Technology

Five Best Practices for Online Cross-Selling

Make it easy for users to find what they're looking for.

June 21, 2012
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Geoff Knapp has a message for credit unions that want to model their online banking systems after high-profile, online retailers: “You’re not Amazon.com.”

Knapp, Fiserv’s vice president of digital channels, told America’s Credit Union Conference attendees that credit unions can borrow some ideas and practices from online retailers, but they should keep in mind their very different business models.

“Amazon’s business model is based around throwing ads at the consumer, while the credit union model is based on service,” he said. “People hold financial institutions to a higher standard than retailers. I expect Amazon to sling stuff at me, but not my credit union.”

Knapp offered five best practices for online cross-selling:

1. Make it easy for users to find what they want. Ease of use is the primary driver of satisfaction with online banking. Make it easy for members to locate and accomplish specific tasks by prominently positioning frequently used service.

“Members don’t want to click eight times to find what they want,” Knapp said.

Plus, online banking users are task-oriented and become annoyed if the flow of a task is interrupted, so credit unions should strive to make related offers as part of the task flow or when a task is complete.

2. Offer a personalized online experience. Personalization doesn’t have to be complex; it can be as simple as providing a personalized greeting when members log on, or allowing members to edit their profiles and account information.

“Just use my name and recognize that I’m there,” Knapp said. “This is an area in which the online banking experience lags the online buying experience.”

Subscribe to Credit Union Magazine3. Target the message to the right member the right way. Present products and services to users based on their needs, rather than blanketing all members with an offer or relying solely on sales goals to define offers.

“Make the offers conversational, contextual, and relevant to add value,” Knapp said.

4. Position recommendations in a helpful, friendly manner. Online retailers are adept at positioning products for cross-sell without appearing to actually advertise the products—mainly by presenting recommendations in a friendly, helpful way.

Credit unions should consider adding social elements to their sites to promote their products and services with a conversational approach.

5. Focus on what you know. “Don’t get carried away with opportunities to sell other companies’ stuff,” Knapp suggested. “Members are open to offers from their credit union—not so much for discounts to local restaurants.”

Focus on helping members save money and providing valuable financial tools.

“Focus first on who you are and what you do,” Knapp said. “Members aren’t opposed to cross-selling within online banking, and a large percentage are receptive to offers they perceive to be targeted and relevant. The key is to enable users to conduct their banking business quickly and efficiently while leveraging marketing to deliver a more personal and valuable experience.”

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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