Consumer Loyalty: Blog

Written by Jeff Keltner, SVP Business Development


Consumer loyalty is critical for banks and credit unions, particularly when it comes to lending. In the past, earning loyalty from customers was all about building relationships. To obtain a loan, people would walk into a branch and work closely with a staff member - often someone they already knew.

Things are very different in the era of digital experiences than they were not all that long ago. People in need of a loan can go online and view their loan options in minutes, with just a few swipes or clicks. Consumers can compare rates, terms, and fees, which can make competition fierce.

At first glance, it might seem that loyalty just doesn’t matter much anymore - but having a sound strategy to earn loyalty in the digital age can make a massive difference for your lending business, and your customers.

The strategies for earning customer loyalty are a bit different in today’s digital world. The fundamentals, however, are largely unchanged.

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Living in an era of digital transformation has not changed the fact that consumer loyalty is still critical.

Make a better offer

The first step to earning consumer loyalty is to make a better offer. Banks already have access to their existing customers' data and can view their account holder's direct deposits and transaction history. With this information, banks can at least match (or even beat) the product offers put forth by their competitors. 

Create a better experience

Again, banks already know their customers. As such, there may be ways to simplify the lending process. For instance, a bank might be able to decrease the traditional back-and-forth of paperwork, reducing the amount of time it takes to close on a loan from days or weeks to a matter of hours, or even just minutes. Lenders without access to this information likely can’t offer this experience, as they don’t have the same data readily available.

Make proactive offers

The third and possibly most challenging way to continue earning consumer loyalty in today’s digital age is to make proactive offers. Banks need to identify ways to suggest products that a customer might not have known they needed. Such products could be a home loan refinance or a car loan - or maybe a customer could use an auto loan refinance, a savings product that is often overlooked.

No matter what the offer, timing is crucial. Lenders should aim to provide the right offer to the right customer at the right time. They already have the information that they need to do this. They have the transactions and credit histories of their current customers. All of the information that they have regarding their existing customers provides them with the data required to extend helpful offers proactively. 

Earn customer loyalty in today’s digital age

Living in an era of digital transformation has not changed the fact that consumer loyalty is still critical. 

In fact, today’s increasingly virtual world presents banks with a significant opportunity. As they earn loyalty, their branch staff can shift from a role of processing loans and sorting through paperwork to becoming a trusted advisor. They can help customers navigate the world of financial products and select the ones that make the most sense for them.