The end of web forms as customer data collection method in financial sector
The days of traditional, in-person banking are over. Okay, maybe not completely over, but there’s no denying that financial institutions have had to modernize their offerings and processes for the modern, on-the-go lives that customers now lead. This modernization is an ongoing process, involving the identification of outdated practices and updating them one by one. Collecting customer information via web forms is one of these outdated practices.
That’s right, what once may have seemed like the cutting edge of user experience (at least, compared to paper and pen forms) is no longer enough. Instead, many financial institutions are implementing newer, more customer friendly options. These options include chatbots and digital data intake journeys, which offer a number of benefits, such as improved customer experience, increased revenue, and better customer retention.
Web forms are over … here’s why
Web forms are basically digital versions of paper forms that can be filled out online. Ten years ago, they seemed like a very modern solution. Sure, they’re easier to use and more accessible than paper forms or worse, the download-print-sign-and-scan model. But with the other options currently available, they are no longer the most efficient way to collect customer information for financial services.
In addition to being tedious to fill out, web forms are often long and complex, leading to customers giving up and abandoning them halfway through. In fact, the average web form abandonment rate for the finance sector is an astonishingly high 75.7%, suggesting that this type of data collection isn’t working very well.
[.emph]average web form abandonment rate for the finance sector[.emph]
The new customer data collection methods taking the place of web forms
Here’s the good news - while web forms may have once been the best solution available, there are better alternatives now that can offer a superior, more personalized, and dynamic customer experience.
Chatbots and AI-driven customer service
Chatbots are computer programs based on rules, and they’re the fastest-growing communication channel for brands. In fact, 67% of consumers worldwide have had an interaction with a chatbot over the last year, and for good reason.
Chatbots are incredibly powerful, using AI technology to answer customer questions, guide customers through personalized processes, and resolve customer problems. Machine learning allows chatbots to find the right flow for any given customer’s use case, offer the right answers, and facilitate the action they are interested in taking. And they’re available 24/7.
All of this creates a smooth, user-friendly experience that offers the kind of personalization that web forms simply cannot. This is key, especially since 66% of customers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations, and 61% expect brands to tailor experiences based on their preferences.
[.emph]of customers expet tailored experiences from brands[.emph]
Digital data intake journeys
The newest, most innovative way to collect customer information is the digital intake journey - a guided process that takes customers through a series of steps such as inputting data, uploading documents, and signing paperwork. Digital data intake journeys are designed with the UX best practices in mind, prioritizing interactivity and optimizing for digital channels.
This type of data collection offers a number of advantages. Their interactive nature makes them both more user-friendly and more efficient than simple web forms, and their ability to dynamically adapt to customer input makes for an improved customer experience. In short, digital data intake journeys iron out the friction you’d find in a standard web form, creating a seamless experience.
Why new data intake methods are worth your investment
Like with any major change, switching from web forms to the newer data intake methods comes with a cost, requiring an investment of both time and money. But it’s well worth it for financial institutions for several reasons.
First, these newer, optimized data intake methods can improve your institution’s customer service, which is especially important as only 29% of consumers trust their bank to look after their long term financial wellbeing. By offering your customers a convenient, comfortable experience, you increase their trust in you and reduce their need to contact your customer service.
And it’ll all ultimately benefit your bottom line. These data intake methods can help increase revenue by boosting conversions, allowing for faster account opening, and creating opportunities for the cross selling of financial products.
How digital data intake improves retention
It’s pretty clear at this point that digital data intake provides a more engaging experience for customers. Let’s face it - who wouldn’t prefer a personalized, interactive experience over an irrelevant, drawn out, convoluted one?
And your ability to offer this type of superior customer experience may just be the competitive edge you need to retain your customers rather than have them switch over to a competitor. After all, 80% of bank clients would switch to a rival offering a better experience. So why not be the institution that offers the better experience?
Digital data intake also improves customer retention, which is especially important considering that on average, 20% of a company’s customers are the source of 80% of the company’s profits. More so, banks and credit unions lose 10 to 15% of gross revenues to customer attrition, annually.
It’s the future; lose the web forms
The finance sector may be old, but thankfully this fact hasn’t stopped important industry-wide forward progress that embraces new technologies as a way to continue growing and serving the modern customer. Indeed, 77% of traditional financial institutions plan to increase their focus on innovation as a strategy to boost customer retention.
And customer information collection is a perfect place to start. Not only is making the switch from web forms to more modern data intake methods a no brainer, as we’ve demonstrated above, but it’s also quite easy to do. No-code platforms allow you to skip the hassle (and cost) of hiring an entire dev team, helping you easily transform your web forms into digital experiences customized to your business’s particular needs.
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