Is your organization investing in their digital transformation? The necessity of providing a personalized, yet streamlined customer experience is ever present. Gearing customer touch points to provide a unique, personalized experience, by leveraging the relationship between the digital and physical, is a sure fire way to stay relevant in an ever changing industry environment. In essence, tying your digital transformation should not be silo’d, it should take into consideration every organizational aspect that may affect end users, thus, to improve customer experience, you need to have an effective digital transformation strategy in place, and vice-versa.
Below, we’ll highlight some of the reasons for this issue as outlined by Jim Marous in a recent Financial Brand article, “Digital Banking Transformation Strategies Neglect The Customer Experience,” before diving in to some areas to concentrate on when looking to put your digital transformation to work to improve the customer experience.
Looking to strike a balance between meeting the goals of your institution as well as those of your customers during your digital transformation? Download our Ultimate Guide to Digitally Transforming the Appointment Experience.
Barriers to Excellent Customer Experience
Consumers consistently underestimate the number of businesses that are investing heavily in customer experience by at least 50 percent.
For instance, 47% of consumers place investments in making their data more secure as the most important customer experience outcome for companies to concentrate on, making it the most sought after change. However, despite the fact that 31% of businesses are investing heavily in this (and an even higher percentage among financial services) only 15% of consumers perceive that they have.
Digital Transformation is a relatively new strategy, and banks and credit unions have only recently begun embracing it.
58% of organizations indicated that their digital transformation began less than two years ago, with just 24% of financial institutions stating that their efforts had been across the organization. As a result of this, most companies are perceived to be simply playing catch up with the competition, with 63% of consumers saying that their primary financial provider is either ‘behind’ or just ‘keeping pace’ with similar companies.
A digital roll-out impacts the business first, and customers second. While CX can be improved through a digital transformation… it takes time.
Only 28% of digital transformation initiatives begin with customer needs as the top priority, while 68% were focused on business outcomes. These are obviously important areas to concentrate on during a digital transformation, but as stated by Thomas E. Hogan, chairman and CEO of Kony, “Improvements in costs and efficiencies are always welcomed and clearly important to project funding, but the real returns and real impact of digital starts and stops with its impact on the customer experience.” And to get those returns, you need to understand and address those customer priorities.
Strategies to Improve Customer Experience During Your Digital Transformation
Provide Live Engagement Channels
A major part of any digital transformation strategy is offering consumers the ability to reach your institution anytime, anywhere. However, what many organizations neglect is that digital consumers aren’t looking for all digital, all the time. No matter how much they embrace technology, the majority still want the option of engaging with a live human representative when desired. This fact is supported by the research from Kony which shows that although 57% of consumers want products, services and support to be available digitally, they want those digital offerings to be supported by a named company representative. This means introducing interactive tools like live chat, real-time texting or video calls in order to provide real-time human support.
Make Customers Feel Valued
When do customers want to feel like an entry in a database? Obvious answer: never. Consumers want their bank to see them as a valued customer, and that starts with going above and beyond the expectations of what a bank should provide. One simple way to do so is to incorporate a method for tracking and responding to individual customer sentiment in your strategy. Online reviews, post-engagement surveys, social media comments, or simple notes taken during a meeting can all provide a view into the customer experience at a personal level. The best part is that current digital offerings allow for the automatic tracking of these responses for positive and negative sentiment, allowing agents to address comments and complaints at a personal level. By doing so, you can not only be sure to make customers feel valued by addressing and resolving feedback from each and every customer who takes the time to submit it, but also teach and inform employees for future experiences to keep satisfaction levels up.
Improve the Queuing Process
Waiting for service is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t mean that people enjoy it. Remember, an estimated 40% of business still requires an in-person visit. You want that visit to be positive, so don’t let waiting in a queue get in the way. The Journal of Consumer Behavior divides wait times for service into three cycles:
- Pre-process, where the customer is waiting in line
- In-process, where the customer is making their request at the counter
- Post-process, where the customer is waiting for their request to be completed
Out of all of these stages, the pre-processing stage has the greatest influence on how the customer perceives the waiting time, and more importantly, the service quality. In order to make that waiting period as painless as possible, consider implementing a lobby management solution during your digital transformation. With a simple customer facing tablet, customers can immediately join the appropriate queue for the service they’re looking for, freeing them from standing in line and allowing them to view estimated wait times. Along with improving the customer experience, a digital lobby management solution can help you to stay on top of daily customer flow, walkaways, and staff productivity by tracking all traffic coming through the lobby.
Never Stop Improving
As LinkedIn founder, Reid Hoffman, said, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Of course, with all the security and regulatory restrictions in banking, you don’t want to rush out an unfinished product, but that shouldn’t stop you from pushing the envelope. Do more for your customers than the competition is doing. Provide a better experience across all channels, both digital and physical, and you’ll win their loyalty and business. To provide these constant improvements, you need to ensure that your digital transformation includes methods for tracking the wants and needs of your customers. With that information, developing innovative new ways of providing an excellent customer experience become significantly easier. With real knowledge on areas for improvement to back up future changes, you can ensure that your first steps into your digital transformation won’t be your last, and set yourself up for consistent (and effective) improvement.
Digital Banking Transformation – What Next?
Looking to strike a balance between meeting the goals of your institution as well as those of your customers during your digital transformation? Download our Ultimate Guide to Digitally Transforming the Appointment Experience to learn more about common friction points in the appointment lifecycle, and how to utilize digital tools to transform the experience for everyone involved.
Ready to get started on leveraging your digital transformation to differentiate yourself from the competition with a superior customer experience? Schedule a consultation with Coconut Software to learn more about how our tailored solutions can help.