Improving the Customer Experience: A Top Priority for Banks & Financial Services in 2021

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Improving the Customer Experience: A Top Priority for Banks & Financial Services in 2021

The banking and finance industry has been very successful for a long time, with its well-established rulebook for products, services, and processes. However, in this increasingly digital age, banks and financial services providers have become far less effective with their legacy systems and data fragmentation — which is why most have jumped on the bandwagon of digital adoption to provide better customer service.

COVID-19 has also triggered these institutions to fast-track their digital incumbency and find ways to serve their clients better. For instance, 44% of retail banking customers said they are using their primary bank’s mobile app more often(1). There is a similar pattern in commercial banking (e.g., Bank of America’s business banking app witnessed a 117% growth in mobile check deposits(2). Furthermore, banks and financial services providers are now competing against FinTechs and start-ups who are digital natives.

Top Banking Priority for 2021

According to a digital banking report by The Financial Brand, one of the top banking priorities in 2021 is “improving customer experience.” (3) As new technologies continue to transform the ways we engage with banks and financial services providers, customers are more likely to focus on the experience that an institute provides them rather than just the product or service offerings.

As we look deeper, it seems that customers consider their banks and financial services providers to be trusted advisors who help them proactively manage their financial challenges and opportunities, while maintaining data security and safety. The customer experience (CX) has gone beyond the realms of technology alone to include multiple in-house processes, customer support services, and client / employee feedback. All these sources of input create an unequivocal journey map for customers, with data being collected across the entire set of customer interaction touch points.

Designing a Better CX

To ensure that customers stay engaged instead of searching for a better service provider, banks and financial services providers must intelligently leverage technology to improve the customer experience — such as providing seamless user interaction through platforms, responsive communication through both BOTs and associates, proactive customer support through big data & analytics, and gaining customer trust through security & data privacy solutions. Some of the most significant CX trends that could differentiate an institution in 2021 include:

  1. Proactive Customer Engagements: Banks and financial services providers can become a trusted advisor by using big data and analytics technology to suggest timely, customized updates and service offerings. This data, which is collected across touchpoints, must be analyzed using big data engines to cater to a customer’s expectation based on past behavior. A proactive suggestion — using analytical frameworks across channels like a banking app, text, email, or call — might help a customer hedge against a financial warning or leverage upcoming opportunities. This will lead to customer satisfaction and increased loyalty. Similarly, using intelligent BOTs to handle everyday customer support will enable banks to function 24/7 without needing significant involvement from branch locations or infrastructures.
  2. Digital Product Portfolio: The FIS Consumer Banking Report says that “72% of all bank interactions are digital.” (4) The mobility of products and services has become a mandate for banks and financial services providers, as their customer bases have a growing digital affinity. A well-defined, user-friendly mobile app that enables a customer to access their bank at their fingertips will enhance their CX, as compared to visiting a physical branch for support.
  3. Hyper-Personalization: According to SalesForce.com, “62% of consumers expect companies to adapt their products or services based on their own actions or behaviors.” (5) Therefore, banks and financial services providers need to use all available data to assess and offer solutions that are specific to their customers’ needs. Hyper-personalization enables customers to feel connected and results in revenue generation for institutions.
  4. Seamless Omnichannel: Nowadays, most customers use online, offline, and social media channels to research, compare, shop, and seek support for products and services. Hence, banks and financial services institutions need to provide a consistent, highly intuitive user experience (UX) interface across all customer touchpoints, including banking apps, websites, social media, and physical branches. Even for a bank’s most archaic processes, the technology stack and methodologies must be revamped to create a unified approach to customer engagement.
  5. Data Transparency & Security: Customers want transparency into how their personal data is being managed, as well as a fool-proof security architecture to avoid any unprecedented data leaks. For ages, security has been a “prima facie” topic of interest for all banking organizations — and this trend will continue as banks and financial services providers invest in safeguarding against new and existing digital vulnerabilities.

How GlobalLogic Can Help

GlobalLogic is a Digital Product Engineering and Experience Design company that helps businesses define, design, build, and deliver their next-generation products and digital experiences. We have done some exceptional work on digital transformation, machine learning, and front-end design for Fortune 500 banking and financial services institutions — including 4 of the Top 5 UK banks.

We have broad technical expertise in the design and delivery of various CX solutions to reconnect businesses with their customers. GlobalLogic enables banking and financial services providers to cut through the complexity of existing systems and deliver personalized, seamless, omnichannel customer experiences that are highly effective and keep customers engaged.

Conclusion

Customer Experience maturity is becoming a prevalent marker for digital acceptance among banks and financial services providers to drive revenue, retain customers, and compete against FinTechs and start-ups who have already invested in new technologies. Moving forward in this digital age, customers are more likely to stay engaged with their financial services provider if they can expect a personalized, unilateral experience across digital channels and transactions.

References

  1. Jim Miller, “Financial services COVID-19 pulse survey,” slide 35, J.D. Power, September 25, 2020. (Link)
  2. Bank of America, Q3 2020 financial results, October 14, 2020. (Link)
  3. Top Digital Banking Transformation Trends for 2021 (Link)
  4. 8 Trends Transforming Digital Customer Experience in Banking (Link)
  5. Customer Expectations Hit All-Time Highs (Link)

 

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Romen Mukherjee

Sales Enablement Manager

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