4 things all financial businesses should do to re-engage dormant customers

On average, financial businesses lose 15% of their customer base every year, but how many of your customers simply becoming inactive or dormant instead of leaving altogether?

Account inactivity is a big problem, especially for digital-only banks, who aren’t as trusted as their traditional counterparts, which means people are less likely to use them as a regular bank. Instead, they may use them alongside another account to take advantage of their travel benefits (some digital-only banks make it easy and inexpensive to spend money abroad) or attractive money-saving features. Loyalty with traditional banks is still high, meaning these digital banks are often used once or twice and then forgotten about.

The good news? That means there’s a gold mine of opportunity at your fingertips! After all, it’s easier, and more cost-effective, to re-engage existing customers than it is to acquire new ones.

Whether you’re a traditional or digital-only finance business, here’s what you can do to re-engage, and hold onto, your existing customers.

1. Understand why your customers are becoming disengaged

Before you do anything, you need to define what an inactive customer looks like and then understand why they stop using your services. How you define an inactive customer like will very much depend on your business and who your customers are. For example, one month of inactivity may not be unusual for the customer who only checks their bank account when they get paid, but if someone goes from logging in every week to not touching their account for more than a month, you may consider them to be inactive.

Once you’ve defined what an inactive customer looks like, you need to survey them to find out why they’ve stopped using your services. Personalise your survey questions to your different customer types, for example business accounts are going to have very different wants and needs to personal or savings account customers.

Here are some tips for surveying your customers:

  • Keep it short. If it’s too long, or the questions are too complex, you may struggle to get any feedback at all
  • Use a mix of questions so you get measurable (quantitative) data as well as more detailed, personal feedback (qualitative data)
  • Be direct. This isn’t an opportunity to resell your service. You need honest feedback that highlights what you need to improve and what your customers want from your service
  • Don’t make surveys a one-time thing. You should be constantly surveying your customers, especially the inactive ones, to monitor changes in your audience and their feedback

The employees that speak to your customers on a regular basis are a valuable resource too. They know what the most common complaints are, where people get confused and stuck when using your products, and the features your customers want the most. Speak to them regularly to understand the key pain points that get raised time and again.

2. Create an engaging community

Another great way to get feedback and keep your customers engaged is through a community. Banks like Monzo do a great job of this and have an active community of brand advocates because they really understand who their audience is, what they like and what they need from their service. Monzo primarily targets younger bankers (Millennials and Gen Z), so social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and even TikTok, are key to engaging with their audience as that’s where they hang out.

They also know what type of content their audience wants and encourage their customers to interact with them by using their comments to create helpful and engaging user-generated content. If customers are interacting with your brand like this, they’re more likely to be invested in what you do and become a loyal customer. They could even become brand advocates and actively help you acquire new customers by spreading positive word of mouth.

monzo tweetmonzo insta

Source: Monzo Twitter & Monzo Instagram

Your community doesn’t have to be built on social media – some businesses create dedicated online forums for their brands instead, for example. Building a community takes time and effort, but they are an excellent way to keep your customers engaged, get direct feedback, and promote new features and services to an already engaged audience.

3. Personalise your customer journeys

Consumers expect personalised messaging. In fact, 72% say they will only respond to personalised marketing messages. There’s no point trying to re-engage inactive customers with content that isn’t relevant to them, you could face irritating them and driving them further away from your business.

Here are some simple ways to personalise your messaging:

Example A) Someone starts the sign-up process but doesn’t finish it, so you send them a reminder detailing what the next step is. If they still don’t finish the process, you follow up with some helpful content, such as your FAQs or a ‘how to get started’ video, in case they’re stuck, as well the best and quickest way to contact your support team.

Example B) A customer has used certain features of your account for some time, but has clearly never used it as their main account, so you put them on an email nurture journey that’s focused on building trust in your brand and service. This may include customer reviews and testimonials, recent award wins, and more information about your most-loved features.

This is where customer journey mapping is vital. You need to understand who your customers are and the different ways they use your services. Only then will you be able to start offering true personalisation to your customers.

4. Show them that you listen

Collecting feedback from your customers is one thing; you need to prove that you listen to their comments and make improvements off the back of them. If you’ve recently overhauled your app or changed a key feature based on customer feedback, tell your customers, especially your inactive ones. Better still, ask them to test the changes and ask for additional feedback, to make sure you’ve really tackled their issues.

Demonstrating that you’re committed to delivering exactly what your customers are looking for will not only re-engage inactive account holders, it can also stop them from leaving you or becoming dormant in the first place.

Find out more - download our fintech insight reports

Discover more about the rise of digital-only banks and the challenges they face in our two insight reports.

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The rise of fintechs: Generation fintech

The rise of fintechs: Bridging the digital divide

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