Faced with a slow-growth environment, today’s banks are focused on finding more efficient methods of increasing wallet share while continuing to increase customer satisfaction. The evolving bank customer wants to complete both mundane and complex transactions in an automated fashion, while still valuing personal interactions that enrich their overall experience and financial knowledge. Innovative banks are now increasing wallet share by leveraging their top asset – their people – in new ways to better serve their evolving customers via unified channel experiences. Through this model, banks can achieve improved customer satisfaction, cross sales and productivity.
The past two decades have seen a tremendous investment in new methods to increase wallet share and capitalize on cross sell opportunities, often without substantial results, or results that are not sustained. While expenditures on employee sales development initiatives often led to noticeable increases in wallet share, these increases were often experienced as temporary spikes, since the numbers declined over time with employee turnover. Banks were then forced to roll out similar or new programs in an attempt to recoup the decline.
The inability or lack of commitment to keep up with technology and a general lack of innovation has been a significant contributor to lost wallet share. Banking is often viewed as a commodity by customers. If banks cannot provide savvy online banking platforms or offer just as savvy mobile banking applications, they will lose wallet share today, guaranteed.
Recent CEB TowerGroup research shows the majority of banks reported that cross-channel consistency was their primary channel-related priority. This omnichannel approach provides innovative and proven solutions for enabling “customer-centric” delivery channels, independent of geography or resource constraints.
Omnichannel solutions for banking are estimated to reduce customer revenue leakage by up to 70%, boost sales of complex products such as mortgages by up to 60%, dramatically increase productivity of valued specialists and deliver double-digit improvement in customer net satisfaction, according to our internal experience. They can potentially provide customers the flexibility to meet with experts from the comfort and privacy of their own home and close business via a virtual or in-branch meeting.
Traditionally, banks have often depended on branch representatives to assess the needs of customers and decide the best product offerings. Banks are now making better use of the data gathered across the channels to obtain a more focused picture of the customer. Many banks are now pursuing a “Customer 360” type of initiative, gaining a more comprehensive customer view and providing that information to bank representatives regardless of the channel in which the customer chooses to interact. It is this sort of “big data” play for banks that is creating more relevant conversations with customers based on the additional information being leveraged and accessed.
Many banks have taken an initial step in utilizing omnichannel solutions by offering immediate access to experts via video in those branches lacking in-person expertise. For example, Nationwide Building Society, the largest mutually-owned mortgage provider in the UK, needed better ways to attract and retain customers in a highly competitive market. Enabling omnichannel capabilities helped them improve customer satisfaction and staff efficiency, while at the same time, increasing cross sales.
As part of a pilot program, Nationwide took some mortgage consultants out of the branches altogether and encouraged customers to try their new video expert service. Once connected, the customers saw and talked with the advisors in real time, were able to review documents and mortgage choices and received printed documentation for review or signature. After that initial video-enabled meeting, subsequent consultations were scheduled using the same medium.
In evaluating the video results against in-person meetings, 93% deemed video a good or excellent face-to-face meeting replacement. Having established the benefits of the remote advisor solution, Nationwide is planning to fully deploy it in order to supplement its existing branch workforce. The program involves adapting network infrastructure, growing online branch advisor services to offer more face-to-face meetings via video, and adding new contact center resources.
Click-to-Video from mobile and PC banking is another omnichannel solution that is quickly catching on. When tied to a robust contact center solution, this technology can offer skills-based, contextual routing of video calls along with real-time expert availability, enabling the customer to connect with the right expert with the first click. Customers are responding very favorably to this immediate, more intimate way of getting information and resolving issues, and financial institutions are beginning to see the benefits of increased customer satisfaction and product sales.
Document capture via mobile devices is yet another example of an omnichannel solution that will increase wallet share. When combined with the solutions discussed above, the customer begins to see significant opportunities to cut down the time needed to complete transactions, much as remote deposit capture has done. Over the next few years, customers will be able to immediately connect to an expert from their online banking and mobile apps, have a banking expert co-browse and answer questions and immediately supply any documentation requested by the bank.
Finally, as electronic signatures gain acceptance, a significant step in the omnichannel roadmap will be reached. This may take the form of a “bucket” of captured data that will constitute the customer’s electronic signature, including not only the digital signature, but the IP address associated with the connection, document capture of customer identification and potentially a video of the customer signing a document.
It is becoming critical that banks find ways to increase wallet share through differentiated technology and service offerings. The confluence of remote electronic signatures, document capture and immediate expertise via video opens up tremendous capabilities to both the customer and the bank, enabling new ways to improve efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and drive additional share of wallet.
Mr. Henschel is senior advisor financial services, Customer Value Acceleration, at San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.