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How does Omnichannel Banking Experience Improve CX?

How does Omnichannel Banking Experience Improve CX?

Millennials and Gen Z are today the largest generational demographics in the US, and other regions will soon follow suit. Most consumer-facing industries are elevating (and rewiring ) their systems to respond to the ‘Digital-as-default’ environment. Financial institutions must adopt innovative approaches to woo the younger clientele by developing nuanced offerings that match their habits, expectations, and preferences.  

Will banks have it easy with the ‘Touchscreen Generation?’ 

Bringing in technology will allow the banks to answer the question partly. However, the longer-term answer is not straightforward. Authentic digital experiences (and not features alone) will be a differentiator. Second, along with technology, banking has to become more “human .” How? Banks must realize that tomorrow’s customers are reshaping the finance industry from gamification to meaningful content, accountability to service, and community engagement.

Given the changing business (and social) landscape, here is how the Omnichannel banking experiences are critical to a bank’s growth potential. 

  1. Leveraging the in-market forces. Omnichannel banking experiences are a natural outcome of today’s market trends. The pandemic forced companies to turn agile, experiment more with AI and Robotic automation (and other cognitive capabilities), and tackle the distributed workplaces (accelerated because of the lockdowns). All these in-market forces compelled financial institutions to turn to the right-channeling – the primary reason behind omnichannel (meeting customers where they are and influencing them through the appropriate channel).
  2. Increase in customer choice and flexibility by numbers. First, a few statistics. Prominent studies point out that the pandemic has changed customer preferences – 76% now prefer online banking, 46% (up from 15%) are comfortable with video call advisory, and 59% expect on-demand, anywhere, anytime banking services. 50% of High-Net-Worth Individuals under the age of 40 will purely choose virtual advice (compared to 39% overall). The strongest endorsement for omnichannel banking experience comes from the fact reported by Digital banks in the UK: digital banks’ net promoter score (NPS) is 3X that of traditional banks.
  3. Keeping Pace with Digital Evolution. Omnichannel Banking Experiences work best when banks realize they are keeping pace with constant digital evolution. Collecting data from diverse sources (geolocation info, social media feeds, wearable tech, browsing, in-store data, etc.) and then using this to analyze and design a touchpoint strategy to maximize acquisition is the start point for the Omnichannel banking strategy. After that, Banks must transfer customer interactions from physical branches to digital channels by supplemental value. The third step is about delivering a personalized, proactive, and customer-centric experience based on consumer behavior.
  4. The Omnichannel Banking Experience relies on its robust implementation. By mapping CX journeys and measuring customer traffic, banks must create transparency around user behavior. Next, as optimal online CX journeys are set up (with functional and superior product/landing pages), the bank’s Omnichannel mechanisms show successful outcomes – higher online purchases, easier decision making, and conversion. Banks (and companies) fail digitally when their customers’ real needs and preferences are not captured in omnichannel journeys.
  5. Culture change is needed for Omnichannel Banking. For banks, intent on designing and implementing best-in-class omnichannel services is easier said than done. In a mixed digital-savviness environment (Digital by Lifestyle Vs. by need Vs. choice Vs. offline population), managers and bank employees must embrace new standards of customer orientation. These new standards encompass the principles of agility, transparency, and flexibility. The mindset shift that is high on creative problem solving and continuous improvement is the next step. A meaningful performance measurement system should finally support the culture that best supports the omnichannel banking experience.

Conclusion

Driving a customer-first omnichannel experience in an age when new channels surface every other day is a complex task. To ensure that improvements address customer needs will happen when banks and Fintechs place the customer in the center of their ecosystem. With each passing day, customers will become more tech-savvy, so banks must rise to the challenge by elevating the quality standards of their systems and live agent interactions. This mindset will help them achieve the seamless omnichannel service that separates them from the competition.

 

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5 Trends for Transforming Digital Customer Experience in Banking

5 Trends for Transforming Digital Customer Experience in Banking

As the world sheltered indoors, customer activity transited online. Enterprise growth strategy – notably the Banks – hurriedly embraced digital customer experience. McKinsey reported how organizations were leapfrogging their digital journeys by four years, and new portfolios that could have stayed on shelves for years started to see accelerated releases.

Experience is everything, and for the Banking sector, the bias for action is more urgent and the penalty for inaction harsher. Because compared to other commodities, when it comes to managing money, speed, convenience, consistency, and a human touch offer instant opportunities of either creating delight or frustrate with oversight.

5 Trends for Transforming Digital CX in Banking

Digital-Human Platforms Tech (Emotional connection is the new customer satisfaction)

Banking growth agendas are tied to impactful and emotionally connected experiences customers crave with a real human being. A study found that 7 out of 10 emotionally connected customers spend twice with brands they’re loyal to, and this ’emotional capital’ can drive a 5% uplift in annual revenue. Challenging the boundaries of machine cognition, AI technology to craft hyper-realistic personalized experiences with real-time speech and behavior will mean bankers must develop deep expertise in use-cases, problem statements, and persona creation. While the game-changing results are early, present-day traction is seen in chatbots, co-browsing solutions, and personal finance management (PFM) solutions.

Automated onboarding is only the start (Every impression is the first impression)

The current-day electronic onboarding processes use automation to expedite the process so that the overall CX is measured in terms of speed and convenience. A great start but inevitably, the conversation shifts to ‘personalization’ – a growth lever that industry studies suggest can lead to annual revenue uplifts to 10%. In the second half of 2022, Fintechs will move from standard personalization (data analytics for targeted marketing and sales messaging) to hyper-personalization (using predictive analytics, AI, and ML to target individuals). The outcome of this “humanizing-digital” approach means banks will employ rich data insights to monitor and offer the latest solutions. Every impression will feel fresh to the customer.

CX teams at the heart of Banking operations (‘To gather,’ Together)

The science of CX in Banks grows phenomenally. The real-time nature of the business – gathering customer perceptions, pain points, and closing feedback loops needs diverse groups adept at business strategy, data, engineering, design, and marketing. To bring insights, learnings, and experiments and get their execution correct, A-list banks – JP Morgan Chase, TD Bank, Capital One, and PNC, to name a few – work through cross-functional CX teams. Built on multiple approaches and iterations, a bank’s dedicated CX team brings unique perspectives and is more likely to create a seamless and impactful omnichannel experience. If the discussion sways, the counter group pulls back the focus on what’s best for the customer.

The experience KPIs (shifting the measures and measuring the shifts)

Given the above trends – forging emotional connections and dedicated CX teams – it is obvious how the current banking metrics of sales, conversion, and the number of leads and prospects must evolve. What are the possible new KPIs? There is a host to choose from – user feedback, total active users, net promoter score, positive and negative comments on social media, app ratings on Google Play and the App Store, Customer lifetime value (CLV), retention, switch rates, and customer loyalty index. The reason is moving from a pure intellect approach to an approach that mixes intuition and emotion. A key CX trend for Banks (especially after the pandemic) is to include empathy and purpose in their brand messaging and overhaul its success parameters.

Looking Beyond the Cookie (first-party data is the first-priority data)

As third-party cookies disappear, organizations scramble to alter their customer identification and targeting processes. Banks are at an advantage. They have long collected and authenticated their digital traffic, which plays a prominent part in providing their financial services. Not so much reliant on third-party data, the leaders in the banking game are not only harvesting customer insight but also assigning high business value to all customer outreach activities. Case in point: Customers with incomplete loan applications take precedence over a routine product inquiry. As behavioral data can heavily predict buying behavior, the more Banks can bring audience affinities into their CX campaigns, the likelier they are to strengthen customer intimacy and consequently grow loyalty.

In sum, Financial services brands offer their customers very personal, impactful products and services – home and automotive loans, start-up capital – expect transformational CX strategies in the sector to evolve at a faster pace than others.

 

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Digital Customer Experience Strategy 2022: Five Key Areas to Focus your Efforts

Digital Customer Experience Strategy 2022: Five Key Areas to Focus your Efforts

Creating innovative, empathetic experiences across omnichannel forges long-lasting relationships with customers. Forrester predicts pandemic to have boosted digital customer service interactions by 40%. Today, business leaders see seamless and ‘aha’ experiences as the bedrock of their growth strategy. To get good at the customer experience (CX) makes eminent sense given the diversity of customer issues that we face today – emergency, utilities, financial, or psychological needs.

In a volatile economy, where every possible micro-landscape (work or business) shifts without notice, all ‘customer-roads’ lead to one value: Purpose. From workers seeking existential meaning, and activists holding lawmakers accountable for far-ranging issues of climate sustainability, equity, diversity, and inclusion, brands are rewiring their marketing and CX functions to reflect purpose in more profound ways. After all, the race to serve, satisfy, and delight customers are genuinely on.

Over a tumultuous 24-month period, while companies have double-downed on money and efforts to create digital and data powerhouses, the tenuous linkage of technology with Digital customer experience must be clarified.

At the heart of CX are three basics – ‘SEE’ – success (did the customer get what he/she came for?), effort (was the process friction-free?), and emotion (did the exchange elevate?). The seemingly effortless elements do not explain that progressive organizations still miss the mark. Global CX trends report that when experiences don’t meet expectations, the collective losses accumulate to as much as $4.7T annually.

Let’s state two basics before elaborating on broader aspects of CX transformation.

  1. The customer is on 24/7. The businesses also need to.
  2. User experience journeys are rife with lost opportunities due to empathy. That has to change.

 Designing stellar CX Strategic Journeys

A winning CX strategy that brings customer delight must be constructed methodically.

The outside-in perspective begins with awareness. As a customer searches for a brand, product, or service online, brands need to test and create intuitive workflows. The better an organization understands how customers engage, their intentions, and desired outcomes, the more meaningful will be the discovery process. Next in designing a CX strategy comes the critical step of competitor evaluation. After all, we are all comparing all the time.

From profiling points of differentiation across channels, optimizing SEO, managing media, and engaging influencers for the company’s authentic side to shine through, the focus is to win the perception of quality in customers’ minds.

Around this time, a clear definition of success (for example, the customer acquisition costs, conversions, cost to serve) has to be agreed on and communicated across the associated departments of sales, marketing, product, operations, and customer services.

Apart from laying down industry-leading conflict resolution practices, finally, designing a CX strategy necessarily is to work on levers that convert buyers to advocates over time. Fostering customer loyalty and advocacy, primarily through social media, not only nurtures positive brand sentiment but is also about generating valuable real-time insights.

In 2022, focus on these five focal areas for elevating CX. 

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Graceful Degradation in banking

Graceful Degradation in banking

Beyond revenue losses and trust erosion, the recent Facebook outage brings urgent lessons. For banks aspiring to grow CX capabilities at scale, it is a clarion call to revisit “Graceful Degradation”, according to Muraleedhar Ramapai, executive director at Maveric Systems

An attention-deficit planet is unlikely to forget the memorable Monday moan in a hurry. For six hours, Facebook and its app family of Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp went down. Beyond the flood of FOMO memes, the impact to Facebook was tangible – shares fell 4.9 percent, its US ad revenues bled $545,000 each hour, not to mention the inconvenience it brought on to millions of businesses that rely on Facebook pay to access e-commerce sites. Using specific indicators from World Bank and other agencies, the cost of shutdown tool (COST) was estimated at $160m to the global economy.

An internal Facebook blog pointed to a cascade of mistakes, but the effect grows ominous as one considers how outages at brands like  Target, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft influences market leaders across BFSI and Fintechs. After all, with massive investments in digital banking, banks want to, and laudably so, replicate their scale and customer agility.

To be fair, not all of us are FOMO sapiens. But the fear-of-missing-out does influence the billions of dollars’ worth of resiliency agendas pursued across global enterprises. That fear is of course rooted due to rising global uncertainty, fluctuating geopolitical risks, an increased frequency of natural disasters, recurring large-scale outages and security breaches.

Resilience is an easy word to proffer, tricky to pin, harder to promise. But the singular difference, between Big Techs and banking, is the essential nature of services. Not being able to stream a favourite movie, upload a picture, or refresh a feed, are all lower on the “anxiety-spectrum” as compared to when banking systems go down. The sweet spot? Combine the agility and innovation of Big Techs with the resilience and reliability of banking systems.

To a certain extent while regulatory oversight shields customers’ data and deposits, the number of outages at banks aren’t negligible, in fact just the opposite. Consider, the ten outages a month at Barclays, or even the recent disruptions across Bank of America, and Visa.

How serious is the resiliency imperative?

In an age where every company aspires to turn pure cloud, the resiliency imperative is alive for not only the FAANG’s (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google). According to McKinsey research, companies report that one month or more of disruptions occur every 3.7 years, resulting in losses worth almost 45 percent of one year’s EBITDA over the course of a decade.

So, what does resiliency mean for our hyper connected world? Simply said, whereas quarantines and social distancing works for humans; for systems a different fail-safe is needed. It is called Graceful Degradation.

The business need for Graceful Degradation

The theory and practice of Graceful Degradation (GD) is captured by the question “If everything was to fail, what’s the most important thing that needs to work?” For network engineers, product managers, UI designers, and CX professionals, as we would shortly discover, the answer to that question is neither straightforward nor facile.

Let’s say you are in the middle of an online moment – booking an airline seat, at the ATM withdrawing cash, locking a stock market transaction, browsing Netflix recommendations – and the network breaks, or latency hits a threshold, or maybe a power outage or the system inexplicably behaves in an unexpected way. Complex systems, after all, are often fragile systems where macro level issues of saturation, latency, and excessive workloads are failures with more than one root cause.

What happens next? Does the seat get locked out, the card retained by the ATM, instead of your personalisation’s does Netflix offer general selections? How much of failure status does the system communicate to the user and at what stages? At the point of failure, how much information counts as good customer service and yet, doesn’t create silent anxiety? Does the “broken” system offer alternatives to delight the customer or not? If yes, how? Does it shed workloads, or time-shift it or reduce the service quality or add more capacity? Does the system prioritise between functions – may be onboarding new users smoothly over allowing latency for users already on the platform?

These are all answers to the primary question: how should the system gracefully degrade?

The ability to maintain limited functionality even when a large portion of it is rendered inoperative to prevent catastrophic failure, is how large-scale enterprise applications generate the power of resiliency.

Designing a Graceful Degradation system

In the age of CX dominance, the first aspect of designing a gracefully degradable system is probably obvious. These are the twin design features of fail fast (setting aggressive timeouts such that failing components won’t make the entire system crawl to a halt) and fall backs (designs that allows for fall back to lower quality). Once the failure has been “injected” comes the critical part –  test it.

Graceful degradation may begin with causing the failure to see what happens, but it is equally thinking about what to expect before it happens, and what was designed to happen when it does take place?

How to introduce GD in banking user journeys

  • Rather than stating the entire app being down, build portions (especially information vending) that are serviceable from multiple sources of the same truth.
  • For transactions, even as the promise and intent are to provide straight through processing, the architecture should be message driven. It should switch between request/response at full availability and publish/subscribe on lower service levels.
  • Create secure embedded data stores within customer apps that isn’t network-dependent or has to seek enterprise app(s) for every function.

Seizing the future – learning the Netflix way

No matter the cause, the fact that technology will disappoint, can be countered by the question: How can we handle the failure gracefully? What stops us from planning ahead to keep our customers happy? Ahead. Not after the feature is built, the product tested, and the version released. The profits of heeding GD lessons come to us from another iconic brand – Netflix. After its 2o12 Christmas eve outage when across parts of US, Canada, and Latin America programming went off-stream, the company put in a slew of GD measures. Netflix today regularly uses external services to simulate service failure, automates zone failover and recovery, and de-risks critical dependencies.

Eventually like Netflix, if banks are to increase GD into their operational systems, they must begin by rethinking their resiliency philosophy.
Disclaimer: Originally published on Bobsguide

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Customer Experience in Retail Banking – The Need and Top Priorities

Customer Experience in Retail Banking – The Need and Top Priorities

Retail banking has never had it worse and delivering a good customer experience is more important than ever. It is a banking sector that is still trying to build its reputation from the 2008 financial crisis, but today, customers are far less forgiving with more market players and with more choices.

Customer experience is the basis for customer loyalty in many retail banking areas, so effective internal communication in retail banking is crucial as the sector grows.

“Bottom line, having a customer-centric culture is more than just a good thing- it’s becoming a matter of survival.”
Jim Marous

To keep their customers, retail banks need to place customer experience as their focus. Looking at the customers’ need and delivering them efficiently will help keep their head above the ground.

This blog article dwells in to the various customer experience needs and priorities in retail banking, and how technology can help achieve them.

The need of Customer Experience in Retail Banking

According to a report by marketsandmarkets, customer experience market is projected to grow from USD 8.5 billion in 2020 to USD 14.9 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.8% from 2020 to 2025. This estimate clearly echoes on to the initiatives lined up for customer experience transformation in every industry. Let us look at why retail banks need customer experience
Customer needs are rapidly changing in Retail Banking
Today, customers are more empowered, less loyal, and usually maintain relationships with multiple financial institutions. Customers are far more demanding as there are numerous options that all want their business. Understanding the customer’s mindset and knowing what competitors are doing, could aid retail banks in devising an effective strategy that lets both sides benefit.

Positive customer experience is more important than ever as reports show that customers trust peer reference seven times over advertisements. If a customer does not get a good service, they may never return to the bank and their perception levels drastically changes. Already, customers are skeptical about financial institutions, and their reviews/complaints make more significant impacts globally with the advent of social media.
Helping Customers Select the Right Products
Customers are looking for retail banking partners who can recommend suitable products they need. Researching options is crucial in the onboarding process, and customers are looking for banks that can take the process off their hands. In the onboarding journey of customers, researching options is one of the most deficient performing aspects, but it is twice as important as any other step in the onboarding path.

A retail bank can personalize customer engagements by recommending best options based on their available information and needs. This way retail banks can significantly boost the levels of customer satisfaction. If you explain all the options available to the customers clearly, they’re more confident in their choices and will trust you better. All of these contribute in no small part towards retaining the customer.

How can retail banks offer
superior customer experience?

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Top Customer Experience Priorities in Retail Banking

  • Personalization is key

    You have to deal with customers who belong to an age where no one wants to visit the branch. So, we are more or less seeing branchless banking in full swing. This is where banks have to be very innovative and adopt personalized approaches which can help them. In order to cross-sell or up-sell, many retail banks have started aligning personal account advisors and managers who can help their customers. Furthermore, retail banks can take advantage of new-age experience platforms and systems which allow highly personalized customer engagements.

  • Omnichannel Methods is the way forward

    Fostering a seamless experience through omnichannel banking is one of the biggest trends in retail banking. The five omnichannel methods are communication, face-to-face interactions, data, onsite check-in, and online appointment booking. Communication involves keeping customers informed of all the required information on a daily basis through various channels. Data involves using key metrics to gather intelligence on what customers want most so you can engage with them in the best possible way.

    Of all the omnichannel methods, appointment booking plays the most important role because it allows customers to book and change appointments anytime, giving them enough flexibility. Retail banks worldwide are implementing different forms of appointment booking methods to make the customer journey seamless and safe. KYC processes are done virtually through videos by many banks to avoid branch visits. This trend touched its peak in the current crisis. Necessary web security controls are in place to avoid any data theft and cyber security threats. Other essential features of the omnichannel approach include mobile app integration, internet banking, and self-check-in services.

  • Efficiency is a clear choice

    Keeping efficiency for customers and staff is now paramount in delivering quality service. Putting a customer journey management system in the process can significantly improve the handling of customers in a branch leaving customers more satisfied.

    A smoother journey means less wait time for the customers, and the staff is positioned and used effectively to obtain the best results. A sound customer journey management system ensures that they are directed as customers entering the branch virtually, and staff attends to them in a smooth process. Reinforcing this kind of positive experience will encourage the customers anytime they have to come into the bank.

  • Transform customer experience
    for your retail bank.

    Talk to us right away!

    How Can Technology Help?

    Customers are looking for simple banking system they can easily understand their needs and wants. Other important factors are transparency, conciseness, and precise services. Banks that are upfront about all their fees, rates, communications, and services are on the right path to keeping customers satisfied. Investing in the right technology can bring unmatched value to retail banks in raising the bar for customer experience. These include as follows

    • Flawless communication
      Communication is paramount in garnering customer experience. Effective means of communication through best-of-breed channels is a clear necessity. Technology service providers can help in building innovative channels which foster the culture of prompt response system to engage and retain customers easily.
    • Proactive Support matters
      Many customers want interactive and personal relationships with their banks, especially with regards to support. This is where retail banks also have to put efforts into advisory services through technology channels. Banks can use a combination of external and internal resources, including networks of financial experts and advisors, to provide reliable insights to their customers through apps and other means. Banks can also utilize big data and analytics to gain prior knowledge of their customers and their behaviors to deliver personal finance tools.
    • Live Assistance
      Mapping your customer’s journey with CRM software can help banks identify specific metrics such as:

      • Insights to help reduce the customer journey
      • Know and understand customer expectations to serve them better
      • Detecting common complaints
      • Identify the common touchpoints of customers with the bank.

      Based on the information obtained from the above, retail banks can serve their customers better with live assistance using advanced tools like video chat and co-browsing. Visual customer engagement methods can help banks proffer faster solutions to their customers in real-time. Banks will improve customer resolution time, cut down on the sales cycle, and assign tickets to touchpoints appropriately.

    • Chatbots
      Even though chatbots shouldn’t replace human contact, you can use them for routine and simple customers tasks so staff can focus on more significant business priorities. Some of these tasks include checking account balance, changing addresses, outstanding credit card amount, and other tasks where humans are not needed. AI can help you train the bots to handle conversations better and match language style or convenient time with the customer. Bots can also help you deliver a 24/7 availability that customers crave in today’s world. Integrating chatbots into apps can give them access to the user’s account details and provide more personalized service.

    Conclusion

    Retail banks need to transform into a model that puts customers at the heart of their service to better fit in today’s world. Previous traditional banking systems were based on services that suit the banks and not the customers. But today, where there’s fierce competition, that model may be their undoing.

    Banks need to learn to cross-sell and deliver excellent service that leaves customers satisfied to maximize their ROI. Putting the priority on customer experience can help banks compete in the market favorably.

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