“‘Digital banking’ has become synonymous with ‘banking,’” notes Joyce Colin, Vice President and National Sales Representative for 360View.
Yes, digital banking use has seen a significant increase. Millennials report accessing their bank or credit union an average of 8.6 times per month via mobile versus 3.1 for other demographics (Financial Brand). But Millennials are not the only demographic gravitating toward more digital financial interactions. 71% of Baby Boomers use online banking services at least once per week, according to a report from BAI research.
In response to this increased use, bank and credit unions have begun to allocate more spend on digital banking than other channels in their arsenal. Digital banking channel expenditure sat at $10.7 billion in 2015, but current spending trends predict it will continue to increase to $15.2 billion or more by 2022.
Which is why, Colin says, digital MUST be a pillar of a financial institution’s customer experience program.
In her webinar, “How to Create a Digital Customer Experience Program,” Colin emphasizes the need for a complete plan when tackling the account holder experience (CX) dilemma. A plan, she says, allows your institution to set measurable goals, ensure alignment across the organization, identify improvement opportunities, and execute the technology and processes needed to address known issues.
With this in mind, there are there primary considerations for a holistic CX approach:
- Cross-Channel Integrations
Most businesses understand personalization to be a conglomeration of data and artificial intelligence designed to deliver targeted communications. This type of personalization requires automation of notifications and alerts as well as tailored website and email content. Recognizing this fact, a majority of financial institutions (58%) have either deployed or are trialing artificial intelligence, bots, and machine learning (Deloitte).
However, consumers still prefer human support to wholly digital interactions. While customized digital communications show some level of insight about your account holder, the real test occurs when they contact you directly. Account holders want to speak with representatives who know not only their subject matter but display an understanding of the preferences and relationship the individual account holder has with their institution.
To achieve this level of personalization, Colin recommends implementing a system to allow for the recording of conversations and information, including specific notations of each account holder’s goals, needs, and wants. All of these items would be in addition to the standard information such as types of accounts held, address, etc.
Speaking of recording information from each interaction… Such a tactic is not possible without pulling information from every channel available for account holder communications. After all, an account holder may begin their loan, investment, or account research online but follow-up with a call, website inquiry, mobile chat, or branch visit to complete their transaction.
As Colin points out, “The most satisfied consumers are the ‘branch-dependent digital consumers.” (J.D. Power)
The solution is to merge physical and digital experiences, so the same information is available anywhere – for the account holder and staff. When set-up correctly, the account holder will be able to continue where they left off whether they switch devices or step into a branch. And your institution’s staff will be able to view, manage, and analyze account holder information across interfaces.
Achieving this level of interconnection requires a robust system integration. Which is why banks and credit unions should fully evaluate their market to determine the needs of their account holders and target audiences. Then tailor their cross-channel integration accordingly. Some solutions could include:
- Banker tablets
- Video conferencing
- Interactive teller machines (ITMs)
- Open, teller-and-desk-free environments
- Advanced Analytics
- Enhanced team training
The Secret Sauce is Usability
No amount of digital integration can overcome a bad user experience.
“Root your program in human behavior,” says Colin. But understand that technology and consumer expectations are consistently changing. Have conversations with account holders, send emails, and create app interactions requesting feedback to discover what they expect from each banking channel.
Above all, keep your communications and design simple and easy to use. Not all age groups fully understand technology or finances. Audiences who cannot use your tools or know what you are offering are less likely to engage with your institution. Creating offers, instructions, imagery, and experiences which are straightforward and accessible for all of your audience profiles will generate better user experience.
Creating a digital experience program is much more than throwing money into a standard mobile application and online platform. It requires research and an understanding of the account holder journey. Taking a holistic approach with a focus on your digital platforms can help eliminate pain points and create a better environment for both your business and your community.