Customer Experience Lab

Targeted customer winback: Tips and tricks for community banking

By Anya Phillips on September 07, 2018

As outlined in our Community Banking Customer Experience Blueprint, designing an action plan for customer follow-up is the third and final step to launch your customer experience initiative. This blog will discuss key considerations to achieving successful customer winbacks.

Don't have a copy of our Community Banking Customer Experience Blueprint? Download it now!

Targeted Customer Winbacks in Community Banking

Note: For more information on steps 1 and 2, see our other resources on choosing touchpoints and writing surveys.

Our 2017 retail survey discovered that consumers reported a higher chance of returning to a brand after a successfully recovered negative experience than those consumers with a normal experience. This also applies to banking: negative experiences can lead to positive outcomes through customer winback. Switching financial institutions is not commonplace -- Accenture’s 2017 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey points out that only 11% of consumers had left their bank in the last year – so winning the customer experience race is more about securing the next deal and avoiding hidden defection. In banking, customer winback is about securing the next banking product.

Hidden defection is when a customer uses a competitor for their next financial product instead of their existing bank. They don’t leave entirely, maybe their savings and checking accounts are retained but their new mortgage goes through a different institution. According to Forrester, 33% of customers say all bank brands are the same. Many customers don’t feel a sufficiently strong relationship with their bank to be concerned about defecting for common products (such as credit cards, loans, insurance, and investments) and negative experiences solidify this viewpoint.

The following considerations are crucial for any bank striving for successful customer winback and to secure the next product.

Identify the customer’s true needs

If you receive a negative sentiment, there is usually more than one reason. Make sure that any symptom revealed by a survey response is not part of a bigger problem. It’s essential to sincerely listen to your customer about their experience before prescribing a solution. A little gentle probing can reveal key customer needs to be considered before trying to winback the customer effectively.

The three types of needs to distinguish are:

  1. Trigger need – This is considered the “last straw”. It is most likely the customer’s most recent experience with your bank, but it is probably not their first negative experience. The trigger need must be addressed right away.

Apologize for the problems your customer is having, then ask for details surrounding their issue. Not only will this give you more information for treating the trigger need, but it is also the first step in uncovering larger or more significant needs. 

  1. Driving need – This unmet need (or set of needs) is more complex and deeper than the trigger need and most likely has been festering with your customer for a while.

Ask if they’ve had ongoing problems leading up to the trigger need. Maybe it’s been a repetition of the trigger need, or it could be a few completely unrelated events. Either way, this gives you more information and you can reposition your save offer if appropriate.

  1. Original need – This is what the customer wanted from your bank from the beginning and is usually what made them your customer in the first place.

Ask what they were originally looking for as a customer at your bank and which of your services they use the most. This will help you identify what the customer ultimately wants from your bank, as well as reminding them of their positive experiences and original need.

Of the three needs, the trigger need is the most urgent. This should be dealt with immediately to improve your relationship with the customer. However, collecting information on the other needs should be a part of your follow-up process. This will help you understand your bank’s overall relationship with all customers moving forward and facilitate future root-cause analyses.

"If you receive a negative sentiment, there is usually more than one reason. Make sure that any symptom revealed by a survey response is not part of a bigger problem." - Click to Tweet!

Launch company-wide CX programs powered by customer analytics in days versus months. Try Centriam for Free!

Start Your Free Trial Today


Have a quick and effective way for determining an at-risk customer’s value

Your customers are not the same, and that’s the way it should be! One of the most important differences is their future revenue potential. Save protocols should start with understanding what future value each customer could bring to your bank. Your save tactics should be more aggressive for customers with a higher lifetime value (LTV). It makes sense, right? Invest your time and resources on the people who will be the most profitable for your bank.

You need data around what makes customers valuable to your bank, and the data needs to be easily accessible to follow-up employees. Maybe the data is a combination of simple metrics (e.g., number of accounts, percentage of bills paid on time, frequency of contacts) further simplified into symbols: “Five-star customers are our best customers!” Or maybe you use a predictive algorithm to forecast future revenue potential for each customer.

Regardless of how you estimate future value, combine that data with other relevant information in one place to improve your customer winback program. This makes it easy to focus on high-value customers. These customers could be assigned to specific winback employees, prioritized on a follow-up contact list, or eligible for select offers.

Banking- Outbound Call Follow-Up, Targeted Customer Winbacks

This screenshot from our tool as an example of combining all known information into one place. The follow-up employee can easily see from the stars the value level of the customer, as well as their latest NPS sentiment score, along-side data around interactions and product types.

Have a hierarchy of offers built and readily available for different levels of LTV customers

The cost of winback offers should reflect the LTV of the customer you are trying to save and should be easily accessed and executed.

A simple hierarchy is as follows:

  1. Value – These offers add value to your services at no cost to you. Perhaps there is some value that is gained through the service at your bank that the customer isn’t using because they don’t know about or understand them, such as services available through online banking.
  1. Low-cost – These solutions make your customers feel validated while incurring minimal costs to you. These could include reversing overdraft fees or waiving the minimum balance fee on branded credit cards.
  1. High-cost – Solutions with this price point are for major problems with your customers who are the most valuable. These could range from loans with an interest free time range to free trials of investment management.

Ideally, you should have one or more of each offer type and they should vary across products or services. Have your follow-up employees start with the value offers, but empower them to move up the hierarchy, reserving the most expensive offers for your most valuable customers.

Have a platform that provides the opportunity for a quick and personalized response

Your customer experience platform should be able to easily organize your data and streamline your follow-up processes. Your platform should excel at data driven routing, moving customers from initial survey campaigns to downstream follow-up campaigns in real time, and be able to use data to easily drive prioritization and assign offers. It should also summarize your data for easily digestible reporting, presenting insights cleanly and efficiently. With the ability to send people to a mixture of follow-up resources containing associated information, you’ll be able to assess and respond to feedback from your customers faster than you’ve ever imagined.

Centriam can get you started today! Sign up for a 30-day free trial, and see how Centriam can help kick off your bank’s targeted customer winback journey.

Start Your Free Trial Today


Topics: Banking customer experience, Customer experience strategy

Author: Anya Phillips

Anya helps Centriam's clients gather and act upon analytic insights. Anya came to Centriam from Minneapolis Community and Technical College, where she was the head mathematics tutor. Prior to that, she travelled extensively, living in Hungary, Australia and New Zealand. Anya holds a B.A. in applied mathematics and statistics from Macalester College. During her time there, she interned at the Institute for Math and its Applications, applying predictive modeling to GPS and accelerometer data.
Find me on:

Explore the latest customer experience insights from Centriam

We're on a mission to empower organizations to use data insights to improve customer experience and measure the business impact of customer programs. Through the Customer Experience Lab, we share our latest insights with you.

Subscribe to email updates

Recent posts