5 must-dos for banks to delight customers

Using data in new and more efficient ways is the key to targeting the right markets and offering relevant products at the right time.

The word “delightful” is not typically synonymous with banking. But digital tools can allow banks to support and reassure customers with seamless and personalized connections.

Data is the key to ensuring curated and personal holistic experiences. Whether your customers visit branch locations or use mobile apps, it is crucial to understand and anticipate their needs, leaving them feeling supported and empowered. To achieve this, you need to harness data and segment customers in new and innovative ways, target the right markets and offer relevant products at the right time.

Here’s a game plan.

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Accelerate insightful decision making: Bank leaders understand that gathering customer information from every touch point—websites, mobile apps, branches, call centers and even social media—helps them improve the customer experience and allows them to achieve the ultimate goal: competitive advantage.

By liberating data from siloed legacy systems, a data-driven bank can leverage all of its data to predict outcomes, see patterns and improve processes and customer service. Near-real-time data analysis can help leaders determine which customer segments are most likely to buy a certain product and where to embed cross-selling activities in the customer journey.

Truly understand your customer: When banks actively leverage data to discover customers’ wants and needs, they also provide value and personalization that builds their credibility as trusted advisers, which leads to increased customer loyalty and new opportunities.

Bank customers want a seamless, integrated, omnichannel and harmonious experience; if they are dissatisfied, they will look for other options. Because mobile and digital banking are increasingly important channels for all customers, banks must be prepared to deliver a variety of relevant, personalized services. Both financial and nonfinancial data are necessary to build these relevant experiences.

Map the customer journey: From a visit with the branch loan officer to an app-enabled digital deposit, every interaction must be tracked. Mapping the journey requires actionable insights that are only possible with data analytics.

Viewing these connections through dynamic dashboards and visualizations makes it easier to identify gaps and correct any misalignment between channels. Mapping also validates whether customer experience strategy is aligning with business KPIs. In a challenging marketplace, understanding how customers are engaging with your brand will help determine where profitability can be improved.

Take a holistic approach: As we pivot into the next normal, it’s even more important to focus on the entire customer journey. Having robust customer insights and knowing how to use them is an essential part of being a data-driven bank. But as we’ve seen, innovation is a pain point for banks of all sizes, so it’s not surprising that many retail banks lack a formal customer experience strategy.

Once your organization is able to deliver on this strategic vision, it will be easier to maximize efficiencies and determine whether the “clicks” or the “bricks” in the customer journey require

more attention.

Reimagine the bank branch: Customers are highly satisfied with the service they receive from their mobile apps, websites and chat experiences, but only branches have achieved an eye-opening 79% first-touch success rate.

A new type of branch is emerging that is designed to be an integral part of customer experience and consistent across channels. Data, data analytics and visualization play a central role in this new model. Using advanced tools and technologies, banks can build robust, near-real-time analyses across a variety of data types, no matter where the data reside.

For banks, using data in new and more efficient ways is critical to the future. They need to unlock data and break it out of silos. They need to analyze that data and use it to make smart decisions that empower employees and improve customer experience. Banks that achieve these goals will not only survive but thrive in this increasingly digital world filled with nimble competitors.

Nick Beil is vice president, product management, Tableau at Salesforce.

Explore actionable insights on how financial services organizations can use data to create strong relationships and enhance other business opportunities in the BAI Executive Report, “The power of data: How banks and credit unions can put it to work”