More than 3 in 4 Americans feel anxious about their financial situations, according to a new Mind over Money survey by Capital One and The Decision Lab.
As a business, organization, or financial institution, it’s in your best interest that your customers, clients, or members feel the opposite of anxious–you want them to feel financially empowered. Empowerment is achieved through education, and you can play a role in their financial education.
By taking part in your customers’ financial education, you’ll gain their trust and confidence, leading to more customer retention, and therefore more investment in your products and services. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of financially empowering your customer-base.
What is Financial Empowerment?
Before we can explore the ways in which you can help your customers get on the road to financial empowerment, it’s important to define what exactly it means to be financially empowered.
Financial empowerment means feeling in control of your finances. It means knowing where you are financially, where you want to be, and how to get there. It means knowing how to juggle your long-term and short-term financial goals. It means effectively balancing your budget, building your credit, and paying off your debt.
Chances are, many of your customers believe that financial empowerment is about having more wealth. They don’t realize that they could feel financially empowered right where they are. That’s where financial education comes in–and you can be the one to teach them.
5 Benefits of Financially Empowering Your Customers
If you’re of the mindset that teaching your customer base about finances is like losing money on free advice, we highly suggest you change your thinking. Other than having your customer’s best interests at heart, there are so many benefits to being an educational resource for your clients. In fact, you’re probably losing money by not financially educating them.
- Be seen as the authority in your industry. Providing free educational resources reflects well on your business, especially in terms of authority. By offering thoughtful, valuable advice, your institution will be perceived as having financial expertise customers can count on.
- Enhance your reputation as a company that cares. By encouraging financial empowerment, you can differentiate your business and stand out from the crowd. Customers will immediately take notice and see your company as an institution that cares about their customers and provides maximum value.
- Earn the trust and loyalty of your customer base. Remember that “free” advice we mentioned earlier? You can expect it to pay dividends in the future as a result of earning your customers’ trust. With that trust comes loyalty, which translates to customer retention.
- Set yourself and your customers up for success. When you teach your customers good financial habits, they’re more likely to achieve their financial goals. When they achieve their financial goals, your customers will feel more financially comfortable–and will be more likely to invest that money back into your business.
- Approve more loans and receive more credit card payments. This one is for financial institutions: When you help your customers to uplevel their credit score, they'll qualify for more affordable loans, lower security deposits, cheaper car insurance, credit cards with rewards programs, and more. And if you have their loyalty, it’s your institution they’ll be taking out loans and opening lines of credit with.
How To Financially Empower Your Customers
If the key to financial empowerment is education, then your focus should be on teaching your customers something valuable. There are many ways you can do this. For example, you can:
- Provide basic money management tips.
- Provide links to educational and financial resources.
- Educate customers on ways to save money.
- Show them how to set goals and track their progress over time.
- Educate them about their credit.
Why Credit Education Is Key To Financial Empowerment
While money management, saving, and budgeting are all essential parts of financial empowerment, those skills are only only one half of the equation. The second half is credit management.
Credit scores are powerful. They have the ability to either make or break a person’s financial future. Providing educational resources about credit and credit scores can help your customers, clients, or members make calculated, confident financial decisions.
To help institutions educate their customers, Securus Partner Solutions offers a consumer solution called Securus CE. Securus CE is our credit education platform powered by Experian. It offers many helpful resources, including:
- Access to credit scores
- A credit score simulator
- Credit bureau monitoring
- Credit reports
When you partner with Securus Partner Solutions, you can offer this education platform to more than just your customers. As our company President Chris Guetzkow wisely put it, “The ability for us to provide credit reports, scores, and credit education through our partners can directly affect their members, customers, and employees' lives. It’s a big deal.”