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Personalized customer experiences – 3 tips to drive behaviour

Lauren Wilson - November 29, 2018 - 0 comments

Personalized customer experiences – 3 tips to drive behaviour

“Customer experience isn’t an expense. Managing customer experience bolsters your brand.” – Stan Phelps

In today’s interconnected world, customers’ expectations have changed. In addition to basic expectations, such as high quality and fair pricing, customers now demand proactive service, personalized interactions, and connected experiences across channels. Research shows that 76% of customers report that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, making it imperative for banks and credit unions to take notice and deliver on these expectations through their customer experience strategy.

A strong customer experience strategy relies on informed guidance that is clear and consistent to drive behaviour to all levels within the financial institution. Staying informed requires the coordination of multiple inputs to provide a 360-degree view of customer needs, paired with clear reporting and analysis. These inputs can come in many forms such as customer feedback, observational feedback, and employee feedback.

Here are three tips to obtain informed feedback that will help you drive the right behaviour and personalized customer experiences:

1. Post-transaction surveys

The purpose of this type of survey is to measure satisfaction with a specific transaction or event. In addition to measuring satisfaction, post-transaction surveys can also be used to identify reasons for product selection or cancellation, offering invaluable feedback at both the individual transaction and on a broader customer service level.  

Customers are selected for the transactional survey shortly after an event such as an in-branch or online transaction, new account sign-up, or use of an app feature. Surveys can then be executed through different mediums, such as e-mail, phone, or mail.

When choosing the survey medium, you need to consider the effort required for your audience, and the response rate to find the right return on investment for your institution. According to SurveyAnyplace, the average survey response rate across all mediums is 33%. This ranges from 57% for in-person surveys, to 30% for e-mail, and 13% for in-app surveys.

Regardless of the medium, transactional survey customer lists need to be properly reviewed and maintained to remain in compliance with “Do Not Contact” regulations. In order to avoid surveying individual customers multiple within a short period of time, consider a business rule that excludes additional invitations within a specific timeframe.

Surveys also offer an opportunity to capture post-transaction Net Promoter Scores (NPS), which measures the willingness of customers to recommend a your products or services to others. This is done by including a question such as “Based on your recent experience at our Main Street branch, how likely are you to recommend our services to your friends, family or colleagues?”.  

2. Social media listening

Social media continues to grow its relevance and importance.  Not only do social platforms help you connect with your customers and increase awareness about your brand, they offer real-time opportunities for clients and prospective clients to share their experiences and offer feedback and recommendations.

Social media monitoring is the process of collecting social messages into a single stream and taking individual actions in response. Actions range based on the platform but can come in the form of a like, comment, share or personalized response. Social media listening, on the other hand, is the process of monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, products, competitors, and other relevant themes. These mentions are consolidated and then reviewed and analyzed for insights. Social media listening allows a large volume of messages to be reviewed for sentiment or affinity analysis.

Social media analytics software is available to facilitate the data collection across multiple social platforms and help identify and prioritize the patterns and trends that require your team’s attention. Leveraging these services enables your team to focus on action rather than data collection. Which is important as according to SocialSprout, customers expect a response on social within 0-4 hours.

3. Mystery shopping | Gamification

Unlike post-transaction surveys and social listening, which inform on customer opinion, mystery shopping is designed to focus on team member behaviour.  Specifically, it tests sales and customer service behaviours and evaluates their alignment to your financial institutions brand expectations.

Mystery shopping is more than a pure measurement technique. When executed well, it can also serve as an excellent motivational tool.

When developing your mystery shopping program, Ipsos recommends seven steps:

   1. Start with strategy

   2. Design with your customer in mind

   3. Define shopper and ‘branch’ requirements

   4. Design a sound survey instrument

   5. Create realistic shopper scenarios and thorough briefing materials

   6. Formulate a smart and strategic

   7. Design your analytics plan

Further, when designing the survey instrument, Kinēsis recommends to keep it simple and to focus on “empirically measurable employee behaviours captured with objective questions. (Was a specific behaviour present or not? Yes or No)”. Doing so while avoiding complex questions which ask about more than one behaviour will make the process more objective and clearer to understand when the results are shared as feedback.

There is also a place for subjective impressions of the shoppers’ experience using rating scales, such as intent to purchase. These ratings take the objective measurements one step further to not just identify if a behaviour was present but the effectiveness. Measuring these subjective impressions can identify opportunities beyond the team members individual behaviour, to support the effectiveness of the design of training and rewards programs.

Gamification can also be leveraged to both drive engagement with your team and engage your customers in mystery shopping. For your team members, fun reward programs offering virtual badges and visible leaderboards provide motivation to drive a great customer experience at each interaction. This can add extra incentive to behaviours that may be less measurable in other day to day KPIs. For your customers, apps such as EasyShift or Gigwalk can be leveraged to engage them as mystery shoppers and grow the reach of your program. These reward programs enable them to earn money and points for completing tasks ranging from validating placement of your promotional material to evaluating the in-branch execution by your team.

Executing on these initiatives provides invaluable information. Any outcome, from identifying positive experiences to uncovering opportunities to solve issues, makes it a worthwhile investment.

It’s important to take time to celebrate the positive experiences and your team members going above and beyond as positive reinforcement.  Similarly, as opportunities are identified it is important to be prepared with the right resources to dive in, evaluate and resolve.

As Bill Gates says “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Share them with us at

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