The average consumer’s expectations of their digital services have never been higher. In a world where we’re increasingly time-poor, intelligent personalisation that delivers a quick, seamless and enjoyable user experience has become a vital trend for businesses to stay relevant.
No industry exemplifies this more than media streaming, where giants like Netflix, Spotify and TikTok have taken personalisation to a new level. But what do these disruptive platforms, which seem anathema to the finance sector, have in common with banking?
It all comes down to enhancing personalisation and the way in which financial institutions can apply the theories and strategies that serve media streaming platforms so well – namely leveraging data-driven insights, predicting customer preferences, and enhancing user experiences to deliver tailored services.
Using data-driven customer insights
Spotify, TikTok and Netflix have mastered the art of using customer data to maintain a user base and provide personalised recommendations.
For example, Spotify suggests music to its customers based on both actual listening habits and stated interests; TikTok's algorithm serves users with an endless stream of videos aligned to their viewing history; and Netflix predicts user preferences and tailors content suggestions accordingly.
As a content creator too, Netflix even employs its rich data set to inform its future production decisions – therefore maximising any future show’s chances of success when released.
Banking institutions hold similarly rich customer data, which provides a window into their needs, likes and dislikes, but it remains critically under-used in determining how institutions provide their services. There are exceptions, of course, such as Dutch bank ABN Amro. They have an ongoing partnership with fintech company Subaio and use customers’ payment data, like recurring payments and existing loans, to personalise their loan offers.
By leveraging this kind of information, organisations can customise and prioritise their offers and assistance based on individual preferences.
In doing so, they can offer more insightful and more intuitive services through a far deeper understanding of their customers – often even more than customers know themselves.
Predicting customer preferences, needs and goals
While tapping into user preferences is undoubtedly important, media streamers really lead the way when it comes to the algorithms they use to predict viewer preferences and future needs with remarkable accuracy.
Predictive analytics help platforms like TikTok anticipate the sort of content users will enjoy, which helps them deliver highly personalised experiences – maintaining a loyal and repeat audience and increasing brand sentiment.
In the banking sector, a similar approach can be adopted to streamline services for specific customers. For example, the data from digital apps may start to recognise behaviour patterns – people using certain services more than others, or taking one particular action on a certain day each week or at a common point every month. This behaviour could then be reflected in the app itself to make the action easier and quicker to perform.
This strategy would ensure banks are more aligned with their customer base, just as Netflix and Spotify are aligned with theirs – enhancing customer interactions, fostering repeat business and generating positive sentiment.
Bank of Ireland is one such institution that’s announced its intention to implement data science, artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics to accurately recommend the right products based on its customers’ life circumstances.
The trick is to strike a balance that ensures the data is used to be helpful but doesn’t cross over into ‘creepy’, which can deter users and erode trust – a conundrum that is purportedly becoming a risky issue for TikTok and its data-gathering algorithm.
Enhancing user experience across multiple platforms
Convenience and ease of use are the foundations of brand loyalty in any industry, whether its media streaming, banking or anything else.
Modern streaming services are available on-demand and accessible across platforms, from phones and laptops to TVs and smart speakers. The streaming services also employ common user interfaces on all devices, wherever possible, which fosters familiarity and comfort.
Variable customer experience is a known issue for banks, so a more intuitive interface and a consistent presence on all platforms where customers engage is a sure-fire way to strengthen loyalty. This could include establishing a presence on third-party platforms like social media and external financial management apps too.
By meeting customers where they are, and providing a seamless experience across platforms, banks can foster stronger and closer relationships with their clientele.
Applying media streaming strategies in banking
In part 2, we’ll be looking in more detail at how these learnings from Netflix, Spotify and TikTok can be applied practically.
Nevertheless, while scrolling social videos and binge-watching TV shows may seem a world away from the world of banking and finance, there are clearly commonalities between the two that could see intelligent personalisation strategies shared across the divide.
This can pay real dividends for banks who are looking to create meaningful connections with their customers and drive increased engagement and loyalty – just like the media streaming giants who’ve already proven personalisation is a strategy that really works.
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