Digital technologies are transforming financial services and shaking up how business is done. In fact, 80 percent of Americans today prefer to manage their finances digitally . Banks and financial institutions (FIs) must go beyond the usual to attract and retain such digitally transformed consumers.
Customer experience (CX) transformation is critical to banking success in this highly competitive environment and any transformation must prepare a bank for the future with a roadmap for continuous improvement. It must also provide a unified customer view, enable conversations based on customer needs, bring totality to customer offerings and engage customers based on relationships. Banks that can establish customer connections will differentiate themselves in the marketplace.
While all banks have the potential to improve, their CX transformation initiatives can be measured by:
- How easy it is for customers to communicate using their channel of choice and continue that conversation in another channel without losing context
- The customer value delivered through personalized and contextual engagement using customer data
- How legacy systems are leveraged to deliver modern, transformative customer experiences
Here are three rules to create a truly transformational customer experience.
Make communication easy and convenient for customers
Banks need to provide consumers with easy access via their mobile devices from anywhere, provide the flexibility of speaking to a live expert at any time and offer the ability to communicate using their channel of choice — all while making the whole experience quick and seamless. While most banks offer multiple channel options including social media, email, voice, chat, text, etc., not all are successful in making everything work together. Creating digital touchpoints are just pieces of a puzzle; delivering a consistent experience across all channels puts those pieces together for a complete picture.
CX is key to customer retention and acquisition, and leaders drive more revenue than those that lag. With better CX, the path to purchase increased by 40 percent for a leading bank . This leader’s channel strategy maps a customer’s unique journey across online and offline channels, allowing them to better understand and anticipate customer needs and reduce outbound calling requirements. By integrating conversational AI, interactive voice recognition, in-app messaging and self-service portals, banks enable their customers to connect with personalized engagement quickly and conveniently.
Strengthen relationships by understanding customer wants and needs
Banks have traditionally based their engagement on their retail customers’ life goals. For example, a student may need an education loan; an entrepreneur may seek a line of credit; an employee may want a car loan. CX is taking on a new definition in this changing environment — and banks need to be able to anticipate their customers’ needs based on their existing relationships.
Customers overwhelmingly show that they want service that’s both personalized and trustworthy. In a survey by Financial Brand, nearly 66 percent of FIs that are increasing their CX budgets are working to leverage customer data for real-time personalization . Banks must be well equipped to leverage internal and external customer data or risk falling behind FIs that are adopting innovations to enhance product offerings and improve overall service quality while engaging customers on a deeper level.
Leverage legacy systems to deliver modern, transformative customer experiences
Traditional banks have a complex structure of legacy systems and technologies that have pulled their weight in the past. Today, these older, siloed applications create operational gaps and inefficiencies that impede operations and present additional challenges to integrating back-office through front-office processes.
Banks invested in these systems and built their processes around them. Because most banks want to maximize their existing investments, working with legacy systems is a critical component in CX transformation. Banks must implement the internal changes necessary to adapt to the pressures of external environments by adopting intelligent automation solutions that can integrate processes for better speed, efficiency and responsiveness.
Process automation enables them to integrate legacy systems without undertaking a major IT overhaul. This allows banks to bring back-office, middle-office, and front-office operations up to date and creates organizational agility that supports a truly seamless, personal and transformative customer experience.
CX transformation is a continuous journey
Exceptional CX is essential to generating trust and loyalty as well as facilitating long-standing and mutually satisfying banking relationships. The question is whether banks can continuously adapt to changing customer expectations. As banks work to evolve, they may find that learning as they go can be slower and more likely to inhibit growth. Partnering with organizations can help them adapt, scale and produce results in a world of ever-changing consumer trends.