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How CRO helps banks

By Jan Verkleij, Business Development Director, Virtual Affairs

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We are you regularly develops bespoke solutions for private banks and investment management firms. To speed up the development process we have invested in a component-based development culture. It enables us to repurpose knowledge acquired within the banking industry. This includes retail banking, private banking and wealth management. This accelerates the...

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by We are you
| 01/02/2019 12:00:00

One of the 'best practices' in digital marketing is conversion rate optimization (CRO). But what exactly can be achieved with CRO? At its core, CRO is for the most part the same for every company and its digital channels. However, because of the nature of the online channels of insurers and bankers, there are some key focus points for your CRO endeavors in banking.

Executives in banking are looking for growth in their digital channels and attaining higher conversion rates. CRO is often the solution for brands to transform their online channels into lead generating tools. In CRO, quality over quantity is the name of the game when it comes to online visitors. As a company, you prefer 100 visitors on your website and apps with real interest and engagement in your product or service over 500 visitors who won't convert to buyers. By focusing on these 100 visitors, you can increase your return on investment (ROI) instead of increasing the number of visitors to your channels.

CRO is used to analyze and improve key performance indicators (KPIs) - metrics on your website which are important for your business, mostly including registrations, downloads, visits, etc. And to turn passive visitors into active ones. Ultimately, you want to convert website visits into sales. 'Sales' in this context should be interpreted as the behavior of your customer as desired by you. That could be the client buying a product or behavior involved in after sales. In any case, CRO involves a systematical and analytical approach towards implementing changes and attaining improvements. 

When we narrow down CRO to banking and their online channels, we can pinpoint where CRO can add the most value.

The new digital era has brought many opportunities to bankers. Communication, opening an account, managing finances and transferring money are now all simply done on our mobile phones. And these are just a few changes in digital banking consumers have experienced in the last decade. Corporate strategies within banking don't revolve around offering the most competitive offer anymore, but around offering a complete customer journey, before and after purchase of a banking product. Banks have to be available to their customer anytime, anywhere. It is because of that, that CRO can achieve so much for banks: unlike in the insurance industry, where customers are rarely ever on your online channels unless they have a claim, online banking channels are among the most popular online channels out there. They are visited daily by many. The potential for sales and a high customer satisfaction is therefore great and so is the added value of CRO. 


Improve the user experience
CRO will make sure it's easy to navigate throughout the whole website. It improves the sales funnel (awareness - interest - sale). User interface and user experience play an important role in guiding the customer throughout your process. CRO can contribute to corporate website design. It can make sure the call-to-actions are found and clicked. The actual sales process is often a lengthy one, since compliance often demands that the client provides a lot of information about himself. When offering digital onboarding, it should be a smooth experience. CRO can help identify in what stage a potential client gets distracted or discouraged. 

Improving content strategy
By combining design and specific content, you can persuade the consumer to take action on your online channels. Call-to-actions that gate content function as a data source for banks. CRO will help you increase relevance of both call-to-actions and content. It helps determine what services consumers are interested in and what content they download. As mentioned, CRO is all about research.


Internet banking & mobile banking
Banks can most effectively distinguish themselves by their internet and mobile banking channels and attain higher conversion rates by "proving" their online proposition. CRO can help identify pain points in online banking navigation. Improving the online banking experience increases customer loyalty.

Most banks have a hard time in achieving a true cross-channel experience to create an account. Even when initial digital onboarding is available, onboarding for other servies is rarely offered through mobile channels. Customers have more online time on their mobile phones than on any other device. Presenting the option for potential customers to set-up additional accounts or purchase other banking products via mobile can increase corporate success. CRO can help achieve higher conversion rates in the mobile banking environment. 

Investing in new digital propositions
We know customers use their mobile banking app for checking their balance and making payments. But CRO can offer insights into what would be most interesting for your customer base to invest in. More data, more insight into what is important to your clients, can help you decide what your next expansion of your digital proposition should be. Developments like chatbots and personal finance management can add to your digital proposition. CRO can help you choose what to embrace first. 

Personalization and safety
Personalization is in trend. It is relatively easy to personalize in an online banking environment. As a bank, you want to show you don't consider your client to be a number. You also want to show you are a safe and trustworthy bank. CRO can help you prove your trustworthy and safe nature, your personal approach, yet maintain that balance to not make it creepy.

When enforcing security measures, CRO can help to improve the effectiveness of the interface. And this brings a lot of safety issues with it. In the event a creditcard is lost or stolen, a customer should be able to immediately deactivate his card in order to protect his personal data and most importantly his finances. You want to enable the consumer to do this 24/7 and as independently as possible. CRO can contribute to that.

The three cornerstones
The success of CRO rests on three cornerstones. If one of these is not there, it will automatically result in an inferior result. 

No matter what industry you are in, CRO is all about backing your decisions up with data. This data can be found in your online channels and is preferably combined with the use of specialized analytic tooling. With CRO, it comes down to acquiring data about your customers, profiling your customers and optimizing your digital channels to meet their preferences.

I find another cornerstone is discipline. CRO is not a one-time trick. The best results can be achieved when it is an ongoing process within your organization. Not only is it a process of trial and error, your clients and the world they live in, your competitive landscape and technical possibilities evolve, and so should your digital channels, to remain optimized for conversion.

And last but not least, CRO can only work if you accept that your personal preference is not necessarily the preference of the masses. You need to trust the data, welcome fresh eyes and be willing to change. Eventually change will lead to growth and improvement of your KPI's. 

Virtual Affairs can offer specialist guidance in CRO. If you want to learn more, please contact us by clicking the button below. 

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