Banks are people businesses that focus on relationship-building. The problem is that the ratio of frontline staff to customers is around 1-500, so relying on them to grow relationships is difficult. The high cost of acquisition has meant that maximising the value of existing customers is still the cheapest way to help achieve aggressive growth targets. Despite this, Banks globally have struggled to build deeper customer relationships due to an over-reliance on frontline channels and frontline staff.
Lower barriers to switching, recent low interest rates and perk-driven acquisition strategies have driven unprecedented switching behaviour in the banking industry. Aggressive advertisements, targeting National Bank customers, new credit cards with rock-bottom interest rates, home loans with TVs and term investments promising ever-greater returns were all creating a consumer frenzy.
No bank was safe. The power was with the customer and attrition rates were incredibly high. Research from Roy Morgan showed 1 in 10 people changed bank in 2012 – up nearly 100,000 on the previous year.
Westpac needed a solution that leveraged digital channels to drive engagement, seamlessly connecting to human channels where prospects were “handed over”. At the same time, they needed to maintain customer numbers (loyalty) and drive value growth (average products per customer) by better leveraging underutilised and more cost-effective channels, in an insightful and connected way.
Symphony combines underlying message analytics, marketing asset creation and management, distribution into relevant channels, and captures interactions and responses, providing an insightful two-way dialogue through eDM, SMS, DM, secure internet online banking, and directly with branch and call centre staff (through access to a user interface).
Transactional, behavioural and demographic data is processed to find the ‘next best’ conversation for every single customer. All campaign leads, conversations and cycles of communications are driven through the programme.
Westpac now speaks to customers using a centralised marketing platform on a truly one-to-one basis, increasing engagement, sales revenue and customer satisfaction.
The results are outstanding. In 12 months there have been 8.4 million ‘next best’ conversations with more than 1 million different customers, generating $2 million in incremental gross revenue for the Bank from these existing customers.