FinTech/MarTech Fanatic | Community Bank/CU Supporter | Blogger | Web Development | IT Nerd | Financial Institution Risk Management/Cybersecurity Expert
Dusty is a customer success manager at Smooth Fusion, which means he helps to ensure that we understand our customers' business challenges, goals, and operations and that the work we do is aligned with their mission, vision, and requirements. You can connect with Dusty on LinkedIn.
Dusty has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Wayland Baptist University and has ten years of financial institution IT and operations experience. He lives happily in Lubbock with his wife and four kids and enjoys grilling out, swimming, running, disc golf, writing music and volunteering at church.
Read Dusty's Articles:
Blog Articles that help financial institutions create better websites and digital experiences.
Dusty takes the decade of experience he has in the financial industry with his knowledge of technology to write articles that aim to help banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions navigate the complexities of modern website technologies, utilize digital tactics to meet their goals, and gain insights into new ways they can reach their audience online.
Tips for Adding Financial Calculators to Your Site
Calculators have been a part of financial institution (FI) websites for decades, and for good reason. Banks and credit unions with well-implemented calculators drive more user engagement —and user engagement helps create more opportunities for new business.
Many prospective clients visit a financial institution's website specifically to use the calculator to make sure they can afford a loan before going to the branch to speak with an officer.
Having a calculator with a great look will create a positive first impression for your FI and if you implement it properly, can create the first step to a smooth onboarding process for your new customers or members.
In this article, I will explain a few ways you can successfully implement calculators on your website and how providing a great user experience with calculators can benefit your financial institution.
Keep Your Calculators Simple
We believe that keeping calculators simple is key for a successful implementation.
Most of your customers aren’t financial gurus like you, so making it as simple and intuitive as possible for them to calculate things like mortgage or loan payments is the goal.
Having too much data input or complicated results can confuse your prospect, causing them to look elsewhere for a more simplified experience.
Give Thought to the Default Values
Never leave calculators a blank slate for prospective clients to guess at. Doing so will cause those with no financial background to input guessed values, potentially causing frustration when they walk into your bank and find that their calculations were off by a wide margin.
Does your bank have an introductory rate for most applicants for mortgages, auto loans, or personal loans? How about savings accounts and CDs? Place a feasible rate in the appropriate field by default for those who have no idea what they might get when they apply.
Repeat this process on any fields that a potential customer or member may not understand fully. (ex. PMI, escrow, etc.)
Remember the Call to Action!
One of the best ways to have a calculator do your sales work for you is to ensure that, once a prospect has done a calculation, there is an easily accessible call to action (CTA).
Your call to action should prompt your visitors to either apply or contact you and should catch their attention.
Your CTA should match the design, color, and functionality of other call-to-action buttons and text throughout your site.
Calls to action usually result in a user going to fill out a form. This doesn’t directly impact the experience with your calculators, but is a quick tip for forms on your site: shorter applications and contact forms have the highest chance of being completed.
Yes, we know that regulations require certain information at the time of application, but we encourage you to ensure that when the visitor is directed to your contact or application form, it contains only the most necessary information —thus increasing your chance of a successful conversion.
Add a Positive Spin to Your Liability Statement
This may sound like a stretch, but have you ever thought of making sure your liability statements are not just fine print legal jargon that is required of you?
What if you could say what needs to be said about the calculators on your site not necessarily reflecting actual loan or account values while also saying something about the aptitude of your incredible staff that is excited to speak with your prospective customer or member about a great deal?
I feel that financial institutions try hard to hide regulatory statements with small print in hard-to-find places because they are deemed as negative statements. I think it is time to spin those in a positive light wherever possible to show integrity and excellence in our heavily regulated financial industry.
Use Calculators to Personalize Content
With the right tools like Sitefinity Insight, your calculators can increase the visibility of the products your prospects show the most interest in.
Most website personalization tools will allow you to define touchpoints, which are the actions a customer takes on your site. A touchpoint can be defined as a page visit or an interaction with an element on your site like a calculator.
You can then use a collection of these touchpoints to create an audience or persona that will receive personalized content.
If you wanted to target customers who are looking to purchase a new home, then you could create a persona called “Potential New Home Buyers” and only people who visited your home mortgage page and interacted with the mortgage calculator would be added to this group.
Then when anyone meets the criteria of this persona, you can serve them personalized content like a different hero image or special offer for home loans when they revisit your home page.
There is a lot that banks and credit unions can do to personalize content and calculators can be a great way to measure how engaged or interested a website visitor is in a specific financial service.
Calculators can really make a big difference in customer engagement and, as you read in this article, can benefit your financial institution if implemented the correct way.
If you are looking to improve your financial institution website and want to take the next step towards a true digital experience platform then check out our product specifically designed for banks and credit unions.
This new platform was built to help financial institutions provide better digital experiences for their customers with all the features your customers have come to expect when banking online.
Learn about the author, Dusty Ellis.
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