By Scott Draeger
The rise of fintech has had a sweeping impact on customer experience (CX) in the financial industry. From mobile payments to rapid fire rate quotes and loan approvals, fintech has disrupted the status quo for bankers and made improving the CX a top priority for every banking organization.
Banks seeking to develop a strategy to improve the CX will do well to break apart the disruption taking place into four distinct components. Each of these has emerged into the mainstream in 2017 and will continue to develop in 2018:
- Connected consumers. Smartphones in hand, today’s banking customer lives in a connected, mobile, and always-on digital environment that initially opened the window of opportunity fintech has seized. Banking customers have gained leverage in their banking relationships because they have more information, more options, a louder voice, and faster transaction times. They are not only engaging in financial relationships differently, they are also sharing information with their peers through social media, online reviews, and similar real-time outlets. For banks, new insights about consumers can be gleaned through social listening—enabling more granular and accurate customer segmenting. However, these customers also fully expect the banking organizations they engage with to respond with an immediate, highly personalized, and relevant approach. They also expect their bank to communicate with them in the way they prefer.
- Continued technological innovation. While already huge, the impact of technology on the banking CX is only just getting started. Rapid developments in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable devices, and blockchain ledgers will dramatically transform economies and the way banking is fundamentally conducted. New ways to interact with customers and engage in transactions will emerge—and banks will need to leverage them quickly if they hope to preserve a positive CX.
- Burgeoning data. While gleaning insights from data will continue to be key to achieving a positive CX, doing so effectively will be a growing challenge. The amount of data in enterprises globally will soon be in excess of 30 zettabytes. Processing this volume of data will involve tasks that include advanced data cleansing, verification, and analytics. Finding ways to extract relevant data from multiple systems and manage that data effectively to act upon it will be essential to meeting customer expectations.
- Evolving regulations. Operating in a highly regulated industry is a fact of life for financial institutions, but as forms of customer communications evolve, so will the regulatory environment. FINRA’s guidance on the use of social media websites serves as just one example. Of course, from a CX point of view, these kinds of regulations will impact how and what banks and other financial institutions will communicate with their customers. Your customer communications strategy and the technology you employ to carry it out will need to be carefully designed to work within a changing regulatory environment. Be prepared to maintain compliance so you can avoid penalties while still communicating with your customers in a way that meets their expectations.
Innovation must be continual.
Addressing these four disruptive trends as part of a CX strategy needs to be a part of any 2018 strategy for acquiring and retaining customers in the competitive banking marketplace. Banks that have adopted innovative, actionable tactics within that strategy that enable them to respond with agility to changing consumer expectations, technologies, data and regulations are sure to be the winners in the battle for the best customer experience possible.
Scott Draeger is vice president at Quadient, a provider of software solutions that help companies deliver meaningful interactions with current and future customers. A Neopost Digital Company, the Quadient portfolio of technology enables organizations to create better experiences for their customers through timely, optimized, contextual, highly individualized, and accurate communications for all channels. Draeger’s broad experience includes helping clients improve customer communications in over 20 countries. Twitter @scottdraeger.