Community bankers: Providing the Right Millennial Buying Experience
Today’s Millennial consumers expect a modern experience when choosing a financial services provider. Whether it’s a bank, credit union, or wealth management advisor, Millennials want to engage when, where and how they want, across multiple channels. Web, mobile, app, or phone — all represent viable Millennial engagement options that financial services sellers must tailor to the unique preferences of this giant demographic. So how are today’s financial service leaders preparing to take advantage of this opportunity?
If they’re smart, they start with their customer experience strategy. Millennials are a demographic that value tech-enabled community and collaboration. With new financial technology solutions able to cater directly to today’s digitally savvy Millennial consumers – and their need for on-demand gratification – financial services organizations must adapt accordingly to ensure the right experience.
We know that today’s buyers, across demographics, increasingly value personalized meetings and live appointments. In fact, results from TimeTrade’s recent survey, What Buyers Want: The State of the B2C Buyer Experience, indicate that all buyers demand increased engagement from sellers. On the other hand, respondents confirm that a poor in-store experience, such as when a bank fails to connect buyers to a knowledgeable associate in a timely manner, will likely result in missed opportunities for greater sales and loyalty.
Perhaps most notable is that respondents specifically cited a desire for banks to make it easier for them to interreact and schedule meetings. In fact, consumers looking for personal banking services strongly endorsed the importance of live meetings and appointments. 92% of shoppers seeking information on financial services, and 87% of shoppers seeking information on banking products want the ability to schedule an appointment with a potential seller.
But what does this look like in practice? For Lake Michigan Credit Union, it’s a dedicated page on its website, offering a range of appointment types – whether for home loans, lending, opening a new account, or servicing an existing account – that can be scheduled as in-person meetings or over the phone. Central Credit Union, another TimeTrade customer, lets visitors pick the appointment type and suggests a specific length of time. Summit Credit Union, meanwhile, starts by identifying a user’s preferred location, then offers an appointment based on the closest branch.
Each of these examples – and the many more within TimeTrade’s growing bank and credit union customer base – reflect the realization that scheduling appointments leads to the type of 1:1 customer engagement today’s Millennial consumers desire. The time is now to follow the example of these forward-thinking institutions. Banks everywhere should take advantage of the opportunity afforded by live interactions and differentiate themselves in a competitive setting.
The good news for community banks and credit unions is that customer experience and personalization has always been their differentiator. The key, however, is ensuring they keep pace with Millennials and other customers and provide the right kind of customer experience.