Citizens Financial Group uses branch interactions for data: Forrester Customer Experience Forum

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Citizens Financial Group uses its in-branch customer experiences to bolster its database marketing, said Nick Primola, SVP and director of direct marketing at the financial company, on June 21 at Forrester Research's Customer Experience Forum 2011.

Primola said that the financial crisis of 2008 forced the company to reimagine its frontline interactions because “consumers were looking for brands they could trust” and wanted those brands to personalize the customer experience. He added that in-branch interactions are the place where “the customer is actually telling you what you need to know about him.”

"They're essentially doing the job that I used to do [as a database marketer] for me. They're developing their own contact strategy,” he said. “This natural conversation they're having with a banker is going to drive how I talk to them as a direct marketer down the road.”

Face-to-face interactions also allow Citizens Financial Group's marketing department to measure consumers' "attitudes towards banking," segment them according to that information, and tailor its messaging accordingly, said Primola. Attitudinal segmentation “really comes into play as we communicate out in our direct marketing communications,” he said.

In-branch conversations help the financial company refocus its messaging with more agility because they are a regular check-up on consumers, said Primola. He added that the company can use these interactions to update a consumer's profile, as well as the data points that trigger specific messages.

“We essentially added dimensions to [the company's database marketing program] that allow us to be more successful and bring it all together around a customer experience that enhances over time through each interaction, whether we're pushing out to the customer or they're feeding into us through physical conversation,” he said.

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