Enhancing Digital Customer Experience Financial Services
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
-- Leonardo da Vinci
As consumers, we have become accustomed to a certain way of life. We enjoy constant connectivity, being able, for example, to instantly able to look up the IMDB rating for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Or 24/7 access to the services which allow us to order a protective cover for our shiny new smartphone, or reserve a table the restaurant which just tweeted us a discount offer. Businesses have set a new standard for how goods and services are ordered and consumed. And when those standards are not met, as Da Vinci notes, “our eyes are turned skyward” toward better things.
As digital natives, our preferences are changing fast. And with the ease at which consumers can flit from one vendor to another, organizations are in an arms race to continue adding value that can wow the customer and create an engaging experience they will want to repeat. For the financial services (FS) sector particularly – most specifically for commercial banks and insurance organizations – this pressure has meant that organisations now have a stark choice: to meet the wishes of their customers, or risk going out of business.
Bringing the ‘Now Banking’ Vision to Consumers
Customers today want a different relationship with their banks and insurers. We don’t want to queue up at the bank on Saturday morning: we want fast and consistent transactions at any time. We aren’t happy sticking with the same accounts and services for years to come; we want to know our options, and be offered a personalized customer experience. For FS businesses, delivering against these demands requires a genuine focus on the customer, with deep insight into their wants, needs and preferences.
We have been shaped by digital change, and now demand a digitally-led relationship with our FS providers.
At Atos, we have introduced the concept of ‘Now Banking’, a vision for a more connected, convenient, and customer-centric experience. Encompassing a number of new strategies, which I will outline below, Now Banking aims to deliver a thoroughly modern form of customer engagement.
Here are the key components of creating a Now Banking service…
Be Ready to Follow the Customer Journey Down Any Path:
The customer sets the pace. He sets the agenda and decides when and how he will deal with you. Freddie Mercury of Queen sang “I want it all, and I want it now”, words a customer lives by today. While some may argue banking is about trust first and convenience second, we would suggest trust is being earned by competitors and new entrants while building a customer base that flocks to them because they will serve them on their terms.
The Fintech and peer2peer lending company LendingClub originated over $ 8 billion in retail loans in 2015. La Caixa in Spain sees 70% of their 13,6 million customers transact with them over their internet banking platform, over 30% use the mobile banking services, making them the digital leader in the Spanish market.
The omni-channel customer experience is already happening. Alongside a number of other industries – including retail and public sector - many banks and insurers have begun to invest in offering a consistent and singular experience for customers.
Mobile transactions, for example, are on the rise, and this has forced Retail banks into cutting branch numbers. In the UK, for example, branch numbers are expected to drop from 8,000 in 2015 to 5,200 by 2020, and just 3,400 by 2025.We can expect new services, such as app-only savings provider Atom Bank, to further change the way consumers expect to interact.
Understand Your Customer Inside and Out:
New concepts, such as Customer DNA, allow organizations to build rich profiles that recognize purchasing patterns in order help offer insight and guidance on how to reach out to their customers, either individually or as larger groups, in order to take effective action to sell or safeguard the business relationship. This then helps secure both future opportunities – for new sales, or customer advocacy – as well as control any potential issues early on, avoiding customer churn.
Give your Customers a Reason to Stay Loyal:
Consumers now expect providers to be proactive, and to act as their own champion in making the right choices. Consumers also expect to have second thoughts and change their mind as much as they like, they will compare their banks with the best retailers, many of which are extraordinarily flexible and inventive.
Using machine learning and artificial intelligence programs to develop targeted recommendations for alternative services, FS institutions can offer customers a personalized experience. It will also give your organization the chance to cross-sell while at the same time enriching a customer’s financial life – helping to build a deeper, more meaningful relationship
Our Now Banking approach is focused on facilitating seamless omni-channel journeys based on granular insight in the customers’ preferences to accomplish enhanced customer loyalty.
But keep in mind that transforming your approach to the customer experience hinges on bringing the ‘wow factor’ to consumers. Making a service that is unique, digitally-led, and closely tailored to the way people want to operate, will place you in the best position to cash-in on modern demands.