Customer experience leaders in financial services (FS) need to create a frictionless experience for clients that doesn’t run the risk of being impersonal. Without this balance, FS providers can fail to create client loyalty, ultimately resulting in dissatisfied customers who are quick to take their business elsewhere.
With a successful balance of technology and personalization, providers will be well placed to outperform their competitors, both in terms of revenue and their ability to supply highly differentiated, individualized experiences.
THE CHALLENGE: CREATING A BALANCED EXPERIENCE
Financial services clients expect interactions to be seamless, timely, and integrated from beginning to end. For providers, this means constantly monitoring all touchpoints and channels and responding immediately around the clock.
The obvious strategy to meet this expectation would be through automation and new technology, but relying solely on this solution could be dangerous. Foregoing traditional, in-branch interaction could mean missing the opportunity to create a genuine interaction and relationship with clients.
Brennan Wilkie, our SVP of customer experience strategy, said, “Every interaction with a customer is a chance for a FS brand to surprise and delight — or a missed opportunity to do so. By tailoring the brand experience to each contextual user journey, FS can unlock the ability to enhance loyalty with customers, and because personalization is about establishing individualized brand relationships, early leaders tend to lock in customers, heightening the barriers for those that try to follow.”
Studies are also showing that clients are expecting their experiences to be as personal as they are frictionless. According to a Janrain Online Personal Experience study, over 74% of online consumers get frustrated when they are presented with content that is not relevant to them or their interests.
If this trend continues, financial institutions will continue to find it harder to attract, grow, and retain consumer business unless they take steps to engage customers in ways that can truly make their brand stand out.
THE APPROACH: EMBRACING NEW TECHNOLOGY
Financial services providers have begun to tap the potential of personalization by providing customers with the ability to download apps, watch research videos, and redeem individualized offers. Additionally, they have introduced click-to-chat features on their websites. These methods may not always take the form of another transaction or product, but they definitely succeed in enhancing relationship.
As mentioned in our recent global banks CX infographic, Avidia Bank launched “Cardless Cash,” which allows customers to draw money from ATMs and branches using their smartphones. To amplify the buzz, the bank hosted real-time ATM versus Cardless Cash battles on Periscope. This unusual tactic captured significant consumer attention, which allowed Avidia to identify and join the ensuing conversations on other social networks. For Cardless Cash, Avidia saw engagement rates as high as 10%, resulting in a 13% increase in adoption.
Another way FS providers are embracing technology is utilizing the rising popularity of virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. Gareth Gaston, head of omnichannel banking at US Bank, said, “Voice technology is going to be central to the future of digital interaction. We’ve all become accustomed to speaking to our devices for simple things like getting directions to a restaurant or placing a call. Now, voice services such as Amazon Alexa are making it easy to check an account balance or hear a payment due date without picking up a phone or logging in to internet banking.”
THE BENEFIT: CLIENT LOYALTY
When account holders feel both that they can conveniently access their accounts via technology and that their financial services providers truly care about providing them with a positive experience, they are more likely to become loyal customers. Still, such a differentiated customer experience cannot happen on its own. It’s up to FS providers to create an environment and culture in which client relationships can be fostered and flourish.