Offer generation never takes a break as banks continuously hustle to gain and retain customers. Enticements must be kept fresh, but the sheer amount of information to manage and analyze presents a daunting task in a few major ways. On one side of the coin, the inability for a bank to granularly track the timing, deployment, and fulfillment of offers creates confusion for both bank employees and customers. On the other side, customer fatigue can occur due to the time and numerous steps required to take advantage of an offer. Plus, data processing and the overlaying of business logic sometimes does not occur quickly enough to immediately identify a customer’s eligibility status. These scenarios result in negative customer experiences, lower employee morale, and missed revenue opportunities. So what can be done? Let’s start at the beginning of the offer life cycle and travel through deployment strategy to KPI measurement.
Frame the objective, then plot the course
Understanding the customer’s strategic goals is essential to aligning offers with overall business objectives. Whether the aim is to acquire new credit card holders or encourage customers to open, fund, or maintain accounts, the strategy must provide a plan for achieving these goals within the available budget. Considering all of the resources that go into a bank’s marketing campaigns, this allows for better outcomes in areas such as customer segmentation, funnel optimization, and the calculation of ROI, further empowering teams to adjust allocations accordingly.
Offer codes serve as the key to unlocking various benefits for customers, but the method of generation and assignment requires planning with technical teams. An offer code may be unique per customer upon generation, or as an alternative assigned to an individual when redeemed. The method that works best for an offer will depend on the offer strategy, the design of a bank’s systems, and the customer pool.
Multi-use codes that allow a maximum number of redemptions provide enticement to urge faster responses, but can also add more complexity to backend management especially when data is siloed in different applications. Also, management needs to decide whether the offer is time-bound, volume-bound, or a combination of both. This decision influences the reach and impact of the promotion. Ideally, a bank’s core technology system has the flexibility to quickly track and identify each unique offer in real time and highlight additional relevant offers.
Smooth waters ahead
An offer strategy should result in campaigns that have redemption parameters that are clearly understood by customers and employees. Speed and accuracy of the customer journey are paramount in maintaining satisfaction and retention. Eligibility to redeem should be a seamless and real time event for the customer. A crucial aspect often overlooked in the journey is centered around providing feedback to customers as to whether or not they have met the offer requirements. Transparency fosters trust, confidence that their activity is being tracked against the offer, and ensures that customers feel valued with timely rewards. Customers also prefer that the process involves as much self-service as possible, so that they don’t have to call and investigate (taking up more valuable customer support time).
How does it really work?
A sophisticated offer setup may look fancy, but is it truly effective? Tracking is crucial to measuring the success of an offer. Setting milestones and KPIs provides a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of the campaign, allowing the bank to pivot when necessary or decide to double down when offer performance indicates benchmarks are being surpassed.
There are some important metrics to keep in mind when determining if offers are well-received and how much they cost the bank beyond the initial marketing investment. Average handle time (AHT) is a hard-dollar metric comprising talk time, hold time, and total after-call tasks that might be associated to offer redemption and the fulfillment journey. The frequency, length, and complexity of customer inquiries regarding an offer directly impacts operational costs. Customer satisfaction (CSat) and net promoter score (NPS) are soft-dollar metrics measuring the customer’s overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend the bank to others. A positive customer experience not only retains existing customers but also attracts new ones.
Managing and tracking the offer life cycle is a multi-step process, but it doesn’t have to be overly manual or time consuming. Adopting flexible, business configurable technology to manage offer development and redemption is a win-win for both banks and their customers. As a result, banking customers experience less friction, and faster awards or bonuses. Banks free up siloed data, meanwhile accelerating time-to-market, while gaining richer metrics, and reducing risk and customer support costs. These are all good things that enable the complex life cycle to move quickly, generate more strategic offer campaigns, and ultimately spark growth.