From Big Data to Little Personal Touches

By Olaf Tennhardt

Banking clients, like customers of any retailer, crave a personalized customer experience tailored to their needs, wants and expectations. In fact, they expect it. Why? Because they’re telling banks everything they need to know how to treat them like humans, not like a name on a spreadsheet. It’s up to banks to see the possibilities in their rich stores of data and imagine and deliver meaningful experiences.

Regardless of whether clients are stopping by a branch, contacting a call center or reaching out via social media, they’re willingly handing over data each time they interact with an institution. To harness the power of the information offered up by their customers, it takes the right technologies and processes. Banks should leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to collect and understand their customer data and determine the right moment and engagement for each person. These insights, used intelligently and ethically, can help banks turn their data into a competitive advantage.

It’s far easier said than done, and for many institutions, it can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Banks, large or small, often struggle to gather the reams of customer data and make sense of it to provide the tailored, human experience that their clients seek.

Large banks: Connection creates results

Many large banks have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in data, analytics and decisioning tactics and technologies—but to only middling results. To get the most value out of their investment and data science talent, they need to add a crucial element: connection.

Accomplishing this will require banks to undergo change management and a shift in its operating model to accommodate new collaborative processes and connections. CMOs and CIOs will need to break down silos and transform how they work together to create an integrated data and analytics environment and leverage their existing investments in employee and customer-facing systems. A rock-solid data foundation will enable actionable insights that lead to delivery—and ultimately, to customized client experiences.

Regional banks: Building the foundation

Regional banks may be well poised to ride this new wave of integrated technologies and ecosystems and give their customers optimized experiences. Their opportunity is different from the large banks — some may not have the in-house capabilities or advanced technologies to create integrated data and experience environments. Following is one approach that could help regional banks deliver to their customers and potentially leapfrog their larger competitors:

  • Establish a customer experience operating model. Similar to large banks, regional banks will need an operating model built on collaboration and connection focused on the customer.
  • Own your data. Data should be a core competency, owned and maintained behind a bank’s own firewall or cloud. A customer data platform can help a bank record and track their customers’ online behavior across devices to help them capture a unique 360-degree view of their wants and needs. In doing so, they can gather key insights on customer data trails and a deep, contextual understanding of how each customer wants their data to be shared and used.
  • Own your decisioning. AI and machine learning should be used to help identify the best way and time to engage with each customer, optimizing the experience and outcome. Ideally, banks should know which customer segments to target with their products. A decisioning engine curates the right experience for each segment and ultimately automates that process.
  • Own the delivery. Connect processes and technologies across the ecosystem to create seamless omnichannel experiences trusted by customers.

No matter the size of a banking institution, its customers want to feel valued, appreciated, and understood. With strategic processes in place, a bank can have a clear path forward to know their customers intimately and at scale. By tapping into customer data from every interaction, banks can create and maintain those valuable relationships. Banks can treat their customers like humans first—and provide them with the important experiences they desire.

Olaf Tennhardt is a principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP and financial services lead for Hux by Deloitte Digital.