In the banking and financial services industry, customer experience often has been described as “generic,” “choppy” and “non-intuitive.” But today, the sector finally seems to be “getting it.” They are changing their approach to create a more engaging, relevant and proactive customer experience.
Even today, much of the banking customer experience centers on tasks rather than relationship-building and engagement. Banks can learn so much from how Apple, Netflix and Amazon interact with their customers. For example, why not use information they already have about their customers to improve the experience?
Example 1: Deeper Engagement
If a customer frequently checks his spending on gasoline, he’d probably appreciate seeing this information displayed up front the next time he logs into his account. That way, the bank can engage him more and even convert this interaction into a more rewarding customer experience – such as by highlighting the nearest gas station or suggesting stations with cheaper prices, or pointing out that he can use his reward points to buy gas station gift cards.
Example 2: Consistent Experience
Even with banks that have developed meaningful digital interactions on mobile or online channels, the general experience remains disjointed. Sometimes, even if an initial experience works really well, it eventually slows to a crawl and becomes more archaic as transactions become deeper (e.g. multi-day decision times, requests for faxed or mailed documents, and out of context discussion with contact centers).
Cutting to the chase: customer experience requires more than a flashy mobile app or sticky website. In order for banks to improve their customers’ experience, they must address four main components:
- User experience (UX): An intuitive, simple and exciting digital interaction that personalizes account onboarding and customer service. Can a customer seamlessly navigate from checking their account balance to the credit card fraud section?
- Next best action (NBA): Relevant and timely advice that adds value to the customer-bank relationship.
NBA helps banks acquire new accounts, increase wallet share and decrease attrition. Anticipating their next action can save customers time. It also saves banks money by handling customer needs before they must take another action, such as calling or clicking.
- Omni-channel: Maintaining context and continuity no matter which service delivery channel is used. This allows the customer to easily engage in a more connected and consistent experience. Omni-channel allows customers to quickly and easily move across channels without uploading or mailing in anything new. Customers don’t need to start over for each transaction.
- Process digitization: A flawless connection of the digital front-end experience processes to the back-end of people, processes and systems. Customers will no longer need to deal in paper. Banking sites could be orchestrated for customer service from the front end to the back end.
Customers today simply demand a more continuous and seamless experience across multiple channels. To turn this experience into reality for customers, banks must progressively build the necessary capabilities. Design thinking, a UI/UX strategy, segmentation, personas, journey mapping, analytics, mobile platforms, agile development methodologies and big data analytics are potential enablers to elevate the experience.
The most critical capability involves collecting, analyzing and applying meaning from the customer’s Code Halo . A Code Halo is the digital fingerprints customers leave around their banking interactions and transactions, as well as their online purchases and social media posts. All this metadata must be analyzed to extract value from it, which is the key to creating a superior customer experience.
To learn what this all means for customers and what is driving banks to refine their customer experience, visit the Digital Customer Experience Banking and Financial Services website. There you can download our white paper and learn more about banking best practices and the changing nature of the customer experience through digital disruption.
– Mahesh Subramanium, Sr. Principal, Cognizant Business Consulting Banking and Financial Services
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