Have you ever been afraid to take out a loan? Have you ever put experience ahead of price? Yeah, us too.
It all comes back to that human element that drives everything, including the relationship between FIs and the people they serve. And we got to sit down for a chat with a true expert on the subject.
Miriam Ackerman, Chief Strategy Officer at DNT BLNK and Co-Founder of NetGiver (NACUSO’s 2020 Big Idea Award-Winner) graciously offers her expertise—this week on CRMNEXT’s Banking on Experiencepodcast.
Why Miriam is passionate about this topic.
Our expert has been working in innovation for 25 years, and she points out that a lot of what innovation is isbased on fear. Essentially, innovation is change, and change is fear.
“Trying to understand how to overcome,” Miriam says, “how to not be afraid of change and how to find innovations and solutions that can help solve your need as a business, as a financial institution, and the needs of your members—that gets me really passionate and excited.”
Addressing what your members & customers actually need.
You might be tempted to push volume of loans, but Miriam invites FIs to ask: Is that what your customer or member needs? It may be what you want, but does it solve their current pain point?
She stresses that people want a relationship with a financial institution that’s going to be there in between those product moments, “sustaining and maintaining and growing the relationship.” And building trust every single day means that the customer or member “will choose that financial institution every single time.”
The power of real connection.
As Miriam says, “People are voting with their wallets.”
In a recent survey, 84% of people say they’ll pay for a product based on the value of the brand rather than for a product from a brand that doesn’t align with their values. And something like 36% say they’d pay double for a product.
Best practices around experience for FIs.
“Every, single decision a person makes is an emotional decision,” says Miriam. “We use logic to rationalize our decisions.” So—when it comes to best practices—top of mind for her is building trust, brand, and identity. And start the process long before the product.
As our expert says, “You don’t get excited about a mortgage; you get excited about the home that you can raise your family in.”
Getting specific with personalization.
This comes back to those “in between” moments and meeting people where they are. Miriam believes there’s significant value in learning more about an individual, and she suggest 3 very basic (but powerful) things:
- Start simple.
- Remember, not everything is a sales pitch.
- Know who you’re serving.
The no mission/no margin concept.
There’s been a lot of talk about—without margin, you can’t execute on a mission. Miriam believes it’s the opposite. Without mission, you’re not going to have that margin.
“Let’s first address the needs,” she suggests, “and then we can make a profit later on.”
What holds FIs back from maintaining good relationships (and how to fix it).
In Miriam’s mind, it comes back to fear. It can be hard to know where to begin, so start small. “Communication and the little things financial institutions are doing,” says Miriam, “that’s what sustains membership; that’s what grows membership. That’s what also creates trust and fulfills the brand promise.”
Changing the world (mhm, yeah, we asked that).
If she had unlimited resources—and with her background in innovation—Miriam would, essentially, “Build solutions that address pain points and optimize them for scalability across the world.” Sounds an awful lot like the wonderful work she’s already doing.
Want to contact our expert?