Jessica Fisher
Jessica Fisher | January 7, 2019
EMEA Client Services Director at Yieldify

In this new series, we’re sitting down with Yieldifiers across the business to find out more about what they do all day.

Next up: Jessica Fisher, EMEA Client Services Director

What’s your role at Yieldify?

I’m EMEA Client Services Director, which basically means I’m here to enable our account teams to deliver for our clients. I take an overarching view of client strategies to make sure that we’re continuously delivering value across the board. 

What did you do before you joined the team here?

I’ve always been based in financial services. I started out in fund management and then moved into marketing, working for Barclays for around five years. I then moved agency-side, where my clients were a number of big banks and financial institutions such as HSBC, Santander, American Express and Capital One. I’ve pretty much worked with most of the UK’s big banks at some point in my career!

All of these roles have covered engagement, customer experience and optimization. That breadth of background – from coding HTML emails to analysis and strategy – gives me a really clear picture of the end-to-end customer experience, which is extremely helpful in making sure that the kind of onsite experience we create at Yieldify is the right one.

How does the client services team work at Yieldify?

The team is split between client facing-account teams, technical services teams who build out and QA all campaigns and then our designers who make everything look beautiful.

The account teams are divided into industry verticals so that we can develop specific industry expertise, trends and benchmarks. Each account team is made up up of consultants, CSMs and Campaign Analysts, who all work together with support from our Data team to analyze everything we see from our clients campaigns and Google Analytics. These insights allow them to view trends and benchmarks, which they then employ to deliver insight, develop strategies and optimize existing campaigns.

What does a normal day look like for you?

….there isn’t one really! In general, my week is focussed on enabling the team to do what they need to do to ensure we’re continuously delivering value.

The weeks usually start the same: getting everything together for the coming week, looking back at the last week’s performance and prioritizing for the coming weeks and months. But as the week progresses, we usually get the odd curveball thrown in, but that’s the nature of being client-facing.

What happens when a new client comes on board? 

As a Services team, our role usually starts long before a new client has even signed the contract. We’re always working closely with our Sales team to transfer knowledge and insights so that potential clients are seeing the benefit of our collective experience from the very beginning of their conversation with us. We also get heavily involved in reviewing websites and proposals to help apply our benchmarks and experience at the coal-face.

We really pride ourselves on getting our clients up-and-running quickly – it’s one of the things that makes us very different to a lot of testing tools out there. While those types of software take weeks or even months to get going, we’re onsite and ready to go within three days. It just means that our clients can start getting results and see ROI so much quicker.

When a new client comes on board, we always start with a review of the overall customer journey in conjunction with what we know about the vertical. At this early stage, we don’t always immediately have all the client’s data to hand, but we always have a back catalogue of knowledge and those benchmarks and trends. Getting started with a new client strategy usually involves starting broad so we can get as much data and insight as possible, which means we can quickly optimize and start delivering value from an insight perspective as well as a revenue one.

It’s an interesting phase because we have a complex mix of clients: some are experts themselves and some are new to optimization, some have the support of analytics teams and fully tagged-up site and others are a one-man-band for all things marketing. That makes it really important to quickly get under the skin of how the client works and educate ourselves on what their needs are. We therefore spend a lot of time educating ourselves on the nuances of the client, their customers and their site.

During onboarding, we also see it as really important to share knowledge in the other direction. Clients will quickly get to know what we do, how we do it and ultimately how it can help them.

Financial services products are usually very considered purchases – can you break that customer journey down into stages for us?

Financial services products are very considered, but there are so many differences depending on the product that there’s really no one ‘journey’ to speak of. 

For example, someone looking to open a savings account is very different to someone looking for a credit card, a loan or a bank account – and lets not even get started on those looking for a mortgage!

All of these are also very different to someone looking at their credit score but having said that, they’re all interlinked and have similarities. For example, someone might be thinking that they want to apply for a mortgage next year, which mean they have a big lump of savings behind them. They might be asking themselves if they’re getting the most from these savings and whether their credit history in good order. If not, they might need to open a credit card to build up a better credit history. They end up looking at several financial products in the journey to a mortgage. 

The reason that the interrelated nature of products is so important is because the finance services industry tends to demonstrate more loyalty than other areas simply due to the complexities of changing and transferring products. It’s therefore always important to discuss how products enable others (wherever possible). For example, those opening savings accounts are usually saving for something, such as a mortgage. Does having a savings account give customer the option of the best mortgages rates? Value props like this are incredibly powerful and also support driving lifetime value

What these journeys all have in common is the importance of trust, reassurance and ease. These messages are key conversion-drivers across all financial products.

Your typical acquisition messages can be rate and enablement-led, but consumers are far more likely to trust affiliates and comparison sites than the banks and insurers themselves, so anything that speaks to getting the best rates through coming direct is always a winner. Reviews, user generated content and third party reinforcement are perceived as the most trustworthy, so where possible bring these in…whilst remaining compliant!

Have you seen the impact of GDPR hit Financial Services?

It’s been interesting to watch because by virtue of being so heavily regulated, the financial services industry has been far more used to the kind of GDPR restrictions than something like retail. Banks will never have completely lost their marketable base like some retailers, but what we may have seen is things like updates to preference centres.

In other verticals like retail or travel, it’s easy to offer incentives to encourage conversion – in finance, it’s usually not an option. What do you find works instead?

This is another area where the regulations around financial services mean we have to operate a little differently to something like retail. It’s not just in terms of how we offer incentives, it’s in the finer details. For example, as a bank you’re not usually allowed to highlight one of your available credit cards over the others, so the usual contextualization tactics of CRO aren’t an option.

I would definitely say it’s crucial to expose social proof through reviews, and employ user reinforcement to drive acquisition as mentioned earlier. That’s in addition to having core strategies centered around reassurance at varying touch points.

The difference with financial services compared to something like retail becomes apparent at the very start of that conversion journey. In finance, we’re much more likely to have standalone landing pages for each product that sit outside of the main site, forcing traffic through the funnel as quickly as possible. These are usually different for each price comparison site and sometimes have dynamic content too. It works in getting expensive traffic through into the funnel quickly. 

Breaking down the conversion funnel, I’d say that at the top you need to focus messages on speed and ease. This is to help set expectations on how long it takes to complete the journey, how many steps there are, how long it takes to get a response, security and how long it might take to access to funds. However, once you have someone in the funnel and more invested, your messages can shift to reinforcing benefits and the ‘reasons why’. 

How does the online journey intersect with offline touchpoints? Do you think the industry is doing a good job of connecting these journeys?

Banks and financial institutions are slowly changing here. 

The industry is definitely doing a better job than it was, but I think the majority of more traditional players will remain behind the retail curve for a while longer yet. You can see progress in things like click-to-call options online, which allow users an easy way to ask questions and get answers quickly without interrupting their purchase journey. 

There is, however, a complete disparity between traditional financial brands and those challengers that have emerged over the last few years. For example, Monzo has gone from 50,000 users in September 2016 to more than 750,000 by February 2018 – that’s a 1,400% increase in very little time. They’ve been able to do this by starting from scratch and not being limited by old legacy systems which can make integrations nearly impossible or  just slow to deliver…when they’re lucky

There’s an interesting angle to think about here that’s not just about continuing journeys cross-channel, but actually making it possible to do more on each channel. The earlier days of digital financial services were full of frustration because you’d reach a certain stage in trying to complete an action online, only to find that you’d have to complete it in a branch or through the post. People want to be able to do everything quickly, which means being able to complete it through one channel rather than switch.

So progress is being made but there’s still a long way to go.

Customer lifetime value in finance is often a very different set-up to other industries – can you describe how? How does Yieldify help with this?

Lifetime value is another one of those things that really differs depending on the product. For example, lifetime value for mortgages can be in their hundreds, whereas bank accounts will be marginal in comparison.

Like we were discussing earlier, the value come through cross-sells, but there will always be some products that are stickier and more valuable than others. For example, bank accounts and mortgages you’ll rarely change – credit cards, loans and saving accounts have much less loyalty. Insurance is very interchangeable.

Quickfire questions

What do you like best about working at Yieldify?

The variety of what we do here, and how that helps me to develop and keep learning. We work with so many different clients across every vertical, all with their own marketing plans and seasonal peaks that we’re always working on something new and often something we’ve never done before.

What’s your proudest achievement since joining?

Seeing the progression of the product, of my team and the accounts we’re managing. Earlier this year, one of my team members managed to grow an account of his to one of our biggest accounts globally. It came from a lot of hard work and was a real team effort… and happy clients mean happy teams and a happy Jessica!

What was your biggest learning?

Always book the day off after the Christmas party.

Want to see more about what financial services brands are doing to improve their customer journeys? Check out this case study from Carte Zero.