Banks should invest in customer experience

Technology | Erich Gerber 9 Jun 2020

As consumers, our expectations of banking services have evolved far beyond traditional services. Consultancy company Capgemini found that customers prefer financial products from big tech firms, with 75 percent reporting that they use at least one financial product from these firms because of the lower cost, ease of use and faster service.

While traditional banks still enjoy an advantage today, the status quo is quickly changing.

As regulatory requirements begin to change in Asia-Pacific countries to allow more digital banking entrants, traditional banks are realizing the need to improve the focus on the customer and embrace digital strategies to stay competitive.

To create exceptional customer experiences, banks in Asia must take a holistic approach to change. This means developing strategies that come from an understanding of how customer value is created, adopting technologies to let customers interact on their own terms and fostering a corporate culture focused on fully supporting customers.

Banks must begin with a strategy that is based on a full understanding of what drives and motivates their customers, as well as what keeps them from using competitor services. Too often, business leaders assume that they know what their customers want and do not see any need to learn more, but it is important to understand their experience at all stages of their journey to get the full picture.

Based on a survey of consumers, Accenture outlined four personas beyond traditional demographic segmentation that can help banks engage customers with personalized services.

In the Asia Pacific region, consumers in mainland China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Thailand outpaced the global percentage of pioneers (that is, risk-takers who are tech-savvy and hungry for innovation).

Conversely, consumers in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore have high percentages of skeptics (or people who are tech-wary, dissatisfied and alienated).

Having a more robust understanding of customers will have a profound impact on the types of services banks prioritize.

Banks must make significant changes to how they organize and go to market to deliver an improved customer experience. Customers must be central to business planning and operational effectiveness to make customer experience a differentiating factor for organizations.

Technology is constantly reshaping and expanding the ways brands interact with their customers. Today consumers can drive their own journey as brands expose back-office processes to them.

These innovative and connected digital products allow consumers to interact when and how they want.

For banks to provide these same capabilities, they will need to rethink their processes and ensure that the journey stays within organizational frameworks.

They need to be able to understand insights, map and mine processes, deliver personalization and relevance, conduct real-time calculation and delivery of engagements, and gain continuous feedback of customer experiences.

With the help of advanced analytics and machine learning, technology can be used to create great customer experiences.

For example, the rise of mobile adoption in Asia is changing customers' expectations of one-to-one engagement with their financial institution.

Through real-time monitoring of data in motion, banks can also identify fraud earlier to lower losses and discover customer service issues and opportunities faster to drive higher conversion rates.

Banks can also refine their understanding of customer behavior and preferences when data is unified from multiple sources.

Leadership must also ensure that all employees have a full understanding of their customers.

This means empowering them with data analytics tools to help them make decisions and take actions that will positively impact the customer experience. Agile decision-making fuels quick innovation, as contributions from decision-makers will help to make products and services better.

Banks that wait to get it right the first time miss opportunities.

Erich Gerber is a senior vice-president at Tibco Software

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