Bringing the human touch back to banking.

De Volksbank gives customers a personal banking experience by focusing on personalised customer journeys

Company Logo

Established

1817

Employees: 3,000
Utrecht, Netherlands

https://www.devolksbank.nl/

Partner: Deloitte Digital

13 point

increase in Net Promoter Score

Objectives

Use digital experience tools to build long-lasting customer relationships

Segment and connect with customers at different stages of their journey

Better understanding and more control over data insights

Results

Boosted customer satisfaction with NPS scores up from -7 to +6

Increased the number of appointments to meet with a mortgage agent by 14%

Increased email conversion rates by 7 times

From transaction to relationship: The digital transformation of De Volksbank

The banking sector has undergone more disruption and change in the past few years than any other time. Fast-moving fintechs and online retail banks mean transactions are more of a commodity than ever. Anyone with access to a solid working platform can enter the market and personal banking relationships are often sacrificed for commercial gain.

De Volksbank is driven by the goal of being a truly customer-centric, personal-touch brand. Even though around 95% of its client interactions are digital, the Dutch bank doesn’t treat its customers as transactions. They’re real people who crave a relationship with their bank built around surety and stability.


“Adobe Experience Cloud has unified all our channels so we can provide a consistent and personalised customer journey across all our touchpoints."

 

Eric Derksen
DMP Manager, De Volksbank


Retaining the human touch in a digital world

Through its own research, De Volksbank realised that, despite the digital nature of its touchpoints, customers still wanted real-person contact in an increasingly transactional world.

So, the bank embarked on a journey with the end goal of translating every single digital experience into something authentic and personal.

Armed with Adobe AnalyticsAdobe TargetAdobe CampaignAdobe Audience Manager and with guidance from Adobe Consulting Services, De Volksbank has transformed previously fragmented offerings that spanned multiple brands and channels, into consistent and contextual experiences underpinned by centralised data and processing.

“Our aim is to add a human touch or connection to every single customer interaction and make banking seamless and personal, which can be a challenge when much of our contact is online and spread across so many channels,” says Eric Derksen, DMP Manager, at De Volksbank. “Adobe Experience Cloud has unified all our channels so we can provide a consistent and personalised customer journey across all our touchpoints.”

 

Understanding customers is key to delivering personal experiences

De Volksbank consists of four separate banks – SNS, ASN Bank, BLG Wonen and RegioBank – each with its own distinct service and product offering and relating marketing teams. Because of this, De Volksbank was struggling to understand which specific services its customers were interested in pursuing.

A specific example discovered through its own research; the bank learnt its customers felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information on SNS’s mortgages landing page. To remedy this, De Volksbank wanted to be more consistent and contextual in its interactions with customers and began by refining customer journeys for SNS mortgages.

De Volksbank partnered with Deloitte Digital and Adobe Consulting Services to identify the customer journeys that the bank’s mortgage customers were taking using data insights and started to identify and align targetable customer segments around those journeys in Adobe Audience Manager.

Now, through Adobe Analytics, the bank can see who is browsing which web pages, how long they’re spending on each specific page and whether they’re visiting De Volksbank’s other sites; including ASN Bank, BLG Wonen, RegioBank and SNS – each of which possesses its own distinct product and service offering.

“Using data insights on our own customers combined with third-party data around mortgage searches, website visitors are now guided effortlessly to relevant key conversion moments, such as calculating mortgage costs or booking an appointment,” says Björn Kummeling, Product Owner, Retention Mortgage Customers, at De Volksbank. “After sharing this approach with our other banks, open rates on some mortgage email campaigns have increased to over 70%.”

The bank constantly tests and learns, pinpointing sections of its websites where bounce rates are high and making UX changes based on customer feedback and AB testing with Adobe Target. Such a determined focus on listening, reacting and engaging has also resulted in the bank’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) jumping from minus 7 to 6 for its mortgage customers.


Sharing learnings so everyone wins

Adobe Consulting Services is also helping De Volksbank transform from sending out ad hoc emails to communications that target specific points in the customer journey. For example, it has supported the bank in creating workflow templates in Adobe Campaign, ensuring every email aligns to an identified stage of the customer journey, including their actions and behaviour.

“We can track people browsing pages related to home and car insurance and see whether they’ve downloaded an insurance form and if they are an existing customer we then ping them an email with the insurance form attached,” said Eric. “Using this approach, we’ve seen email conversion rates increase by seven times.”

Because all of these digital tools are now centralised, these learnings and best practice insights are shared fluidly between the bank’s various brands, which means best marketing practice learnt from one bank can be easily applied by others.

Connecting solutions to better connect with customers

Adobe Consulting Services has been key to ensuring De Volksbank understands how its various digital tools can integrate and constantly talk to one another: conducting weekly, dedicated desk-side coaching to transfer its knowledge to the De Volksbank team, as well as helping the bank migrate its legacy customer marketing data from IBM Unica.

Continuing to derive value for its customers post-implementation is equally important for De Volksbank. Part of Adobe Consulting Services, Adobe’s Customer Success and Consulting teams joined forces to ensure De Volksbank optimises solution adoption success with access to other customers, best practices and skills enhancement through Adobe Experience League.

“Adobe Consulting and Customer Success teams have helped us to realise the value of our digital marketing investment,” says Björn. “The constant coaching and support has ensured each solution is contributing towards a more specific, targeted and personalised customer journey.”

Looking forward, De Volksbank is looking at how AI and machine learning technologies could make audience segments even more precise, making intelligent automated recommendations towards crafting an even more personalised customer journey


“The constant coaching and support has ensured each solution is contributing towards a more specific, targeted and personalised customer journey.”

 

Björn Kummeling
Product Owner, Retention Mortgage Customers, De Volksbank


 

De Volksbank wants to be present for its customers during their whole lifecycle, from daily finance activity through to life event decisions. Yet it also understands that a balance needs to be struck between personalisation and customer privacy. A staunch proponent of using customer data ethically, the bank will not sell or share customer data. It understands this may inhibit personalised experiences, but to De Volksbank, the trust of its customers outweighs compromising data privacy.

Digital has made banking easier than ever, but often at the cost of losing the personal assurance customers desperately need when making financial decisions. By making every single digital interaction as personal, relevant and authentic as possible, De Volksbank is retaining the human approach that its customers have been trusting for over two centuries and will continue to trust for years to come.

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