4 Ways for Banks to Digitally Deliver a Connected Customer Experience
“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way round.” – Steve Jobs
Present-day customers, especially in the banking industry, are digitally more empowered now than ever before. They apprehend how digital technologies work and can keep themselves abreast of the latest happenings in the world. As a result, their expectations from banking institutions have become quite elevated with respect to customer experience. If banks can deliver great customer experience offline, they are expected to be able to deliver similar or even better experiences online.
Organizations are thus required to orchestrate customer experience that is personalized and connected across different online-offline channels and devices. This is where the whole concept of a Connected Customer Experience comes in.
What is a Connected Customer Experience?
A connected customer experience is obtained when an organization such as a bank delivers a series of immensely valuable interactions online and offline, in a way that the customer never feels deserted or lost in transit. This could be before the customer is onboarded or after, at the time the bank/enterprise is servicing their requests. This is better achievable via online channels than offline. Online channels such as email, SMS, website, chatbot, call center, etc. make it possible for banks to strategically craft a connected customer experience that can propel customers down the buying funnel, one step at a time and contextually.
Let’s look at how connected customer experience influences customer behavior with an example here:
Consider a scenario in which a customer visits the bank to enquire about a home loan. He visits the loan officer at the bank who explains the details and the procedure to apply for the loan. The customer fills up the loan application form and leaves the bank. A few hours later, he gets an email from the bank with a link to upload documents to process the loan. He clicks the link which immediately opens the bank’s internet banking application. The customer logs in to his internet banking account and uploads his documents.
After a few days, he gets a loan approval email and SMS from the bank. The customer received a formal loan approval certificate with amortization schedule through post. The hard copy is helpful for the customer to finalize the property and negotiate better rates by using a readily available finance approval with their realtor. The customer gets a call from the bank relationship officer informing him that his loan has been approved and his required amount would be disbursed to him on a specific date. The customer promptly gets an SMS about Pre-EMI, auto-debit instructions along with links to amendment actions that the customer might want to make at any point of time in their journey through the home loan procedure.
In this example, the customer receives a highly interactive experience that is connected across multiple offline and online mediums. The bank is able to ensure a smooth transition from offline to online and vice versa keeping the customer apprised of his loan process and status.
Typically, the customer onboarding process and systems associated are expected to deliver a connected customer experience across channels.
Orchestrating a Digitally Connected Customer Experience in Banking
Orchestrating a connected customer experience involves the implementation of digital enablement technologies that can work seamlessly together. Here are 4 ways in which banks can achieve this:
1. Tighter Core Banking Integration with Branch Automation
Core banking services have been pivotal to the growth of the banking sector in the past decade. However, many banks are yet to catch up on integrating robust services across branches. For example, a customer who visits a branch to get a particular operation done in New York should be able to get this request addressed when she visits the bank’s branch in Florida. The customer’s details should be made available in a centralized system where it can be accessed by the bank’s staff whenever and wherever required.
Apart from core banking, branch automation services such as easy customer onboarding, streamlined payment cycles, automated data flow across departments can drive very high operational efficiencies. Banks should, therefore, consider investing in a single digitization and automation platform that can minimize sophisticated IT processes and deliver superior connected customer experiences.
2. Digital Banking Services
A recent report by Statista stated that 7 out of 10 people in the UK and over 161 million people in the US preferred digital banking due to its convenience. It goes without saying that during the current pandemic, this has become all the more relevant. Customers can sit at the comfort of their homes and get their banking operations done with a few clicks on their laptops or mobile devices.
The above figure highlights the fact that banks need to adopt an aggressive digital transformation strategy. This strategy needs to focus on data-driven personalization that could be meted out to customers over all digital channels and devices. The sooner this is done the better, as customer expectations over digital banking services have increased substantially.
3. Big Data Analytics
The banking and financial services industry is highly data-driven as compared to any other industry. Data gets generated by-the-second in the form of purchases, fund transfers, user requests and queries via the website, mobile app, call center, etc. It’s important that banks invest in a powerful Big Data technology that can help them assimilate and make sense of these vast volumes of data.
An innovative Big Data reporting and analytics platform can help banks handle complex data efficiently. It helps them get a simplified view of users with respect to the data they generate with the bank. A platform like this can help integrate user data that is spread over different silos and systems. Analyzing the reports given by the system can help in understanding customer requirements and their experience at the point of interaction with the bank can be personalized accordingly.
4. Round-the-Clock Customer Support
Nowadays, customers often take to social media to voice their grievances when they get a non-supportive or non-responsive experience from their bank. This could be a delayed response to their queries or in-action from the bank’s support system after repeated customer requests or below par customer support system.
A connected customer experience is complete when the bank provides round-the-clock customer support in the best possible way. Any queries from customers or prospects via touchpoints such as live chat, call center, email, etc. should be replied to within a given timeframe.
A bank becomes more reliable in the eyes of users when they receive excellent support. If it’s done at real-time, it generates massive positive perception among customers who, in turn, generate positive word of mouth publicity that elevates the bank’s brand image.
Customer-centricity has become the key area of focus for banks and financial services institutions. As consumers become digitally-savvy, they have gained greater control in dictating the kind of products, services, and experiences that they expect from their respective banking organizations.
It’s time that banks move on from traditional legacy systems to digital-first innovative solutions that make them more agile and futuristic through digital branchless banking and automation. These solutions can help banks in tracking customer needs and behaviors, offering personalized connected experiences that deliver value, and building long-term relationships.
For any specific questions around a connected customer experience strategy Get in touch with our experts for a free consultation.