Customers are drawing from their positive experiences across industries, such as retail and home entertainment, and now seek similar ease, personalization, and convenience from their banks. It’s not surprising that bank executives are beginning to think differently about firm operations and are developing disruptive strategies based on innovation and agility. Although digital disruptors may have shaken up bankers initially, banks today are actively learning lessons from successes in other sectors.
Spotting and leveraging trends
Financial services firms are taking a cue from customer experience trendsetters across various industries and are working to boost customer loyalty, satisfaction, and experience by building personal relationships with customers. Banks have realized that they can repurpose disruptive techniques from other industries to foster meaningful customer connections and to grow and scale rapidly.
Retailers may have been at the forefront of using AI-enabled chatbots and virtual agents to support customers more personally, but now many innovative banks are testing and embracing solutions based on artificial intelligence.
For example, Singapore-based multinational DBS Bank encourages customers to use social media to message the bank via WhatsApp or WeChat apps. The bank’s AI solution receives the messages and automatically carries out commands. A DBS chatbot also offers customers banking tips or information such as the location of the nearest ATM. Similarly, Bank of America leverages its chatbot Erica to act as a virtual financial advisor by helping customers manage funds, pay bills, analyze spending habits, earn rewards schedule payments, and transfer money between accounts.
Superior customer service and experience are winning business strategies, especially when coupled with cross-channel digital approaches. Not surprisingly, more banks are exploring disruptive best practices from winning cross-industry trendsetters and folding these learnings into their operations.
Capgemini’s World Retail Banking Report 2018 highlights practices from a wide range of industries that banks might repurpose to offer a superior financial services customer journey.
Customer service strategies from successful disruptors
Sources: Capgemini and Efma, World Retail Banking Report 2018
It’s no secret that firms such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Tencent, and Uber have been successful thanks to proactive acceptance of open application programming interfaces (APIs) and the technology’s potential. These disruptive firms were also early adopters of advanced data processing to generate customer insights that enabled them to interact digitally at critical moments within the customer journey.
Now, forward-looking banks are also exploring APIs to create non-linear revenue growth, to encourage innovation by allowing other businesses, partners, suppliers and collaborators to innovate on top of bank platform services and to integrate third-party systems with bank systems. Banks can also learn from disruptors by reinventing their business models, especially when it comes to adopting emerging technologies.
Amazon, Uber, and Netflix have focused on consumer needs to deliver a superior value proposition by providing personalized, seamless, and connected experiences. While these firms may not have created an entirely new product or service, they are customer experience pioneers. Most offer seamless cross-channel services. For example, Apple has been a leader in providing a phygital experience (physical + digital) by offering in-store tech support once a customer has researched online and booked an online appointment. This cross-channel effort optimizes Apple’s tech support process while providing a personal touch for customers.
Now, banks such as Wells Fargo and Portland, Oregon-based Umpqua Bank are striving to create a pick-up-where-you-left-off experience across digital and physical channels. Financial transactions suited for the order-ahead phygital treatment include deposits, withdrawals, cashier’s checks, money orders and replacement credit and debit cards.
Making the customer journey a top priority
Realizing that working in silos can lead to broken or contradictory customer experiences, banks are investing in transformational programs that streamline processes and ultimately reduce operational costs. End-to-end integration of siloed processes also drives a more seamless and engaging customer experience. Moreover, it opens the door to new digital technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.
# # #