Scanning through the digital status of the players in the banking sector of Ghana, in a recent analysis done by the Ghana Digital Index, a private research platform, I stumbled on what I called “Numbers don’t say it all”. According to the analysis, Beige Group tops the rankings, followed by GCB and Fidelity Bank completes the 3 banks with the largest community online. Sadly this doesn’t translate to how they engage their customers online. GCB is second when you look at the numbers but comes in distant sixth position in engagement ratings. This article is meant to critically assess the Online Engagements of all the banks in Ghana.
Gone are the days when digital presence were defined by having a static website online.There was high level of contentment within various industries. Fast- forward to 8 years ago, digital presence was redefined. Today, you need to have a formidable social media presence,and all forms of online advertising are to be considered when it comes to creating a digital presence for your brand and it encompasses so much more than just a website. Follow up to this is what people are saying about your brand and deriving insight from the conversations. How many of these businesses today take their time to answer the question “what is being said about us online?”,If yes, do they put into consideration,how many people are saying what and why?
All this data matters as much as the survival of any business in the current digital world. Most of the players in the banking sector makes decision based on the limited data they are privy of when they have tons of data online going untracked daily. The world is at a stage where the need for companies “Banks” to track every sentence in which their name is mentioned for the purpose of deriving what Data scientists called “Outside Insight” which is very important to the survival of any business.
The evolution of the internet open a new Business-Customer relationship and provides a totally new engagement medium. However, it is lamentable that Businesses, especially Banks — where the pulse of the customer is more important than anything, because for anyone to entrust their money with an entity, the engagement channels in place must be top-notch and responsive at all time. The internet redefined individual engagement, surveys showed that the more engaging a business is online, the more the brand awareness grows. It’s becoming increasingly imperative to respond to this ‘hyper-connectivity’, or risk losing relevance to more digitally savvy competitors. The important word to note here, however, is relevancy. Relevance is key in two ways; brands need to stay relevant to their target market by building a digital presence, and they also need to ensure that the channels they live on are relevant to the brand. The Banks needs to accept the fact that the world have shifted away from mass markets and communication, and has moved towards more interconnected customer networks, just having a website isn’t enough anymore. Customers expect real-time interaction with brands, and they need to capitalise on the engagement that the variety of this digital touch points provide.
Some of the banks boasts of great followership in the online space than the actual customers banking with them because they have a very poor relationship with their customers online.The basic engagement I want with my bank would be either an inquiry or complain, and the jitter I will want for my response shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes,anything outside this bracket cannot be accepted. This highlights the hiatus between having the numbers and translating it to something meaningful for the company. The banks need to stop doing things the old way, they have to maximise the opportunity the internet affords them, synergising their existing customer relationship models with different online channel which can be used for responsive Bank-Customer engagement, competitor analysis and monitoring of their presence online.
With the constant and rapid advancement of technology in all industries,it is safe to say that online presence has begun to play an increasingly larger role in businesses, and it is vital that banks also look at their current digital presence, and adapt it to best suit where their company is going, and how to optimally engage with their target market. Beige Group is an example, with their aggressive online engagements, which is synonymous to their unprecedented brand awareness in less than 10 years.
Banks need to be aware that customers now have many digital channels available to them at any given moment, which means that there are a lot more avenues and opportunities than ever before for brands to engage with customers and build upon relationships and brand loyalty. And the reality is, even if you don’t have an official digital brand presence, your brand is being talked about online. Whether it’s positive or negative, any brand mention in a digital space means that you have a presence there. For example, GCB has more followers combined on major platforms compared to Barclays, but Barclays engage more with their customers online compared to GCB. This is to the advantage of Barclays because the brand awareness is indirectly growing.
The salient question here is does Barclays/GCB at any point monitor how they are performing overtime? Do they have enough data to measure customer satisfaction and model an up-to-date Business Intelligence? .
When you consider this fact, it’s hard to argue that your business doesn’t need to engage online, because the digital space gives the chance to aggregate data, analyse them, and derive insight at every point in time which is very essential in making decisions. This further leads to the fact that, Banks need more than having a Twitter account or Facebook page, they need to turn this medium to a full-channel engagement medium. This offers the banks to make data-driven decisions and also improves the relationship they exhibit with their customers. A great and effective online presence only means that the level of satisfaction among the customer base will be raised and could also translate to widening the customer base.
Have your say.
Click this Link to view the online strength of all the banks in Ghana. Does this figure correlates to their responsiveness and engagement online?