If you’re navigating the digital conversion waters for the first time, you may be uncertain as to how often your institution should communicate about the change itself. The short answer is: more than you may realize.
Gain practical information, knowledge and best practices surrounding online or mobile conversions in this compelling two-part series.
When Should Our Institution Start Communicating About the Change Event?
Harland Clarke recommends communications to account holders begin up to six months prior to the go-live date of the event. Effective and continual communications, beginning with “coming next quarter” and “coming next month” announcements then weekly leading up to a “coming tomorrow” final go-live notification, provide opportunities to let account holders know how the conversion will benefit them and to reduce concerns. After the event has occurred, the financial institution should (at minimum) follow up with account holders about the event on a monthly basis.
Communications to account holders is one of the most crucial components to an online conversion. When executed well, this messaging not only serves to inform account holders but also to lessen change event friction and better preserve brand trust.
How Should We Tell Customers About the Event?
It isn’t enough to just schedule one message on a single channel each week leading up to go-live. The standard marketing practice is a rule of “7” – that an average consumer needs to see or hear seven messages before they take action, which is why it is important to communicate to your account holders across multiple touch points, multiple times.
Below is a list of ways your institution can communicate messages about the upcoming event:
- Direct Mail (mail stuffers, newsletters)
- Advertising (paid ads)
- Public Relations (press releases or articles on popular news outlets)
- Branch Collateral (signage in the branches)
- Targeted Outbound Campaigns or Automated Messages (to high value or high frequency users, for example, as well as commercial account holders)
- Online Banking Homepage (splash screen or banner page)
- Digital Communication Channels (Emails and social media messages multiple times each week)
What Do We Need to Tell Them – Specifically?
When communicating about an event it’s important to let account holders know three things:
- The reason for the change
- How it benefits them (this also needs to be repeated multiple times to lessen change “friction” or potential churn.)
- Any action items account holders need to take (for example, registering for mobile banking.)
It’s important to be as transparent as possible with account holders. Authenticity always wins!
How Do We Fully Prepare Our Customer Service Channels?
Even if your communications plan is executed flawlessly, there will still be account holders who need help during a change event. Whether they received (or more likely disregarded) your communications, they will reach out to you for support. Even good change may be difficult for some account holders. Being aware of the human aspect of managing conversions, and planning for a significant increase in call volume, is critical to conversion success.
To ensure the highest level of account holder satisfaction during a change event, it pays to fully staff your contact center for the influx in call volume, properly train customer facing staff on the new technology and how to answer questions, and decide (if necessary) how to increase existing mobile capabilities to better service account holders.
Change is hard enough; by ensuring account holders are aware and prepared for any disruptions to their service and routine, your institution will keep customers happy and loyal.
Stay tuned for the second part of this two-part series.