S-Bank uses data for storytelling

Operating at S- Group retail locations, online and in mobile format, S-Bank deals with large groups as well as small and personalised target groups. The aim is to communicate with each customer group individually and via multiple channels using the SAS campaign management tool.  Along with traditional advertising messages, S-Bank approaches customers with tailored content that offers, for example, tips for the different life situations of each customer.

S-Bank’s Head of Digital Customer Experience Saija Lindfors started working for Finland’s newest bank operator three years ago. Lindfors and her team have used data and marketing automation to build customer management models that are based on taking a customer’s individual needs and situation into consideration.

“We’ve identified different customer profiles and created a customer management model for each of them. We run an increasing number of campaigns aimed at smaller target groups, and they are clearly more effective than mass marketing,” says Lindfors.

S-Bank uses the SAS campaign management tool, which utilises management models to automate customer selection, analyse behaviour and tailor campaigns.

“The tool had already been acquired when I came to the company, but it hadn’t been fully utilised yet. This is a very robust tool, and I believe that we can get even more out of it in the future by learning more about its new features,” suggests Lindfors.

The tool had already been acquired when I came to the company, but it hadn’t been fully utilised yet. This is a very robust tool, and I believe that we could get even more out of it in the future by learning more about its new features.
Saija Lindfors, S-Bank

Saija Lindfors
Head of Digital Customer Experience at S-Pankki

 

Service rather than a hard sell

S-Bank approaches its customers in many ways: e-mails, SMS messages, phone calls and even in person. Targeted communication requires identification of the customer and this is why social media is not used. As a bank operator, S-Bank’s activities are strictly regulated and of course the company is particularly careful when handling customer information. However, customer service is also available via Facebook.

“My advice to anyone who is automating their marketing communication for their customers is to bring in legal and data security people right away. This takes a lot of time and energy at the start, but getting things right immediately can help avoid many problems later on,” encourages Lindfors.

S-Bank currently has nearly three million customers. This includes all S-Etukortti cardholders, because Bonus is paid into an S-Bank account.

“We have a large number of customers, and this is why one of our goals is to grow and develop our customer relationships. We approach our customers with advice and instructions. In many cases, our customers start by monitoring the accumulation of Bonus, move on to opening a joint family food account and eventually transfer their salary transactions and possible loans to us,” explains Lindfors.

 

We want the customer to find these stories beneficial and, in the best case, use them to make choices and decisions. We can only succeed in this by listening to the data and monitoring customer reactions.

Using stories to grow customer relationships

The SAS campaign management tool has allowed S-Bank to communicate with its customers at the right time and with the right message. Using the tool and data ensures, for example, that S-Bank can avoid sending a message about loans to a customer who for some reason could not receive one. This improves the customer experience by not activating customers unnecessarily.

“We want to be on the customer’s mind when he or she notices different needs. For example, campaign management allows our customer service people to ask whether they could help with online bank codes and check whether a customer has all the information needed to check their back accounts. In some cases, a lot of Bonus has accumulated in an account, but the customer may not have checked the balance for a while,” says Lindfors with a smile.

“We try to approach customers via storytelling, and along the way we offer them some pleasant surprises and new information in small packages.  We want the customer to find these stories beneficial and, in the best case, use them to make choices and decisions. We can only succeed in this by listening to the data and monitoring customer reactions,” says Lindfors and continues: "In practice, tailoring means that S-Bank may have 13 different versions of a single message."

“Digitalisation has brought the banking sector to the threshold of major change, and the automation of various tasks is also seen as a way to improve competitiveness and efficiency in Finland. Our main target is to provide our customers with better service. If we can do this with algorithms or robotics, we will certainly make use all available methods,” outlines Lindfors.

 

 

S-Pankki logo

Challenge

S-Bank wants to communicate with its customers at the right time and with the right message. “We try to approach customers through storytelling, and along the way we offer them some pleasant surprises and new information in small packages. We want the customer to find these stories beneficial and, in the best case, use them to make choices and decisions.”

Solution

S-Bank uses the SAS campaign management tool, which utilises management models to automate customer selection, analyse behaviour and tailor campaigns.

Benefits

S-Bank has used marketing automation to build customer management models that are based on taking a customer’s individual needs and situation into consideration. Using the tool and data allows S-Bank to target its messages better and for example, avoid sending messages about loans to a customer who for some reason could not receive one.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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