Many financial services still downplay the importance of communication in the banking sector. They keep to official notifications, neglecting mail marketing, social media promotions, digital marketing, and other essential channels. Although such a basic approach allows them to stay afloat, they start lagging more and more.
Especially if compared to 48% of financial services that have already developed a clear user journey to facilitate communication with customers. These guys constantly improve their approaches to customer communication and invest in being top-performers in the future banking sector.
If you work in the banking industry, you might have to choose which camp to join: those who innovate or those who stick to traditional approaches. Or — to make your transition smoother — aim for the perfect mix between different channels and give your customers the right to choose how they want to be contacted.
To help you upgrade the elements of financial communication in your organization, Inkit has collected a set of tips and rules for financial institutions. Read on to learn about:
- Importance of communication in the banking sector through different channels
- 5 rules to use the main elements of financial communication right
- Additional tips for effective communication in the banking industry
- Why direct mail marketing and print financial communications are important for the banking industry
Importance of Communication in the Banking Sector Through Different Channels
Continuous communication between banking organizations and existing or potential customers has one goal – building trust. Researchers have even developed a separate formula to calculate the trust index for financial services and estimate their brand image. Trust depends on the organizational trustworthiness, which comprises expertise and competence, integrity and consistency, communications, shared values, concern, and benevolence.
Among the factors that impact the trustworthiness of an organization, communication is the main one. It helps to show customers your expertise and values, create strong connections, and eliminate any concerns. Thus, the importance of communication in the banking sector is undeniable.
As to the elements of financial communication, there are several channels to focus on. Although direct mail marketing remains essential for banks, online notifications are no less crucial. To keep the right balance, consider combining the following elements of financial communications:
- Email notifications. Send personalized emails to inform customers about any updates in their financial accounts, special offers, or relevant changes.
- Support team. Establish quality support to help your customers via online chat and phone. Anytime access to professional advice is one of the key elements of financial communication.
- Personal offline meetings. 64% of customers state that offline communications are the most effective approach to build relationships with banks. Although online banking is gaining popularity, make sure you still offer offline alternatives.
- Social media and digital marketing resources. Create an appealing website, map your location on Google, and run social media marketing campaigns. Don’t forget to follow the latest information technology trends, including mobile texting and instant messaging.
- Direct mail marketing and communications. Use mail pieces to promote your services and keep customers updated on their financial affairs. Since direct mail has a considerably higher response rate, it’s a great way to reach out to the people who ignore other channels and elements of financial communication.
The communication strategy incorporating all these core approaches is the foundation of effective communication with customers. It enables them to choose the most convenient point of touch and smoothly switch channels if necessary.
5 Rules to Use the Main Elements of Financial Communication Right
#1. Plan and schedule mandatory notifications
Speaking of the importance of communication in the banking sector, it’s worth starting with mandatory notifications. Monthly statements, bills, invoices, adverse action notices, and other legally required communications should be your top priority. Each type of these elements of financial communication has strict timing that must be followed. Be sure to schedule them from the very beginning based on local and state requirements.
#2. Ensure the maximum transparency and give your customers a choice
Before providing your customers with any notifications, ask for their consent and preferences. Consumers have the right to choose between paperless billing and receiving their financial information by mail. You also need to clarify how your financial services handle customer data and to be ready to run a reconciliation check if requested.
#3. Align online elements of financial communication with bank direct mail marketing and other offline channels
Connect online and offline efforts within a well-thought-out communication strategy to convey the same marketing message and brand image. CRM and marketing automation software is the easiest way to do that. You can even automate your mail campaigns and send bank direct mail marketing materials based on online triggers or events.
#4. Automate data retention to stay regulatory compliant
This rule mainly relates to official communications. Regardless of whether you send them online or offline, you must store digital copies of all the notifications. It’s recommended to automate data retention policies and consolidate data to meet the requirements of all regulatory regimes. This way, your financial institution will quickly adapt to shifting global resolutions without any losses and penalties.
#5. Analyze the response of your existing and potential customers
To know whether your communication strategy works, you need to evaluate its efficiency. It should be easier if you have a CRM in place. Such tools allow users to analyze consumer behavior and key metrics. If you still haven’t automated the elements of financial communication within one system, the analytics will be more complicated. As an option, you can compare the current period with the previous one for each channel.
Additional Tips for Effective Communication in the Banking Industry: Financial Communications Checklist
The listed 5 rules highlight the importance of communication in the banking sector and hint on how to organize it. To make it even easier for you, here’re some more tips on banking communications:
- Always put the financial situation of the recipient in layman’s terms
- Mention what actions the recipient needs to take in a specific case (e.g., To process the payment, pay the late fee or dispute it, etc.)
- Make sure to include your contact information in every communication
- Stay consistent with the format, style, and timing
- Always send relevant bank direct mail marketing
- Inform the recipients how to opt-out of communications or change the information channel if applicable
- Consider recent interactions in your following messages
- Use modern CRM automation to better control, manage, and analyze all the elements of financial communication
- Don’t focus solely on online or offline communication channels. Combine and connect them.
And finally, never neglect the importance of communication in the banking sector. Remember that 64% of US consumers are likely to switch a service provider if their expectations aren’t met. No joking matter at all.
Why Bank Direct Mail Marketing and Print Financial Communications Work for the Banking Industry
Bank direct mail marketing and print notifications are still a leading communication channel used for financial services. The thing is that many types of official messages must be provided in print. Even though consumers are allowed to switch to online communications, around 60% of them prefer mail. The effectiveness of mail campaigns is another reason behind their popularity. Boasting one of the highest response rates compared to other channels, direct mail helps to entice consumers into the target action.
Moreover, with direct mail automation solutions like Inkit, bank direct mail marketing is easy to integrate with online communications. This allows banking organizations to include mail as a full-fledged channel in their automated cross-channel campaigns. Apart from the functionality for direct mail automation, Inkit also enables companies to store digital copies of communications and validate contact details. This additionally boosts the effectiveness of bank direct mail marketing and official print communications.
Want to automate your financial print and communications? Start using Inkit now!