Banks must refocus their customer experience agenda now more than ever to address the demands of clients who have changed their lives as a result of the epidemic.
Customers have migrated in large numbers to digital channels across all demographic categories, and they want businesses to use data and insights to create better solutions that are tailored to their unique requirements.
Prior to COVID, mobile banking solutions adoption by customers was slow; with satisfaction ratings lower than branch encounters. As a result of the epidemic shutting down branches across the country, the shift to digital happened virtually overnight, with customers swiftly adapting to the 'new normal.'
However, neither customer nor bank have completed the full digital banking transformation process.
It's on banks to ensure that customers have a seamless and intelligent digital banking experience.
How To Build an Intelligent Digital Banking Experience
1. Support the Transition to Digital Channels
Despite the fact that customers of all ages have made a considerable move to digital transactions and interactions, many customers still struggle with the fundamentals of digital banking.
While people may have become accustomed to checking their accounts on a mobile device, their level of comfort is likely to deteriorate from there. This is why customers who use mobile banking the least are the ones who are the least happy with digital banking.
Banks and financial service providers must do all necessary to make the shift to digital channels as smooth as feasible. This covers, but is not limited to, the following features:
- Educational Tools: Customers should get continuing instructions on how to conduct all common digital actions, including checking their balance, moving funds, paying another person, and depositing a check. Many companies have done an outstanding job of generating simple, segment-specific video instructions that are backed up by chatbots and live human service. Institutions must promote the availability of these learning aids through all available media (including direct mail, branch personnel, texts with links, online statements and mobile banking apps).
- Simpler Processes: Customers are already facing time constraints that were unimaginable only a few months ago. Many people need to work from home while simultaneously serving as a teacher and a babysitter during the same hours. Because time is money, easy and smooth digital functionality will be essential. When a customer wants to create a new account or apply for a loan online, they don't have time for the typical 5-10 minute (or more) process. All digital procedures must be simplified by banks and financial service providers to improve the customer experience. In comparison to the largest banks and tiniest fintech startups, the utilization of excellent internal and external data, along with revised procedures, may help enterprises position themselves favorably.
- Meaningful Digital Engagement: The longer a customer utilizes his or her mobile banking app, the more at ease they will feel. As a result, easy-to-find online and mobile functionality is required. The goal is to make your organization's digital app useful for more than simply financial transactions, including features such as appointment-setting applications and budgeting tools, as well as local store discount coupons and news flashes. Simplicity, transparency, real-time analytics, and a customer-centric approach should all be part of the value offer for customers.
- Personalization: If there is one revelation that customers have had as a result of the epidemic, it is the potential of businesses across industries to tailor digital experiences. customers are more conscious than ever of the value of their data, with Netflix and Spotify giving highly tailored entertainment alternatives based on prior watching or listening behaviors, and Amazon, Instacart, and most digital shops making buy suggestions. customers want you to know them, understand them, and make proactive financial suggestions based on their past and future activities in real time.
- Culture Shifts: Customer and member satisfaction are driven by employee satisfaction. While most financial institutions place 'enhancing the client experience' at the top of their business goals, many overlook the extent to which workers require assistance during the epidemic. Employees will be ill-equipped to give a great experience to customers if they are under stress because they think that digital alternatives will cost them their jobs, or because they are 'out of the loop' on their employer's direction. To enable staff to better serve their clients, we must leverage data, insight, and continual communication (along with training). We must also prepare them for the financial industry's future.
2. Driving Engagement with Data and Analytics
The banking sector has seen fast advancements in digital technology, as well as the application of data and artificial intelligence (AI) to create engaging client experiences.
The way financial institutions interact with customers is changing across the customer experience.
Banks and financial service providers may build and provide tailored goods and services in real time, generating revenues and loyalty much beyond what was previously conceivable, by embracing a creative culture backed by the utilization of quality and consistent data across the firm.
This is a difficult stage of the digital banking transformation process because it necessitates full leadership commitment, enhanced skills, total organizational buy-in, significant revisions to legacy technology and processes, and an openness to partnering with external providers who can provide flexibility and agility.
Despite the fact that practically all financial institutions recognize the importance of data and AI in driving the future of client experiences, most banks are still struggling to have a coherent data and advanced analytics strategy.
The majority of companies have used AI for risk and fraud detection, but nearly none have invested in leveraging the same capabilities to boost customer engagement at scale.
The presence of legacy systems, a lack of current personnel, organizational silos, consistent data quality, and proper resource allocation (time and money) are among the top issues highlighted by financial institutions.
Legacy banking organizations must respond with new business models, enhanced value propositions, and differentiated customer experiences, with fintech firms already using advanced analytic tools and modern technologies to drive segment-based digital solutions, and big-tech firms looking to enter financial services focused on highly personalized engagement.
3. Effectiveness vs. Efficiency
Financial institutions have always talked about enhancing client experiences, but their focus has been on utilizing technology to cut costs and improve efficiency.
From ATMs to card-based payments to mobile banking, the argument was made that these advances were beneficial to customers, whereas the fact was that they were just ways to give the same services at a reduced cost.
In fact, each 'advance' was justified based on the bank's expected cost savings.
The good news is that digital transformation may lower the costs of supporting technology, data storage and processing, underlying back office operations and procedures, human resources, and even inefficiencies and fraud losses. And, unlike many other technological improvements in the past, data and AI may add value beyond cost savings.
When used correctly, data and AI may create income by customizing products and services at scale, as well as increase the capacity to sell and promote solutions across numerous channels with proactive and contextualized suggestions.
There's also the possibility of using the data to enable open banking solutions that go beyond traditional banking.
Data and sophisticated analytics also allow traditional banking businesses to innovate at a rate that has never been seen before.
Innovation may be done at a near-real-time speed, as opposed to quarterly, annual, or longer updates to goods and/or applications, because the underlying insights will be consolidated, standardized, correct, and globally available.
4. The Digitally Empowered Customer
The future of digital interaction will involve the financial institution sharing real-time insights with the customer.
Banks and financial service providers will communicate the results of analytic models with customers to empower them to better manage their money, similar to how a concierge at a hotel or a digital hospitality or entertainment app delivers insights to customers to allow them to make educated decisions.
Every activity the customer conducts on a regular basis, from moving across the city to making purchases to interacting on social media, will be able to provide information.
More accurate and timely suggestions may be provided in the future as a result of sharing insights and improving client interaction, thereby enhancing the total value of the relationship.
This also raises the client's desire for future interaction – a win-win situation for both the customer and the financial institution.
According to the MIT Sloan Management Review, there are four important features that distinguish customer empowerment:
- Customers, not staff, are the "users" of data analytics.
- Because analytics must be built as part of the product's total feature and experience portfolio, product owners, not IT, lead the product road map.
- The economic benefits come from increased sales, not from improved internal corporate processes.
- It's dangerous; if organizations don't give accurate, valuable data packaging, they risk confusing, irritating, offending, or driving away their customers.
Because the customer expects a consistent experience across all touch points, building an empowered customer capability necessitates the empowering of all customer-facing workers in a company.
The benefit of an empowered digital banking customer is that they are prepared to collaborate to improve the service.
Finally, the capacity to process massive amounts of internal and external data in near-real-time is required.
5. Delivering an Intelligent Experience: Data and Insights
Financial institutions must commit to becoming a "digital bank" in order to provide sophisticated digital banking experiences to its customers and members.
Financial service providers must commit to modernizing the back-office, which is buried in legacy systems, processes, people, and culture, far beyond being a bank with digital capabilities.
Leadership must support the evolution of operational models, fundamental technology, decision-making processes, and customer service.
Most significantly, businesses must take a long-term approach to digital transformation.
This investment must involve the creation of high-quality, consistent data that is accessible throughout the company.
The relevance of humans in a digital experience is sometimes ignored. We are not talking simply about customer service here.
The analysis of data and the deployment of insights to foster engagement are all part of the humanization of an intelligent digital banking experience.
In most circumstances, technology and automation should be utilized to supplement rather than replace human judgment. Better outcomes and a more customized experience will result as a result of this.
6. Keep The Customer In Mind
Is your company distinguished by the level of personal service it gives, the items it sells, the level of trust it inspires, or the way it supports the community? Do customers want you to be a trailblazer or are they OK with the basics?
However, be wary of aspirational assumptions, since they may create a misleading narrative, and focusing solely on existing clients might restrict your development possibilities. Don't forget to find out what your target market wants.
Continuous measurement is required to keep track of what customers desire and how your company is doing.
Too frequently, financial institutions focus on non-digital, transaction-based interactions rather than gauging satisfaction across multichannel journeys.
Building Digital Banking Products and Services with Sitech
Sitech is a digital transformation solutions provider specialized in the planning, design, development, and delivery of numerous life changing fintech products. We can help you identify the ideal technical requirements needed to support your bank's vision and digital strategy objectives.