Emotional connection with customers is critical to success. Increasingly, financial institutions are viewed by their customers less as clunky but necessary service providers. They can be viewed more as strategic partners for their financial futures. The higher standard is a challenge, but also an opportunity. Banks and credit unions must rise in their ability to create an emotional connection to build deeper relationships with their customers.
Despite its emphasis on number, the reality is that most financial choices and most budgeting plans for consumers are emotional. They have strong feelings about money, They want a partner who they feel supports them on this emotional journey. When developing marketing and communication approaches with your customers, make sure you’re speaking to them in an emotionally intelligent and relevant manner. Consider the following to create an emotional connection with your customers:
Speak to Their Aspirations
When consumers think about their financial lives, they think about where their life is going. They are often striving for something. Their goals could be tangible things like a house or a car. Or it could be more vague and emotional like stability or relieving the pressure of day to day finances.
When communicating with customers, make an effort to learn about those aspirations. Speak to them when talking about budgeting and long term goals by understanding their emotional drivers.
Connect Emotionally: Communicate In Lifestyle, Not Just Dollars and Cents
Money is a tool for your customers to live their best lives. When communicating with them, help them conceptualize how they can put their money to work. Speak about tangible goals like a child’s savings account for college or a vacation in their future and the memories they’ll create as a family. Doing so shows you understand them as people. You want their dollars and cents to translate to meaningful experiences and lifestyles.
Understand Your Role As a Financial Advisor
Like it or not, if you are a financial institution, your customers are likely looking to you for some form of financial advice. Your expertise can lend itself in a variety of ways, from knowledge of different types of long-term savings approaches to creating a monthly budget.
Learn about the different knowledge gaps that exist among your customer base, and work to find ways to fill them in a meaningful way. Doing so proves your expertise as a trusted financial advisor and increases your value to your customers.
Act In Their Best Interest With Authentic Emotional Connections
This should be a no-brainer, but always act in the best interest of your customers. Nothing makes customers feel seen and validated more than their financial institution going out of its way to help them save money or make the most of an opportunity.
Conversely, hidden fees or unexpected charges can quickly erode this trust. While this might be appealing as a short-term move, the long-term damage is too great to ever be sustainable. Make decisions and provide information to your customers as if they were your family or close friend, and you’ll reap the benefits.
Understand How You Fit Into Their Lives
Make sure you understand your relationship with your customers is critical. Find unique ways you can serve them. In particular, there are likely common knowledge gaps or needs from your customers. Like aggregating their spending data and providing a useful calculator to help them. By exploring how you fit into their lives, you can better identify these needs . you can also create a relationship that is unique and meaningful to them.