Mobile-first finance companies are disrupting the market left and right – especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we saw DAU (daily active users) stay pretty consistent for traditional banking apps since the pandemic hit, it spiked for budgeting apps and other mobile-first brands. If you’re one of these brands, I have a question for you: What are you doing to meet your customers where they’re at and collect their feedback?
If we’ve learned anything from our customers during this crazy time, it’s that customers want to give feedback right now. They want to be heard. But many brands – specifically ones in traditionally transactional industries like finance – fail to capitalize on this. Mobile customer feedback – specifically customer sentiment and emotion data – is the biggest area of opportunity right now for finance apps. Mobile apps are the best place for finance brands to facilitate this kind of two-way relationship with customers right now.
Historically, the banking experience has never been one to write home about. Typically, people don’t feel a strong connection to their financial institution because they view the relationship as purely transactional. With the introduction of mobile apps, this industry has taken on an even more robotic feel. Customers go their entire lives without interacting with an actual person. While this is great for saving time and resources, it can restrict brands’ ability to gather useful feedback and develop meaningful relationships with customers to prolong their lifetime value.
The lifetime value of a finance customer is higher than most other industries, so when a customer does leave, it’s a much bigger hit to the company. Given this, loyalty and trust between the company and the customer is absolutely paramount. With loyalty comes trust, and financial customers also expect a level of care that is unprecedented in other industries. If trust is compromised, the likelihood of gaining them back as a customer in the future is tremendously low.
The more customers you build an emotional connection with, the more loyal customers you’ll have. And right now, human connection is everything. With millions of people quarantined at home, mobile apps are oftentimes the only channel we have to interact with others.
So although banking and financial apps have traditionally felt very transactional and robotic, now is the time to develop those human connections and improve customer relationships. When you proactively reach out to your customers – rather than wait for them to come to you – they feel a stronger connection to your brand. The brands that do this now are the ones that will emerge from this pandemic successful.
The best way to do all of this is through collecting, analyzing, and acting on customer feedback. Follow the steps below to learn more.
It’s important to establish baseline success metrics so you can measure success accurately moving forward. And in order to get there, we need to look at data from before the world changed while we try to interpret what comes next.
Apptentive published our 2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report for Finance apps in early March, right as COVID-19 hit North America hard. The data in the report is from FY 2019 and serves as a yardstick to help app publishers measure customer emotion and understand what’s changed. You can download the full report here.
Apps are now a deciding factor for where people put their money, where before it was based on the physical location of branches. Our world is mobile, and so are our expectations as consumers. With mobile banking, the branch experience has become secondary to the digital experience, largely thanks to mobile apps.
In many ways, the shift toward digital makes gathering feedback from customers easier—but only if you ask for it correctly. Consider using surveys to gather feedback on a new feature, open-ended text fields to learn more about your customers’ engagement experiences, or proactively reach out with messages to encourage customers to engage.
Most brands only hear from less than one percent of their customer base, so they miss out on critical feedback from the other 99 percent. If you can solicit feedback from the rest of your customers, you can identify core reasons why they downloaded the app in the first place, what frustrations they have, or if they’re considering leaving the app.
If you don’t proactively ask for feedback, you’ll leave an opportunity on the table to keep your finger on the pulse of your app’s health, improve customer happiness, and boost your bottom line. There is endless untapped potential in prioritizing customer feedback from your silent majority, but you must be strategic in your approach to collect it.
The best way to give your customers or members a positive experience and to encourage them to engage with your app more regularly? Proactive communication. Reach out, engage them, and make them feel valued. In fact, we’ve found that simply interacting with customers, proactively and respectfully, can increase three-month retention by as much as 400%.
Historically, personal finance is a topic typically held close to the chest, not often discussed with peers. Sharing financial flounders can feel embarrassing and declining balances make people feel vulnerable. Losing money can be incredibly scary, and gaining wealth can feel euphoric. When our financial future is uncertain or changing, emotions are heightened and people feel incredibly vulnerable. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions.
Money is seen as something highly personal, and many believe their financial status to be a direct reflection of who they are as a person. Although you may disagree with this notion, it’s just the way many people feel in today’s society.
Given the intensity of emotions associated with money, it strikes us as odd that financial institutions have yet to tap into this gold mine of sentiment data and customer experience insight. If you haven’t embraced a customer-centric approach to CX and feedback, it’s time to start. Once you start incorporating empathy into your customer experience and humanizing your communication, people will respond in powerful ways.
Customer sentiment data can help you:
While mobile-first finance brands like Acorn, Albert, Venmo, Mint, Simple, and more are leaps and bounds ahead in terms of the digital experience, most of them are missing out on an invaluable opportunity to listen to their customers. Mobile apps are the best channel for product teams to gather feedback from customers and collect actionable data. Get started today.