Real Conversations Play Critical Role In Consumer Financial Decisions

Thanks to  Invoca and The Center for Media Research for sharing a new report, the State of the Consumer Banking Experience by Invoca, showing that while financial institutions will spend more than $8 billion on digital advertising in 2016, customers rely heavily on offline interactions when making important financial decisions.

When evaluating a loan, respondents ranked in-person meetings and phone calls as their preferred modes of communication with financial institutions, says the report. More than a quarter made at least four phone calls to financial institutions before selecting one for their loan. 93% of people who took out loans of $100,000 or more made at least one call to the financial institution they ultimately chose for their loan.

Consumers expect their experiences with their bank to be connected, however, no matter how they choose to interact:

  • 75% of respondents said they expect a seamless experience when switching between channels such as SMS, phone calls, email and online chat.
  • 45% of respondents said seeing digital ads that conflicted with a conversation they had on the phone negatively impacted their decision to take a loan from that institution.

Kyle Christensen, SVP marketing at Invoca, says “… study brings to light what’s at stake for financial institutions that fail to keep up with the demands of today’s mobile consumer… internal silos, lack of unified data, poor attribution, and incomplete martech stacks… those that begin to unify the customer experience across channels… have a considerable advantage in 2017 and beyond…”

And, John Challis, senior director of performance marketing at LendingTree, concludes that “… when a consumer is ready to pick up the phone, they are typically further down the funnel and close to transacting with… lenders…”

75% of consumers say that it’s important or extremely important to be able to easily switch between channels while interacting with their bank, using multiple screens and channels to interact with financial institutions, including in-person visits, calls, apps, chatbots, and social media, says the report.

Some key findings according to the report:

When communicating with their bank during an average month:

  • 76% of respondents use at least two different channels
  • 37% of respondents use three or more channels

For complicated decisions, offline interactions reign:

  • 64% of respondents said in-person or phone calls were their primary modes of contact when evaluating an institution for a loan
  • 72% of people evaluating a loan made at least two phone calls to financial institution during the vetting process; 26% made four or more calls

When evaluating a loan, after a negative call experience:

  • 56% would be likely to choose another financial institution
  • 26% would write a negative review online

When evaluating a loan after a positive call experience:

  • 57% would be likely to choose that institution for their loan
  • 51% would refer someone to that same lender

Know your customer

  • 80% of loan shoppers said a call answered by a representative who immediately knew their account history and relationship had a positive influence on their decision
  • 56% said having to restate information each time they were transferred to a representative had a negative impact on their decision

Concluding, the report says “ … as banking becomes more digital… human interaction will still play a large role in financial services… while 80% of people use their bank’s app for checking balances or transferring money, consumers prefer to use offline interactions for more complex or sensitive issues.

A report detailing the findings of the survey is available online at:

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