The Harvard Business Review defines customer experience as “the cumulative impact of your customers’ end-to-end journey with you, the multiple touchpoints over time, which create a true competitive advantage to companies that get it right.”
While this has been the status quo in retail for years, it’s becoming increasingly relevant for financial institutions (FIs). Before technology changed the world, FIs focused on products and transactions, their differentiating factor being what they could offer you. Now, thanks to the disruption of tech giants, social media, and retail titans, FIs need to adopt a more holistic view of customer experience – one that focuses on “being there” at every stage of a customer’s financial journey.
Personalized, always-on engagementDeepening engagement with consumers means being present in the important moments – a new job, buying a house, or getting married – and triggering actions to support them. It’s also about being there for the smaller moments – the ones that fill in the gaps between the milestones. It’s these interactions that help build stronger connections and longer-lasting relationships.
Showing that you’re there shows consumers that they are heard and understood. New technology gives FIs the opportunity to do this, to engage customers when, where, and how it matters, with personalized experiences that are elevated above the noise of everyday interactions, and which drive conversations. However, it doesn’t matter how great your tech is if your customers don’t trust you to protect their data.
Smarter banking with smarter messagingSo, how can you get your message across when you need to, and make sure it’s heard and trusted? It goes without saying that any digital solution an FI uses to secure deeper engagements must provide infallible security and intuitive functionality – there’s no compromise here. An ideal solution would combine the benefits of instant communication with banking-grade security, and the ability to manage messages immediately, all within an existing trusted platform – your banking app.
Protect consumers from fraudA secure messaging platform like this can keep customers informed and their data safe. Think about how transactions flagged as suspicious by FIs are often dealt with; usually, after the fact, involving time, call center interactions, and lots of frustration for all parties concerned. Or, an FI will simply block the card immediately. With a trusted and secure channel, an FI can minimize false positives by immediately notifying the user asking them to either confirm the transaction or log a dispute with one simple click. And with digitally signed delivery receipts – which SMS does not have – the institution knows whether the message was received.
A trusted financial advisorFIs can use the same messaging platform to help their customers make more informed decisions to proactively take charge of their financial health. The increase in use of peer-to-peer payments, merchant apps, and savings tools suggest that consumers are actively looking for ways to make it easier to manage their finances. Imagine that a customer is about to exhaust the funds in their current account after an unusually expensive month. What if an FI initiated contact before the customer became overdrawn and asked whether they would like to transfer funds from their savings account to replenish the current account? Or, the FI could offer alternative solutions based on products the customer already has, and which align with their financial goals. An interaction like this goes a long way to strengthen customer loyalty and increase a customer’s lifetime value. It’s a way for the bank to directly, securely, and relevantly interact with the customer, without spamming them with unwanted SMSs or emails.
Seamless, on-the-go, banking experiencesThe growth in new technologies has made us more connected than ever before, with businesses generally operating on a global scale. The right digital solution can ensure a seamless banking experience for consumers who are always on the go. For example, a one-click response to a call to action allows a consumer to change the regional settings on their geofenced card so they can use it immediately, wherever they are. There’s no waiting for a branch to open, and no trying to get through to the call center.
And when traveling, who can ever remember how much the hotel blocked off on your credit card? One double espresso shot can take a consumer over their credit card limit. What if instead of charging the usual (and hefty) penalties, a bank took the role of a trusted financial advisor by informing the customer of this possibility, and giving them the option to temporarily increase their credit limit? It’s a critical and timely interaction that helps build trust, and trust is an essential building block of any FI wanting to inspire customer loyalty.