Empathetic Banking

Empathetic Banking is Growing, and Here's Why your Bank or Credit Union Needs to Pay Attention

Empathetic banking is larger than a buzzword, but rather a reflection on how banking is becoming more relational than transactional. Community banks and credit unions have historically been known for their personal touch and link to local businesses, and for making account holders feel heard – something that can easily get lost through remote banking channels if not given the appropriate focus. By adopting an empathetic banking approach, financial institutions of all sizes can better capitalize on their core values and ensure their account holders feel understood – when utilizing mobile or digital banking platforms, or when transacting in-branch, as well as all touchpoints in between.
By anticipating an account holder’s need when making a financial decision, empathetic banking enables a financial institution to tailor its tone of voice, or the campaign message itself, to guide the user journey towards a specific product, education tool, or wellness advice. These tailored banking experiences are personalized and memorable and expected by customers and members through every channel of engagement and at every stage of their account holder lifecycle. 

This can be challenging in today’s highly digitized world as compared to prior face-to-face exchanges, but intelligent solutions and campaigns that leverage predictive analytics, AI, and advanced data insights - like user behavior data and information from personalized financial stories - can help bridge the gap. Financial institutions can then action this goldmine of information to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and members, including their behaviors, mindsets, and feelings, providing a detailed and nuanced understanding of their user journey and financial profile for more targeted experiences. Once these insights are uncovered and applied, these points of engagement are crucial for creating empathetic experiences that relate to the users’ emotions and drive loyalty and trust – such as suggested loans when looking at colleges, tips for retirement when celebrating a specific birthday, or wellness advice when preparing for the birth of a child or buying a new home. Other account holders may appreciate tax reminders or a message of congratulations when achieving a savings goal. These campaigns are agile and ‘smart’, triggered throughout the user’s lifecycle based on specific life events or actions in the moment, and likely vary from those campaigns that their neighbor or colleague sees. 

This wealth of information is already available through transactions and exchanges, and banks and credit unions must leverage it to show a more human side to account holders – especially from a far. Sharing data however, can be a point of hesitation, so showing your customers or members that their institution cares extends even beyond messaging. Keeping them protected and their data safe with security features like alerts and multi-factor authentication helps builds trust and demonstrates the value placed on their well-being. 

There are countless ways to leverage empathetic banking across an institution, and while it’s primarily linked to digital experiences, banks and credit unions must also incorporate personalization and the human element throughout the user’s lifecycle and through every user interaction - from contact centers to in-branch exchanges. Customer care centers should be viewed as customer care hubs, integrating human touches throughout digital chats, and in-branch experiences more directly linked to branch transformation efforts – making the branch a central place to engage and less of a formal environment.  

Regardless of the point of transaction, connected experiences that leverage emotion and personalization will improve customer and member experiences and are critical to building trust through empathetic banking approaches. 

Alogent’s unified online, mobile and digital banking platform, NXT, streamlines the user journey through intuitive capabilities and in-solution, data-driven campaigns. By leveraging user behavior data and other insights like feature adoptions, user journeys and more, banks and credit unions can quickly launch personalized messages that support customers and members, offering an empathic approach to banking that links users’ needs directly to products, services and financial wellness advice. 

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