SMS was a trailblazer in instant messaging and was instrumental in establishing the 2-way conversation dynamic on mobile phones in the 1990s. And even though it started well before the Internet, it still has a unique ability to engender rapid reactions from virtually everyone, particularly as it can be found on every single mobile phone on the planet. It is with smart interactions like this that a bank is able build trust and engender better customer relations.
Did you know the first SMS was sent on 3 December 1992?
Ideal for banking activation and retention
It is clear that customers trust their mobile phone when it comes to banking, as over three quarters of Europeans now use mobile devices to keep track of their finances and make payments, compared with just 18% in 2015. There is a long list of ways mobile phones, and SMS in particular, can help banks retain and embed customers, from homebanking authentication to SMS reminders about card activation. And best of all, all interactions can be automated and integrated into your systems. Yes, SMS is the ideal way for banks to communicate with customers about important aspects relating to their account. Not only will clients see the messages, they’ll very often react quickly in a way they wouldn’t have done if they had received an email.
Secure operations with SMS in the banking sector
Sure in the knowledge that customers will receive and open a direct message, banks can send an SMS if there are significant movements on an account. This is a great way of either warning or reassuring customers that the bank is keeping an eye on their money. This makes it ideal for fraud and transaction alerts above a certain amount. An SMS message is also useful to inform customers as to when a new debit or credit card has been issued or when the bank has some important information to announce. Equally, it can confirm a loan request, and can also be used to garner reviews and establish Net Promoter Scores following dealings with the bank.
But the question is, can SMS marketing do more than just retain customers, is it not also the ideal medium for prospection and acquiring new customers?
The Belgian banking consumer has the memory of an elephant!
In a study conducted by Febelfin, the banking sector organisation, and published in the Echo and De Tijd, it is clear that banks still haven’t completely regained the trust of the Belgian public. Despite having made considerable efforts to be more solid and secure, only 4% of the 1000 people asked indicated that the confidence they have in their banks has increased since the financial crisis. 44% of people have roughly the same levels of trust in their bank; while 52% of those tested say the trust level in their banks is (still) lower.
Make your communication work harder
Now that we live with GDPR, we all need to be more imaginative when we want to approach and catch new prospects to the bank. It’s why we recommend you make full use of your regular media exposure (advertising, social media and so on) and add an SMS reference code and number when promoting special offers and new products. You can easily imagine branding your specific SMS code words and personalizing them to you and your business; for example, you might ask your teenage and adolescent prospects, to contact you via SMS for a free account or a prepaid credit card. And if they do, you’ve obtained implicit permission to respond to their queries and requests. This opens the way to establish further contact, answer their questions and convert.
Now you’ll have to be careful and not use this newly gained and granted permission for just any contact with the customer, as that would be against the law. But it should be possible to take contact with customers again in the future, provided it’s related to the original offer, or that you have, in the meantime, obtained their agreement to recontact them.
We recommend your SMS in the banking sector be direct and to the point. After all, the customer at this early stage doesn’t want to know everything about an offer, but be able to understand what’s in it for them and how they can respond. You can of course provide links for additional product information as needed, but don’t miss the opportunity of offering a single-click “Yes” option if you can, as this makes it easy for customers and prospects to opt in.
It’s up to you to take it from there, but don’t forget consumers today expect targeted and personalised communication, and anything less is not quite good enough. This is especially true when it comes to financial services, one in which the customer has provided very personal information and expects it to be used with care.
Contact our experts
If you’d like to discuss how SMS automated communication can help you retain and even gain customers in the banking sector, contact us at email@example.com. We’ll be delighted to show you how SMS marketing can help you get closer to your customer.