The Risk Of Not Reinventing
Banking and Financial Services
Banking and Financial Services
ForeSee banking benchmarks show that a highly satisfied banking customer is 99% more likely to recommend the brand and 50% more likely to return to the site when compared to less satisfied visitors. These are behaviors that translate to dollars.
By Kristine Stebbins
Customer Experience (CX) innovation and accelerating customer expectations, is dramatically changing the face of the financial industry.
Banks and Credit Unions are feeling the pressure to innovate or slowly lose their aging customer base and along with it; their financial foundation. According to a 2017 PWC study, 80% of financial organizations believe their business is at risk to innovators. While the industry recognizes that a customer experience strategy must be embraced, it is not always easy for large and established companies to move quickly, despite the threats from newer and more agile startup brands. However, they know if they can’t learn how to keep up with the times, they will be left behind. Now more than ever, it is critical for Banks and Credit Unions to embrace a true customer experience focus and drive innovation in their customer experience even when it might feel uncomfortable or risky to do so.
One way to deal with the risky feeling is by grounding CX decisions in valid customer data. Given the amount of customer touchpoints in financial services (ATM, phone, in branch, online, mobile), there is a staggering amount of data being collected from customers and members at each point. Typically, this data is unstructured, unorganized, and confusing to dissect in order to identify truly valuable and actionable insights. Oftentimes, it is the marketing organization that is challenged with taking customer data, understand how it all fits together, and map out each customer’s history of interactions and preferences, thereby understanding the end-to-end customer journey. These data driven journeys are the foundation to unlocking innovation in the customer experience and each touchpoint is an opportunity to exceed customer expectations and drive deeper engagement and loyalty.
However, the Marketing organization faces many challenges in driving CX innovation in their Bank or Credit Union. Lack of executive leadership, inexperience, inability to align internal organizations, and even the sharing of customer data are a few of those challenges. The first step in taking on a customer-centric approach in financial services – is to drive alignment across the organization and ensure executive leadership agree that embracing a customer-first mindset is critical to long-term financial success of the organization. This alignment is a major factor in ensuring that the customer data collected in the day-to-day operations of the business will be collected and shared amongst the organization in a way that is actionable and valuable for all involved, especially the customer.
It is critical to create a cross-functional team to drive the CX strategy throughout the organization. This team will need to ground itself in a deep understanding of the customer by creating, and updating customer personas. The key here is not creating esoteric personas that live in a PowerPoint deck, but map out true, data driven, insightful and actionable personas that drive product and CX decisions throughout the organization. These personas need to be activated on an appropriate platform to become dynamic personas that provide an accurate and actionable perspective to inform CX strategies for the organization. Using these dynamic personas as guide, the CX team will map the customer journey(s) and identify the critical touchpoints where customer data is collected. In addition, this team will also need to address pain points for the customer (you know where they are, you just might not discuss them very often) and then create an action plan to address these issues and opportunities; ensuring they are executed on.
Other challenges the Marketing team might face include strict budgetary, compliance and legacy-system issues. All of these issues can be overcome if the marketing team has executive leadership buy-in and organizational alignment. Taking a customer-first approach does not mean keep doing things the way you have been doing them for the past decade and just call it “customer-centric.” It means data-driven – customer-focused decision making will be a forcing function for the organization to act differently. This will also impact decisions made regarding marketing spend allocations, product offerings and customer experience enhancements across the digital and physical touchpoints.
Embracing a CX focus in a bank or credit union is a commitment that needs to be made for the long-game. The disruption that is being felt in the industry today, has only just begun. While many financial organizations are investing in CX initiatives and modern digital platforms, only 37% have a formal CX Plan according to a recent Digital Banking Report. You cannot address this disruption by doing a few CX projects every couple of months – it must be driven over a multi-year roadmap, which includes quick-wins and long-term milestones. Customer expectations are only going to increase, and if banks and credit unions fail to innovate, customers will go elsewhere. In a time when switching banks or credit unions is easier than ever, the time to create, build, and maintain customer loyalty is required for ensuring long-term financial success.
Kristine Stebbins I Founder, Chief Digital Officer
ForeSee is innovating CX intelligence to help organizations measure and understand today’s complex, omnichannel customer experience. Leading financial institutions like US Bank, Barclays, Union Bank & Trust, Nationwide Insurance, and others measure and manage the customer experience with ForeSee. Beyond Vigilant is proud to be a valued Foresee Partner.
Beyond Vigilant uses Foresee to establish a customer satisfaction baseline and incorporates insights gained into our Customer Experience Strategy and Optimization Plan. Having a Foresee baseline enables our clients to measure the ROI gained from CX optimization from the customer’s perspective.