Tips to enhance banking websites and turn them into growth engines
Bank websites these days are still not as user-friendly as it should be as apart from mentioning some of the features of the services offered in brief, they are mainly intended to drive customers to bank branches.
Customers are not taken through a buying journey yet. Bank websites are also not impacting the sales as it ideally should. Therefore, most banks require a digital strategy wherein the websites are turned into a proper sales machine.
According to many financial experts, banks today still need to learn how to curb themselves from being completely dependent on the branches. What compounds the problem even more is the fact that the leadership at various banks are still not inclined to adopt an online strategy. Many banks are preventing themselves from making any progress because of the fear of failure and the fear of change.
Banks must invest a lot more to get a better understanding about how customers get involved with a website. Here is a list of some tactics that can be used to gain greater insight into customer behaviour:
- Live recordings of customers executing tasks and then giving oral opinion.
- Ask customers about ways to mend the website.
- Heat maps of mouse movement, clicks and pageviews to understand what customers are doing on the website.
- Recordings that document how customers use the website at various phases of the buying journey.
- Analyse websites of other banks and find ways to differentiate.
Let us now take a look at some steps that can be taken to revamp bank websites so that they start acting as lead makers:
Come up with better content
The key to a great website is good content. It will not only help customers get a good understanding about the products and services being offered, but also help them navigate through the website and eventually help them purchase what they are looking for.
Today, most bank websites have bullet points that appeals only to the logical part of a customer’s brain. Instead, they need to include content that appeals to the emotional part of the brain as most customers make an emotional decision while purchasing financial products.
The narrative should ideally revolve around how a customer who has a problem comes to the bank looking for a solution. The bank builds trust and offers him/her a solution to the problem so that in the end the customer is satisfied. Banks need to make use of interactive mediums such as graphics, videos and other visuals such that they are kept engaged.
Just shifting offline content over to the website will not have desired consequences. Some other engaging stuff that banks can use on their website include testimonials, calculators, quizzes, comparisons, reviews, infographic, checklists and more. Most banks should ideally get rid of what they have on their website currently and start afresh.
Personalise the entire customer journey
Most banks today have generic advertisements on their website. Banks believe that these advertisements prompt customers to take action, but often customers ignore them. On the other hand, personalised advertisements prompt customers to take some sort of action that eventually leads to an increase in sales.
80% of the banks and credit unions today push products through direct calls-to-action like “Apply Now”. This puts off many customers who are not ready to purchase anything at the moment and since there are no other options, they simply move on. Such a strategy gives no reason for customers to have a proper interaction and the relationship never builds.
Banks should give customers the opportunity to get more information and download valuable content. This will help them get customer’s name and email which can help them foster that lead.
There is a huge disparity between how the banks spend on individual branches and how much they spend on building a website. Banks need to put in a lot more money on building a good website, considering the fact that people are now moving towards online channels to shop for financial products.
According to a study conducted by Digital Growth Institute close to 50% of credit unions and banks have a website that is more than a year old. This is quite alarming, considering that bank websites require continuous upkeep and updating and their lifespan is fairly short.
By Ian Darrah