Good Experience is the Best Strategy in an Economic CrisisPosted by Luis Serpa on December 5, 2008 - 9:57 AM
In the midst of the economic crisis, while most banks are trying to keep attracting customers by offering higher interest savings and money market accounts, one bank (PNC) is thriving by focusing on delivering a unique online customer experience, specifically designed to target the generation Y (people aged 18 to 34, according to PNC demographics).
PNC created a product called Virtual Wallet that boldly discards all usual conventions from the banking industry, such as checking or savings accounts, and offers 3 types of accounts (dubbed “Spend,” “Reserve” and “Growth”) combined in a single solution. They focused on two simple concepts:
- Twentysomethings consider bank sites clunky, and they typically don’t know how to manage their money (’We need help helping ourselves’)
- The Gen Y really understands how to take advantage of online resources.
The solution takes advantage of concepts borrowed from other online services, games, social networks and even e-Commerce sites with features like Wish-List, Financial Calendar, Money Bar, Danger Days and “Punch the Pig.” That strategy is luring 130 new customers a day (20,000+ Virtual Wallet customers since July) to an account that otherwise could hardly compete with more aggressive banks in terms of paid returns.
Defying conventions and betting on exceptional experience can cost a lot initially (PNC expects the project to cost about 15 Million overall), but the ROI is unquestionable: PNC estimates to break even 1 year faster than a similar investment on a new brick-and-mortar branch would have.
From that example (plus everything that we preach here at Vox), I can get 3 great lessons to any company in any industry:
- Don’t be afraid to defy conventions! Know your customers, understand what they what and what they need and create NEW experiences that fit their expectations
- Test your concepts with real customers, watch how they react and behave and adjust your solutions accordingly
- The best strategy in times of crisis is still to offer a truly great customer experience. Marketing gimmicks and discounts can only go so far as… well, superficial wins…
So… What strategy will your company follow to get over this crisis?
This Post Categories: Banking • Behavioral Research • Business • Customer Experience • Customer Retention • Innovation • Marketing • Standing Out • Web 2.0
Tagged with: Banking • Behavioral Research • BusinessWeek • Checking Accounts • Customer Experience • Customer Experience Matters • Customer Retention • Customer-Centric Design • Customerspective Blog • Digital Strategy • Discarding Conventions • Generation Y • Innovation • LinkedIn • Luis Serpa • Millennials • PNC • ROI • Savings Accounts • Standing Out • VirtualWallet • Web 2.0
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