Does your insurer ever run special offers or incentive programmes, provide useful advice or launch new customer service initiatives? What do you mean you don’t know?
Can’t say I blame you, unless you’ve recently had to change or renew one of your insurance policies there’s no reason why you would have any idea. You’re probably like me, some who doesn’t spend their precious spare time checking their insurers’ websites or Facebook feeds to see what they’re up to. There are, after all, better things to do on the internet.
As a rule of thumb, this logic applies to the majority of the financial services industry. Even if customers are logging into their online banking, they’re doing it to check their balance or transfer money, not investigate their secure messages inbox in the hope of receiving some special banking offer.
The problem with emails and the financial services started years ago when savvy internet users learnt to ignore and delete any email correspondence from anyone purporting to be from a financial service provider. Chances were, of course, that these emails were fraudulent and highly likely to be phishing attacks aimed at getting hold of confidential details like passwords or bank account details. To make matters worse, back in the old days of spam and phishing messages, these emails weren’t even properly targeted, meaning that people would regularly receive messages from banks that they had no relationship with, making people hit that delete button even faster.
So far, so familiar right? Fast-forward to the present day, and financial services firms are beginning to admit defeat, they know that the clunky “secure messaging inboxes” don’t really work and it’s time to start properly engaging with customers via email.
And herein lies the problem. From digital natives to digital novices and even digital latecomers, we’ve all spend the last 10 years, if not more, avoiding email correspondence claiming to be from our “trusted financial services providers”. Even if messages don’t get marked as spam on the way into the inbox, we still assume they are fraudulent once they arrive. From PayPal to HSBC Bank of Ireland, all of these brands are being consistently tarred by phishing scam brush. Sure, they’re successful businesses, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they receive a daily, global reputation bashing that prevents them from running their business more efficiently and profitably.
Financial services firms have genuinely embraced the digital age — just look at internet and mobile banking. There have been a raft of services revolutionised in recent years, gone are the days of trekking out on your lunch break to your local bank branch. So why on earth have so many banks failed to address the email authenticity and deliverability issue that still plagues them across the entire web?