Banks would be best off focusing on their ability to deliver high quality customer experience rather than spending their time developing new, “sexier” digital products. So says a recent Forrester Consulting study that evaluates how financial services are approaching customer touchpoints.
The study, commissioned by GMC Software, reveals that many financial services firms strive to improve the customer experience by improving technology systems, providing seamless customer onboarding and ensuring accuracy of customer data.
Many customer experience initiatives do not apply best practices to the entire experience. Instead they focus in on digital channels like mobile websites, tablets and applications because they are often part of larger marketing initiatives. High priority (57%) is placed on improving mobile websites and on improving mobile apps (53%) with hopes of improving the customer experience through these channels (61%).
Document-based Systems Lag
Customer touchpoints that involve documents, rendered both physically and digitally, frequently remain sidelined by legacy systems with almost half of survey respondents indicating their technology platforms don’t let them integrate documents into multichannel communications. Sixty-one percent of the survey respondents said they faced hurdles when it comes to creating a consistent look and feel for documents while ensuring they adhere to necessary regulatory requirements. The same percentage of respondents reported that it is tough just to incorporate and enforce compliant language across groups even before visual consistency becomes part of the equation.
Ongoing customer communications, like bills and account statements, often do not get the same customer experience attention they deserve. However, 45 percent of respondents indicated they are currently addressing or planning to improve technology systems as part of their efforts to better serve customers. For 42 percent of respondents, that includes adding software and connectivity to existing products and services.
Building Staff Engagement
The majority of financial companies participating (77%) in the survey say they have a clear vision of the type of experience they intend to deliver to customers. And three-quarters say that customer-facing staff has a clear sense of this vision to use as their North Star. Additionally, 79 percent said that they are starting to weave experience considerations into their decision-making processes.
With customer experience serving as the foundation for customer acquisition, customer retention and competitive differentiation, the Forrester study shows that true customer-centric financial services organizations can still win customers and then effectively serve and retain them.