If your financial institution is navigating a digital banking conversion you must think about all the ways you should communicate the change. After all, change events are a leading reason why customers switch financial institutions. In this article, we will look at the top questions we hear from financial institutions going through digital banking conversions and explore some best practices.

When Should Our Bank Start Communicating About the Change?

Communication to customers should begin up to six months prior to the go-live date of the conversion. Effective and continual communication provides opportunities to let customers know how the conversion will benefit them and to reduce their concerns. This could include beginning with “coming next quarter” and “coming next month” announcements, then weekly leading up to a “coming tomorrow” and finally, the go-live notification. After the conversion has occurred, your financial institution should (at minimum) follow up with customers monthly.

Communication is one of the most crucial components of a successful digital banking conversion. When executed well, it informs, lessens friction and preserves brand trust. Customers have time to ask questions and can prepare for the coming digital changes.

What Do We Need to Tell Them – Specifically?

When communicating about a change event, it’s important to let customers know three things:

  1. The reason for the change
  2. How the change benefits them (Note: This information needs to be repeated multiple times to lessen change “friction” or potential churn.)
  3. Any steps they need to take (e.g., registering for digital banking, downloading the app)

Customers value authenticity, so it’s essential to be as transparent as possible.

How Should We Tell Customers About the Event?

Understanding how to communicate with your customers about your digital banking conversion is as important as what you say and when you begin informing them about the switch. Below is a list of ways your financial institution can communicate messages about the upcoming conversion:

  • Direct Mail, Postcards, Statement Stuffers or Newsletter Messaging
  • Paid Advertising
  • Branch Signage and Collateral
  • Targeted Outbound Campaigns or Automated Messages
  • Digital Banking Homepage Splash Screen or Banner Page
  • Email and Social Media
  • Website Announcement
  • Targeted Text or Mobile App Messaging

How to Plan an Effective Digital Banking Conversion Communication Plan

Remember that it isn’t enough to schedule one message on a single channel. According to the “Rule of 7” the average customer needs to see or hear seven messages before taking action. It is essential to communicate across multiple touchpoints, at different times and in various ways.

How Do We Fully Prepare Our Customer Service Channels?

Even if your communication plan is executed flawlessly, there will still be customers who contact you for support. Even good change may be difficult for some customers. Being aware of the human aspect of managing conversions and planning for a significant increase in call volume is critical to conversion success.

To ensure the highest level of customers satisfaction during a conversion, it pays to fully staff your contact center for the influx of calls, properly train customer-facing staff on the new technology and how to answer questions and decide how to increase existing digital capabilities to deliver better service.

Change is hard enough. Your financial institution will keep people happy and loyal by ensuring customers are aware and prepared for any disruptions to their service and routine.

Download our guide to successful contact center outsourcing for tips on outsourcing your digital banking conversion.