The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious challenge for financial institutions. Customers want more assurance when getting loans and other services. They want t o feel safe. People are demanding the latest information to make informed purchasing decisions without having to visit physical branches.

COVID-19 is changing consumer expectations and needs when it comes to financial services. At the same time, consumers today are more and more willing to use technology-assisted solutions like conversational marketing chatbots. They are more active on mobile devices to shop, receive news, and stay connected with others.

How can the financial industry overcome COVID-19 challenges to improve customer experiences and increase revenue? By using conversational marketing chatbots.

Marketing chatbots are an untapped marketing channel that is quickly becoming a key part of the enterprise marketing mix. Businesses can use platforms like Facebook Messenger or Google AdLingo to provide personalized recommendations and answers at scale.

This is how financial service providers can use conversational marketing to connect with consumers in a meaningful way and overcome COVID-19 business challenges.

How financial consumer behaviour has changed with COVID-19

Everyday consumers aren’t the only ones impacted by COVID-19. Small to medium-sized businesses are experiencing cash flow issues. They are more reserved with spending. They are focusing on safety and avoiding risk. 

59% of consumers say that Coronavirus has impacted their shopping behaviour week over week.

COVID consumer behaviour

Customers of financial products are demanding more information about the service they’re receiving. “Does this business have high safety standards?” “Is this the best deal I can get?” and “Can I get something better elsewhere?” are just some of the questions they are asking.

49% of people are avoiding leaving their homes and 57% are social distancing from the community. They’re doing everything online. Financial institutions must meet customers where they already are to solve this challenge.

Consumer stats COVID

Today, people are more willing to use technology to assist them in shopping and discovering the best products. Conversational marketing chatbots are one of the best solutions to do just that. Businesses can offer tailored information, resources, and experiences that feel like interacting with a real person. But they can offer that experience 24/7/365 on consumers preferred channels at their preferred time.

How financial businesses have been impacted by COVID-19

One of the biggest issues in the financial industry is cash flow. 69% of SMBs in the United Kingdom are experiencing cash flow strains due to COVID-19. Additionally, only half of the US workforce has a job that is compatible with telework. Companies are downsizing and losing labour productivity.

Institutions like banks are projected to experience a steady decline in total non-interest revenues starting in 2021 because of this.

Total revenues

To continue acquiring customers, businesses in the financial industry need to educate customers on short term loan possibilities and how to qualify for them. They have to constantly adapt their messaging to provide the latest information and answer consumer questions at scale without constantly creating new marketing assets. 

Interactions must be tailored to individual consumers. Not shouted at everybody. Institutions aren’t as capable of seeing and greeting customers in person. Bringing them into their offices. Sitting them down. Chatting with them about their unique interests and needs. All of this must be done online now.

Financial companies must reach customers on mobile devices and where they are already spending their time. This includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other social networks.

How conversational marketing can solve COVID-19 financial challenges

One of the problems financial companies are experiencing is the need to educate SMBs on short term loans and qualifications in a personalized way. Secondly they must encourage customers to use online channels and handle the higher volume of interactions without sacrificing quality.

How can they constantly adapt their messaging for the latest information and answer customer’s questions? Conversational marketing. Marketing that speakers with customers, not at them. Meeting customers where they already are and answering their individual questions is critical.

Financial businesses like banks and credit unions can use Google’s AdLingo platform to communicate their offers at scale, qualify the individuals applying, and direct them to the institution’s platform. All in a single ad. This new platform allows you to turn traditional display ads into personalized conversations at scale. You are able to leverage Google’s extensive ad network to reach 90% of internet users.

Telekom, the global telecommunications company, wanted to find a new channel to attract millennial customers and recommend customized contracts. Consumers wanted a more convenient and effortless way to find the right phone and contract with so many options available. How could Telekom replicate the in-store experience online?

Using targeted AdLingo ads, Telekom built a sales assistant called “Tommy” with the Spectrm platform. The chatbot engaged with customers in a personalized way at scale. It offered relevant products to drive conversions. Customers could find the mobile plan that suited their exact needs like they would in a store.

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Telekom’s initial campaign generated 6,500 engaged conversations and reached its target number of conversions. The average engaged conversion time per user was 1m 40s with a 15% CTR to checkout. New mobile contracts proved very competitive, achieving a 4x return on ad spend. 

Telekom’s AdLingo campaign was inspired by the success of Telekom’s contract finder bot on Facebook Messenger, built with Spectrm’s conversational marketing platform. The Messenger bot helped Millennials find contracts personalized to their needs and increase customer engagement. 

Thanks to the marketing chatbot, Telekom achieved a 9x contract conversion lift, a 60% conversation completion rate, and a 35% CTR to cart landing page. Download the full Messenger marketing case study.

Final thoughts on how COVID-19 has impacted financial services

Almost every industry has been impacted by COVID-19. The financial sector is no different. Small to medium-sized businesses are experiencing cash flow issues while only half of the US workforce holds a job that’s telework compatible.

Consumers are seeking the latest information. They want to be safe when making a purchase and demand personalized experiences that replicate in-store interactions. They’re doing most of their shopping online and spending increased amounts of time on mobile devices.

These challenges can be solved with conversational marketing chatbots built with Spectrm. They can be used to communicate product information, answer questions, and qualify prospects in a non-intrusive way. 

Chatbots integrate with Facebook Messenger, Google AdLingo, and other channels. Empower your business to reach more customers and overcome the challenges brought upon by COVID-19.

Want to learn how to increase customer acquisition with conversational marketing and apply what you learned in this article? Watch our free on-demand webinar that will teach you how to drive business with conversational lead generation.

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