Before the coronavirus crisis, I heard bank leaders talk about “becoming digital,” but less than 15% considered themselves digital transformation leaders.
The pandemic has pushed banks to close the digital experience gap. Executives must take a hard look at what their customers expect and what digital tools (and products) they need to weather this crisis.
Digital transformation can’t happen without mastering the art of digital connection, which requires both technology and authentic human connection. To do this, banks must harness the power of data, technology, and their people to create customers for life. Here are three steps to help your bank master the art of digital connection.
Maximize Customers Data to Transform the Experience
If a customer walked into a branch for a typical transaction, the teller would have immediate visibility into their entire relationship and recent interactions — and would be empowered to recommend additional, relevant bank products or services. They would feel known and well-served by your teller.
Your digital infrastructure should provide the same humanized experience through email, customer service and other interactions with your bank. But unorganized, siloed data causes problems and impedes creating this experience. To maximize your customers’ data, you’ll need to:
- Consolidate your view of each customer.
- Ensure that teams have access to a high-level view of customer data and activity, from marketing to customer service.
- Group them by segments in order to deliver relevant information about products and services. This step requires a solid understanding of your customer, their financial needs and their goals.
Invest in Technology That Reaches Customers Today
To inform, educate and engage your customers during this time of transition, you need sophisticated, best-in-class banking technology. Many banks have already come to this conclusion and are looking for help modernizing their banking experience.
A key component in meeting your customers where they are is quite literal. While some of your customers are well-versed in online banking, others have exclusively used their branch for their financial needs. The information these two audiences will need during this transition will look different, based on their previous interactions. Compared to customers who are already familiar with digital banking, those who have never done it before will need more specific, useful instructions to help them navigate their financial options and a clear pathway to 1-on-1 assistance. This kind of segmentation requires modern marketing technology that works in tandem with banking and lending tools.
Amplify Human Connections to Build Trust
Many banks have trouble letting go of the branch experience; customers have had the same reservations. In an Accenture survey of financial services, 59% of customers said it was important to have a real person available to give in-person advice about more complex products.
Now that going into a branch is not an option, your bank must find a way to use technology to amplify the human connections between your customers and staff. Especially now, sending meaningful, humanized communications will position your bank as a trusted financial partner. To transform your digital experience, and keep people at the center of every interaction, you must:
- Personalize your messages — beyond just putting a customer’s name in the salutation. Data allows emails to be very specific to segments or even individuals. Don’t send out generic emails that contain irrelevant product offers.
- Humanize your customer experience. Communicate that you know who you’re talking to each time a customer picks up the phone or contacts your help line.
- Support a seamless omnichannel experience. Provide customers with clear avenues to get advice from your staff, whether that’s by email, phone or text.
Investment in innovation comes from the top down. Your bank must buy into this opportunity to transform your customer experience from leadership to all lines of your business. The opportunity is here now; this shift toward digital interactions is here to stay.
There’s no longer a question of whether a fully digital banking experience is necessary. Banks must leverage modern technology and the human connections their customers know them for to improve their overall customer experience. Excellent customer experience comes from delivering value at every touchpoint. This is the new bar all banks must meet.