It’s the time of the year that you either love or dread – get-togethers, office parties, decorations, lists for Santa, Starbucks holiday cups. Plus, your email starts exploding with offers for pre and post Black Friday sales.
What is really curious to me is the amount of personalized and targeted emails I am receiving these days from retailers. I have done a fair bit of my holiday shopping already online, and have to admit, the personalized recommendations, on some instances, were quite useful and on point. Well done!
What is also interesting is the long memory some of these vendors have with my online shopping bags. Some retailers saved my shopping history for bags abandoned months ago, and when I went back, they reminded me of the items that I selected. In one instance, the item was no longer available, but a recommendation of a similar item was made. The retail industry is embracing AI personalization.
As I went through my shopping expeditions, though, I came to one glaring realization: The one institution who hasn’t contacted me is my bank.
Use AI to personalize the message
The opportunity for banks to step in, partner with customers, and send relevant, personalized messages during the holiday season is being missed. Sure, I get notifications for my pending credit card bill, but there is available technology that can help banks do more. Each customer has unique needs, and banks can use the power of AI to customize and personalize messages that tap into these needs.
Imagine your bank partnering with you on your shopping day by monitoring your transactions and expenditures. They could send you a communication via your preferred channel, recommending another product based on your spending habit at that given point in time. Banks could also personalize their outreach in other ways:
- Customer A is in good standing and is starting their shopping. Bank sends the customer a message, through their channel of choice – email, SMS, etc. – spreading holiday cheer, either recommending another credit card or increasing their credit line.
- Customer B is in pre-collection status. Bank still sends them a holiday cheer note, but instead includes tips and guidelines for how to budget during the holiday season.
- Through the use of Paid Media, banks can place banner ads on retail sites with personalized offers, drawing the customer’s eye to the bank’s site and making the right offers at the right time to the right customer at the moment of need. This is achieved through leveraging the rich customer history created by capturing dozens, if not hundreds, of interactions the customer has had with the bank through the years via the bank website, IVR, branch, ATM, social, etc. By applying predictive and adaptive analytics, a personalized offer is presented to the customer at the right time.
All of the above are potential cases where a bank, with the use of AI, can be involved in helping customers’ holiday wishes come true through personalized messages, offers, and communication.
Don’t just sell a product, make a connection
Outreach doesn’t always need to be about new products – banks can apply the same predictive and adaptive analytics to generate tips and advice. And outreach campaigns shouldn’t be the Ghost of Christmas Past. Banks can be part of the holiday cheer club, helping customers make great memories in the present.
Banks are missing opportunities to connect with their customers. Instead of being sidelined as the outreach “Bah humbug!” or engagement Scrooge, they should join the season with retailers and other service providers, partnering with their customers during this season of giving. Whether providing advice and tips, or extending offers, ‘tis the season for banks to spread joy. AI can make it possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: With more than two decades of financial industry experience, Monica Hovsepian provides subject matter expertise to banks around the world as Pega’s global director for financial services industry marketing.
LEARN MORE: Watch the webinar, “Separating Fact from Fiction: The New Role of AI in Marketing,” with Pega’s Scott Andrick and Matt Nolan, plus Jim Saleh from Scotiabank.