Tag: competition

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Banking

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Banking

Like every other industry, the banking industry is figuring out how best to navigate the global COVID-19 pandemic. A customer’s relationship with their bank is especially personal — it is, after all, where they keep their money. And that intimacy presents unique challenges when it comes to communicating with them. The economic issues triggered by the spread of COVID-19 require banks to give careful thought to how they’re reaching out to customers and offering to help.

This week, we’re reviewing content produced by the banking industry to identify the work we think is most effectively connecting with customers. Our friends at Corporate Insight track communications, products, and the overall customer experience offered by leading companies in a variety of industries. The Imprint team has leveraged their research, along with our own, to evaluate COVID-19 communications in the banking industry against these four criteria:

  • Client-centricity: Are brands putting their audiences’ needs at the center of their content—or talking about themselves?
  • Tone: How are brands speaking to their audiences?
  • Formats: How are they packaging their content? Video, long form, visual storytelling?
  • Differentiation: Do brands’ communications stand out from competitors’?

Here’s what stood out to us this week. Click HERE for last week’s roundup of the insurance and annuities industry.

Deep resources from an industry leader

Bank of America’s COVID-19 website takes advantage of the bank’s institutional heft to deliver a wide variety of smart content that directly addresses clients’ most pressing issues and educates without overwhelming.

  • The site leads with a link to its Client Assistance Program, which was expanded in March to support consumer and small-business clients affected by the pandemic. The program gives customers a direct way to reach out for help dealing with issues such as payment deferrals and recouping late fees.
  • The CAP site immediately allays likely customer concerns, announcing front and center that payment deferral won’t trigger negative credit bureau reporting, and that the bank has paused foreclosure sales, evictions and repossessions.
  • Content is varied, and includes articles, video explainers and podcasts from Bank of America leaders.
  • The site goes beyond banking, linking to outside sources. For instance, parents homeschooling their kids can access lesson plans from Khan Academy.

Few banks have the resources to build such a comprehensive reservoir of content geared toward customers dealing with the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this is the type of crisis response one would expect from an industry heavyweight like Bank of America.

 

Coronavirus: Latest Updates from Bank of America (Bank of America)

We’re all in this together

It can be tough to make a meaningful connection with customers when communicating about dry topics like loan deferrals and interest rates. The best bank communications these days break through with a collaborative and empathetic approach.

Take Chase:

  • Chase’s COVID-19 website gets personal right from the start—and that’s good. CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett’s open letter begins, “As a mother, daughter and banking executive, COVID-19 has affected every part of my life.”
  • The effect isn’t cloying; it feels real and vulnerable, and sets the tone for the rest of Chase’s messaging.
  • The site’s other content sticks with that personal and human tone, even while delivering humdrum how-tos for tasks like mobile check deposits and handling billing disputes for cancelled travel.
Chase Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources (Chase)

News you can really use

Clients don’t want to wade through pages of content to figure out how to defer a car payment or fight an overdraft fee. Ally Bank’s communications put the client’s needs first:

  • The bank’s online COVID-19 response delivers easy-to-find answers to clients’ urgent questions, like how to defer this month’s auto or mortgage payments.
  • Direct communications to clients via email offer short and clear explanations of new policies such as waiving overdraft fees.
Coronavirus Response (Ally Bank)

TD Bank executes a nifty client-centric content feat, delivering a thoughtful explainer about how the Fed’s recent rate cuts affect individual clients.

  • The tricky subject is handled in plain language.
  • The content is broken up in scannable chunks so readers can easily focus on what’s relevant to them, including topics such as credit card interest and student loan debt.
  • Bonus points for giving COVID-19 a supporting (rather than starring) role here: The piece pivots quickly from explaining the connection between the pandemic and the Fed’s rate cuts to what a 0% federal funds rate means to the average reader.
What the Federal Reserve Interest Rate Cuts Mean for You and Your Family (TD Bank)

Truist has the added complexity of communicating to two banks’ worth of clients. The company is the product of last year’s merger between BB&T and SunTrust, and its content needs to relay different information to each group of legacy clients. It pulls off this trick neatly, focusing its COVID-19 information on making sure each type of client gets to the right place. Well done for any company, but especially one that hasn’t yet hit its six-month birthday.

COVID-19 Help Center (Truist Bank)

 

Let us know what you think and please share pieces that you think apply best practices. You can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here are links to the coronavirus microsites or information pages for each company featured above:

Chase

Ally

Truist

Bank of America

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Insurance / Annuities

COVID-19 Content Best Practices: Insurance / Annuities

Companies across economy sectors are scrambling to provide helpful content centered around the ongoing pandemic –– financial services and healthcare firms included. Each week we’re reviewing the content in one industry, highlighting the work we think is rising to the top.

Our friends at Corporate Insight track communications, products, and the overall customer experience offered by leading companies in these industries. Our team has leveraged their research, along with our own, to evaluate COVID-19 communications against these four criteria:

  • Client-centricity: Are brands putting their audiences’ needs at the center of their content—or talking about themselves?
  • Tone: How are brands speaking to their audiences?
  • Formats: How are they packaging their content? Video, long form, visual storytelling?
  • Differentiation: Do brands’ communications stand out from their competitors’?

This week, we’re diving into insurance and annuities companies. [We’ll add links to the others as we add them.] Here’s what stood out to us from this week’s collection of content.

What’s in it for me?

It must be tempting for insurance companies to remind people how good coverage can offer certainty through uncertain times. But the most effective content we’ve seen is less product-centric and more client-centric.

Take Nationwide:

  • Nationwide is offering helpful messages that are subtly related to insurance and especially relevant now. For example, an engaging infographic offers sheltered-at-home readers tips on making their homes safer. Tasks like cleaning out dryer vents can give restless adults something to do and may result in fewer insurance payouts for Nationwide. We’d call that a win-win.
  • The company is addressing its retirement plan participants directly, walking them through the specific fees and penalties waived as part of the CARES Act.
Check and Protect Your Home (Nationwide)

Connecting on a human level

We like the decidedly human approach annuity provider TIAA is taking in its communications with clients during these challenging times. (Full disclosure: TIAA is a past Imprint client.)

  • TIAA’s coronavirus content pairs a warm tone with practical advice geared to its clients.
  • It’s offering both highlights of government stimulus as well as relief packages and deeper dives into these topics.
  • TIAA is also providing investment-related content—served up in a range of formats, from articles to webinars—about smart ways to navigate difficult markets.

The result is a clear emphasis on the client’s well-being both now and in the future.

CARES Act Summary (TIAA)

We’ve been here before…

Few companies can say they were around during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Insurance company New York Life can—the company turns 175 this year. A recent open letter from CEO Ted Mathas made it clear to audiences that New York Life has helped clients through the 1918 flu pandemic as well as two world wars, the Great Depression and recessions big and small. We like how the company’s communications lean into its nearly two-century history of stability, which immediately differentiates New York Life from many of its peers.

Then there’s the breadth and depth of the company’s coronavirus communications, which includes:

  • Mathas’ letter as the cornerstone
  • Practical FAQs
  • Articles offering tips to quarantined families
  • Strategy pieces that ever-so-gently push New York Life’s suite of insurance products.

The takeaway: New York Life has you covered this time around, too.

COVID-19 Resource Center (New York Life)

Delivering on the Good Neighbor promise

State Farm has taken advantage of a host of formats for its coronavirus-related content, including:

  • Quick-hit videos
  • Bite-sized infographics
  • Social media content, all geared toward the current environment.

We like the variety, but the real draw is State Farm’s empathetic tone. Its opening message to readers of its coronavirus page acknowledges that clients may be running into financial issues, and says that its agents are there to help—whether that means assisting in filing a claim or discusings payment options. Like a good neighbor, indeed.

COVID-19 Resource Center (State Farm)

A simpler approach

You don’t need dozens of pages of unique content to get your message to clients. Case in point is insurer Progressive, which greets mobile app users with a simple popup letting clients know they’re here to help. The message directs clients to a splash page that is sparse but effective. An economy of words clearly conveys what readers need to know about important issues such as Progressive’s coverage assistance and billing leniency.

 

COVID-19 Mobile App Pop-up (Progressive)

 

Let us know what you think and please share pieces that you think apply best practices. You can email us at imprint@imprintcontent.com.

Here are links to the coronavirus microsites or information pages for each company featured above:

New York Life

State Farm

Progressive

TIAA

Nationwide

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