The customer has always been king. Customer engagement is the holy grail of marketing; creating an emotional attachment to a brand can create loyalty which means longer-term, less price sensitive and therefore more profitable customers. Customer engagement can make a significant financial difference: research from Gallop in 2014 found that customers who are fully engaged with their bank bring 37% more annual revenue than those who are actively disengaged and ready to switch.

But with the rise of digital, customer engagement has become more complicated. It’s no longer a case of simply delivering strong products and excellent service. Consumers are increasingly expecting to access seamless, tailored interactions with companies across channels whenever and wherever they choose. The quality of personalised experiences is becoming key to creating competitive advantage across all markets.

Our online shopping habits are analysed to produce personalised suggestions of products we might like and targeted adverts. Location data is used to recommend nearby restaurants based on our previous search habits. Social media is used as for marketing, as a customer service tool and complaints channel and increasingly as a way to design and deliver product innovation.

There are obvious steps that financial services providers can take to improve the customer online experience.

Ensure that your website is fast and easy-to-navigate to make it as simple as possible for people to find the information they need and be willing to do business with you. Align online touch points like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube for look, feel and service standards. And that means across formats as customers in all age groups increasingly expect to have information accessible on iPads and smartphones.

This is the base level of functionality that consumers now expect as standard from corporate online offerings. Engaging with customers in a digital world goes beyond the basics. Technology can help create a more personalised experience that makes customers feel like individuals.

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