The Value Of CX In Financial Services

As digital financial services become more prevalent, banks and financial service providers are improving their customer experience (CX) programs worldwide. Artificial intelligence, smart analytics, and digital verification solutions provide banks with plenty of opportunities to improve customer service, but it’s important to keep track of what’s working and what’s not when it comes to refining a digital banking experience.

Beyond supporting new levels of efficiency, the digital experience enables banks to provide enhanced value to their customers. This is especially relevant in a market where customers can switch banks more easily than ever before and are often incentivised to do so. As financial leaders strive to remain competitive, they must prioritise digital experience to meet consumer demands and keep pace with today’s pace of innovation.

When it comes to outperforming the competition, financial institutions must closely review their digital customer experience and evaluate its impact on business growth. Other priorities may arise, especially around changing regulations or business operations, but by actively quantifying good digital customer experience, leaders can improve buy-in across the business.

Customer centricity: what it takes

Even before the pandemic, providing a high-quality online customer experience was a challenge, but the additional enforced virtual footfall only added to the difficulty. As bricks-and-mortar branches were forced to close, challenger banks such as Curve, Revolut and Monzo that offered app-only banking seemed best positioned to fulfil customer needs.

A recent survey of 250 banking and financial service companies found that three quarters (74%) of banks and finance firms intend to improve customers’ digital experience by upgrading their website or app. Meanwhile, 63% plan to automate customer interactions through chatbots and robo-advisors. However, only 48% are confident that they have the right approach to adopting new technology to ensure they can respond quickly to changing customer demands over the coming year.

For banks to mirror the experience happening in a branch, they need to understand what customers want online. For example, applicants who start a loan application online and then have to go to a branch might abandon it as a result. Banks need to offer digital options that reflect the way their customers interact with businesses today. By reviewing real-time customer insights to identify bottlenecks in the digital experience, especially on mobile devices, customer frustration can be reduced.

Adopting an iterative approach to product development is essential, and when customers’ attention spans last mere seconds, brand engagement is vital. Agility is the killer advantage that financial service providers can utilize to stay on top of evolving trends and gain the attention of demanding customers. Agile might sound like it equates with increased risk, but it actually mitigates many of the risks traditionally associated with new functionality. System breaks are less likely to occur when small changes are made regularly than when huge changes are made. Also, if small changes cause issues, they can be rolled back quickly and quietly, pointing to continuous improvement rather than a “wait for the next big release” mentality.

Creating innovation

A number of banks are also looking for new ways to innovate without compromising their digital experience. Offering innovative services while maintaining the same ‘trusted provider’ image is important. It’s a balancing act, because whilst new services can be enticing they can also lead to uncertainty, impacting customer trust and loyalty. This is where data comes in. Predictive and real-time data are essential for financial services to know how new changes and innovations might affect client relationships.

Staying connected and aligned across teams and departments is also critical to balancing customer-centricity and digital innovation. This provides a holistic understanding of customer needs. Quantifying insights and building daily goals help teams to evolve, but stay true to their brand.

It takes a lot more than just answering the phone quickly to provide an amazing customer experience. Business leaders can turn customer frustration into quality proactive touchpoints by having technical steps in place that recognize customer needs. Turn the pain and irritation into a delightful and unexpected customer experience. With this, customer frustration can be turned into loyalty and a greater chance of returning business in the future.

It’s a new way to work for established banks. While challenger brands are used to it, institutions that could be more than 150 years old aren’t, so it can feel like a major step. The process doesn’t have to be immediate and sweeping. It can be iterative or incremental. The rest will come naturally.

Alex Thomson

Alex Thomson joined Quantum Metric in 2021 and is responsible for driving Quantum Metric’s EMEA go-to-market strategy. As an executive leader with 15 years of experience in business development and operations. Alex has worked for high growth VC backed software companies, with a focus on Enterprise SaaS solutions. Prior to joining Quantum Metric, Alex was Vice President of Sales at N2WS, a VC backed fast-growing private company, that focused on public cloud native backup solutions, acquired by VEEAM. Alex also had leadership roles while at LOGICnow, a leading RMM SaaS solution that was acquired by Solarwinds.

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Ahsan Zafeer covers topics related to tech and digital marketing and tweets @AhsanZafeer. Here he explains people’s fears as to why machines are taking over their jobs.