The Quantifiable Impact of Relay for Financial Services

Apr 22, 2022

Central to their customer engagement strategies, financial services organizations have traditionally relied on outreach mechanisms such as email, direct mail, and omnichannel initiatives that include mobile apps and web portals to engage with their customers. These tools have proven effective in driving basic transactions, but the reality is customers today want to engage with relevant experiences that also benefit them, not just the bank.

As customer expectations for digital experiences continue to increase, credit unions, banks and other financial services organizations have had to pivot their digital channel strategy to connect with and engage customers today in ways that drive outcomes like activations, revenue, and lifetime value.

And with the rise of neobanks and other fintechs, these more traditional financial services organizations have accelerated the development and investment in digital tools to stave off competition and differentiate themselves from an otherwise commoditized space. But, how have those investments fared in creating relationships with customers and driving important outcomes for both the customer and the business?

At Relay, our mission is to help our clients solve the engagement challenge using our solution, the Relay Feed. A dedicated, 1:1 channel, the Feed combines the power of social feeds with the information most important to businesses and their customers and enables a one-to-one connection that drives more meaningful engagement of the right type at a faster rate between customers and the businesses with whom they interact.

To better understand the quantifiable impact and value that meaningful customer engagement using Relay brings to a financial services organization, we commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ study of Relay. Forrester consultants interviewed Relay clients to assess the impact that our solution has had for them over a three-year period.

Through these interviews, Forrester aggregated the experiences and combined them into one composite study that resulted in four quantifiable benefits from their programs that could be attributed to Relay. These benefits were tied to onboarding, ongoing engagement, re-engagement, and elimination of direct mail. Most notably, though, over that three-year period, the composite organization that uses Relay achieved:

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One interviewed financial services company also realized eight-digit incremental revenue gain.

While each organization’s individual outcomes differ based on the use case(s) they deploy and the investment they make to use Relay, the overall results shared here by the interviewed clients demonstrate the significant impact that they saw as a result of their customer engagement initiatives using Relay.


Onboarding

New customer onboarding can be time intensive and complex. Customers want things to be seamless and easy, so at the first moment of friction, fall off is inevitable. Using other methods, interviewed clients struggled to pull customers through the completion of the onboarding process.

To solve this challenge, they used the Relay Feed to revamp their customer onboarding by delivering important educational and next step experiences to expedite and simplify the onboarding process. Through this initiative, one interviewed financial services organization saw:


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Ongoing Engagement

Sustained engagement with customers is important to an engagement strategy for many reasons – driving customer loyalty and satisfaction, influencing customer behavior, enabling the completion of important transactions, among many other things. But ongoing customer engagement can be a challenge for many organizations with the myriad of tools they are using to engage with customers.

Through the Relay Feed, interviewed clients saw persistent engagement with customers who were regularly engaging on the channel. The Head of Credit Card at a Financial Services firm said, “Relay is a tremendously powerful platform. I think when you can enable it with the right data and create these one-to-one experiences, I haven't seen a more powerful platform to get complicated communications across to customers and keep them engaged.” By delivering contextually relevant and timely experiences on the Relay Feed, the same interviewed organization saw:

5% to 10% increase in spend per active account 
800 basis point uptick in digital adoption


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Re-engagement

While it is important to understand the impact of engagement, banks must also consider how disengagement might be affecting their brand. If a customer becomes disengaged, how can banks re-engage them more meaningfully to build the kind of trust and loyalty that in turn enables long-term benefits for - and relationships with - the bank?

One of the main goals at Relay is to help our clients use the Feed to effectively re-engage their disengaged populations. One interviewed head of credit card at a financial services company said their organization was using Relay to “deliver messages designed to drive customers to reactivate” and through that initiative, they saw a reduction in disengagement. Through the introduction of the Relay Feed, interviewed clients were able to attract back their existing, but disengaged customers and saw:

27% re-engagement of dormant customers via Relay


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Elimination of Direct Mail

As noted previously, traditional outreach methods, including direct mail, were primary ways in which banks were reaching out to engage with customers. But with the increase in digitalization, this method has become antiquated and rather costly. Plus, customers today are more likely to discard mailers, especially if they do not have personal relevance to them. One interviewed head of credit card at a financial services company noted, “What Relay gives us is a more dedicated channel where we can get better resonance and hit better rates with our customers than we have seen with an email platform or certainly anything in direct mail.” Through the transition to Relay from direct mail communications, interviewed clients saw:

Up to 20% decrease in direct mail


While these benefits represent some of the quantifiable results from using Relay, there were many other anecdotal benefits that the interviewed clients shared from their experiences. These included increased customer satisfaction and faster speed-to-market than other channels for especially timely communications. By centralizing engagement efforts on an effective channel like the Relay Feed, these interviewed clients have seen distinct improvements in overall customer engagement and satisfaction while also achieving outcomes that are important and relevant to their business.

To learn more about the impact that Relay can have on your organization, download the full study here. You can also tune into our webinar featuring Forrester that dives deeper into the findings from the study here.