Accountholder Communications: Choosing the Right Channel at the Right Time, With Gregg Hammerman
There are many ways for financial institutions to communicate with their accountholders in the digital age. With so many options, it’s easy mistake quantity for quality. Effective communication is still a matter of listening mindfully to the people you serve and intelligently providing them with the information that’s pertinent to them. The only thing that’s changed is how that’s accomplished.
In this episode of The Digital Banking Podcast, host Josh DeTar welcomed Gregg Hammerman, the CEO of Larky. The two discussed the banking world and the challenges digital transformation has brought to financial institutions. They talked about sales as a service, how to communicate with customers in the right way, and how to choose a communication channel.
⚡ Listening to feedback is very helpful. According to Hammerman, the most beneficial thing you can do is listen to people who know more about a particular subject than you do. “We thought that what the world needed was X, and what the world actually needed was X plus three minus two or something; it’s a variation of X, and we only got there because people told us that,” said Hammerman. “We’re not a custom software shop, but we want to hear, ‘This is what would make life better because we don’t have all the answers.’ So my path has been listening to a lot of people who’ve had a lot of experiences and understanding how it can shape things that, I think, were good ideas, but now, they’re better.”
⚡ The shift from inbound to outbound customer service. In the pre-digital era, you received live service while shopping in a store, for example. Today, you receive notifications on your mobile. Customer service and customer interaction have gone digital. This has resulted in global shift from inbound to outbound communication. “There’s a Forrester research report that was saying that customer service used to be heavily based on people calling in, reaching out, walking to a store — and it was across different industries — and asking for help,” noted Hammerman. “Their prediction was that, by 2025, which is not too far down the road, outbound communication will surpass inbound. And it was the constructive outbound, ‘Hey, we see you’re doing this; this may be helpful to you.’ And there are a million different channels to do that.”
⚡ The importance of the right communication in the right way at the right time. Effective communication is more about quality than quantity. Reaching people in the right place and at the right time about something that is important in their lives is a huge benefit to them. According to Hammerman, it is crucial to understand when, where, why, and how communication is pertinent. “I got an email today; it was the car maintenance email from the place where I take my car, and it was, ‘Hey, you’ve probably driven the next 10,000 miles; it’s probably time for your next tune-up,’ where I’m used to the sticker on the windshield, and I’m supposed to do it,” he noted. “It was interesting that they are selling me something — I will admit that — but it’s also something I need. I would like my car to be healthy and to continue to move my family around. So, they’re not pushing something on me that I don’t want.”
Guest At A Glance
- Hammerman went to engineering school at the University of Michigan and earned a bachelor’s degree in materials science engineering. That’s when he caught the entrepreneurial bug. He co-founded an online technical information company that was sold to a Fortune 500 company and has four years of experience with an early-stage electronic medical records company. He is also a co-founder of Larky.