10 Ways Banks Can Attract and Retain Millennial Customers

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July 05, 2018

10 Ways Banks Can Attract and Retain Millennial Customers

Millennial customers aren't looking for their grandparents' banks--and when they do choose a bank, they know that they can take their money elsewhere if they aren't getting the kind of support they want. With millennial customers rapidly surpassing baby boomers in many areas, including the economy's biggest money-makers, it's increasingly important for your bank to attract and retain millennial customers. These strategies can make it easier for you to meet your goals. 

Tip #1: Keep Your Social Media Page Staffed and Running

52% of millennial customers1 have used social media to ask their banking institution a customer service-related question. In order to make use of that simple strategy, however, your bank needs to up its social media game. Make sure your social media page is:

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  • Checked regularly by staff members who have the ability and authority to answer customers' questions
  • Filled with helpful suggestions for your customers, especially those in the millennial age range
  • A source of help and support for your customers

Keep in mind that your millennial customers want fast responses no matter what time they visit your social media page. Millennials don't work traditional hours--and that means that your bank can't afford to, either. 

Tip #2: Skip the Fees

In an era where many banks are steadily increasing the fees they charge, millennials are aware that there are still no-fee checking accounts out there--and they're going looking for them. With 38% of banks offering free checking2 with no strings attached, including no need for either a minimum balance or regular direct deposits, it's important for your bank to step up and provide that convenience if you want to keep your millennial customers. Hidden fees are particularly frustrating. Savvy millennials know to check their bank statements and find those fees, and if they're unhappy with them, it won't take them long to go looking for another bank.

Tip #3: Improve Your Online Banking Options

Only about 2/3 millennials3 have actually set foot in a bank's physical branch within the last six months. They want to take care of their financial transactions online, whether they're making a deposit or applying for a loan. When you offer a smooth online experience--which 67% of millennials4 claim that their banks aren't--you make it easier for millennials to use your bank. With 70% of them preferring online interactions5 to chatting with your staff in person, it's important to enhance your online banking experience. 

Tip #4: Fix Your App 

If at all possible, you want to be sure that your app runs as smoothly as possible before you release it to your customers. Not only should it be as free from glitches as possible, it should offer enhanced customer service and allow your customers to take care of as many of the details of their transactions as possible. Make sure your app offers:


  • Real-time information that is updated immediately
  • Updates and alerts about the things that your customers most need to know
  • Security to help protect your customers

Tip #5: Offer Benefits Geared Toward Millennials

Your millennial customers have a unique set of concerns. They're more likely to struggle financially and to have high student loans that they're still comparing off, compared to baby boomers and other older generations. You want to offer information7 that can help your millennial customers succeed financially, whether that means you provide advice about how to avoid or pay down debt, track your customers' spending behavior to let them know how they can improve it, or take note of red flags that your customers may be overspending or nearing financial trouble, then alerting them. 

Tip #6: Improve Customer Service

Do you require customers to go through a specific platform in order to get help? Is it easier to get help in person, at a branch, than it is to get help online? Worse--do customers find themselves struggling to interact with your customer service team, giving information multiple times before they can get the help they need? Millennials are four times more likely8 to leave their current service after a high-effort experience. The more focus you put on customer service and streamlining the experience, the more likely you are to be able to keep your millennial customers. 

Tip #7: Make Customer Service Available Around the Clock

It's not just your social media pages that need to be staffed around the clock. When customers connect with your bank, they want to be able to connect 24/7. Make sure that your in-app support, website support, and phones are staffed at all times so that millennials can call in when they have a problem, rather than having to wait for a time that's more convenient for your institution (and likely more inconvenient for them). 

Tip #8: Forgive Fees When Possible

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes. Millennial customers are already likely to be frustrated with high fees for banking services--and they're no less frustrated when those fees are the result of their own mistakes. Consider forgiving fees when possible, especially for long-term customers or those who are don't have a pattern of making those mistakes. Give customer service agents the ability to forgive fees and make those account corrections where possible. 

Tip #9: Track Customer Interactions

If a customer does have to call back several times to deal with a problem, does your customer service team know what issues they've already had and how they've been dealt with? Implement tracking software that will allow customer service representatives to easily access information about past calls and shape their current interactions with customers accordingly. In many cases, you'll find that this streamlines the customer interaction and makes it easier to provide them with the service they need.

Tip #10: Make It Easy to Report Problems

Since millennials prefer to interact with their banks online, they'd prefer not to have to come into a branch to report a problem, whether they need to cancel a debit card or report an unauthorized transaction. Make it as easy as possible for millennials to take care of those problems, from an option both on your website and in your app to simplified, streamlined phone calls for reporting problems. 

Attracting and keeping your millennial customers is an ongoing process--but it's one that your bank can master. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you reach out to that millennial audience. 

1. https://www.sparkcentral.com/blog/banks-millennial-customers/
2. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/24/free-checking-accounts-still-exist-you-just-need-to-know-where-to-look.html
3. http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/231911/ways-banks-win-keep-millennial-customers.aspx
4. http://www.cutoday.info/Fresh-Today/Millennials-Twice-As-Likely-To-Switch-FIs-Shifting-To-Online-Only-Providers
5. http://www.collinsonlatitude.com/media/1415/takingaccount-report-online.pdf
6. http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/226847/ways-banks-win-keep-millennial-customers.aspx?g_source=link_newsv9&g_campaign=item_231911&g_medium=copy
7. http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/226847/ways-banks-win-keep-millennial-customers.aspx?g_source=link_newsv9&g_campaign=item_231911&g_medium=copy
8. https://www.sparkcentral.com/resource/making-case-social-mobile-customer-service/

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