“Cross-channel” is a term (or shall I say a buzzword) that is thrown around by many and understood by few. Seldom does a week go by that a vendor or client mentioning their objectives or strategy doesn’t throw out “cross-channel” or “multi-channel” or something along those lines.
With this in mind, I have made it my personal goal to seek out real-world examples of cross-channel at work; examples that have a clear benefit both to a customer and to a provider. Progressive Insurance’s cross-channel save and retrieve functionality is a great example of cross channel at work that I have written about before, but I recently came across another:
Wells Fargo offering customers the opportunity to email ATM receipts to their email address on record.
This feature gets at the heart of a concept I have been thinking about for a while; the concept that the Web can have a role to play in enhancing offline processes that already exist. I mean the emailed receipt doesn’t replace the trip to the ATM, but it does make it better by:
Met today with the folks at Inuit Financial Services (formally Digital Insight) - a online banking platform vendor. The purpose of the call was to discuss an upcoming document around cross-selling financial products on the Web that I am in the process of writing. During the discussion, they highlighted an exciting new cross-sell targeting engine that will be available this Summer to their FinanceWorks' clients.
FinanceWorks is IFS's online personal financial management suite of services. One features of that service is the ability to aggregate accounts from different providers into a single account view. Why this is an interesting cross-sell opportunity is that this Summer IFS will offer a ad targeting engine that will allow its clients to target cross-sell messages based on EXTERNAL owned accounts. Let me give you an example.
Let's say a customer of a ABC bank aggregates their American Express credit card within FinanceWorks. ABC bank can set up a rule such that if a customer doesn't have a credit card with them, has a credit card with an another provider (e. g. AMEX) and that competitor card has an APR of more than 12%; they can target a message to the customer highlighting ABC bank's credit card and rate (a rate they KNOW will be less than what they have on their AMEX card). Offers can also be targeted based on the balances of external accounts.
What is particularly exciting is that most of this type of analysis in the past would have had to happen offline, but with IFS's new targeting engine, those decisions are both intelligent and dynamic.
Numerous conversations over the last few months with financial service firms has proven one thing to me - most are dealing with questions around social media and social commerce and yet few are sure how best to proceed. Much of what has been written thus far centers around the role social can play in the areas of marketing and brand, but there are beginning to be more stories that are surfacing around uses directly related to eBusiness on a firm's Web site.
The best case I have seen for social on a Web site came from USAA and is part of a case study I wrote with Tom Vaughn, director of social media at USAA. View Now.
What separates USAA's story from others we have heard? It is backed up with direct ROI and metrics in areas that drive the business - conversion and sales. USAA was able to prove that providing ratings and reviews using Bazaarvoice's solution drove an incremental 15 thousand plus products sales in a nine month period.
So should you rush out and add ratings and reviews to your Web site? Probably not since most financial services Web site fail to get the basics done right. But assuming you have the basics down, I would consider adding this one to your functionality roadmap.
I was recently on the Discover Card Web site when I stumbled upon their Card Builder tool. The tool goes beyond a standard product selector, which merely helps shoppers choose amongst products that already exist, as it actually allows a Web shopper to create a customized credit card on the fly. That got me thinking. The whole area of customized products is a huge opportunity for the Web, and one of which only a few firms have ventured into. A few I have found along the way include:
2010 marks my fifth year with Forrester Research. Over the last five years, I have had a chance to work with many, many financial service firms. While I will openly admit that I am biased towards the Web, the past year provided more evidence than ever about the growing importance of the Web channel.
One of few last places that a Web user can navigate in relative peace free from marketing and advertising is when viewing their financial accounts online. That may just change with a service being offered by Cardlytics.
The service is very simple. Online financial service users will be targeted within their secured online session with targeted merchant offers. These offers will be placed within their transaction history activity and be relevant because they are based on where users typically shop.
More than any other question I get as an analyst is what are the best practices today in financial services. With that question in mind, every year I host a webinar to showcase best practices I have captured in the previous year.
Please join me again this year my webinar on this important subject. During this webinar I will share some recent Technographic survey data along with Web site best practices from accross financial services.
On Wednesday, a few colleagues along with myself sat down for a briefing with ATG around their interactive help services (formally eStara). The primary purpose of the call was to review results from a recent survey ATG (see full survey) had conducted around interactive help. While much of the data I had seen before in previous surveys done by Forrester or other vendors, one piece stood out that I wanted to share.
I spend much of my day viewing, using and evaluating financial service Web sites. Often I am underwhelmed (especially by the big guys) on what is done online, but every once in a while I run across something that is truly innovative. That happened for me a few weeks ago when getting a rate quote on Progressive Insurance's Web site.
The quote process starts off as most financial service applications do by asking for some basic information - in my case name, address and date of birth. But the similarities with other processes ends right there...
I recently published a document about the always asked question of cross selling. My analysis showed that on average US adults own 8.2 financial products across a range of products including deposit, credit cards, brokerage, mortgage and insurance.
So which is the best bank at cross selling you may ask?
It's not a bank at all. It's USAA - a credit union dedicated to US military personnel. USAA members have on average 3.9 products with the firm, far above the average of 2.5.