Acquiring New Accounts Requires Understanding Current Customer Behavior - The MSR Group

No matter the industry, everyone demands an answer to this question:

What’s the best way to target Millennials?

The MSR Group hears that or a version of that question frequently, especially as it relates to the financial-services sector. There’s industry-wide debate about which methods work best now to earn Millennials’ business and will they be the same once their income levels ascend and generational wealth turns over.

Currently, Bank of America, for one, seems to be playing the short game. The bank is making efforts to drive customers away from contact centers and branch locations and, in an effort to appeal to younger customers, steer them toward their top-notch website, mobile app, digital pay options and cardless ATMs. And it’s working—for now. The cost, however, is slacking on customer service, which may become more important once Millennials’ income soars and now must speak to a branch representative about how to manage it.

Case in point: MSR Group data reveals that 62% of banking customers open a new account or apply for a loan in person with a bank employee, while just 24% do so using a bank call center, car dealership or some other method. This indicates that when it comes to important financial matters, customers vastly prefer to look someone in the eye and know they’re getting the bank’s full attention and accountability.

So, is it better to have Millennials’ business now when they’re not doing much to incur fees and use multiple products or later when they likely will? Also, will Millennials stick with the bank they’ve been with since the beginning out of some sense of loyalty or path of least resistance, or will they discover that that same bank has no personal touch whatsoever, and entertaining more grown-up financial matters (e.g., mortgages, money markets) requires a change of scenery?

As is often the case, arguments can be made to support either strategy. What’s clear is banks can’t crunch all the numbers alone; many banks rely on The MSR Group to communicate with their banking customers (and potential ones) about what’s most important to them when considering where to secure their money, how it differs by dollars, and even gage what it’ll take for them to remain loyal as their earnings increase.