Digital Onboarding for Today’s Account Holder

Posted by on July 22nd, 2014

Digital Onboarding Effective onboarding of new account holders takes more than a simple “thank you” message. With first year attrition rates as high as 40% at some financial institutions1, the importance of establishing a consistent, valuable line of communication is clear.

SpringBoard, a new type of digital onboarding from HCD, makes the most of a unique opportunity to connect with, learn from and extend relationships with new account holders. A combination of content strategy, automated communication and account holder feedback, SpringBoard offers financial institutions the ability to cross-sell additional services, improve financial literacy, and stay top-of-mind during the first 12 months and beyond.

Since engaged account holders are more likely to provide the type of valuable feedback that can help identify issues with processes or service, SpringBoard also incorporates online survey invitations at strategic points throughout the program to gather data for analysis by HCD research experts.

If satisfying account holders, increasing wallet share and mitigating attrition is critical to your financial institution, contact HCD at info@hcdigital.com for more information on SpringBoard.

1. Harland Clarke Financial Database (2014)

Oops…I Didn’t Mean To Send That

Posted by on July 17th, 2014

Email Crisis ManagementYou have spent hours creating your emails, sending out tests, and meeting deadlines. You schedule your email deployment and hit submit. Now, the nervous feeling in your stomach starts. Did I attach the right list? Is it scheduled for the right time? What if the promotion is wrong? This is a normal reaction and almost every marketing manager has felt this at least once – if not every time – that he/she deploys an email.

So, what happens if you do make an error? After a brief moment of panic, the truth sets in – Retrieving an already sent email before it lands in customers’ inboxes is not a viable option. Once a message leaves your server, there’s not much that can be done. At this point, the best solution is to implement a crisis management strategy and decide if the error will have a negative impact on your business. You start to go through all the ways that the problem can be rectified. You feel helpless, but in some cases all is not lost.

  1. You discover that an image appears to be broken after the message is sent. The best thing to do is immediately check the HTML code and look at the image filename. For example, if “/company-logo.jpg” incorrectly displays in the code as “/companylogo.jpg” you can simply upload the proper image with the “/companylogo.jpg” filename (provided that this will not overwrite an existing image being used elsewhere). The image will then display for any recipient who opens the email from that point on.
  2. If you notice an incorrect URL in the message, which results in a broken link, you can create a new page that actually exists at that previously broken URL. All you need to do is duplicate whatever content existed on the original page to the corrected page. This will only work if the URL has a typo such as a misspelling, words being in the incorrect order, or a missing slash or hypen. For example, “www.companyname.com/prducts” vs “www.companyname.com/products“. You can recreate the page URL with “prducts” to make sure recipients are redirected to the right information instead of receiving a 404 page.
  3. Some of the more common errors like typos, spelling errors, improper punctuation cannot be rectified. Depending on the message, it may be necessary to send out a corrected version of the email with a call-out in the subject line indicating the reason for the follow-up and apologizing for the inconvenience in the body of the email. This is advisable only if a) the error affected a very important aspect of the message and b) you’ve built up enough loyalty among your subscriber base that they won’t immediately flag a second message from your “From” address as potential SPAM. One thing you can do is fix the error on the web version of your message. Subscribers who have images suppressed will click on the “View Message in a Browser” rather than changing their settings to display images.

In order to avoid future issues, it’s important to put together a set of standards that should be followed before emails are deployed to your client base.

  1. Having a multi-tiered review process for your messages is fine, as long as the number of people who can actually manipulate the email content is strictly limited.
  2. When possible, be sure that the Marketing Department and the IT Department are on the same page. This will prevent any changes to the website that can affect links or images in an email.
  3. Lastly, be careful when scheduling messages for deployment well in advance of the desired date/time. Even if everything works smoothly on today’s test, it’s dangerous to assume a flawless deployment in 12 or 24 hours. Make it a habit to test (or have a colleague test) your scheduled emails for errors during the final hour before deployment especially links that may have changed before deployment. Also, make sure the information on the landing page is still correct. This review process will allow plenty of time to cancel the deployment if any errors are present.

Although we always hope that this type of mistake won’t happen, it is definitely a possibility. Always remember to react quickly, and put new measures in place so that the same mistakes don’t happen again. Mistakes happen, but the best course of action is to make sure you don’t repeat the same ones.

Any Press is Good Press…Or Is it?

Posted by on July 15th, 2014

Word of Mouth MarketingToday’s digital age has introduced new forms of word-of-mouth marketing that spreads in just one click and is accessible in many electronic formats. The largest and potentially most impactful source of company feedback is through consumer reviews. Consumers have the luxury of accessing and commenting on a variety of review sites that are a digital form of the old-school yellow pages, which provide consumers much more than just office hours or location information. With the ability to figuratively step into someone’s shoes and experience a company’s offerings, consumers can see how the company operates and how it ranks compared to other companies.

Consumers have the power to advertise for a business through personal opinion, potentially benefitting a company in several ways. Through positive reviews, companies can ensure their businesses are keeping their customers satisfied along with increasing their chances of acquiring new customers. On the other hand, if a consumer expresses a negative connotation towards a company, it can harm the business exponentially. One negative review can negate several positive reviews for a business. The old adage “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” does not apply to an unhappy consumer. If a consumer is passionate enough to write about their experience with a company, they most likely have either had a very positive experience or, on the flip side, have had such a bad experience that they want the company’s business to suffer.

So how can companies ensure positive reviews for their businesses? The answer may seem obvious – customer service has always been and will continue to be the foundation of a successful company. But sadly with the power of the internet, exceptional customer service is simply not enough anymore.

Companies should allocate significant time toward reputation management. Through reputation management, companies increase their chances of scoring positive consumer reviews and avoiding negative publicity. Companies can monitor their reputation by keeping up with customer reviews, quickly addressing any negative issues a consumer may have, and ensuring customer satisfaction through customer feedback solutions such as surveys.

While the internet may be an outlet for consumers to publically offer reviews about a company, it is in the company’s best interest to ensure those reviews are nothing but positive. Companies shouldn’t give a customer or potential customer a reason to review them in a negative way. Through solid reputation management efforts, companies can avoid negative publicity, ensure customer satisfaction, and increase their potential for new customers.

The Myth of Lost Home Loan Opportunities

Posted by on June 26th, 2014

Response Scales Since mortgage refinancing has fallen from its 4Q12-2Q13 peak, the concern from our financial institution clients is that the opportunity to capitalize on home loan opportunities has passed them by. Fortunately, that’s just another recent financial myth.

Consumers will continue to need home loans regardless of interest rates, as they move, expand their families, adjust to empty nests, retire, etc.  Even when mortgage interest rates were twice their current level, financial institutions flourished. Record low interest rates over recent years have spurred refinancing that otherwise might not have been as appealing to homeowners in the past, but new homes will always be a necessarily.

So while the percentage of total home loan originations has indeed shifted from mainly refinancing to new purchases, is it not true that total opportunities have dried up? Actually, with home equities in the mix, the picture actually gets rosier.

Equity is coming back and, when available, is always a good source of funds for FIs mostly because those loans are highly secured. Also, home equity loans are usually kept in portfolio rather than sold like the majority of 15+ year fixed-rate mortgages, giving banks and credit unions large monetary loans to even out their balance sheets.

Datamyx™, a leading provider of risk-based, data-driven marketing solutions specializing in the financial industry, compared total home loan applications from the three credit bureaus from July 2013 to June 2014 to find that despite the decline in home loan refinancing over the past year, a significantly larger percentage of consumers are actually shopping for home loans (new purchases + refinancing + home equity loans/lines) this year. An additional pleasant surprise is that the percentage of total loan shoppers who are generally home equity qualified (defined as FICO 680+ and LTV<70%) also increased this past year.

The newly installed Fed Chairperson, Janet Yellen, has shown a commitment to maintaining today’s short-term rate environment over the course of the year.  Lower rates will continue to prop housing demand and ensure that the refinance market does not dry up. Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Finance Forecast projects total mortgage originations for 2015 to be 15% greater than in 20141. Add in the contributions of increasing equity as home values continue to rebound and lenders will be met with a glut of demand and will rely on data-driven marketing solutions to help target the higher quality loans for all types of home loans – refinancing, new home purchase and home equity.

1. Mortgage Bankers Association, Mortgage Finance Forecast

Increasing Productivity At Work

Posted by on June 25th, 2014

We live in the digital age where everything is moving faster and faster. Our workloads are increasing while our time is decreasing – The result is more stress. It’s a widely accepted opinion that overwhelming, ongoing stress is extremely detrimental to your health and productivity.

With all of our mobile devices, apps and digital toys, how is it that we can’t seem to get better at managing our workload? Sometimes, you have to look to great leaders and managers of the past to find an answer. When it comes to managing your workload, and stress, the best solution is “The Eisenhower Matrix.”

Made popular by Dr. Stephen Covey, it’s actually attributed to our thirty-fourth president Dwight D. Eisenhower. This method of managing action items is deceptively simple and helped “Ike” cope with the overwhelming tasks he faced as a five-star general, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe and later as President of the United States of America.

To use this matrix, start by making a list of all of your pending items and sort them in the following order:

1: Urgent and Important – do immediately

2: Not Urgent and Important – do next and plan when to do them

3: Urgent and Not Important – delegate to others or do later

4: Not Urgent and Not Important – do last/not at all/delegate to others

Visually, it looks a lot like that:

Eisenhower Matrix

The key to using this matrix is to remember that there is a limited amount of time each day and, since, you can’t do everything in one day, you must prioritize your tasks. This will enable you to reduce the stress caused by one large pile of “to do” items versus tasks organized into the most productive battle plan.

It’s important to learn the difference between things that are important and urgent versus not. A common mistake is to address those things that are urgent, but not important, before items that aren’t urgent, but are important. Doing the former causes you to fall behind on things that should be focused on sooner.

As Eisenhower once said, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” Words to remember as we face the daily onslaught of tasks competing for our time and resources.