3 Ways Financial Enterprises Can Win Over Customers with Digital Experience

Lauren Burgess
Written by Lauren Burgess
July 20, 2018

There was once a time when your loyalty to your bank was close to absolute. Many people were handed a bank account by a parent as a young person and the expectation was that you did all your banking, investing and insuring through that company. Switching was complicated, and many financial institutions had such similar offerings that the idea of uprooting everything made little sense.

Today, we are inundated with options that specialize in focused areas of finance and put emphasis on delivering incredible customer experiences at every touch point. Customers have higher expectations than ever, and traditional banks and finance businesses must work hard to overcome their outdated reputation as stuffy, opaque institutions to win the trust and love of a new generation of consumers.

What do Digital Experiences Look Like for Finance Customers Today?

Positive digital experiences are less common when interacting with finance businesses than in other industries. For whatever reason, be it legislation, lengthy approval cycles or internal resistance, finance has simply been slower to undergo the digital transformation necessary to deliver remarkable customer experiences online.

The situation is slowly improving. Capgemini’s 2017 World Retail Banking Report found that, overall, North American consumers have more positive than negative experiences with financial firms. Elsewhere, however, the figures are less encouraging.

In the diagram below, you can see that the percentage of positive customer experiences are lagging in both the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions.

It’s also unsurprising to see that non-traditional firms are leading the way in creating positive customer experiences. There’s no doubt that this is in part because so many have built their businesses from the ground up with a digital-first mindset. They also tend to offer a smaller range of services but work hard to make those services the best they can be. FinTech firms in particular have been very successful in identifying specific areas where opportunities existed to ‘wow’ customers with relevant, attractive and above all, easy-to-use offerings and have taken full advantage of that gap.

Traditional banks still have significant hold over consumers, but they are losing market share because of eroding trust, changing consumer expectations and the rise of credible alternatives.

“FinTechs, focusing on specific areas of the banking value chain, and leveraging agile processes and the latest technologies, are delivering frictionless, personalized and highly attractive offerings to customers.” – World Retail Banking Report 2017.

EY’s Global Consumer Banking Survey found that 42% of consumers have used an online/mobile-only non-bank financial product or service in the last year, and a further 21% are considering doing so in the future. When asked why they would consider an online or mobile financial service, over a fifth identified better online experiences and functionality as a key reason.

Additionally, when rating the importance of financial services providing either a great digital experience or having a physical presence, a greater percentage of people mark the former as extremely/very important – across every age group.

How Can Traditional Financial Enterprises Improve the Customer Experience?

Now we know the current state of digital experience in the finance industry, let’s take a look at what finance businesses can do to begin providing remarkable experiences.

1. Analyze Customer Journeys

If you want to know how to improve a customer’s experience, you must understand how exactly they’re interacting with the financial business in the first place. Once you know the journey your customer is taking, you can look at how to reduce friction on that path and identify opportunities to delight them.

Many financial enterprises operate in silos, and consumers that have multiple interactions with various departments often receive a stilted and potentially contradictory experience. By opening channels between your departments and encouraging collaboration and communication, you can deliver a more consistent and unified experience.

As a customer, there’s truly nothing worse than having to repeat your entire situation and requirements at every touch-point – don’t make your customers do it on their journeys.

2. Leverage Data to Personalize Experiences

In Capgemini’s Big Data Alchemy Report, it was found that just 37% of customers believe that financial businesses understand their needs and preferences adequately. With the amount of data that finance companies have on their customers, this is a disappointingly low percentage. Data analytics offer businesses a significant competitive advantage, especially when it comes to delivering the kind of engaging and positive experiences that consumers have come to expect.

By choosing the right technology, finance businesses can receive essential insights into their customers’ behavior and begin offering up the right content and services as and when it’s required.

Decibel, for example, was this year named one of Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Personalization for its ability to collect, analyze and utilize intelligent customer data. With information like this, businesses can design personalized experiences that are smoother, more intuitive and more engaging at every stage of the customer journey.

3. Consider New Ways of Educating Consumers

For many people, finance continues to be a difficult and inaccessible subject. Because of this, a lot of customers aren’t aware of the types of services that are available to them and struggle to understand how finance products can benefit their lives. It’s up to finance businesses to educate customers in a way that is both informative and engaging (and promotional).

One example of a finance business doing customer education right is Decibel user Fidelity International. Each month, they produce new videos on various aspects of finance in their “MoneyTalk” series. Check out the example below from March which focuses on how to make the most out of your ISA and pension, and ideas to help you manage a changing investment landscape.

With over 300,000 views, it’s clear that customers are engaging with this excellently-produced content in a big way. Consider adopting a similar tactic to educate and delight customers with your own unique spin.

We hope you have found this blog helpful and feel ready to tackle the challenge of improving digital customer experience at your finance business. For more information on undergoing the digital transformation necessary to facilitate CX improvement initiatives, download your complimentary copy of our ebook by clicking the image below.

Topics: Customer Experience, Digital Experience, Digital Transformation, Finance
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