4 keys to delighting banking customers with a digital-first approach
There’s no doubt that banks are under pressure to keep up with the competition and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.
Customers increasingly rely on digital banking channels in a world altered by the pandemic, and digital banking usage is growing across all demographic groups. Banking customers want a fast, convenient, and personalized experience, and they expect their banks to provide them with the same level of service they get from leading digital brands.
To fulfill these expectations, banks are increasing their digital banking transformation efforts to improve customer experiences, boost digital engagement, and become partners in their customers' financial wellbeing.
[.emph]It's no longer a question of adding digital features; it's about giving customers an exceptional online experience that they'll love and keep returning to.[.emph]
But what does it mean to provide a digital-first banking experience that meets the needs of today’s customers? How can banks recalibrate their customer experience (CX) to be digital-first?
In short, a digital-first banking experience is designed with the customer’s digital journey in mind at every step. It’s an approach that starts with customer needs and desires and puts digital technology front-and-center to solve for them in the most frictionless way possible.
Advantages of digital-first approach in banking
A digital-first approach to banking customer experience has many advantages:
- Increased Customer Engagement: A digital-first approach leads to increased customer engagement by making it easier for customers to find the information and services they need when they need them. This also allows banks to proactively engage with their customers through targeted messaging and personalized offers.
- Improved Customer Retention: Customers who have a positive digital experience are more likely to be loyal and less likely to churn. Bain & Company found that a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 95% increase in profitability.
- Greater Efficiency: A digital-first approach can help banks save time and money by automating processes and self-service options. This can free up resources that can be better used to provide a superior customer experience.
- Increased Revenue: Boston Consulting Group found that companies with a strong digital customer experience generate 5% more revenue than their competitors. Additionally, IDC found that companies who invest in digital customer experience can see a return of up to $8 for every $1 invested.
- Improved Customer Insights: A digital-first approach provides banks with valuable data and insights into their customers’ behavior and needs. This information can be used to improve products, services, and the overall customer experience.
Challenges and pitfalls of digital experience transformation in banking
While there are many advantages to adopting a digital-first approach to banking customer experience, banks need to be aware of the challenges and pitfalls associated with this shift.
- The first challenge is designing a digital-first experience that is truly customer-centric. This means understanding what your customers want and need from their digital banking experience and designing your offerings around those needs.
- The second challenge is creating a consistent digital-first experience across all channels. This can be a challenge because it requires banks to integrate their systems and processes and break down silos between departments.
- The third challenge is shifting from a product-centric to a customer-centric approach. This can be difficult for banks because it requires a mind shift at all levels of the organization.
- The fourth challenge is ensuring that your digital-first experience is secure. This implies incorporating security and fraud prevention into the design of your digital experience and ensuring that your systems can protect customer data.
- The fifth challenge is staying ahead of the curve. The digital world is constantly evolving, which means that banks need to continuously innovate their digital offerings to stay ahead of the competition.
4 strategies to improve customer experience in banking
1. Make banking experience personal
Customers want to feel like they are more than just a number, so banks need to find ways to make the experience more personal. This could include using data and analytics to provide personalized recommendations, offering human support when needed, and making it easy for customers to connect with the right person when they need help.
Personalization is key to providing a delightful experience that will keep customers coming back. According to Accenture, “77 percent of consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to a brand that provides personalized offers and recommendations.”
And the key to personalization is the smart use of customer data. Customers are willing to share their data if it means they will receive a more personalized experience. In fact, “71 percent of consumers are willing to share personal information if it results in more personalized offers,” according to Accenture.
[.emph]of consumers are willing to share personal information if it results in more personalized offers[.emph]
Banks need to ensure that they utilize the data they collect on their customers’ behavior, preferences, and needs in order to provide the most relevant and personalized experience possible.
How can banks achieve that? By tying together the front-end customer data collection, data mining and back-end processes into a unified view of the customer. In this way, banks will be able to provide a truly personalized digital experience that meets the needs of each individual customer.
2. Make the banking experience easy
The digital-first customer is looking for convenience, so banks need to make sure that their experience is easy to use. This entails offering a simple and intuitive design, self-service options, and 24/7 availability.
In order to make the experience easy for customers, banks need to design their digital offerings with the customer in mind. This means taking a user-centered approach to design and making sure that the customer’s needs are always front and center.
It is also important for banks to offer self-service options whenever possible. This could include online chatbots, FAQs, and knowledge bases. Customers should be able to find answers to their questions without having to contact customer support. However, there must be a simple way to get help if they need it, such as a live chat option or a phone number that is easy to find.
3. Be available when and where your customers need you
Customers expect to be able to bank on their own terms. Banks need to provide digital capabilities that meet the growing need for self-service, and be available when and where customers want to bank, whether that’s online, in-app, or in-branch.
In order to meet the needs of digital-first customers, banks need to provide an omnichannel experience, offering a consistent experience across all channels, including online, mobile, and in-person. Omnichannel experiences are important because they allow customers to bank how they want when they want. This is especially important for Gen Z and Millennial customers, who expect to be able to bank on demand.
Finally, banks need to make sure that their digital offerings are available 24/7 via a responsive website that can be accessed on any device and providing customer support around the clock.
4. Be agile and stay ahead of the curve
In order to stay ahead of the competition, banks need to stay up-to-date on the latest digital trends. This means keeping an eye on emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and being open to new ways of doing things.
It’s also important for banks to be agile and able to quickly adapt to change, be flexible and willing to experiment with new ideas. In order to do this, banks need to have a culture of innovation. This means that technology and culture must work together in order for banks to be truly innovative.
[.emph]By making digital the default, putting the customer first, and simplifying the experience, banks can set themselves apart from the competition.[.emph]