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09-14-2023

How can Customer Engagement Create Success for Banks? | BankiFi

Meet Jo Gibson, BankiFi's Head of Customer Engagement. Jo has acquired a wealth of experience throughout her career in the financial services industry, as well as a crucial understanding of the way banks and FIs need to engage with their end customers, which has led her leading our Customer Engagement department at BankiFi. 

“Historically, I have always been in roles which are operational, and those operational roles have always had a focus on ensuring that the outcomes for the customer are what they both expect and what they pay for. Whatever role you are in operationally; you've always got to ask yourself: ‘Why am I doing this piece of work?’” 

In this blog, Jo will share insights on the importance of customer engagement from a bank perspective, as well as what we at BankiFi do to help banks engage with their customers to create long-standing and deeper relationships. 

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Working in customer engagement 

Customer engagement is a role for everybody. Those of us who are in engagement as a defined role, are on the front line and are communicating with end-users daily. However, the understanding of meeting SMEs needs and expectations should be held closely by everyone in the business. This alignment ensures the stability of our product and of our delivery – whether this be with our bank clients or SME end-users. 

However, the customer engagement space is constantly shifting, so we can’t all be experts in customer engagement. At one point in time, you could only communicate to customers through direct mail, email or through a phone call. These days, however, end-users can contact you via social media channels – no matter the time of day – as this is perhaps more convenient to them. With the ever-changing nature of this space, people must be adaptable in fast-paced situations. 

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Is Customer Engagement Crucial to a Bank's Strategy?

Customer engagement should be the place that you begin, what you should always come back to and what you should never finish. It is more than crucial. For BankiFi's customer engagement strategy, we are always focussed on bringing the benefit of our solutions back to the customer and meeting their needs. 

Before we put our products in front of a bank or financial institution (FI), we connect with hundreds of SMEs, with a simple aim in mind: to identify and understand their pain points and see where and how our solutions can help them. Our outreach continues as we check in regularly with our existing end-users to see if our product is still meeting their needs. With external factors, such as the cost-of-living crisis, barriers have been put in place that have stunted SMEs growth and success. With their pain points often being affected by external forces, it’s important that we keep abreast of this from the perspective of the SME. 

This method of outward engagement is vital as it means that, when we speak with potential bank clients/partnerships, we know exactly how our product would change the game for their SMEs customers, ultimately leading to a growth in deposits and increasing lending opportunities for the banks. It's a win win. 

Customer engagement: A key factor of success for BankiFi 

The goal for BankiFi has always been to work in partnership with banks and FIs to deliver products and services that meet the needs of small businesses and deliver those solutions through the banks’ digital channels – or, where possible, via the end user’s own choice of banking channel. 

To ensure this partnership is successful from all sides, feedback from and effective communication with the end user is imperative. We need to understand what experience the end-user has had to ensure that their needs are being met and that the solution is working effectively for them so that their relationship with their bank/financial institution remains strong.

The intention of our solutions are to ensure that SMEs can pay and get paid on time, whilst saving time on their financial admin

It is so important to us, and our bank customers, that the end-users of our solution can pay and get paid on time, manage their business from one place (their bank's digital channel) and save time on financial admin. When end-users can do these key things, we have not only helped to establish a deeper relationship for banks and their SME customers, but we have also solved the key pain points of the SME. Seeing the success of our solution and ensuring the needs of the SME end-user are met through effective communication is the reason why customer engagement has become a dedicated role at BankiFi. 

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What does an example of good customer engagement look like? 

For a bank to have a strong customer engagement strategy begins, we believe, by establishing a partnership with us at BankiFi. We collaborate and align ourselves with our bank/FI partners and provide our own streams of engagement, which is recommended.

One of our primary methods of engagement is through outbound telephone calls that we make to our end users. Such calls are invaluable as they often explore subjects that can’t be deeply shared on a mere email or message.  

However, some end users prefer to connect with us on other digital channels, like social media. With this in mind, and as part of our partnership with the bank/FI, we create solution-branded social media accounts where we publish and carry out social media marketing/engagement campaigns, engage with end users and re-share user-generated content onto our page.  

As a real-life example, we work in association with The Co-operative Bank to provide UK SMEs with a solution called Go Get Paid – a mobile app that helps SMEs get paid faster. Through the powers of social media and email marketing – supported by customer engagement activities – we are able to advise, support and empower our existing end users. With user-generated content on social media in particular, these end-users become advocated and champions of our brand and solution. 

Empowering customers through engagement 

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As customer engagement is vital to the success of any customer-facing project, it’s important to get it right. When you partner with BankiFi, you’re not just getting an improved digital banking platform for your SME customers, you’re also getting a team of marketing and customer engagement experts who can drive user uptake and nurture them along the way. Making you the next challenger in the small business banking space.  

 Explore how BankiFi can help you become an SME arena challenger in Celent’s latest report.

 

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