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Taking Personalization from Buzzword to Business Model

TransUnion
Blog Post04/17/2018
Personalization buzzword blog header

Getting personal

Most modern businesses strive to connect with consumers both online and offline. The word “personalization” gets tossed around as a way to achieve this goal. But translating lofty language into real action can be tough. Is the effort worth it? Put simply, absolutely yes.

One thing is clear: a tailored experience is appealing to consumers and beneficial to the businesses they transact with. In an Epsilon survey of 1,000 consumers aged 18-24, 80% said they’d be more likely to do business with a company if it personalized the experience. And the benefits of personalization can really add up – these buyers who feel like they’re the only ones on your mind are 10x more likely to be your most valuable customers and make 15+ transactions with you per year1.

Banking is one industry, in particular, that may be able to benefit from increasing personalization. According to a 2017 study done by the Financial Brand and GfK, less than half of surveyed consumers viewed their bank as a trusted partner (49%) but 60% called it a “necessary utility2.”  Personalizing the user experience is one way banks may be able to better serve their customers and create a more intimate experience that enhances trust. When banks get that trust right and get consumers thinking about improving their scores, the consumers are more likely to apply for a card with that specific financial institution3.

Putting it all together: What personalization means

Consumers aren’t looking for robotic, automated communications based on triggers, so now it’s time to look at ways we can implement meaningful and actionable personalization. One way to do this is to personalize at key moments when you are collecting information or requesting something from a consumer. Today’s consumers expect something in exchange for their data. In fact, two-thirds of surveyed households are willing to share highly personal information in exchange for perceived value4.  A relatively easy way to meet this need and help improve conversions is to offer up a free piece of value-add data to consumers in exchange for their signing up for your services.

This simpler, broader personalization approach isn’t always enough for all consumers, however. In order to go beyond that basic “personalized” language, it’s important to give context and advice to consumers based on their individual situations (or as close to their individual situations as you can get). The previously mentioned Financial Brand study identified gaps between what consumers hoped to receive from their bank, and what they perceive they got. Areas where there was a large discrepancy included ways to avoid penalties and fees (39-point difference), tips to improve finances (30 points) and alerts on unusual bank activity (13 points)4.

Simple ways to leverage credit data to get more personal

We know personalization is important – it can lead to loyalty and bottom-line benefits. Here are some simple ways to start reaping the benefits of personalization:

  • Empower the consumer: This could mean delivering credit scores with score factors, giving them credit education to help demystify the process, or giving them the tools to simulate score- change scenarios
  • Think about language: If you’re early on in the personalization game, consider the language you use to talk to consumers about credit. Those with lower scores would likely want to feel encouraged by their progress and that you’re a partner in their success. Conversely, higher-scored individuals may seek praise for their hard work. More advanced personalization techniques may include combining score performance and overall credit goals into a more personalized profile.
  • Capitalize on the empowered consumer: Once you’ve laid the groundwork for loyalty through personalization, take advantage of that built relationship through more personalized offers. These could be pre-qualified or firm offers of credit, loan rates or debt consolidation. The offers can vary, but should be based on your customers’ unique needs.

 

[1] “The Power of Me: The Impact of Personalization on Marketing Performance,” Epsilon, Jan 2018
[2] “Banking Industry Fails to meet Personalization Expectations,” The Financial Brand, June 2017
[3] “Credit Scores in Digital Banking,” Javelin November 2017
[4] “The Power of Personalization in Banking,” Digital Banking Report, March 2016