Banks urged to focus on most-active customers

By Rhonda Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Banks continuously seek improvements in using marketing analysis to attract and retain customers, and to expand the financial products used by existing customers. More

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BANKING

Banks urged to focus on most-active customers

COURTESY AITE GROUP
ACTIVITY PARTNER: Highly active bank customers were overwhelmingly most likely to switch financial institutions due to fee-related reasons, Aite Group found.

By Rhonda Miller
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 4/22/13

Banks continuously seek improvements in using marketing analysis to attract and retain customers, and to expand the financial products used by existing customers.

A new report by the Aite Group, a Boston-based research and advisory firm focused on the financial-services industry, suggests an overlooked pattern that could add to a bank’s bottom line: The customers’ level of activity in their own financial affairs yields more potential for broadening the relationship with the bank than segments such as “young professionals” or “empty-nesters.”

In the report released this month, “A Behavioral Segmentation of Banking Customers,” author Ron Shevlin zeroes in on why a certain customer has a broader relationship with a bank than other customers.

“I don’t think bankers think about people who are more engaged in their financial activity,” said Shevlin, an Aite senior analyst. “If customers are not highly engaged in their own financial management, making them more offers isn’t going to make them a better customer or get them more engaged in the banking relationship.”

Instead of market analysis based on more traditional segments using demographics such as age and lifestyle, the report segments consumers into three groups, based on involvement in their own financial management: highly active, moderately active and inactive.

The report is based on Aite’s survey of 1,115 U.S. consumers representing the overall age, income, geographic and gender distribution of the U.S. The survey was conducted in the second quarter of 2012.

What the findings boil down to is that two bank customers who have a similar experience will have a different reaction based on level of financial engagement.

“If a customer who is highly engaged in his financial life has a bad service experience, he is more likely to leave the bank,” Shevlin said.

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