After the pandemic in 2020, more than 50% of the financial services user activities shifted to digital channels. As those channels became more complicated and the industry started consolidating, customers became more disengaged with the legacy processes, opening the operational gaps wide.
The changing preferences in recent times reflect a shift in behavior and reveal that customers are increasingly demanding differentiated experiences and expect companies to adapt accordingly.
Microsoft’s survey reveals that, at present, about 45% of the financial services companies have more than 50% of their overall budget allocated to digital initiatives (predominantly CX), while another 45% plan to increase their budgets substantially. This is quite an encouraging trend as it continues to drive the need for more and better digital solutions while acknowledging that there are still myriad challenges to overcome.
In that light, merely increasing the budget or linearly exploring the CX roadmap is insufficient to meet customer expectations.
There needs to be a rigorous focus on how the:
- Various products in an organization are integrated into the overall customer journey.
- Various channels across the customer journey are optimized to deliver a consistent and seamless experience.
- Customer needs/wants are tracked, analyzed, and prioritized in the context of their journey.
- Customers are empowered to help themselves whenever possible without going through various levels of support.
To that end, here’s a list of five principles that can serve as a guide to fostering a differentiated customer experience strategy:
Forge Greater Personalization
Defining and prioritizing customers’ interaction journey that best addresses their expectations are quintessential to delivering an improved experience. In the context of digital media, it is imperative to use data that can allow the organization to understand “who is the customer” and what they expect from various touchpoints in the journey.
Regardless of the department concerned for the resolution of the issues and the scope of the case, organizations must be able to provide a real-time, contextual solution by leveraging the single view of the customer across multiple channels and departments.
Prioritizing individual customers based on the different pathways to resolve an issue is only the first step toward differentiation. It is also vital for various departments to be able to view and plan their response in real-time.
Provide a Unified Service Experience
Linking the front, middle, and back-office functions of an organization, such as operations, sales, marketing, finance, and IT, is vital to enable the optimal experience for the customers. It is based on the premise that providing a seamless experience across multiple touchpoints can help boost customer loyalty.
Plus, this unification is central to helping achieve personalization (elaborated previously) in the first place. For example, when an organization taps into a unified view of the customer across multiple channels, it can capture the customer journey from start to finish.
By beginning the process with a 360° view of the customer and their expectations, financial services companies can tailor their services, products, and processes to the customer’s specific needs. They can further discover new opportunities and reduce limiting escalations and redundant support requests.
Accelerate Client Onboarding, but Do So Wisely
Around 60% of the companies surveyed in Rocketlane’s The State of Customer Onboarding 2022 survey alluded to using more than “4” onboarding tools. In a bid to increase engagement and time-to-value, companies continue to introduce more and more tools to onboard their customers. However, this strategy doesn’t bode well for a consistent experience.
Having abundant tools at your disposal only adds to the scattered experience. At the same time, onboarding flows with numerous steps can cause many other issues, including increased risk of customer attrition, diminished ease of use, and magnified back-office support efforts.
As a matter of fact, the same survey also reveals that even with diverse tools at disposal, the onboarding process suffers big time because of “low visibility into progress” and “mismatch in expectations.”
Considering the critical nature of financial services, reducing the clutter and keeping the onboarding process intuitive becomes even more paramount. That is easier said than done, but getting a head start on this goal can help mitigate these challenges.
Offer Self-Service to Both Clients and Agents
The financial services industry is infamous for tedious, arduous, and unrewarding customer journeys. Much of that can be attributed to the opaque and complex nature of the services, such as lending and investing and massive departmental fragmentation.
This, coupled with the increasing inclination towards prompt customer support, is a forward-facing proposition for adopting self-servicing options. Favorably, the industry leaders are enabling just that. For instance, ServiceNow FSO helps create highly engaging and intelligent virtual agents/chatbots that can interact with customers on various channels. These AI-powered chatbots can then intelligently route the issue to the relevant agent based on the priority and empathetic necessity of the request.
On the agent’s side, ServiceNow helps foster a knowledge base for accessing case resolution history and tutorials and a dashboard for instant insight and visibility into the information about the case under consideration. Agents can also leverage AI recommendations to improve the relevance of their responses.
Provide Resolutions Faster
The criticality of swift answers in the financial services industry is no secret. Customer issues are often time-sensitive, considering they pertain to critical services like card payments, fixed deposits, and insurance policies.
A SuperOffice study suggests that more than 46% of customers expect a response in 4 hours or less. With customers’ expectations at the forefront, financial service institutions must tap into technologies like chatbots, live chat, etc., and adopt omnichannel engagement strategies.
To Sum Up
Financial services companies can strive for a superior customer experience with these five tenets in place. The sooner the companies start, the quicker they can reap the benefits of enhanced customer satisfaction and market success.
In fact, ServiceNow FSO is uniquely positioned in the market to help transform financial services businesses with a platform and suite of software that can drive data-driven decisions, automation, and productivity.
Talk to a specialist today to learn more about how everything works together.