Is Digital Becoming the New Normal for Banking Customers?

Posted on December 8, 2020December 1, 2020Categories Research  Leave a comment on Is Digital Becoming the New Normal for Banking Customers?
Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged traditional banking models and made the digital experience more significant. Even customers not accustomed to banking by smartphone, tablet or personal computer find themselves open to new channels to transact their financial business. Now financial institutions need to come to grips with how the pandemic changed banking and consumer behavior.

The Digital Banking Post COVID-19: Digital CX Banking Report surveyed more than 500 banking customers in June, more than 135 days after the first documented COVID-19 case in the U.S., to explore and describe the mindset and behaviors of banking customers — how the pandemic changed customer needs and wants, and what are their expectations and perceptions of digital banking since the lockdowns.

The shift in consumer tendencies affected most industries worldwide, but especially banking. McKinsey & Co. found more than 75% of buyers and sellers now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. McKinsey also found COVID-19’s impact projects 15 to 20% of banking customers surveyed in Italy, Spain, and the U.S. expect to increase their use of digital channels post-pandemic.

Many financial institutions have yet to see this mindset shift translate into actual user behavior, perhaps due to limitations of their digital capabilities. Should these sprouting inclinations become banking’s new normal, McKinsey anticipates retail banking distribution picking up three years of digital acceleration in 2020 alone.

A DepositAccounts survey, published in September, also discovered most consumers are visiting their financial institution’s branches much less lately and turning instead to mobile banking apps or websites. They found over the previous 30 days, 91% of Americans banked at least once online or on a mobile app; over 40% of consumers are using their bank’s mobile app more often than pre-pandemic; and 52% of consumers visited physical financial institutions less during the pandemic.

Given this new customer leaning, financial institutions may elect to reconsider their revenue drivers, and seek new product introductions and/or updates of their offerings to include extra security, advice-giving services, and more analytics to help recognize relevant niches of potential growth. But how do they choose?

DCX studied customer perceptions and behaviors and categorized them as Traditionalists, who prefer face-to-face branch interaction and will likely return as branches re-open; Transformers, who previously preferred branch interactions but went digital during the pandemic; and Trailblazers, who always preferred digital banking interactions and will continue to do so.

All three clusters exhibited amplified use of digital services during the pandemic, which should come as no surprise. Consumers of all inclinations had to rely on digital services with physical stores and offices not an option. Banking was no exception. All three groups increased their digital banking use, and it is the nuances among these increases that this report will examine. Which habits are temporary, and which will become permanent? How should banks shift their products and services to prepare for the post-COVID world? The Digital CX Banking Report will provide guidance based on customer responses on what they expect and what financial institution should do to overcome concerns.

For a deeper dive into your customers click here for a free report preview; and click here to stay up to date with the latest consumer behavior in digital banking every quarter.

Will Banking Customers Demand More Screen Time Post-Pandemic?

Posted on December 1, 2020December 1, 2020Categories ResearchTags , ,   Leave a comment on Will Banking Customers Demand More Screen Time Post-Pandemic?
Photo by Ilan Dov on Unsplash

Amid the pandemic, U.S. smartphone and laptop usage use is reportedly surging about 45% above normal levels. But screen time differs by generation. How does this affect banking and what does it mean for financial services in a post-pandemic world?

According to a new study by WhistleOut the average American will spend about 9 years or over 76,500 hours on their smartphones alone over the course of their lifetime. Millennials spend about 3.7 hours per day on their phones, Gen X spends about 3 hours per day; and Boomers only spend about 2.5 hours per day on their phones. Eliminate sleep time and millennials spend almost a quarter of their awake time on smartphones; Gen X spends 16.5% of their wakeful lives on a smartphone, and Boomers only spend 9.9% of their awake time on a smartphone.

Digital CX also wanted to find out how much screen time banking customers now spend trying to connect to their financial institutions. The Digital Banking Post COVID-19: Digital CX Banking Report surveyed more than 500 banking customers in June, more than 135 days after the first documented COVID-19 case in the U.S., to explore and describe the mindset and behaviors of banking customers.

We identified three groups of financial institution users: Traditionalists, Transformers and Trailblazers. All three of our groups showed increased use of screen time—digital services—during the pandemic, particularly mobile, as physical locations closed or operated under restricted conditions.

Our profiles showed:

  • Traditionalists—tend to be older than other groups: 61% are 55 or older, just 15% are younger than 35. They are not seeking new experiences in banking. However, 70% use online banking and 35% use mobile banking, even though they are less likely than the other groups to use their financial institution’s mobile app.
  • Transformers—Nearly half (44%) of this group are 25-44 years old. They choose their bank for convenience, which can be a mix of location and digital offerings. They already seem primed for more screen time as 65% use online banking and 56% use mobile banking.
  • Trailblazers—tend to be younger than our other groups; 65% are between the ages of 25 and 44. They welcome the digital transformation of banking services. More than half of Trailblazers use online (55%) and mobile banking services (58%). They are the most mobile-forward group

Although how and when banking returns to normal remains an unanswered question it is likely that digital banking will take on a greater role than before the pandemic with all age groups.

Each of our surveyed groups indicated they want more screen time. More customers seemed willing to use mobile more than actually use it as of early June when we collected the data. This seems like a straightforward opportunity for financial institutions—to offer customers more screen time through their customers’ preferred digital channel.

For a deeper dive into your customers click here for a free report preview; and click here to stay up to date with the latest consumer behavior in digital banking every quarter.

Digital Banking During COVID-19 Surged. Will It Stick?

Posted on October 21, 2020October 30, 2020Categories Article  Leave a comment on Digital Banking During COVID-19 Surged. Will It Stick?
Digital banking during COVID-19 was unprecedented. What does the future hold?
Digital banking during COVID-19 was unprecedented. What does the future hold?

Before the onset of the pandemic, digital banking during COVID-19 surged, which in turn drove financial institutions to seek to create better consumer experiences. However, COVID-19 created an urgency by banking customers and left financial institutions struggling to understand how to serve their customer segments going forward.

A PWC study, completed before 2020, found almost 73% of respondents consider the customer experience an important factor in their purchasing decisions but particularly influential in healthcare (78%), banking (75%), restaurants (74%) and hotels (74%). The same survey found only 49% of U.S. consumers said companies provide a good customer experience at the moment. It found closing any customer experience gap requires finding that sweet spot — where technology complements the human element of customer experience without creating new frustrations. That perfect balance is still the goal.

Digital Banking During COVID-19 and After

The Digital Banking Post COVID-19: Digital CX Banking Report surveyed more than 500 banking customers in June, more than 135 days after the first documented COVID-19 case in the U.S., to explore and describe the mindset and behaviors of banking customers. We wanted to learn whether the pandemic changed customer needs and wants. What did they expect before COVID-19 hit and what are their expectations currently? Have customers changed their perceptions of digital banking since the lockdown?

We uncovered customer perception and behaviors and categorized them into three segments:

  • Traditionalists: Customers who prefer interpersonal contact at the branch and will likely return as branches re-open.
  • Transformers: Customers who used to prefer branch interactions but are willing to go digital now when “forced” to go digital during the pandemic.
  • Trailblazers: Customers who always preferred digital banking interactions and will continue to use online and mobile service and products.

Expectedly all three groups have displayed amplified use of digital banking during COVID-19, as all consumers had to rely on digital services with branch activity disrupted. All these segments represent some of your banking customers, which makes serving them all an ongoing challenge.

However, we found the Transformers, the most dynamic group. While most Traditionalists and Trailblazers enjoy a steady financial institution relationship, most Transformers do not.

Transformers (44% are 25-44 years old) are open to new experiences in banking but feel ignored at times and do not believe their institutions provides them with enough financial advice, which they sorely need and want, especially now. They will use online and mobile banking but are more likely to go into the branch to make a deposit or withdrawal, get cash or cash checks.

Financial institutions have a great opportunity with Transformers. For example, they favor a mix of digital and in-person interaction with their bank or credit union, which might make them receptive to a web chat or video teller meeting.

For banks and credit unions, Transformers seem well prepared, more enthusiastic and adept enough to move to more digital and self-service channels post-COVID-19, having out of necessity already used those channels.

For a more in-depth look at the Transformers click here for a free report preview; and click here to stay up to date with the latest consumer behavior in digital banking every quarter.

Digital Banking Trends Changing with the Circumstances

Posted on October 2, 2020October 2, 2020Categories Research  Leave a comment on Digital Banking Trends Changing with the Circumstances

Necessity may be the mother of invention but it can also solve banking problems in the midst of an emergency. Over the last four decades overwhelming circumstances accelerated financial technology evolution, with the latest crisis, the pandemic, fast-tracking the transformation of digital banking trends and banking customer behavior.

Before the 1970s, most banking took place during business hours with the aid of tellers and pens chained to desks. In 1977, Citibank invested some $100 million in introducing Citicard Banking Centers (featuring automated teller machines) throughout New York City. Nobody rushed to visit them until two 1978 massive snow storms helped increase ATM use by 20%. The positive response helped usher in a national ATM boom.

At the start of the 21st century, U.S. check clearance involved the paper checks completing a circuitous route back to the account-holder’s financial institution, mostly through a fleet of jets controlled by the Federal Reserve Bank and the banking industry. However, the tragic events of September 11, 2001, not only grounded air travel but halted the banking system. To prevent a repeat of that situation, in 2003 Congress passed the Check 21 Act, which mandated electronic clearing use check images.

Digital Banking Trends in the Time of COVID

Now in 2020, the arrival of COVID-19 and applied social distancing rules accelerated banking’s digital transformation by months, if not years, and elevated the online and mobile customer banking experience overnight. Even banking customers who preferred in person-banking before, became digital banking users when the branches closed.

Learn how customer service is changing because of COVID-19

Digital banking trends are changing with expectations of customers
Digital banking trends are changing with customers expectations.

It raised the question, what will banking customers expect from their financial institutions when the COVID-19 crisis ends?

The Digital Banking Post COVID-19: Digital CX Banking Report surveyed more than 500 banking customers in June, more than 135 days after the first documented COVID-19 case in the U.S., to explore and describe the mindset and behaviors of banking customers. We wanted to ascertain whether the pandemic changed customer needs and wants, and with it digital banking trends in general. What did they expect before COVID-19 hit and what are their expectations? Have customers changed their perceptions of digital banking since the lockdowns?

The Digital CX Group learned customer perceptions and behaviors and categorized them as:

  • Traditionalists: Customers who prefer face-to-face branch interaction and will likely return as branches re-open.
  • Transformers: Customers who previously preferred branch interactions but went digital during the pandemic.
  • Trailblazers: Customers who always preferred digital banking interactions and will continue to do so.

How Banks Should React to These Changes

Understanding the digital banking trends predicted by all these segments represents unending challenges for banks and credit unions to service. However, we found Transformers, the most interesting and unpredictable group. In a nutshell, the report discovered 44% of Transformers are 25-44 years old and are open to new banking experiences. They favor a mix of digital and in-person interaction. It is important to them that their banks or credit unions exhibit leadership. Transformers choose their financial institution for convenience, which can be a mix of location and digital offerings.

Figuring out who Transformers are and what they want figures heavily in forming the right customer strategy for financial institutions post-pandemic.

For a deeper dive into your customers click here for a free report preview; and click here to stay up to date with the latest consumer behavior in digital banking every quarter.

Taking a Great Forward-Thinking Approach to Project Management

Posted on June 4, 2020May 18, 2020Categories ArticleTags , ,   Leave a comment on Taking a Great Forward-Thinking Approach to Project Management

All too often, businesses take a catch-up approach to project management and analysis. Rather than planning ahead and anticipating needs, these companies perform autopsies after the fact. Unfortunately, this method can lead to high customer churn rates.

Here’s the scenario – a major client just booked a profitable project with your company. You’re super excited to get started, and your teams are working hard to complete it on time. Unfortunately, midway through, you realize that you’re burning through staff-hours and not getting the results that your client wanted through the applied project management. Once the project is over, you look back and see what went wrong. However, before you have a chance to make changes, a new client signs up, and the cycle starts again.

Does this sound familiar? If you’re like most SaaS customer service companies, it should. All too often, businesses take a catch-up approach to project management and analysis. Rather than planning ahead and anticipating needs, these companies perform autopsies after the fact. Unfortunately, this method can lead to high customer churn rates.

Instead, it’s better to look forward, not backward. Instead of looking at the rearview mirror, start looking through the windshield. To help us understand the value of this approach, we’re talking with Mark Robinson, CEO of Kimble Applications. Kimble helps SaaS companies create automated processes to streamline operations and deliver better results. Here are some pointers.

Processes Dictate Systems, Not Vice Versa

Project Automation
Once you understand the steps each team member should be taking, you can find the right tools to accommodate them.

Because SaaS companies are all about technology, it’s tempting to want to use the latest and greatest programs and tools. However, while they may seem appealing at first, are they really solving a problem or a need? If not, then what’s the point?

Part of Mark’s work at Kimble is helping companies understand the movements behind each system. Yes, you have a high-tech CRM, but what good is it if the sales team doesn’t use it efficiently? So, rather than throwing technology at the problem, you have to take a process-focused approach first. Once you understand the steps each team member should be taking, you can find the right tools and project management to accommodate them.

Change Management Happens at the Top

Another reason so many SaaS companies experience high customer churn rates is that, even when adjustments are implemented, they don’t take hold for very long. This is because the people who champion these changes aren’t the ones influencing everyone else.

So, if you want your company to adopt better processes and streamlined operations, the management team has to be the first to onboard and activate. From there, it’s much easier to keep everyone else on track and avoid falling back into old habits.

Analysis and Adaptation Don’t Stop After Launch

Finally, too many SaaS companies view the going live date as the endpoint of a project management. However, that’s only one component of a much larger picture. If your churn rate is high after six months or a year, that’s an indication of low activation and something is wrong on the project management. Yes, you onboarded your clients and helped them master the software, but they’re still not achieving their goals.

One of the issues here is measuring the wrong metrics. Rather than focusing on user interactions, you want to get to the core of your delivery. For example, if your software is meant to save time on invoicing, how is that coming along? How many hours were your clients spending before compared to now? If the difference is negligible, you’ll need to adjust accordingly.

Overall, you should view each project management as an ongoing part of your business. By doing so, you can improve your customer service experience and reduce churn. If you want to find out more about these elements, check out the latest episode of the SaaS CX Show here. You can also learn more about Kimble Applications at www.kimbleapps.com.

Consumer Preferences in Digital Banking Trends 2020 post COVID-19: Coming Soon

Posted on May 21, 2020May 21, 2020Categories Research  Leave a comment on Consumer Preferences in Digital Banking Trends 2020 post COVID-19: Coming Soon

Our new research, Digital Banking Trends 2020, assesses the changing consumer preferences to use digital baking channels in a post-COVID-19 world.

In July 2020, we’ll be publishing research on changing consumer preferences in our new research: Digital Banking Trends 2020. We have asked consumers about their changing opinions after COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have forced many consumers to use digital and virtual options where they otherwise may not have.

Digital Banking Trends 2020
Consumer preferences are changing quickly in 2020.

Will these consumers continue to use those digital options after things return to normal? Or will they go back to “in person” options?

We’re excited to share this information with you very soon.

In the meantime, here are some other banking resources from The SaaS CX Group.

Adam Elliot on online account opening fraud.

Episode 035: Search Engine Optimization with Geoff Atkinson

Posted on May 20, 2020June 24, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags   Leave a comment on Episode 035: Search Engine Optimization with Geoff Atkinson

The Search Engine Optimization industry is worth around 95 billion dollars, but it is dominated with agencies and service-based companies that try to tackle a problem they just cannot solve, granting this industry an NPS score of 0. This episode of the SaaS CX show we talk with Geoff Atkinson, founder and CEO of Huckabury, as he introduces his company’s technical-based solution to this industry’s core problem.

Show Notes

The Search Engine Optimization industry is worth around 95 billion dollars, but it is dominated with agencies and service-based companies that try to tackle a problem they just cannot solve, granting this industry an NPS score of 0. This episode of the SaaS CX show I talk with Geoff Atkinson, founder and CEO of Huckabuy, as he introduces his company’s technical-based solution to this industry’s core problem.

Search Engine Optimization- How to Get it Right

For small and big companies alike, Search Engine Optimization can become one of their core ways they receive website traffic, and in turn create new customers and clients. So why then are there so many service-based agencies that leave customers dissatisfied at every turn?

Search engine optimization with Huckabuy and Geoff Atkinson
Geoff Atkinson

As I discussed with Geoff, it seems that the one thing these service agencies cannot get right is that they just do not understand or have the tools necessary to work with Search Engine Optimization. You can only do so much with marketers and advertising specialists, Geoff and I concluded. To truly get satisfactory and real results you need to take a technical-based approach, instead of having marketers and employees outsource jobs that they do not understand, which leads to a not optimal work force.

How Huckabuy Changes the Industry

I talked to Geoff about what his company, Huckabuy, is doing to clean up the Search Engine Optimization industry.

Search Engine Optimization
Software-based solutions are the key to Search Engine Optimization.

Huckabuy specializes in creating software that can be installed to create Search Engine Optimization. Because the fundamentals of this industry are technology-based, there are many technical roadblocks typical agencies run into that they are not equipped to handle, some of which could make your website unqualified for over 50 percent of search volume.

His company also aims to be more upfront and honest, as an NPS score of 0 speaks for itself when it comes to this industry’s loyalty and satisfaction ratings. Huckabuy aims on being more communicative to their clients, to show them how they are helping and what it means to create an optimal website.

Huckabuy’s two scalable products: Structured Data and SEO Cloud, have helped their average client grow at an average of 62% over a 12-month period. They aim to be transparent with their technology and give every client a positive experience on-boarding. These two products handle all google traffic and within an average of two weeks delivers their clients an optimized website that aligns with search engine traffic.

The Google Algorithm and Customer Success

Many agencies in the industry make claims that all you need for Search Engine Optimization is really good content, choosing to ignore algorithms from search engines like Google. However, as we discussed with Geoff it seems that working with instead of fighting against these algorithms is key to an optimal website.

Huckabuy tries to be predictive with the macro trends that Google follows, allowing their company to stay ahead of the tide instead of being washed to shore like so many agencies after Google’s constant algorithmic updates. It seems aligning yourself with the algorithm is key to a smooth, constant transition for your clients’ optimization.

As Geoff and I discussed, there are always potential problems that come from specializing in Search Engine Optimization software. One he has found is the difficulty definitely showing their customers just how much their software has grown their website and traffic.

Huckabuy’s goal this year, Geoff said, is to develop a mechanism and work on how to communicate to their clients Huckabuy’s software has contributed to their growth.

In this episode we talk a lot more about Search Engine Optimization, so check out the episode here. And if you want to learn more about Geoff Atkinson or get in touch with his company, you can learn more at Huckabuy.com. Also, if you use their Contact Us form and mention this episode of the SaaS CX podcast, you will receive a discount on their services.

Episode 033: Sales and Marketing Coordination with Randy Wootton

Posted on May 18, 2020May 19, 2020Categories The SaaS CX ShowTags , ,   Leave a comment on Episode 033: Sales and Marketing Coordination with Randy Wootton

On the surface, it would certainly seem that sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. What we really want to create is sales and marketing coordination. However, in reality, there is usually some extreme division between those on either side, to the point where it almost seems like they’re on two different paths. In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, I talk with Randy Wootten, president and CSO of Seismic.

Show Notes

On the surface, it would certainly seem that sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. What we really want to create is sales and marketing coordination. However, in reality, there is usually some extreme division between those on either side, to the point where it almost seems like they’re on two different paths. In this episode of the SaaS CX Show, I talk with Randy Wootton, Chief Strategy Officer and President at Percolate, a Seismic company.

Achieving Sales and Marketing Coordination

Ideally, the marketing department would talk with the sales team, and vice versa. However, in many companies, sales and marketing coordination does not exist. On the sales side, they complain that the leads are weak or improperly vetted. On the marketing side, they say that the sales staff aren’t closing, despite having such highly qualified leads. Obviously, both statements can’t be right.

Talking sales and marketing coordination with Randy Wootton of Seimic.
Randy Wootton

As I discuss with Randy, it seems like the fundamental difference between the two sides is that one uses data a lot more than the other. In my experience, because the sales staff is out there building relationships and talking with clients, numbers and statistics are met with derision. Most high-end sellers aren’t going to rely on charts and graphs to close a deal – it’s all about how you talk to the prospect. Overall, the sales team puts much more emphasis on specific points and details, even if the data is mostly anecdotal.

On the flip side, since so many marketers use analytics religiously, they don’t interact with clients regularly. So, when trying to capture new leads and push them through the sales funnel, marketers rely on data to qualify a prospect, rather than talking with the person directly.

Unfortunately, this lack of sales and marketing coordination can increase customer churn rates because the marketers are selling one thing while the sales team is selling another. A lack of communication about what’s going into each sale can lead to disaster.

Being Customized Without Being Creepy

Seismic is a firm that helps companies – both large and small – create tailored content to reach customers. These days, the “shotgun” approach doesn’t work anymore. Users are far savvier than in years past, which means that they expect a certain level of personalization in each interaction.

Marketing vs Sales
The fundamental difference between the two sides is that one uses data a lot more than the other

The struggle, according to Randy, is to provide that customization without being creepy about it. We’ve all had that experience where an ad pops up on Facebook or Instagram that seems to have come straight from our thoughts. We don’t remember searching for that product or service, but here it is in our timeline.

As a SaaS company, the content has to tow that line well, and that messaging needs to get to both the marketing and sales team. All too often, marketing has created content that speaks to an individual customer, but once that person talks to a sales rep, the rep has no idea about it. In most cases, that sales and marketing coordination disconnect can lead to higher customer churn. Clients expect the company to have a cohesive strategy at all times.

Quality Over Quantity

One anecdote that Randy recounts is how he sold Seismic to one of his enterprise-level clients. Evidently, the company was spending $40 million per year on advertising content but estimated that only about half was delivering toward the bottom line. So, with a perceived loss of $20 million, the cost of Seismic pales in comparison.

What Randy and his team do is go in and figure out what messages are getting to clients and how they can be tailored even more to compel action. So many companies believe that quantity is necessary to stay above the competition. However, a targeted message at the right time can get a lot more traction than 10 generic ones. It’s all about figuring out the when, the why, and the how.

We talk a lot more about creating better sales and marketing coordination, so check out the episode here. And, if you want to find out how to reduce customer churn with Seismic, you can learn more at www.seismic.com.

Creating Better Enterprise-Level SaaS Product

Posted on May 14, 2020April 19, 2020Categories ArticleTags , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on Creating Better Enterprise-Level SaaS Product

If you build your SaaS product with these goals in mind, you can reduce customer churn and create a much better program.

Usually, the process of building a new app or software product is pretty straightforward. A company is founded, a development team will work on validation, the product goes live, fixes and patches come out, and it grows from there.

However, what if you’re trying to create a SaaS product for an enterprise-level business? Because the brand has such a broad scope, both in terms of marketing and user base, the standard development process won’t necessarily work.

In this article, we want to discuss the best practices for creating software for big companies. Think Microsoft, Facebook, and Comcast. To help us understand what it takes to achieve success, we’re talking with Wolf Ruzicka. Wolf is the chairman of Eastbanc Technologies, which incubates new programs before selling them to massive corporations. He has some valuable insight to share for building SaaS products and learning how to reduce customer churn.

Understand the Enterprise Challenges

As a startup, the company has much more flexibility during development. Because the user base is so small, the primary pain points are just getting the product to work correctly. Typically, the mantra of a small SaaS company is to launch with an MVP and little else.

With enterprise software, however, the challenges are much different. You have to go way beyond the MVP. Simply put, good enough isn’t good enough. Additionally, as Wolf puts it, you have to consider the following hurdles:

-Security – An enterprise-level business has high-value assets and executives. This data has to be protected from day one. Patches aren’t a viable solution.

-Scalability – A startup may launch with a handful of users. An enterprise company may have thousands or hundreds of thousands ready to use the software. Scaling has to be baked in from the get-go, including customer retention strategies.

-Durability – With so many people relying on software, delays, and downtime are not an option. The program has to be reliable enough to work smoothly and consistently. While bugs are sometimes inevitable, they can’t be detrimental to operational success.

So, if you build your SaaS product with these goals in mind, you can reduce customer churn and create a much better program. However, these components are just the beginning.

Incorporate the Various Layers of the Customer Experience

If you want to improve the SaaS customer experience, you have to recognize the value of different technology. Today’s user is much savvier than years past, which means that the same person can use a smartphone, tablet, or computer to work on the same software. Rather than focusing your attention on one element, you need to build a multifaceted SaaS product.

The layers of the customer experience can include:

-Cloud – Cloud-based technology is more vital than ever, with more people working from home and remote workers logging in from around the world.

-Mobile – Smartphones are only getting more sophisticated, and users are relying on smartphones and other mobile devices to handle more data and transactions. For example, more people shopped via mobile during the 2019 holiday season than on a desktop.

-Design – It’s not enough for your software to be functional; it has to be user-friendly as well. Design elements help your users get more out of the program and can help reduce churn.

-AI – while machine-learning isn’t that commonplace today, it’s a growing industry. So, you have to plan accordingly. If you build your software without AI capabilities, you’ll fall behind during the next tech boom. Wolf admits that AI is going to change the game in the next few years, particularly with how we interact with technology.

Bottom Line: You Have to Be Prepared

Eastbanc Technologies can produce enterprise-level SaaS products because the team understands innovation and high-functioning customer experience. Overall, as long as you’re prepared to handle the challenges that come with the terrain, there’s no reason you can’t do the same. You can find out more about Wolf and Eastbanc Tech by listening to the latest episode of the SaaS CX Show here. You can also learn more at www.eastbanctech.com.

How to Make SMS Marketing Work

Posted on May 12, 2020April 19, 2020Categories ArticleTags , , , , , , , ,   Leave a comment on How to Make SMS Marketing Work

While the engagement rate for SMS marketing is high on the user end, many sales reps have a hard time incorporating it into their daily habits

If you’re looking for new ways to reach your customers and enhance their experience with your brand, SMS marketing is a valuable tool. However, although the technology has been around for over a decade, many companies are hesitant to make texting a core component of their marketing strategy.

So, in this article, we want to show you how to make SMS work for your SaaS business. Not only is texting ideal for reducing customer churn, but it can give your brand a leg up over the competition. Also, considering that SMS marketing is just a few years from becoming the norm, now is the perfect time to adopt it. Here’s how.

Understand Your Audience

If you’ve already built up a marketing strategy, then you understand the value of creating customer profiles and personas. By focusing your attention on a specific need or problem, you can improve your SaaS customer service immensely.

The same approach works well for texting. However, because the tool is relatively limited, you need to get a little more creative when approaching your ideal user. For example, it’s not usually best to send pictures and videos via text unsolicited. So, rather than crafting the perfect message, it’s all about timing and engagement.

An excellent way to approach this strategy is to ask how and when you would appreciate getting texts from companies you like. If there’s a new sale going on, what kind of message would get you in the door? As we’ll discuss later, authenticity is better than a sales pitch, so sending an ad isn’t the best option. Instead, a simple notification about the sale or a query asking if the customer is interested might be better.

Because the methods are still relatively new, feel free to experiment and gather feedback. Over time, you can craft more engaging messages based on these responses to push your marketing even further.

Make It Easy For Your Sales Team

While the engagement rate for SMS marketing is high on the user end, many sales reps have a hard time incorporating it into their daily habits. Part of the reason is that many programs are independent, so reps have to log out of a CRM to send a text. This also means that the data doesn’t integrate.

Fortunately, new programs are coming out regularly that alleviate that problem. However, you have to take things a step further and help your sales team get used to the idea of texting a prospective or returning customer. In many cases, once a rep sees the potential of SMS marketing, including how easy it is to close a sale, he or she will adopt it immediately.

Overall, just as you’re making it simpler for your customers to buy products from you via text, you have to make the process easier for your sales team.

Start a Conversation, Not a Sales Pitch

SMS Marketing Changing the Face of Sales

Finally, if you want SMS marketing to help decrease customer churn, you have to know what to say. Users are far more likely to open and respond to a text for several reasons, but nothing will turn a customer off faster than spam. We’ve all grown accustomed to seeing marketing emails, but a text feels too personal for it to be “salesy.”

So, the best way to ensure engagement is to start a conversation. Enabling user responses beyond “stop” or “more info” can go a long way toward building loyalty. When customers can ask questions and even start a dialog, they are much more invested. As long as it stays professional and relatively casual, you’ll see better results.

If you want to find out more about SMS marketing, check out the latest episode of the SaaS CX Show here. We talk with Brandon O’Halloran, CEO of Reply By. His company specializes in SMS integration, and he offers some valuable insight into what makes this platform work so well.