In Customer Experience

iStock_000031305692Small_3Bankers can no longer deny the shift towards mobile banking. Because of this, many are integrating mobile banking services into their technology, but are left wondering how to encourage customer adoption. Consumers say they are waiting for their bank to increase mobile services, but even then, many aren’t aware of what their bank offers. One top-10 bank found that 30% of millennial customers (the generation who is usually the first-adopter) didn’t know the bank even offered mobile services. Here are some best practices to increase adoption.

First, make your customers aware of your mobile capabilities. To do this, you need to advertise. Announce the release of your mobile services—in the branch, via traditional and social media, through email, your call center, and at community events. After you build awareness there are important steps to increase adoption, starting with education.

It is imperative to teach your users how your app works. This education component starts with ensuring your staff know how to use the app and are comfortable talking about it before they demonstrate its functionality to customers. Remember, this is a sales pitch to encourage adoption, so front line staff members need to be aware of the value propositions and emphasize benefits when training customers. Your staff will be conducting fewer transactions once your mobile offering takes off, so re-task them to provide branch training through demos of your app. Your educational process could also extend to evening classes, which would provide ample time to address broader device security concerns (the number one reason consumers are reluctant to adopt). The bottom line is if customers don’t know the value of your app or how to use it, they won’t.

That brings us to how to encourage customers to use your app.  This can take many forms. Within the app, you can prompt the user with the next best action, leading them to try new things. Some banks have applied gamification—offering badges, prizes, or even cash to people who complete different activities. Check your balance without calling the 800 number, 10 points added to your rewards account to redeem for prizes later; complete 2 remote deposits, a $10 bonus deposited directly into your account. You can also reinforce mobile in other channels. For example, offer to help a customer depositing a check in the branch to do so with their phone. Once they see how easy it is, they will likely repeat the action and be thrilled they have one less errand to run in the future.

Once you have sold the masses on the benefits of your app, you must deliver on the promise of mobile. More than any other channel, mobile has the ability to provide an exceptional customer experience. It can simplify your customers’ financial lives, empower them to make better choices, and delight them with its simplicity. Make sure it benefits customers and gives them a better experience than other channels; otherwise they won’t have any need to use the app.

Finally, acknowledge that there are exceptions. While my dad might enjoy a mobile deposit demonstration, he will never deposit a check that way. Of course, he doesn’t have a smartphone either. There will be many customers who adopt mobile with great enthusiasm, and others who never will. That’s okay, as long as those who will take advantage of the service are aware, educated, and actively using it.

The question remains, now that banks have built their mobile apps, will people come? The answer is yes, if the previous steps are employed as they do their roll outs. Consumer interest in mobile features is growing. Those institutions that can deliver an enhanced banking experience that makes banking easier for their customers will definitely have a competitive advantage.

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