If there’s one industry that generates incredible amounts of data, it’s financial services. Companies in the financial services industries collect and have access to massive data sets. By necessity, they monitor both internal operations and developments in the external environment where those companies operate. It all adds up to a lot of data. The challenge for financial services companies is using that data effectively.
Plenty of different software tools help businesses utilize their data, including customer data platforms (CDP). More and more financial services firms are implementing these platforms to address some of their data needs. But why? What is a customer data platform, and what value does it offer financial services companies? Let’s get into it.
What is a Customer Data Platform?
A customer data platform, or CDP, is a software tool that combines data from different sources and tools into a single, unified database. Within this database, users can access all the data and dig into it to better understand the whole picture.
Primarily, CDPs exist to address an issue that many organizations have, especially with the growing reliance on data — lack of cohesion. Many companies use many different systems to collect data. For example, a company might use one system to collect data about activity on their website, another to collect data on customer service interactions, yet another for data on sales, and so on. While each data source is valuable individually, it’s not nearly as powerful as combined with the rest of the company’s data.
Bringing all that data together into one place is what these data platforms do. Using one of these platforms allows companies to understand all their data and how it fits together — not just individual parts of that information.
How Financial Brands are Using CDPs
There are a variety of ways financial institutions like banks are using customer data platforms. Some of the use cases of these data platforms in finance include:
Eliminate Data Silos
A data silo occurs when only one department or business area has full access to a particular data set. When this happens, it’s inconvenient and potentially damaging. Anyone outside that department who needs the data will go through a lengthy, tedious process to gain access or forgo access entirely. The result is that your team operates without all the available information simply due to data access issues. That’s a waste that could be easily avoided using a customer data platform.
Financial brands use CDPs to eliminate these data silos and bring all their data into one central location. With a customer data platform, team members won’t have to waste time and energy trying to gain access to siloed data. All your data, including data from other departments, will be easily accessible through the central data platform. The platform becomes the unified, single source of truth about customer data. Sharing data between departments or teams has never been so simple.
Deliver Personalized Customer Experiences
Having all your customer data together in one place is very helpful for financial institutions looking to deliver personalized customer experiences. Since personalization is a major priority for finance businesses, it’s no surprise so many are turning to customer data platforms.
Financial customers today expect and demand personalization from the businesses they interact with. Yet, many financial institutions still aren’t offering the level of personalization that customers want. That creates an incredible opportunity for those who can effectively tailor their products and services to each customer. Using a CDP makes that possible.
With a data platform, financial firms can access complete, in-depth customer profiles to customize each interaction with a customer. If, for example, the customer has previously contacted the help desk, anyone interacting with that customer would have access to that information and be able to use it to improve the interaction.
Predict Customer Intent
It’s not enough to know what your customers are currently doing or what actions they’ve taken in the past — financial firms also need to know what their customers will do next. The platform will provide insights into the customer journey for the company’s products or services by uniting customer data.
Many companies already try to predict customer intent, even without the help of a data platform. The problem with that approach is that decision-makers don’t have all the necessary information readily available to them. Instead, key data is isolated in different silos, preventing them from seeing the whole picture. You need to see everything your customers do across all channels — email, social, website, etc. — to predict customer intent accurately. That’s what the data platform offers.
Using the platform, the company will be able to see what its customers are doing prior to completing a purchase. How long do customers stay on their website before buying? How many pages do they click through? How many emails do they tend to open? The data platform can help companies answer all these key questions. Leadership can then use this information to predict future customer behavior.
Discovering New Opportunities
There are certain times in a person’s life when they’re more likely to need financial services. Major life moments like graduation, retirement, marriage, and divorce often drive customers to make significant financial decisions. Financial companies can capture their business during these moments, if only they know when to reach out.
Using a CDP is one way to do so. Financial firms are much better informed about their customers with all the information these data platforms bring together. They stand a better chance of identifying these prime opportunities and meeting the customer before they turn to a competitor. The unified data gives companies insights into when customers most need their services and thus are most likely to convert.
Leverage Customer Data in your Financial Enterprise
Cleverly leveraging customer data is the way forward for financial firms, and a CDP is a must-have tool for the job. Reach out to Live Earth to see one of these platforms in action and learn more about the ways they can help your enterprise.