How do you really know if your financial firm’s marketing efforts are working? Is there an effective way to check that your message is “landing” with clients in the way you intended?
It’s quite common for financial services firms to send out an email campaign, write a downloadable guide or run an online advertising campaign thinking that their meaning is clear, only for it to fall on deaf ears or – worse yet – be taken the wrong way and cause a PR disaster.
Obviously, it would be ideal if you could implement effective measures to keep your “ear to the ground” as your marketing campaigns are running, rather than blinding sending out messages without listening to what people are saying about you.
Remember, in today’s digital age it is more true than ever that financial marketing is no longer a monologue to clients and potential clients. Marketing communication is a two-way street, and it’s important for financial firms to recognise it as such. This isn’t confined to social media, either, but across all of your marketing channels and platforms.
In this short guide, our team here at MarketingAdviser will be sharing some ideas about how you can implement “client listening mechanisms”, to help improve your financial marketing and keep track of customer sentiment. We hope you find this content helpful and invite you to get in touch to arrange a free, no-commitment marketing consultation if you are ready to take things further.
Metric #1: Customer Satisfaction
This is perhaps the simplest and easiest metric to understand and implement when it comes to tracking client sentiment and feedback in the financial sector. Here, you provide a kind of “traffic light” system where customers can quickly indicate their happiness (or dissatisfaction) with your service.
You might have seen these as you work your way through check-in, security and immigration at an airport, for instance. There might be a pedestal with a button for a green smiley face, one for an orange neutral face and one for a red angry face. By pressing one of the buttons, you can quickly “tell” the airport what you think about the experience you have had.
With financial services firms, it is harder to implement a physical pedestal such as this. However, there are other marketing tools and mediums which you might use. For instance, you could offer a similar “face system” within your emails and newsletters to clients. You might also incorporate this approach on your social media channels.
The important things to remember include making the system clear and easy to understand; ensuring there are no problems with the buttons; ensuring everything moves quickly, and having a good data collection system in place so you can easily store and analyse customer responses.
Metric #2: Customer Effort Score
Have you ever experienced an issue with a product or service and needed to approach the manufacturer directly to find a resolution? In all likelihood, the answer is yes. Yet how was the whole experience?
Sometimes it is easy and simply to get a resolution. The customer’s problem is resolved quickly, and damage to your brand is limited. In the best cases, the resolution experience can even improve your relationship with the customer, leading to greater loyalty and an increase in referrals.
In the worst cases, however, resolution takes a long time and a lot of customer effort. Typically, this results in ruined relationships and can even cause PR problems. Most of us want to deal with companies which are easy to work with, and this is no less true in financial services.
One way to monitor this aspect of the customer experience with your own financial brand is via a “Customer Effort Score” metric. This involves presenting a “scorecard” to the customer – often soon after their issue was resolved – where they can answer:
“X financial services made it easy to handle my issue: to what extent do you agree or disagree?”
At this point, you can offer them a series of possible responses ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. Again, the question and responses can be presented in a variety of formats and on a wide range of marketing channels including email, social media and a website live chat.
Metric #3: Net Promoter Score
Customer loyalty is important in all industries. However, it is particularly so in many areas of the financial sector, where strong and long-lasting client relationships form a crucial part of the business model (e.g. financial planning businesses).
Your clients or customers may be very happy with your service, and generally, find your brand very quick and effective when it comes to resolving issues. However, this does not automatically equate to a high level of customer loyalty. After all, if a “better” or “cheaper” alternative to your value proposition suddenly comes their way, how likely are they to abandon you an give it a try?
This is where the “Net Promoter Score” metric is very useful. It is quite similar to the previous metric in that it asks customers or clients a simple question:
“How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend, family member or colleague?”
After being presented with the question, customers can then rate the likelihood of their recommendation using a “scale system” of between 1 (extremely unlikely) t0 10 (overwhelmingly likely).
Once you have gathered the responses, you can collate them into three groups in order to designate an overall “NPS rating” to your financial firm. These groups are:
- Detractors: those who scored between 1-6.
- Passives: those who scored between 7-8.
- Promotors: those who scored 9 or 10.
One useful aspect of this metric is that it is quite easy to track over time, to compare your performance with previous periods. For instance, if your overall NPS seems to be declining over the past 6 months then that could be a strong indication that customer loyalty is starting to weaken. From here, you can start adapting your financial marketing strategy to address the situation.