If expanding your services to the small- to midsize-business niche is on your horizon, you’re in good company: 65% of CEOs surveyed in Jack Henry’s 2023 Strategic Priorities Benchmark Study said they plan to expand SBM services in the coming years.
In the same study, improving the accountholder experience ranked lower, with only 34% of CEOs planning strategic initiatives. And yet, to be successful in expanding services to the SMB audience, banks and credit unions need to consider the experience – not just the technologies being offered.
While often grouped together as an audience, SMBs include a diverse collection of businesses with varying needs and levels of financial acumen.
As you consider expanding your SMB services, a good first step is to analyze your existing base of business accountholders and the market you intend to penetrate more deeply.
After you’ve finished analyzing your current and target business niche markets, it’s time to step into their shoes.
Celent asserts that delivering efficient journeys means using an accountholder-centric lens and focusing on workflows (aka “jobs to be done”) across the financial supply chain, including and beyond traditional banking.
In their Technology Trends Previsory Corporate Banking 2024 Edition, Celent states that once you understand the financial jobs your business accountholders need to accomplish, you can start designing an experience that facilitates the completion of those jobs.
Consider key touchpoints and needs in the lifecycle of their business and take time to map the ideal experience. You may already have the necessary tools and products, or you may discover gaps in common interactions like:
This may mean integrating third-party business service providers into your digital banking experience (like Autobooks is integrated into the Banno Digital Platform™), utilizing financial data to deliver alerts and actionable insights to facilitate financial management, linking your loan origination platform to your digital experience, or moving from a multiple loan origination systems for personal and commercial needs to a unified LOS.
While it takes time to map journeys and address gaps, the delivery of your SMB strategy will be stronger and more effective for the delay.
Celent continues on to note that a more digital onboarding experience not only decreases time to revenue but can also drive adoption of digital channels from day one.
Banks and credit unions that are intentional about this process can develop stronger, deeper relationships that stand the test of time.
If your digital platform for SMBs utilizes an interface that’s similar to that of your retail platform, your SMB accountholders will enjoy a smooth transition. Especially when you take time to use in-app messaging or a targeted email campaign to introduce them to the new features and functionality that they need as a business owner.
Ensure your business accountholders understand how to use digital communication tools like Conversations for Business to get in touch with your organization and to decrease the risk of business email compromise by taking approvals for higher-risk transactions out of the email channel and into the authenticated app.
Take the time to explain how to add users, where to find newer tools like invoicing or payment acceptance, and how to generate actionable reports and insights about their financial position. If you’ve created links to your digital loan application system, point out where it can be found so you’re top of mind when the timing is right.
In short, remember that onboarding is not just a consumer function. It applies to your business accountholders as well.
The right set of business banking tools is key to developing a successful business accountholder experience and SMB strategy. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success with the banking technology you need:
Your business accountholders – and your bottom line – will thank you for it.
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