Member Engagement: The Shift in the Digital Age & What to do about It

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by Team Eltropy

Member engagement has always been a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to the success of Financial Institutions. Being engaged with members in a constructive and healthy manner equates to higher member retention in the long run, among a number of other things. This member retention eventually leads to loyal, value driven members; and when a Financial Institution has loyal customers, they are able to build and manage better portfolios for these members. Strong portfolio management means your staff having the ability to handle members in a personal, one-on-one relationship in order to create a solid bond.

While member engagement has always been critical in maintaining loyal members and having the ability for better portfolio management, the way in which Financial Institutions connect with them has changed drastically. In person branches are slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past, as most members prefer doing their banking digitally. The pandemic has made being able to come into branches far more difficult, with changing health regulations, safety of members or staff, and so on. And while the pandemic has affected how Financial Institutions interact and engage with members in the now, indications point to the shift towards digital is here to stay. According to an eMarketer Survey done in 2021, 75% of consumers utilize digital banking for at least some of their needs. The trend predicts the number will rise to around 80% by 2025, indicating that demand for digital offerings isn’t going anywhere.

With member engagement still as critical as ever, but the way we interact and engage is shifting more and more to digital, Financial Institutions must look to digitizing their methods of communication in order to maintain their high levels of customer service and customer loyalty. In order to do this, they should be looking for an omnichannel digital communication solution in order to better connect with their members. While an omnichannel solution like this can look like it’s geared more towards the transactional side of collecting documents, payment reminders, and so on, a digital communication platform is increasingly essential to do just that with your members: communicate digitally. This communication doesn’t have to be as complex as the aforementioned use cases. In fact, using an omnichannel solution for quick & easy communication with members is already half the battle. Here are three quick & easy ways in which a Financial Institution can leverage a digital communication platform to better engage with their members.  

Membership Retention Program

Sourcing new members can always be a challenge. In the day and age we are in, consumers have more Financial Institution options available than ever before: between banks, credit unions, branchless financial institutions, and so on. But sourcing new members is only half the battle. The strongest and most successful Financial Institutions all have one thing in common: strong membership retention programs. These programs offer rewards or incentives for members who have been with the organization for a prolonged period, and can be a great way to re-engage members who have become dormant or aren’t utilizing the full suite of offerings at a given Financial Institution. According to Finance Online, 90% of customers who have opted into an SMS loyalty program have “gained value” from it. Having an automated text campaign to members in regards to your program, or sending out text message incentives is an effective and easy way to garner that engagement. 

For example, sending out a message along the lines of, “New Offer! Perform ### transactions in the next 90 days and receive $100 deposit straight into your account” is a simple but incredibly effective message that can be specific to target members whose accounts have been more dormant.

Onboarding

For those members who have just joined your Financial Institution, the opportunity to make a strong first impression is extremely important; and a digital communications platform is a great tool to engage quickly and effectively with those members. Instead of an automated welcome email that might get sent to spam or left unread, send an automated welcome text with a secure link to an information packet. Trying to get a new member to apply for a credit card or a loan? Using text messaging is a great way to send calls to actions that garner actions. Letting new members know right off the bat that you’re available for them and are excited to have them as a part of your Financial Institution starts to create customer loyalty from the very beginning, and leads to a more engaged and utilized relationship going forward.

Proactive Engagement

In the day and age we live in, having information on hand is an essential part of conducting business. People are able to get instant information from a number of sources and platforms, and they expect the same from their Financial Institutions as well. Being proactive with member engagement leads to increased transparency and less roadblocks along the way. For example, setting up an automated message to let a member know they’ll be receiving the title from an auto loan payoff with an additional ‘thank you’ message is a great way to engage with said member proactively, and  does a couple of things. First, it puts the member at ease and reduces incoming call inquiries, as a potential follow up from the member about their auto loan title is automatically answered. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, this gives the member reassurance that not only you care, but are aware of their unique journey through your Financial Institution, and builds a strong layer of trust that can be built upon further.

The beauty in all three of these areas is how easily they work together. Proactive engagement can look like onboarding or a membership retention program, and so on. A digital omnichannel solution allows for Financial Institutions to get better responsiveness and build stronger relationships with their members, leading to more account opening and better utilization. To find out how Eltropy is enabling our partners to garner better member experience, book a demo today. 

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