeared. For example, you might choose to work with a digital debt collection software provider that has personalisation capabilities baked into their offerings (e.g. they send tailored messages out to consumers on the channels, and at the times that your customers are most likely to respond to.)
By using customer data to personalise your collections process, you will show that you care about your customers as individuals—and that you are crafting your collections strategy around their own personal preferences.
Do not neglect your data
Personalisation powers enhanced customer experience—leading to an increased brand image. However, personalisation can only occur if you give customers a good reason to hand over their data and take good care of it at all times.
Customers are already used to handing their data over to corporations, but there is an assumed tradeoff: they will only give you their data if they get something in return (i.e. a more personalised, frictionless experience). Disappointingly, however, around 25% of large financial institutions — and more than 50% of smaller institutions—currently lack the capabilities needed to create data-driven customer experiences.
And even if you do have an all-singing, all-dancing strategy for putting your data to good use, this only works provided your data is clean: accurate, complete, consistent, and non-duplicated.
Dirty data is not just annoying—it can have a range of damaging consequences. First, it can cost your company 12% of its bottom line. Second, dirty data makes it harder for you to get in touch with customers—meaning you waste unnecessary time, money, and effort trying to contact customers using incorrect data. Third, it can actively damage your personalisation efforts.
When you make creative decisions off the back of your customer data and this data is wrong, corrupted, or duplicated, there will be a negative impact on your marketing success. You will have to spend more time cleaning up your data and less time putting it to good use. So how can you prioritise data hygiene at all times? Well, there are three key areas on which to focus:
- Robust data collection: Collect all the data you might need going forward in one go. Make it compulsory for customers to provide their data before proceeding through the customer journey.
- Enrichment: Enrich existing data with any insights you can glean from third-parties.
- Transparency: In the age of GDPR, it is more important than ever before to be upfront about how you use your customers’ data. Explain what data you are collecting, and why and how it will be used to improve your customers’ experience.
Choose your partners wisely
Your brand might provide personalisation at every stage of the customer journey, using clean and hygienic data to power these efforts. But if you work with a partner that does not share these values, your carefully created brand image can quickly disappear. Therefore, it is paramount that you partner up with organisations that enhance your brand image—rather than detracting from it.
When choosing to work with a digital debt collection agency, you need to ensure that they:
- Understand your unique brand identity and the experience that you provide to your customers.
- Make your brand identity, desired customer experience, and company culture front and centre throughout the collections process.
- Offer you total control over the end-to-end collections process, providing tools to augment your chosen strategy rather than limiting you to a narrow set of options.
By partnering with a white-label offering like receeve, ensuring the integrity of your brand is a non-issue. Our unique platform allows you to control the entire customer experience, meaning you can craft your strategy around your brand’s unique image.
Make collections a positive experience
Debt collection can be a tricky process, with customers sometimes unable, unwilling, or uninterested in repaying what they owe.
By adopting a digital debt collection strategy, you can personalise the end-to-end experience (thereby improving your CX), ensure that you derive as much value as possible from your data, and provide collections experiences that work for both your customers and your brand.
Leverage the digital tools at your disposal to make collections a genuinely positive experience. For more information on how receeve helps you enhance your brand image during the collections process, book a demo today.
Jan is one of the first members of the receeve team, and has become an expert on the fintech industry, particularly digitising collections and accounts receivable processes. He is a talented multi-disciplinary professional with immense drive to bring modern technologies and processes into financial services.