Tech firms roll out the latest software updates with such fanfare and excitement that you might think the public is breathless with anticipation. But you'd be wrong.
Techies, IT managers and Apple devotees may fuss over Windows 10, iOS 9, and Android 5.1. The general public doesn't care. In fact, the ensuing pop-ups and reminders are a nuisance for many people. Forty percent of the 4,000 consumers surveyed for International Technology Upgrade Week said they regularly ignored software updates. And one-quarter said they didn't see the need to upgrade devices at all.
This apathy is emblematic of consumers' conflicted attitude toward technology. They enjoy its benefits, but they don't want to think about it too much. This means that financial institutions and fintech companies must walk a tightrope when shaping their marketing messages. Here are five tips to avoid giving consumers a case of technology overload.
1. Make sure your basic technology works.
Twenty-three percent of people who use a mobile banking app said they frequently or always had a problem performing banking functions, according to a 2013 survey of 3,000 consumers conducted by the Mercator Advisory Group.
2. Don't promote technology emphasize consumer benefits.
Technology brings convenience, ease-of-use and other benefits. But emphasizing tech buzzwords and capabilities falls into the category of too much information. Show how new functions make the consumer's financial life easier.
3. Make technology intuitive.
Apple didn't delight consumer with its operating system. It's the company's intuitive, easy-to-use products that have won hearts and earned premium pricing. Use consumer panels to evaluate the simplicity of your online banking process. And avoid overwhelming clients with too many options or too much information allow them to learn at their own speed.
4. Give the people what they want.
Technology elevates customer expectations. With each new convenience, consumers demand an even higher level of service. But while upper-income, better-educated customers tend to be the biggest users of mobile services, they are among the least satisfied. Instituting a monthly customer satisfaction survey will identify potential problems.
5. Don't make technology your bank's biggest selling point.
Consumers increasingly expect mobile banking services, smartly executed remote check deposits and fast bill payments. But as these services become the status quo, they're less and less likely to be impressed by them.
Rather than trumpet features that customers likely regard as commodity services, banks should emphasize their problem-solving capabilities and skilled professionals. This will burnish the bank's brand and reduce customer defections.
Finally, it's worth noting that mobile banking's growth may be tapering off. A 2015 Federal Reserve study reveals that mobile penetration has flat-lined in the last two years. Customers who have mobile banking are using it more frequently, but fewer new customers are signing up. This means that unless your target base is millennials, you shouldn't put all your marketing eggs in the mobile banking basket.