Continuous industry disruption, accelerated by the pandemic, has raised the urgency and importance of delivering better digital experiences for all banks. Boston Consulting Group reported that online banking increased by 23%, and mobile banking is up 30% due to the pandemic. And EY found that consumer adoption of fintechs in the U.S. has skyrocketed from about 20% in 2015 to nearly 50%.
Nobody in banking could have predicted the pandemic and all of the ways it would disrupt the industry, but some were better positioned to quickly respond and raise their digital customer experience game. They are seeing the returns in the form of retaining and deepening more customer relationships, poaching valuable primary bank customers who grew frustrated with their previous bank, and driving efficiencies through better self-service interactions.
Where some of these leaders are focusing their experience management efforts now yields four top initiatives.
Customer listening and action at scale
Continually transforming customer journeys in ways that affect customer behavior and grow business outcomes means turning the dial on customer listening way up, and not just of the few customers who fill out surveys. It requires investing in advanced tech that captures what the ‘silent majority’ of customers are saying.
Thanks to artificial intelligence and natural language processing, these customer signals can be analyzed from phone calls, email, chat logs, social media and more. The resulting insights can be married with behavioral and customer profile data to quantify how customers engage, what they want and how they perceive their experiences.
Improvements to customer buying journeys
Customers expect the same easy, seamless experiences in their banking purchases as they do in retail, hospitality, or entertainment. A clunky experience within a refi or applying for a credit card can lead to abandonment at any point in the process.
To speed up their ability to improve purchase conversions, leaders are adopting sophisticated digital user session capture and experience analytics tools to track customers through every step of their digital journey. This, along with direct customer feedback, gives user experience teams the data-driven insights they need to accurately and quickly identify not only what is causing those purchase dropouts, but why it is happening, and from there, how to fix it.
CX initiatives that deliver both savings and revenue
Improving digital experiences not only makes customers’ lives easier, it can also reduce the volume of high-cost branch and call center interactions, which can improve the customer’s service experience at those touchpoints. On the flip side, glitches, poor design or kludgy transitions in digital experiences can drive up those costly human interaction volumes while forcing the customer to use two channels when they prefer to get their business done online.
Those two-for-one opportunities that can level-up customer experience and loyalty, while capturing cost savings from operational efficiencies, rise to the top for CX leaders who are savvy at tying spend on CX initiatives to business outcomes.
All bankers understand the importance of building strong relationships with their customers. But recent research shows that many financial services providers “fail in the human aspects of the customer relationship that drive engagement.” Trust is also declining – Edelman’s 2021 trust report shows a steep decline in financial sector trust since 2019.
This underscores how important it is for banks to understand their customers at a deeper level in order to design and deliver more personal, trusted and human relationship-building experiences. While digital is now the go-to channel for banking customers, the vast majority still want to quickly and easily access in-person help when necessary. This is particularly true for higher-stakes journeys, such as taking out a loan or dealing with identity theft, that can surface emotions like anxiety, worry and uncertainty.
Leaders are strengthening their in-house journey analytics capabilities to marry left-brain customer feedback and behavioral data insights with right-brain human-centric experience design across end to end experiences. That in turn powers innovation and adoption of faster and easier ways for customers and bankers to virtually engage with one another within and across digital and physical touchpoints.
As industry disruption progresses, banks must continually and rapidly elevate their customer experiences to be more personal, holistic and seamless across digital and in-person channels – and generally make them feel more human all around.
Daniel Brousseau is senior director, solutions principal – financial services at Medallia.