By Issa Kerremans
Can you solve this riddle?
What is it that 81% of financial services organizations agree can offer their brand a competitive edge, 58% consider it to be a primary differentiator, yet only 14% make it a crucial part of their organizational strategy?
The answer is customer experience (CX).
The 2020 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report by global technology services firm NTT Ltd has shown that despite recognizing the importance of CX, many banks and financial institutions are failing to put it at the forefront of their agendas and integrate as a core component into their strategies.
In this blog, we will explore what banks can do to ensure they are optimizing their response to changing consumer needs, and putting great CX at the core of their business – which naturally means building processes around a customer-centric business model.
Business Process Management in Banking Can Improve Customer Experience Outcomes
It doesn’t get much more personal than entrusting someone to look after your money. That’s why today’s consumer of banking services rightly expects a lot from their bank and is constantly surveying the competitive landscape for better offerings.
As with most consumer relationships, convenience is king in these modern days where time is money and people are increasingly ill-accustomed to waiting. Consumers want response and action the very same day they request. People are masters of their own timescales and schedules, and as such when managing our finances, are no longer willing to put up with delays in accessing money, waiting for payments to clear, protracted decision-making processes, clunky telephone menu systems or lengthy hold times.
Under normal circumstances, CX in banking is about making customers happy and building trust. As a result of growing satisfaction and trust, you should breed loyal followers who make use of various aspects of your product portfolio. In the context of the current financial, political and social crises, the CX landscape has evolved rapidly. A superior customer experience in banking now transcends convenience – or at least convenience now means something totally different.
The term ‘personal banking’ has never been more apt
Great CX now means personalization that goes beyond putting a picture of your pet on your debit card. It also means transparency, reassurance, and support for accessing digital tools and services that many (often older and less digitally dexterous customers) are unfamiliar with. As well as speedy development of new products and avenues of support and reassurance for customers in distress, banks must deliver accessibility and security of a different kind.
Product innovation and Digital transformation are no longer optional
Alongside the development of a positive CX strategy, and indeed inextricably intertwined with it, should be the focus on product innovation and digital transformation. For banks to deliver on products and services in the absence of physical in-branch interactions, this naturally segues into a need for enhanced compliance and security requirements.
On the subject of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the banking sector, market research firm Forrester has said: “The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the urgency for digital transformation in banking. To just have a plan has never been enough and won’t work after the pandemic either — banks need to execute on their long-standing plans.”
The global pandemic has merely accelerated global progression towards a cashless society, and towards managing banking interactions digitally. The physical location of bank branches or ATM machines and access to cash is now less important to consumers, and banks must rapidly adjust to this changing world for their customers.
But digital transformation also presents a whole new challenge, a somewhat paradoxical need to create more opportunities for human connection in an increasingly socially-distanced and digitally-focused world.
- Are your chatbots providing the right answers and signposting to real human assistance where required, but also are they human enough for customers to come away from conversations with a feeling of security and sincerity?
- Are your staff engaged enough while working remotely to provide a meaningful human interaction?
- Are your call centers equipped to handle an increase in customer touchpoints?
- Do your policies and systems leave room for empathy and understanding at a time where people are less resilient and tolerant?
- How are any of these points measurable or quantifiable?
All of these aspects of responding to a rapidly evolving set of consumer needs require in-depth insight, hoards of data, and an intuitive business process management tool that can help you weave CX seamlessly into all workflows and processes.
Process transformation is the only way to achieve the seamless CX that consumers expect and deserve, and to achieve this banks must invest in Business Process Management software that can provide end-to-end support.
Improve efficiency and manage process complexity
Continuous process optimization is a business mindset that encourages agility and flexibility in approaching how your business responds to market conditions and consumer needs. Technological support in this discipline is vital to ensuring its success and can transform the task from laborious to automatic.
Responding to changing conditions quickly, and being able to make fast, evidence-based, data-driven decisions will be the key to deeply embedding customer experience in your all departments, policies, and processes.
Through digitizing workflows, it’s possible to harmonize the relationship between employees, customers, systems, tools, and departments. It’s this kind of synchronicity that creates the fluid, seamless customer experience that is so vital to your customers right now.
Using process analysis tools to discover bottlenecks, issues, and opportunities for improvement can enable you to address these discoveries not only today but on an ongoing basis. It’s this capability that can give you the agility to continuously improve, react and plan to respond to your customer’s needs while also ensuring you remain in line with regulations.
Can your business thrive in the face of global disruption?
The gap between those who recognize the importance of optimizing all processes with a customer-centric approach and those who lack a cohesive CX strategy is widening. What are your business CX goals for 2021 and beyond? We’d love to hear from you.