Re-Invent Your Customer Relationships with Business Analytics

If you’re over 40, you probably remember how banking used to be. Going with your parents to the neighborhood branch. Patiently waiting during grown-up chit-chat. Plastic piggybanks. A slowpoke sucker or tootsie pop as your parting gift.

Back then, banks built relationships with customers on a personal level. Chances were good your banker knew your parents, lived in the neighborhood and could easily talk about jobs, kids and school.

In turn, your banker almost instinctively knew how much credit they could extend, how much each customer had in their checking account, and if they needed a home loan. Back then, it was all about the relationship, and that translated into loyal customers.

How things have changed. With mounting regulatory processes and employee churn rates, Bankers don’t have the time or skills to provide the same personalized attention to each customer to build the relationship. And customers don’t always have time to visit a branch to make a transaction, or they may not even bank in the city or state where they live.

More than ever, banks need to find ways to build and maintain customer relationships without the same ability to know each customer on a personal level. That means tapping into tools to help them understand their customers without the benefit of a face-to-face relationship.

Business analytics—also called customer intelligence—is one tool that can help banks reestablish the same type of relationship your parents experienced. Using analytics allows banks to:

  • Learn more about each customer, down to specific trends and behaviors.
  • Take action on that information to build stronger customer relationships.
  • Refine a decision or action, based on supporting data.

The name may sound complicated, but the idea is simple. Your core customer data can be analyzed for any number of factors—including how many accounts closed on a given day, or even which customers, based on their activity, are most likely to leave your bank for a competitor.

By providing a concrete look at your customer data, business analytics lets you track trends, strengthen your customer relationships and increase retention. Here are five ways your bank can benefit:

  1. To better understand purchasing behaviors to cross-sell them into additional accounts.
  2. To segment your customers for better targeted offers. This gives your bank a chance to treat customer differently based on specific attributes of each customer.
  3. To distribute information across the enterprise about all facets of the relationship—in particular, customer preferences. This allows your front-line staff to cross-sell more effectively.
  4. To automatically trigger actions based on specific customer events, helping you react promptly to a customer’s changing needs.
  5. To allow consistent access and measurement across the different silos in a bank to understand the true value of the customer relationship. By looking at all the relationships within a household across all the divisions of the bank, you can tell the true status of the relationship.

Business analytics or customer intelligence is integral to helping your bank develop stronger customer relationships—even despite the impersonal nature of today’s banking environment. This tool can help your bank increase retention and your customers’ lifetime value based on actual information from your customers. And, ultimately, that can help lead to better performance, increased profits and bigger market share.