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Creating the Happy & Profitable Customers with Big Data Strategies

Creating Happy & Profitable Customers with Data Strategies

Earlier this week I participated in American Banker’s BankAI 2017 conference, learning and sharing insights with some of the brightest minds on how data, analytics and bankbots will change banking. It was exciting to see all the different use cases ranging from Bank of America’s digital assistant Erica to probably a few too many chatbot demos showing how to get your routing number. However, the coolest example of using data to enhance the customer experience and increase the total customer value actually took place a week earlier while I was traveling with my family at the original “Mickey Mouse operation” – Disneyland®. Stay with me on this concept, and it will change how you look at customer engagement…

So last week was the first time my daughter had been to Disneyland® and she really wanted to ride Splash Mountain®. I warned her that she would get wet, but the thrill of the ride was such a pull it was worth the risk to her. We loaded the log flume and, well, you can guess the rest of the story: this sunny southern California day transformed into one big wet mess – my daughter was done with Disney, and she wanted to go home, change into some dry clothes, and call it a day.

I talked her into letting me get a few new dry clothes (all decorated with Minnie Mouse, of course), but even though she was dry, her attitude did not change much, and she was still looking for the exit. That is when the magic happened.

A Disney employee dressed like a telegraph carrier came up to her and said, “Are you Charlotte? I have been looking for you! I have a telegram from Mickey just for you.” Sure enough, he pulls a telegram out of his pouch with her name on it and a message from Mickey telling her how she is the “bee’s knees”.

This changed everything. She smiled from ear to ear, wanted to go on more rides (in fact we closed down the park at midnight), spent a little more money (okay, maybe a lotmore) and a great memory was created for life. Disneyland® had delivered on the promise of being the happiest place on earth.

I don’t know exactly how Disney identified a sad, wet girl and got her name, and found her in a park. Was it an amazing blend of big data and biometric facial recognition? Alternatively, was it as simple as an observant employee who was able to link our family passes together and put 1+1 together? The world may never know! What I do know is that it turned her day around, increased her overall spend (well, my overall spend) in the park that day, and created a lifetime customer who will most likely take her kids there some day.

So what does this have to do with a banking blog? A Capgemini study called out that 37% of bank customers felt that their bank understood them and their needs. So if that is the sentiment, how do you expect to maximize the lifetime value of those customers with exceptional experiences?

Ask yourself, when was the last time your institution used data to turn someone’s day around into an experience that they would say is magical? When was the last time your portfolio managers told that small business owner who already has too much on her plate that she does not need to submit financials to renew that line of credit? Those are the kinds of transforming experiences that your technology and solutions can help you create for your customers.

Here are three takeaways for you to move closer to those magical experiences:

  1. Know your customers’ real needs. Getting an account balance or even stopping fraud is just the cost of doing business as a bank. Understand what needs there are and drive your solutions to address those needs.
  2. Leverage every data input source. I would like to add another data type here, and I am going to call it memorable data. Are you using data to create or be a part of the memorable events in life? Big is good, but “memorable” is best.
  3. Optimize the engagement channels. Understand the best way to engage with your customers so that all your great work is rewarded.

So stop wishing upon a star and use the analytics and business intelligence solutions at your fingertips to make the magic happen.