There is an increasing expectation on motor finance providers to smooth the journey for today’s demanding consumers. Nick Lee, UK head of marketing at Paragon Customer Communications, looks at the various available solutions that can help improve customer experience.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in how motor finance providers communicate with their customers, from distributing personalised messages to increasing data security.

Apps, push notifications, natural language processing… the ever-growing choice of technology currently available can help organisations large, medium and small to benefit from an improved communications strategy.

In addition to improving customer satisfaction, investing in a better communications strategy can bring a reduction in costs, in terms of both time and money spent on sending out unread, irrelevant messages.

PERSONAL AND RELEVANT

Research illustrates that today’s consumers prefer personalised communications. Relevant messages, delivered in the recipient’s favoured format and – in the case of email, at a convenient time – are far more likely to elicit a positive response than generic mail, which is liable to end up in the bin, whether that be the actual wastebasket or the digital one.

Personalisation goes beyond simply including a person’s name at the beginning of a letter, or sending out a ‘appy birthday’ email. The same studies found that using a name alone would tempt just 8% of those surveyed to respond, while a mere 7% would engage with a birthday email.

To add real value, personalisation should go to the next level if organisations are to deliver a better, more relevant customer experience. Adopting innovative technology such as low-disruption plug-and-play options, machine learning, email coding and offline tracking can help achieve a higher level of personalisation.

In addition, computer programs can be automated to deliver triggered responses to incoming messages, facilitating a smarter, ‘joined up’ approach and speeding up the entire process.

MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP

Analysing data helps finance providers show that they understand their customers and what they need, which in turn increases the chances of meaningful interaction. Data can reveal a wealth of insights into consumer preferences.

It shows not only which products or services have been purchased by individuals, but can be used to predict what may be of interest in the future, enabling better campaign targeting and more accurate predictions of outcomes.

However, companies without in-house digital skills may find making sense of the wealth of data held daunting.

Understanding what is held and how best to use it can be central to creating a structured, single view of each customer and, consequently, a dynamic, personalised communications strategy.

Experts in data analysis can assess the information held and use it to put together the most effective customer journeys.

Data collected must have been collected and stored in accordance with increasingly stringent legislation. Partnering with an experienced customer communications expert can help organisations formulate the most effective, end-to-end communications strategy while ensuring that data is collected and stored securely and in accordance with legislation.

IN SUMMARY

A well-functioning motor finance market needs informed, engaged customers. To achieve this, people need to receive highquality, appropriate information to help them understand the product they plan to buy and to enable them to make informed decisions about their finances.

Companies with an up-to-date, multichannel communications strategy will be in the strongest position to enjoy meaningful interactions with their customers and to provide the smoothest customer journeys.