Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 8 months ago

123) #ClarityCalls: How to Build a Customer-Driven Community


How do you build a community of your customers from whom you can gain key insights about your financial brand? 

What obstacles stand in the way?

In today’s Clarity Calls episode, Erin Caldwell , Director of Client Voice at MX , and I dive into these questions to find out how to make Erin’s customer-driven community the best it can be.

In this episode, we discuss:

Erin’s customer-driven community

Ensuring the sturdiness of a community built of competitors

The four C’s of community

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts , on Spotify , or here .

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

Aaron asked how can I get banks and credit needs to engage in a community designed to help them maximize the value of their data to drive impactful money experiences and how should I navigate concerns about competition being in the same space? Well these are both great questions erin and I look forward to answering them together with you on today's episode of Banking on Digital Growth, you're listening to banking on digital growth with James robert ley, A podcast that empowers financial brand marketing sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the clarity calls series where James roberts sits down for a conversation with someone in the digital growth community to provide clarity into the biggest digital marketing sales and leadership questions others have. If you'd like to join James robert for a future conversation texture question right now to 83 to 54957 and 92. And remember the only bad question is the question that goes unasked, let's get into today's clarity calls conversation greetings and hello I am James robert, ley and welcome to the 123rd episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the brand new clarity call series and I'm excited to welcome Aaron caldwell to the show. Aaron is the director of client voice at MX and according to her linkedin profile, she is always happy to meet up over a cup of coffee, to nerd out on Fintech, on client experience and on just making the world a better place, which is in fact what I'm hoping that we are going to do together for you, The dear listener today, welcome to the show, Aaron, hey James robert, it's wonderful to be here, thank you for having me. So before we get into your questions, which are really good, really important and I think one that the dear listener can learn a lot from what is going well for you, what is positive right now, you just shared some really, really good news. Yeah, so just yesterday I had my client community manager start and enjoying my team and wanted to initiate a client community for probably three or four years now, I just haven't had the resources to do it and things are now really see starting to get get well aligned. So we've got alignment with the team, I've got the resources on my team we're working with are different stakeholders around the organization to scope are different needs and get things priority prioritized. We're finally starting to really get some momentum on this thing and I think that's important. You've found a who it's so easy when starting a new project, a new initiative to wonder and worry about how are we going to do this, How am I going to do this? And I had a dan Sullivan on the podcast earlier who wrote a great book with dr Benjamin hardy called Who? Not how and it's a mindset shift to think who do I need to find to align myself with because my who then becomes the answer to my how and that's exactly what we're gonna be talking about today. You recently shared a question about community, how can banks, how can credit unions engage in a community designed to help them to maximize the value of data, to drive impactful money experiences? And and for you personally, how should you navigate concerns about competition being in the same space, which I think is really important, and finally, what must I absolutely do to make it a valuable community for all? So can we get some context here into what I would say? What's the goal that we're working towards when it comes to building community? Because community is something that you're doing at Mx, you're looking to do at Mx but at the same time as a bank or credit and...

...listening, you can deploy these insights to build digital community as well, which is a key part of the digital growth experience. And so for you, when you think about community, what's the goal of growth that you're working towards? Imagine? We're having this conversation, let's say, it's three years from now, you're in a really good place, your community is in a really good place, what has to happen between now until then for you to feel good about that progress, leap ahead in your mind and look backwards to this conversation today, You know, that's such a great question. There are some internal goals that initiated my desire to create a client community. One of the first challenge is that kind of sparked this idea for me was ideation and being able to source and organize our customers product feedback word or enhancement requests. And me and Nate Gardner, our chief customer officer had gone on a walk one day and we were just walking around the office chatting about how can we, how can we better organize this feedback? Because we get requests all the time. And there's really not a good way of collecting, organizing, prioritizing those. And so in some ways it feels sometimes like it falls on deaf ears unless it's a request. That's something we're already planning on doing. And so we had this idea of, well, wouldn't it be cool if we could have clients submit an idea and then see other people's ideas and like up vote them or comment on them? And so that's one of the first use cases that I'm interested in with this community is giving a space for our customers to share their product suggestions and to see what other people have suggested, add their own context into. Yeah, that would be really helpful for me in my use case in these ways or this is how that would impact my business to be able to up vote those. So we can say, all right, well, when a certain requests hits a certain threshold of up votes, then it works its way into some process of being vetted and scoped and decided on. So that's one thing that I'm hoping we can really get some good traction around. And the second piece is the discussion space of a community. You know, just yesterday I have an interview transcript shared with me from one of my team members who had done the jobs to be done interview with one of our clients. And as a part of that conversation, he specifically said, man, I really wish you guys had a client community where I could just reach out to some of your other customers and ask how they've solved this problem because he he's working through integrating with our A. P. I had kind of a niche question about you know, how to handle a particular situation and our support team is as wonderful as they already said that they were, you know, they were so helpful and and really wanted to provide a good answer but they didn't fully understand the context of what he was trying to accomplish. And he said it would be so great if I could just reach out to some of your other customers and ask how they've solved this type of problem. And so there's that element of democratizing knowledge share and removing mX is the sole holder of all information. You know, we we have a lot of different channels of support and knowledge and articles and product resources and things that we provide but it's all annex driven and I would like to see more of that being client driven us and our other customers being able to learn from what customers before them have done. What have they done Well what has been a challenge for them? How did they overcome that? And I think that a community can be a great space for that democratization of knowledge, so two things ideation and innovation and I think that's unique in and of itself because you're working to optimize product and growth alongside the community. So now you're walking together hand in hand and then knowledge and expertise from from from almost the practitioner, those who are already doing this, their lessons that they've learned along the way and facilitating facilitating that dialogue, facilitating that discussion and I can think of like if I am a financial brand leader, I met a bank, I'm at a credit union. That same principle of ideation...

...and getting up votes for your own product optimization. You're now building that alongside a commune, particularly if you have been historically a community financial brand makes a lot of natural sense to segue into that. And the number two when you go through an experience of growth sometimes you can feel like you're by yourself and to know that you have a team of others who are on a similar journey. It's like it's like from Lord of the Rings right? He didn't go down that journey by himself. He had a group that he was the same thing with luke skywalker. You know, he had han Solo and Princess Leia and Chewbacca and C. three. It was all of them working together towards that common goal, that common destination together. So I think you're you're thinking is extremely sound when you think about these two goals here. Ideation and innovation and then the democratization of knowledge. What are the big roadblocks in your mind that could stand in the way to prevent you from moving towards creating this future here? For for this community? For for Mx my biggest question is, will our customers engage, will they, will they buy into this idea and participate in this space? You know, I I think with a consumer community, I I think consumers, I don't know, I guess humans in general want community, want to find people like them who have similar interests and needs and challenges and pain points and to connect. And I think our clients follow within that as well. But so many of our customers are direct competitors. We work with a lot of financial institutions and fintech companies and many of them are in direct competition within the same market. And so that's one of my biggest concerns as I work toward standing this thing up is just are people going to engage our clients going to take the bait and and jump into this space in the way that I envision, or is that going to be a hurdle that we don't get past? You know, it's a great point you make about competition. I see that on the consumer side, I can also see that in this B2B space as well and I've got some strong opinions about that Competition in this digital world must go away. Like I let competition fall away in my mind probably about 10 years ago to wear because when you're competing you're already playing a game of scarcity, you're playing a game of limited opportunity. The flip side of that is collaboration and when you're collaborating, you're playing a game of abundance and creation and there's much more opportunity available for all of us to go out and create and really captured together. And so I think that's almost in and of itself a a litmus test, if you will, of who would be an ideal community member. Like if you're coming into this conversation with a competitive mindset, you're probably not going to be a good fit and, and you have to protect the community. We've been working to build community here at the Digital Growth Institute for over the past 3 to 5 years in various ways and levels and have learned a lot and I have what I call the four C's, if you will of community, the first c being content, content is going to be the fuel of any type of community and, and, and and and specifically content that educates content that empowers content, content that elevates and they to content that inspires because people will come to the community looking for inspiration, looking for ideas in some of that content can be original content, it can be curated content, it can be UGC or...

...user generated content. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the way consumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers make purchase decisions long before they walk into a branch if they walk into a branch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits, we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming for any financial brand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have to because James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the way along your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com to get a preview of his best selling book, banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your team from amazon inside you'll find a strategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brands and it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start using today to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits. Now. Back to the show on that note of content with UGC though, always remember the 99 1 rule, 90% of of of of people in any type of community. And you see a lot of this research coming out of just like social communities, 90% are going to be the consumer, they're just gonna consume. They're not going to really engage or provide anything. 9% are going to be your engage, ear's the like the comment And then you have your 1%ers who are really your active contributors. And so that, to me is where you have content and curation, curation of ideas and insights coming together. The the third c is connection and it's the connecting of people, the connecting of people to people. The connecting of people to content, the connecting people to insights. That's the community managers role. That's the person who kind of can can bring it all together and help connect people with people like, hey, I'm thinking about this, I have this problem. You need to go and talk to this person over here. I'm thinking about this. Here's the resource, here is the idea. And then finally, the real magic happens on the fourth see its collaboration. Its collaboration between people who historically might have been competitors, but they are now collaborating and coming up with new ideas and insights. Because If you come back and you read the writings of say, Napoleon Hill for example, that's where the mastermind comes into play. It's where one plus one can equal 10 because you're bringing these different ideas and insights together. So I think from a competition warranted concern, but don't let that be the, the the element that holds you back from bringing people together, that's not on you, that's not an MX, that's on that individual right there and they probably have a little bit of work that they need to do themselves of how they just perceive themselves in this greater conversation and narrative. I love that. I love the thought of, you know, making sure that we stay away from a scarcity mindset and focus on an abundance mindset where we have opportunities to create win win wins and you are spot on if for those customers who don't want to engage in a space where their competitors are, okay, this isn't the space for you because this is a space where we're coming together to try to solve problems, to try to figure out how to do things better, how to maximize the value of our data, how to maximize the value of the solutions, how to maximize the impact that we can have on our users financial lives and making things better for them. That's the kind of individual that I'm looking for for this community. You know, this is a, I've run a client advisory board for probably five or six years at MX and the thing that I'm always looking for with our cab members are folks who have that mindset who have that attitude of...

I'm coming to to learn and to contribute and to put our heads together and see how we can solve problems and make things better. And that's exactly what I need to be bringing into the community, just expanding that out to more of our client base. I think one thing too is what's what's the initiation protocol meaning? Like the application. So for example, like when you think about the digital growth insider community, people need to have read banking on digital growth, they need to have listened to some of the podcast episodes just have a general awareness and understanding of like, like what's what we're about, what's the purpose of the community if you will and then what are the shared values and beliefs. So think of an application process as well and and maybe that requires an interview, think of like that client advisory board, you know, because you just don't want to let anyone and everyone into the community out of the gate because having the right people will make all of the difference in the world. If you get a couple of bad bad seeds, it can really pollute the larger community and we want to stay away from that pilot pilot pilot program as well is something else that is just popping to the top of my mind as a way to you launch may be a little bit small. You do that invitation. So now you're getting like your early adopters who would really believe and help to be the foundational members, maybe maybe that's the title that they're bestowed there. A founding member comes with some type of, of, of perk or like social signaling that, you know, it's just like this is what I'm helping to build and so pilot program is another idea coming off the top of my mind is as you're looking to launch this and and out of that pilot program to, you might also find your key contributors because sometimes you'll find that people will be the student, sometimes they'll be the teacher, but either way there's a learning experience through, through that equation, when you think about that idea of, of a pilot and you've got a community manager that you're bringing in, what conversations have you had from just launching and say go to market and just testing the waters if you will, what can you rephrase the question? Like what conversations internally conversations about, like what topics would we want to kind of see the community with, which angle were you looking for their Seating? The community with some type of just topic or subject matter is going to help kind of get this ball rolling out of the gate, have you had conversations around, like what are the 3-5 areas of focus to begin with? Yeah, yes, we did some work earlier this year to try to identify top pain points of our customers. So what are the pain points or the challenges that are most acute for our clients that they're coming to mx to try to help them solve? And I think those would each make really interesting kind of discussion threads to see, to learn a little bit more about the context and what's happening behind the scenes and why is this challenge? We've also got our client advisory board meeting coming up on the fall and I plan on staying at a little survey to that audience leading up to our meeting to ask them, what do you want to talk about? What do you want to learn, What would you want to share? And we're not going to be able to cover all of that in our short client advisory board meeting, but I think that's going to give me some additional ideas of what are the topics that are important to our customers that would be meaningful to kind of start there. And we are absolutely planning on doing kind of a pilot program with the community. For starting with a smaller group, probably tapping our client advisory board and some of our research group members to be our early adopters in that space. And I think, you know, using them to see the conversation, get some active threads going, will not only give us some content for other, you know, as we expand the community for people to see when they land there for the first time, but also to set the tone for that space,... kind of start to establish what the culture of our community is like and how we want people to engage there in this really, you know, collaborative open minded, you know, supportive kind of way and hopefully that helps us as we expand the community, get new people kind of brought in and joining that flow as opposed to any, any bad seeds, you will kind of poisoning will, right. And the other thing too, to keep in mind is what's the cadence, like, what does that community experience look like? Because I think of, there's four areas here, there's the weekly experience, like this is what happens every single week, because now you're setting some expectations of this is happens on a monday, this happens on a thursday, so you have the weekly, the weekly then is okay, what's the monthly? Maybe it's a monthly, maybe it's a monthly meet up or it's a monthly mixer of sorts, and it's where you're just bringing different people together and facilitating that from the monthly, then you get into the quarterly and then the quarterly, you move into the annual piece of this, I mean a lot, if you think about this, this is a lot of religions work with that type of the same cadence, you have weekly, you've got monthly quarterly and like that big annual event, so just something else to consider from that community cadence of engagement and setting that expectation early and often can help to under that community member to know like this is what my commitment is that I'm getting into and then coming back and just reinforcing that through this cadence of, of awareness and then just re engagement time and time again. When, when, when you think about community, I'm curious to get your take on this. I'm gonna flip the tables on you from, from a a consumer side when, because we're all dealing with money. Um and money is stressful money as complex money is confusing. When you think about, okay, I'm a bank, I'm a credit union, I could join this community and learn what that experience is like. So then I could deploy some of the sinking down at a local market level. Where's the opportunity, if I'm a bank or a credit union to build community just from your own mind? You know, I think banks, customers or a credit unions, members, just like any other person has that desire to be able to connect with people who are experiencing things like them. So if I'm getting ready to get married or buy my first home or start a family, make a big move, start a new job like those big milestones in life where you really stop and reflect on what are my values? What are my priorities? How am I structuring my life to be supportive of the things that are important to me? Those are the points in time where I think people are most reflective about their money and their financial lives and how they're interacting with their finances and those are the big moments where I, as a consumer would want to be able to connect with other members of my credit union to say, hey, how did you navigate this change or what are the resources available at the credit union to help me start thinking about investment or retirement or how to start structuring my financial life now that I'm going to have a child, it's not just me anymore. I need to be thinking about how much should I be saving for college, how much should I be saving for other, you know, long term purchases versus retirement. I would really love to just be able to talk to someone else who has been there done that. I mean, yes, you can go to a financial planner or financial advisor and those services are often available, but that's not always necessarily what you need. Sometimes you just want to talk to another human and get different people's perspectives on how they thought about those situations, how they navigated that and how they leverage the resources available through the bank of the credit union to support them through that part of their journey. And I think that ties it back... what we were talking about before. It's the facilitation of knowledge of expertise and even the facilitation of life experience because it's like I, I know Aaron, I trust Aaron Aaron has been there, she's done that she's she's she's got the T shirt and through your sharing of knowledge and your experience, I probably can learn more from you per se than I could sit from the financial brand because that financial brand is just that financial brand to where, when I think about what you're looking to build here, it has the potential to be transformative and I think that's the key, this isn't about transactions anymore, this is about the transformation of people and their thinking and, and, and, and the connections and the collaborations that can come together through something like community, so I'm excited for you erin, this has been, this has been a lot of fun and I appreciate you joining me for this for this conversation today, for clarity calls as part of the banking on digital growth podcast James robert, thank you so much for having me, this was so helpful, you gave me just a few nuggets of insight throughout this conversation, it was like ah ha, I hadn't thought about that, I hadn't considered that, hadn't looked at things that way, so thank you so much for being willing to share your insight and wisdom and if someone is listening and they want to connect with you, they might be interested in this community, what is the best way for them to just reach out and say hello to you erin reach out to me on linkedin Aaron caldwell and with MX, I don't check Lincoln every day, I'm on a couple of times a week so if I don't respond same day, forgive me but I will get back to you. That is definitely a great way to connect with me, connect with Aaron learned from erin, she's got a lot of great things going on and if you have a digital marketing sells a digital leadership question That you'd like to get answers to join me on an upcoming episode of clarity calls. Text me your question 83-5495792 and I look forward to talking with you together until then and as always be well, do good and make your bed. Yeah, thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth with James robert. Ley like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a review on apple podcasts, google podcasts or Spotify and subscribe while you're there to get even more practical improvement insights visit www dot digital growth dot com To grab a preview of James roberts, best selling book banking on digital growth Or order a copy right now for you and your team from Amazon inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprint framed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time be well and do good.

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