Student banking is an important aspect of banks and students because it provides a suite of financial, educational and social engagement services that collectively help students to better understand banking and how to smartly interact with finances. In this regard, FNB should attract, acquire, satisfy and retain students because they represent future profitability if successful relationships are created. However for this to be done, the bank needs to successfully market itself to this target segment by giving them reasons to bank with FNB, offer incentives to students and offering value added benefits that best satisfies the students’ needs. It is imperative that FNB create a sense of trust and commitment by tailoring products and services that are affordable, more customer focused; that help develop the next generation by giving them much needed financial skills. Trust may stimulate students to try new or available products and services thereby being loyal and growing together with the bank if satisfied. This helps to build a relationship between FNB and students.
A successful relationship between students and FNB is important in the migration of the target market from their life start accounts to other accounts after completion of tertiary education and joining the corporate world.
Further, timing and communication channels, as well as core value-chain aspects will be discussed. The strategy will also focus on the importance of service delivery, securing of customer focus, and building customer relationships.
Timing and communication channels
As markets expand and competition and communication channels increase, FNB will need to be able to keep track of current market trends and developments.
FNB can use various direct communication tools and can map their current channel partners. With this knowledge they can identify the 'rising stars', i.e. the students as well as their general market and allow these markets to approach them pro-actively.
Lead Generation is not a new part of the process, but it has a new approach. With FNB’s data knowledge and direct communication tools they will be able to select the most effective way of expanding this student target group. Conversion rates on leads have a higher conversion success rate than cold contacts because the prospect is pre-qualified, before you ever receive the lead (Linea-directa solutions, n.d.).
FNB should train and motivate their sales team, and provide them with intelligent tools that will make the process easier, and these teams should have constant support from top management. They should assist and guide their sales team at every stage of the sales process from profiling and qualifying the leads to closing the deals; from invitations to events, to developing and maintaining the customer relationship.
Precise targeting will enable them to find their most positive leads and the best customers for upsell and cross-sell. With detailed reporting and improved market insight FNB can continuously improve their products and services to suit the needs of the student market. This data will not only support sales but it will also build the size and quality of their database.
FNB can also acquire smaller banks to increase their general market share, and they could also have that acquisition specifically aimed and directed to handle the student market.
It’s definately more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. This is why appropriate investment in FNB’s existing clients is so crucial, so that they can hold onto their current clients and build new ones at the same time, allowing their business to continually expand (Linea-directa solutions, n.d.). If they keep existing clients happy and satisfied, positive word-of-mouth will flow attracting new customers.
FNB’s communication programs should be aimed at getting maximum response through different communication channels, such as postal, web, email,...