Table of contents
Every business - including lending - begins with acquiring customers. It’s a continuous process that’s critical to success, and thanks to ever increasing costs of inorganic growth, it’s now tougher than ever to jostle for a potential customer’s attention and make them stay in your funnel.
The spread of social networks coupled with the boom in FinTech has presented consumers with a plethora of options to choose from, and they’re becoming increasingly discerning of product performance and customer experience.
So, what makes them choose one financial provider over another that offers similar products?
In 2022, a customer acquisition strategy can’t simply be built around product features. It must align with consumer needs, values, and ethics. This is especially critical considering:
“The supply and demand for financial products and services is complex, given that there is a great asymmetry between the parties (Weaver, 2020). This asymmetry is based mainly on the very nature of financial products, consumers’ lack of knowledge, and their limited understanding of the contracts that bind them to companies. The technological aspect of fintech firms adds a degree of difficulty that exacerbates the unequal relationship between businesses and their customers”
- From ‘Innovation, Ethics, and Consumer Protection: The Context of Fintech Gamification in Quebec’
How to ensure ethical and people-first customer acquisition
Make the terms of engagement clear
As mentioned above, the relationship between a FinTech and a potential customer is unequal - with the latter often unaware of the intricacies of financial products. As a financial provider, it’s therefore on you to make all the information clear and easily available. So, if you’re making a claim, lay out the disclaimers when applicable. E.g. Are you offering an interest-free loan? Mention the eligibility criteria, be it a particular credit score range or loan term.
Secondly, opting for a financial product usually means that customers need to share their data with the FinTech - and research shows that 76% of respondents were unaware of FinTechs’ ability to sell personal data to other parties for marketing, research, and other purposes. Users thus must be informed of how their data will be stored and used - before the purchase is made.
In short, transparency right from the get-go ensures that customers, once converted, aren’t in for any rude shocks.
Don't resort to fear-mongering
Sell based on aspirations, not fear. Don’t bait people into credit they don’t need by creating a false sense of panic. For example, don’t sell your student loan by telling your audience they’re doomed without an education abroad. Instead, tell them what they stand to gain through an international education. Positive messaging like this demonstrates that you’re rooting for your customers’ financial wellbeing, not preying on their insecurities.
This one’s pretty simple. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. For example, advertising an ‘instant’ loan only to have customers jump through hoops to complete their applications. When the experience doesn’t match up what was promised, it results in preventable drop-offs. Instead, set expectations at the outset (e.g. ‘Get a personal loan in X steps’) to ensure customers know exactly what they’re getting into.
Maintain a relationship post-drop off
So you almost had the customer - but they dropped off mid way. What do you do now? Don’t spam them with notifications. Instead, understand what went wrong - were the customer’s needs fulfilled already, or were they looking for something else altogether? Did your messaging lead them astray? Figure it out and take corrective steps, instead of pushing the same product with cashbacks and offers for the sake of a conversion.
Empathy isn’t something that’s to be demonstrated only once you have the customer. It’s essential even when you're attempting to acquire the customer. It sets the tone for the rest of the relationship, and establishes your brand as one that consumers can trust with their hard-earned cash.