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How to bridge the approachability gap

Personalisation and education

A recent study conducted by Everfi has noted a burgeoning approachability gap between customers and financial institutions of all kinds. With financial illiteracy and a lack of connection being the prime motivator for this divide it’s time your finance brand adopted an educational and personalised marketing strategy.

This approachability gap is an opportunity for your finance brand to improve in order to retain customers and gain a new untapped market. By connecting with customers through education and personalised services your finance brand can create a positive brand image and build trust amongst consumers. Bridging the divide should be a priority for finance brands as it can improve customer value and generate greater profitability through retaining consumers and converting new ones.

Financial education

While consumer trust remains low in financial organisations globally, it doesn’t seem to be a significant reason as to why the approachability gap continues to widen. In fact, only 20% of hesitant consumers cited it was due to a lack of trust. Instead, financial illiteracy has reduced customers’ confidence to ask questions, inquire about products and go to their financial services for help.

50% of customers are hesitant to approach their financial institutions for products and services.

By providing financial education to customers your finance brand can build a strong customer relationship and empower consumers to go to you for help or when they want to inquire about a new product or service. With 56% of consumers agreeing financial education would make them more comfortable engaging with financial institutions, there’s an opportunity for your finance brand to create and nurture meaningful leads.

Here are some simple ways your finance brand can help educate customers:

  • Content marketing – ensure your finance brand has a strong content marketing strategy that provides educational content that aligns with your target audience’s interests. This should be dispersed across your various channels, such as social media, blog, and webpage.
  • Outsourcing education – outsourcing your educational content to brands such as Zogo, is an easy way to improve your consumer’s financial literacy while making it fun and engaging.
  • Gamification – including gamified elements to your digital finance platforms is another great way to improve your customer’s financial literacy in an easy-to-understand format.
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Creating a personalised and tailored experience for your customers is critical to improving your relationship with them. In fact, personalisation can improve revenue by 15% in the financial services sector.

By connecting with customers through a tailored customer journey your consumers feel recognised by your finance brand rather than as an unseen and unimportant cog in the machine. Aligning products and services with consumers’ financial goals is one way to encourage them to approach your financial brand for help or additional information. Personalisation can encourage consumers to approach your finance brand rather than go somewhere else.

Capital One bridging the approachability gap

US bank Capital One has taken a unique approach to bridging the approachability gap by creating Capital One cafes. The design of these cafes is simple – create a welcoming environment that encourages individuals to ask questions and gain greater financial education without judgment, whether they’re a Capital One customer or not.

Offering free wifi, food, coffee, and financial advice, Capital One is aiming to bridge the divide between financial institutes and people in a safe and nurturing environment. Creating community events and workshops is another way the approachability gap is being bridged as Capital One becomes a part of the community rather than just an intimidating institution.

How finance brands can bridge the approachability gap

While creating cafes like Capital One won’t be a suitable way to bridge the divide for every financial institution, it’s just one approach to demonstrate how to personalise the customer experience and educate consumers in a nurturing environment.

At the core of the approachability gap is this lack of confidence in customers and the fear of judgement from financial institutions. Here are the top three barriers for why consumers are hesitant to approach banks:

  • Not understanding the financial ‘lingo’
  • Being afraid they won’t understand the answer to a question they ask
  • Not knowing what to ask their financial institution

By understanding and recognising the critical role financial literacy and personalisation plays in forming a strong and trusting customer relationship, finance brands can become a relatable and safe space for customers to turn to. By bridging the approachability gap your finance brand can retain customers, nurture meaningful leads, and generate a positive and trusted brand image.

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Ella Boyd
Having graduated with an English Literature degree, Ella understands the power of great words. With extensive experience in copywriting for a diverse range of businesses and executing marketing strategies for financial brands, Ella is an expert in crafting content that connects with customers. When not at work, Ella is running an ultramarathon, practicing her cycling skills for her triathlons or reading a book with a cup of tea.