The regulations that govern how financial services firms can communicate with clients are ever-changing. There was a time when all financial communication was done through a print and mail model. Modernization has meant that now, email and text messaging are also acceptable ways to communicate with customers. Expanding the ways that firms can communicate with clients means an expansion and evolution of the regulation’s firms must follow to keep customer information safe and remain in compliance.
In today’s world, customers expect to have the option of receiving financial communication electronically or in print. Offering various forms of communication can be complicated for firms that do not have the right programs and technology in place. To remain relevant and successful, an integrated approach must be built and maintained. Below, we discuss the four key elements of a robust, modern financial communications program.
1. Flexibility to Let Customers Choose their Preferred Communication Method
In our modern, mobile world, customers expect to have choices when it comes to how they receive communication from their financial institutions from SMS messaging to traditional methods of receiving financial communications through the mail.
Making it simple for customers to choose the form of communication they prefer — and update those preferences whenever they want — is an important part of bringing in new customers and keeping your existing customers happy. You should also anticipate and be prepared for customers that want a hybrid, or omnichannel, option for communications. For example, they may want one type of information delivered electronically and another delivered in print form.
Something as seemingly simple as providing customers with a choice in communication channel can give you leverage when it comes to customer acquisition and retention. Meeting customers where they are as it relates to their communication preferences can be a key element for the success of your firm.
2. Ability to Monitor Delivery and Measure Customer Engagement
Long established rules and regulations mandate that you must keep customers up to date on information that relates to the current products they use, any changes that impact them, and also let them know when you have new products or resources available.
But because there are many channels’ customers may choose to receive communications not all of your communications will be created the same way or be expected to have the same impact. To the best of your ability though, you should attempt to measure if, when, how, and how much customers engage with the information you deliver, and you need to track these metrics across all your communication channels.
For example, with email:
- What was the open rate for marketing emails?
- Did customers open emails that include statements or other important financial information?
- Did customers click on the links inside the emails?
There are endless email channel technologies that can help you measure each of these factors, plus many more. You can then use the data to determine what is working and what's not.
Measuring customer engagement and interaction with your financial communications can help you determine where to focus your future efforts and budget. If you find that a large percentage of your customers engage with communication sent via text, for example, you can invest additional resources to further develop that communication strategy.
3. Leveraging Technology to Maximize Efficiency
Offering multiple modes of communication is a way to engage with a variety of customers. However, the logistics of offering communication through print, text, email, and other modalities can be difficult to navigate. In order to maximize efficiency, your firm should have a communications program and platform that allows you to connect distribution channels, distributing all types of communication from a centralized, omnichannel platform.
An omnichannel platform can also help ensure that the marketing, sales, and other impacted departments are aligned when it comes to customer communication. Every piece of communication the customer sees — whether it is a marketing email, informational text, or printed flyer — can have the same branding and meet the same overall standards when it is sent from a centralized platform.
4. Prioritizing Security and Compliance
Financial services firms regularly have to send out protected and time-sensitive information. The delivery methods you choose must maintain the security of your customers' information and stay within compliance with federal standards. The majority of customers have seen their fair share of news about data breaches at financial institutions.
It is important to communicate to customers that you prioritize security and compliance through all of your communication channels. An omnichannel platform that allows you to centralize communication can also allow you to centralize your security and compliance efforts. When customers see that all of the communications from your firm follow the same set of standards, it can help them feel confident that you make it a priority to protect their financial information.
Best Practice: Centralize Customers Communications for Efficiency and Effectiveness
Financial Services firms can leverage these key elements of financial communication to attract more customers and retain current customers. Each of the elements outlined above can have a positive impact on the overall success. However, implementing each of these elements separately would take a significant amount of time and effort. You can piece together a plan for handling financial communication by using different companies for the separate tasks, or you can centralize the entire process. Choosing one company that can provide all of the financial communication tools you need can streamline the process while saving both time and money.
Toppan Merrill offers solutions that can help you integrate communication options, measure customer engagement, and streamline your communication distribution channels while making security and compliance top priorities. Toppan Merrill Connect™ is a centralized platform that allows you to manage your communication with clients through email, text messaging, and print. This omnichannel platform approach allows you to simplify complex communications and ensure that everything your customers receive adheres to the same brand standards.
Toppan Merrill Connect is a platform that can allow you to meet the needs and standards of your clients while keeping up with the ever-changing regulations that govern how financial services firms can communicate. Expand what's possible, and contact us for a demo today!