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Guest blog: Right channel, right time

In an increasingly busy world, with people’s attention spans diminishing to all-time lows, it’s more important than ever for businesses to engage their customers with relevant, timely messages and content, delivered through the right channel for the type of message.

The choice between online and offline communication can be a confusing one, but getting it right is critical to customer engagement.  The simple fact is there is not one channel that should be used exclusively to engage your customers.  Customers will move between offline and online channels frequently, and how they engage with that communication will depend on the content, timing and call to action within the communication. 

Types-of-banking-payment-channels.jpgTiming is so important, RBS have discovered their busiest branch isn’t a branch at all – it’s the 7.15am train to Paddington, when commuters open their online banking app to make the best use of their time. Businesses can now use Artificial Intelligence within their channels to help with this, with email deployment tools which monitor when individuals are opening and engaging with emails, to predict and automatically send future emails around that time of day to increase the chance of that email being seen and opened.

There’s never been a more important time for Building Societies to be visible.  Don’t get noticed and you’ll miss out on a new generation of customers. While some young people, and particularly teenagers, have limited exposure to banking and building societies, they still have a desire for helpful financial advice and information delivered to them outside of the classroom. Reaching them requires planned customer communication journeys, a multi-channel communication platform and, above all, engaging content.

Businesses also need to ensure they are compliant with the incoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) by securing the correct permissions and preferences from their customers.

When considering the right channel mix, keep in mind that Direct Mail still plays a key role in your communication strategy, especially if you are mobile first. A typical piece of printed Direct Mail remains on view in the household for an average of 17 days, as opposed to a digital communication being viewed once, if opened at all, making this method of approach still an important part of your communication mix[1]. Receiving a personalised, relevant communication that they can open and touch can have impact with a customer.  With NFC (Near Field Communications) and QR codes, you can seamlessly take your customer from an offline printed pack to a mobile optimised landing page in a matter of seconds.  It’s this kind of innovation that can help to engage customers who historically have been hard to reach.

Most importantly, businesses need to deliver a consistently slick customer journey that adapts to customer preferences and their actions. At Paragon Customer Communications we’re able to plan, create and deliver messages across all print and digital channels through fully integrated tools.

You can find out more about our Paragon Customer Communications by contacting Peter Toole on petertoole@paragon-cc.co.uk or by visiting our website at www.paragon-cc.co.uk.

A guest blog for Associate Knowledge by BSA Associate, Paragon Customer Communications 
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[1] Royal Mail Study – The Private Life of Mail

Posted by Peter Toole on 05 February 2018