The COVID-19 crisis is creating monumental challenges across the globe and across industries. Business leaders will need to navigate the day-to-day onslaught of new realities brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, as well as plan ahead for what the new business-as-usual paradigm will be.
Financial services leaders will need to take a new approach to communicate with customers on the journey to a new normal – one that is both mindful and data-driven.
To engage customers in a compelling way requires a messaging framework to help your marketing and digital teams navigate from the reactive crisis communications mode to a new business-as-usual, as the customer journey has changed for so many of your customers. The exact approach will vary by company and will change as you move from one stage of the crisis to the next.
Identify how the changing climate impacts the customer journey
To make the four phases of the journey to a new normal actionable and practical, outline the specific challenges (problems to be solved), desired outcomes, and the key use cases that create value and key customer experiences at each stage of the customer journey. Take the time to clearly articulate what this looks like for your business.
Example: The Servicing stage of the customer journey at the Crisis Communications phase
- Challenges: Consumers and small businesses are figuring out what essentials to focus on and may need to secure new credit lines or terms
- Desired outcomes: Capture customers who are farther in the conversion funnel and make every message count while maintaining awareness
- Key use cases: Media messaging, digital engagement, effective paid search language, and conversion rate optimization
- Challenges: Distracted consumers will be unaware of contextually useful and broad service offerings
- Desired outcomes: Drive seamless onboarding and fulfillment to fund accounts, close mortgages and other high touch credit applications
- Key use cases: Onboarding series (web pages, emails, etc.) and effective segmentation
- Challenges: Significant adoption is needed to deliver digital servicing, raise awareness of branch closures, and other important service interruptions. Call centers are already overloaded.
- Desired outcomes: Maximize trust, sense of integrity, self-service (mobile app messages), CX, and positive brand experience.
- Key use cases: Educate proactively, enable and contain self-service gains, and engage across the customer experience.
- Challenge: Customers may be lured away by competitive refinance options or take advantage of balance transfer opportunities, trust may be eroded in private wealth relationships
- Desired outcome: Maximize retention rates
- Key use cases: Deliver pre-emptive retention campaigns, remind customers of key benefits across channels such as web and email, and optimize call center scripts.
This framework can be used as a navigational guide to help make strategic decisions on how to engage and communicate with customers as the situation evolves. Putting the customer at the center of the financial services journey has always been critical, and it’s even more important now during the journey to a new normal. Note: This framework is part of a set of guiding principles for communicating effectively with customers on the path to a new normal.